Getting Personal with Primo Haulage!

There’s a certain type of customer that every salesperson loves. He’s the type who allows
you to visit his office without a formal appointment and he’ll return the favour by turning
up at your work unexpected but with the expectation the coffee will be ready for him!

If you can begin to picture this scenario, then it is likely you can appreciate that the
partnership between the buyer and seller is based on much more than just mutual
business. It’s a relationship where it is not unusual to share common interests outside
normal business hours, such as boating trips on the Murray River and the exchange of
golf tips, because a certain someone needs them, but we won’t reveal who just yet!

Peter Folwell, or “Pedro” as he is known to his family and friends, knows transport,
especially refrigerated.

He has been doing it since he was 14 years old, firstly starting out as a “jockey” with an
interstate furniture removalist before obtaining his interstate license at 17, helping
transport furniture for G Hannan & Sons.

In 1986, Pedro’s beloved Essendon Football Club failed to play in a VFL Grand Final for
the first time in four seasons, but he decided that the time was right to go out on his
own and purchase his first fleet, an International 3070 and a small number of second
hand refrigerated trailers.

From his base in Melton, Pedro operated as a free-lance contractor, providing
refrigerated express services for the produce and dairy industries.

Pedro’s first experience with Maxi-CUBE didn’t occur until the mid 1990’s, when he and
his wife Jane saw an opportunity to grow their business and capitalise on the
opportunities that a growing transport industry presented during this era.

With their transport company “Primo Haulage”, they started what has become today, a
very successful and lucrative partnership with the Victorian Division of MaxiTRANS.

“I remember when I first contacted Maxi-CUBE to enquire about some new trailers, that
there was an instant connection with the people there. When you are able to relate to
people at a certain level, it makes it easy to grow your business relationship, and as you
get to know them, that business relationship turns into a personal partnership”, Pedro
explained.

When Pedro speaks about his personal partnership with Maxi-CUBE, he is also referring
to his friendship with Maxi-CUBE’s Victorian Area Sales Manager, Brett Smith, who has
helped his customer and friend with the majority of his Maxi-CUBE trailer builds.

As with all his customers, Brett understands the significance on providing the full service
to every customer, highlighting that, “You can’t just sell a trailer and wave them off into
the sunset until their next order. Customers like Pedro require back up support that
ensures wherever they are, Maxi-CUBE is only a phone call away. Having the latest
technology will never replace that human interaction because when that customer does
need to buy new equipment again, they’re going to want to talk to you aren’t they.”

It is this philosophy that has helped Primo Haulage grow into the successful transport
business it is today. Its fleet stands at 15 trucks and approximately 30 refrigerated trailers, with Maxi-CUBE Chiller, Reefer and Freezer vans representing 99% of the total van units.
Over his 16 year relationship, Pedro has bought just over 50 Maxi-CUBE trailers and, as
he acknowledges, every single van has provided him with outstanding thermal
performance, durability and tare weight advantages.

However, as important as product quality is, Pedro places the most emphasis on having
access to the total package. That includes expert service, repairs and parts back up.

It is not uncommon for Pedro and Brett to be liaising outside work hours to resolve a
trailer issue or even discussing a potential improvement to one of the customised
trailers. As far as Pedro is concerned, “it’s important that we can be informal with each
other as it allows us to get to the essential aspects of what we need to keep the
business running and how Maxi-CUBE can meet our requirements.”

Now based at their large premises in Somerton, Primo Haulage delivers fresh finished
produce and frozen goods across the Eastern Australian seaboard through Melbourne,
Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide, not that you would actually recognize any of the trailers.

That is because Pedro prefers to use clean white exterior van walls, which helps provide
an insight into his psyche. Quite frankly, he’s your “forget the hype” type of operator. He
promotes excellence in cleanliness, delivery and customer service and expects no less
from his suppliers.

He also adds that, “It helps maintain the resale value of the van and makes it easier for
someone else to give the trailer a new lease of life without worrying about the cost of
removing any existing livery.”

Primo Haulage also uses the internationally recognised food safety system known as
HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) and their involvement in this
program ensures that their goods and equipment are always of the highest calibre.

And speaking of calibre, Pedro finally comes clean as to why he holds Brett in such high
regard.

“You know, we’ve become friends because we’ll speak on the phone about things totally
irrelevant to work. We’ll catch up for holidays on the houseboat at the Murray but most
importantly, and as you alluded to before, it takes a big effort for Brett to admit that he
needs help with his golf because I’ve been carrying that bloke around the course for years!”

With 3 new Maxi-CUBE refrigerated vans just being delivered to Pedro, it seems Brett
may yet get another chance to show that his golf skills are as good as his business
skills, almost!

primo haulage blog post image

above: The clean lines of a Maxi-CUBE B-Double, as requested by Primo Haulage

primo haulage blog post images 2

Above: The unmistakable bond between Maxi-CUBE buyer – Pedro
and Maxi-CUBE seller – Brett Smith!

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