Roads #3, 2015

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ISSUE 3 | 2015

UD Trucks - Going the Extra Mile since 1935

UD Trucks Extra Mile Challenge 2015 finals of the most challenging game!

Quon Vision

Envisioning the future

UD Electric Demonstrator

Emission-free. Silent running. Endless possibilities.

Dear friends,

ISSUE 3 2015

It gives me great pleasure to greet you with this end-of-year issue of Roads, your magazine about UD and the world of transportation!


Singapore On the road again

As you may already have read in Roads this year, 2015 is a very important one for UD Trucks. We celebrate the company’s 80 th anniversary, while, as importantly, we prepare for the future!

Tokyo Motor Show 2015


Quon Vision Envisioning the future

The future for UD lies in providing the best trucks and services to our customers, following the company’s founding motto: To make the trucks the world needs today. To satisfy needs now, one must think ahead. UD Trucks engineers have designed their vision of the future in the Quon Vision, a futuristic looking vehicle, prefiguring the truck of the next generation. A laboratory of future technologies, it aims to provide ultimate fuel efficiency, to apply the most advanced technologies to assist the driver on the road, to enhance driving pleasure, comfort and safety, while also focusing on reducing running costs and maximizing uptime. A s UD explores possible future paths for road transportation, “UD Electric Demonstrator” is an experimental truck exploring the future of electric propulsion in the mid-duty segment, integrating the performance of an internal combustion-engined vehicle in a silent, zero-emission package. UD Trucks will keep striving to stay a step ahead, at your side as a valuable partner as you develop your activities, and to provide you with optimal solutions to meet your every need. Followmont Transport in Brisbane, Maruwn in Tokyo, Every Glory Logistics in Singapore: in this issue we will take you to Australia, Japan and Singapore, to discover how three major logistics companies have successfully overcome challenges and difficulties in their development and why they rely on UD for the success of their daily operations. We will also take you to the finals of the 2015 Extra Mile Challenge, an international competition based on the criteria that influence the success of an actual company. For the 2016 Challenge, selections will be run all over the world next year, to identify the finalists for the Ageo competition. Get prepared for the exciting Extra Mile Challenge, we look forward to welcoming you! Until then, we wish you a wonderful end of year and our warmest wishes for a prosperous 2016, full of success, opportunities and delightful surprises!

Daisuke Takahashi Exhibition & Event Manager




UD Electric Demonstrator Emission-free. Silent running. Endless possibilities.

Interview Toshio Shiratori Director, Product Design Ageo, Complete Vehicle


Technology Quester GCW and GVW with Hub Reduction tandem axle


Japan Maruwn: A detailed quest for perfection

UD Trucks Extra Mile Challenge


2015 Finals!



From little things big things grow


Trucker Tips & Tricks Keep your eyes focused during long drives Roads is published by UD Trucks Corporation Publisher Kenneth Hagas

Customer story - Sin g a p o re

On the road again Text: Marion Zipfel / Photos: Lim Weixiang



ith his impeccable white and blue striped-shirt, Jeffrey Tan looks like any white-collar worker from the Central Business District in Singapore. Except that he doesn’t work in the financial district but in Jurong, the industrial heart of the island. It’s not from an 18-storey glass building that he walks out to welcome us, but from a modest two-storey warehouse with eight loading bays. After 25 years working at multinational companies, Tan made a radical change in his career. In September 2013, he decided to take over Ever Glory a 38-year-old truck company. “I knew Ever Glory, when it was acquired from the company where I was working,”

explains Tan. Four founders created Ever Glory in 1977: one clerk and three drivers that used to work together. At that time the container trucking industry was booming; Singapore was developing into a logistics hub mainly due to the relocation of industrial production from Japan to South East Asia. During the 80s and early 90s, Ever Glory enjoyed the golden age of the logistic business but in 2000 it started to run out of capital and had to change hands. It was sold a first time to Tsing YI, a metal recycling firm, then to Advance SCT.

A vision and a passion “Ever Glory was not making any money but I could see the potential,” recalls Tan. He resigned from Advance SCT, set up his own investment holding firm

and made his first acquisition in 2013 with Ever Glory. It was a choice guided by a vision and a passion. When asked about trucks, the face of this serious businessman suddenly brightens. “I know a lot about this industry,” he says, “since I was very young my hobby has focused on motor vehicles and I have a particular passion for trucks.” Jeffrey Tan also has a vision to turn Ever Glory from a pure trucking firm into a one-stop services company offering warehousing and freight business units as well as transport to his clients. In his mind, logistics is more than just moving goods from one place to another. Achieving this has meant a radical transformation, if not a revolution.


Customer story - Sin g a p o re

“I wanted to bring this old-school company to the modern age of logistics,” says Tan. “It’s a promising business as Singapore is a regional logistics hub, but it’s a tough business, very competitive. The margins are very thin so we need to improve our productivity.” From his extensive experience in MNCs and with a background in IT, Tan is committed to bringing the very best management and technology practices to Ever Glory. “In the past many activities were done manually so we invested a lot in IT systems to track our trucks, but also to develop special accounting and invoicing software programs,” says Tan. “This technology not only helps us deliver a better service to our clients but it also helps our drivers. Previously, driver salaries were calculated manually by our back office, now each trip is directly integrated in the system so they can be paid more quickly.” Since 2013, Ever Glory has invested SGD150,000 in technology. I have put the company in the cloud,” adds Tan proudly; he is convinced that technology will radically overhaul how logistics is done by Ever Glory. For the team, riding this new technology wave was rough going at the start. “He always talks about efficiency, about bringing more IT into our systems. It was not easy for me to adapt at the beginning but now I see how much I have benefited and I have learnt so much,” explains Patrick Kwok, the general manager of Ever Glory logistics.

PIC: a helping hand to SME’s P-I-C are three letters that Singaporean SME owners or managers know very well. It stands for Productivity and Innovation Credit. It was introduced in 2010 with the aim to of encouraging enterprises to upgrade their innovation and productivity. Under this scheme, Ever Glory was able to invest SGD150,000 in IT systems and enjoyed a 60% cash payout.


If IT is a major axiom for change, the other pillar is the truck. “Without good trucks, there is no good business,” remarks Tan. It is a sentence that almost resonates as a mantra. A few months after he took over the company, Tan made a trip to UD Headquarters in Japan to try the trucks himself. Once again, his smile widens as he explains, “I enjoyed the 420 horsepower below me; it reminded me of my time as commandant in army trucks. I felt I was the king of the road.” After his test drive, his decision was made. He would go for UD Quon without further hesitation. “I also sought advice from people I trust in the industry and they all recommended UD.” Dealing with container freight, he naturally chose 11 liter Quons, which appear to be the most popular truck in Singapore. Within the last 2 years Ever Glory has bought 12 new trucks, among which 11 are UD! “We bought them with the Escot V semi-auto transmission,” says Tan. Some of the drivers were more than a little skeptical. “When we handed the keys to the drivers, they refused them at first but it only took them a few months to adopt them. Now the drivers plead for me to never go back to manual trucks again!” For Kwok, since Ever Glory started buying UDs, there has been a dramatic change. “Before the drivers would always call me saying that their truck had this or that problem but now the trucks are very reliable.” When it comes to the qualities of UD, Kwok

Jeffery Tan, in front of a part of his fleet of UD trucks

Singapore wants to give logistics a makeover

In October 2015, the Singapore government unveiled a set of measures to boost Singapore’s logistics industry. “We will transform today’s inefficient domestic logistics sector - the system from the warehouse to the ‘last mile’ of delivery - through integrated, shared delivery systems” announced Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Tharman Shanmugaratnam. Among the different measures to be adopted is a SGD20 million pilot project to use technology to consolidate and coordinate deliveries to shopping malls. A second SGD15 million project, initiated by the Singapore Logistics Association, involves the use of automated guided vehicles in warehouses, to reduce repetitive work in storage and retrieval. The third initiative, being developed by the Singapore Transport Association, is an industry chassis pool, to help local truckers better manage resources and rising costs. As the sector faces a high attrition rate and has a large proportion of low-skilled jobs, the government is also working with the industry to “develop the next generation of logistics talent” according to Mr Shanmugaratnam.


Customer story - Sin g a p o re

could talk forever! “It’s friendly, it’s comfortable in the cabin, it’s easy to drive.” Mr Yong, a driver at Ever Glory since 2010 couldn’t agree more. “It’s very convenient to drive; it’s easy as we don’t have to change gears. Overall it feels more confortable.” On average a driver would be on the road 14 hours doing eight to ten trips a day so making their working conditions more comfortable was primordial. “With the semi auto-transmission, they don’t have to worry about changing gear, they can concentrate on the road, and at the end of the day they are less tired,” says Tan. As the general manager, Kwok not only cares about his drivers but also about his operational costs. “UD trucks consume less fuel and since we’ve been running them we have managed to cut our fuel costs down from 10 to 6% of our operating costs.” But if you ask Kwok or Tan to pick only one reason why they buy UD, they unanimously talk about the after sale services. “Because the UD brand is popular in Singapore, the spare parts are cheaper and easily available,” says Tan. “It is critical for our business that our trucks can be fixed quickly. If we have a problem, we can have it fixed within the day so that the business can resume the next day.”

Did you know? Singapore has an estimated




running more than

delivery trips daily and taking up about


per cent of road space.

But for Ever Glory, UD is more than a supplier; it’s a real partner. “I believe in our long-term partnership with UD. When I made my decision to buy UD, I didn’t look at the price alone. Yes, I could have found cheaper alternatives but I believe in after sales quality, reliability, durability and functionalities.” In 2013, Tan had the idea of making Ever Glory “Go the Extra Mile”. Through the choices he has made, in terms of technology equipment and human resources, as well as through his drive and commitment, Tan managed to increase Ever Glory’s revenue by 50% between 2013 and 2014. Even though Tan knows that Singapore is expecting a technical recession next year, he is confident. “As a risk management strategy, we diversify our clients and always look for new growth opportunities.” After all, don’t we say that Every Glory or Youhui means “shining forever” in Chinese?


Visitors loved the spectacular transparent walkway that invited them to discover UD Electric Demonstrator’s innovative driveline. (see page 14)



Tokyo Motor Show

The UD booth at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show was impressive. It was by no means a static display this year – as well as showcasing the company’s newest concept trucks and technological innovations – the booth attracted throngs of visitors from around the world with a series of animations and performances and a great party atmosphere.


he world premiere of UD Trucks’ Quon Vision and the UD Electric Demonstrator will realize “Smart Logistics sustainable, safe and profitable transport” which showcases the company’s dedication to meet the market needs of customers and drivers in the future

All eyes were on Quon Vision’s sharp lines and sheer bulk.

Venue: Tokyo Big Sight Time: October 30 - November 8

UD celebrates its 80 th birthday and put across its future vision with energetic dance performances



UD Trucks introduced at Tokyo Motor Show the future of the truck industry with two world premiere concept trucks: the Quon Vision, the symbol for the future of “Smart Logistics� and the UD Electric Demonstrator, a fully electric zero emissions medium-duty truck. Two trucks. One vision : a sustainable, safe and profitable transportation industry.

Tokoy Motor Show

Envisioning the future


2015 Tokyo Motor Show

Quon Vision symbolizes UD Trucks' vision for smart logistics. It combines UD's Japanese heritage and global knowledge and aims to excel on UD's customers’ essentials of fuel efficiency, uptime and drivability. The Hexagon concept— “Dependable tools with a soul” The front grill of trucks made by UD Trucks have traditionally been designed in the shape of an hexagon. The hexagon represents an aspect of UD Trucks’ product design philosophy, “Dependable tools with a soul”. Each of the six corners expresses the ideas of Tough, Smart, Distinctive, Harmonized, Caring and Supportive, which embody the areas that UD Trucks focuses on in the production of its vehicles.

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Smart Tough








Caring The multi-disciplinary team behind the development of the Quon Vision (from left to right): Ryousuke Kishimoto (Designer), Takayuki Iuchi (Designer), Takayuki Asaoka (Physical Modeler), Mitsuyasu Ebe (Physical Modeler), Kouichi Naitou (Chief Designer), Toshio Shiratori (Design Director)


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The hexagon design theme is inherited from UD Trucks’ first cab-over truck, the TC80G, in the 1960s

Tokoy Motor Show

Innovative solutions have been applied at every stage to maximize fuel efficiency, drivability, safety and uptime


2015 Tokyo Motor Show

Recharging is simple: just plug in!

600V lithium ion battery.

Steps down the voltage of lithium ion battery and supply the electricity to auxiliary components.

High capacity batteries are mounted on both sides of the vehicle


Distributes electric power between the lithium-ion batteries and each component.


Inverter to drive the electric motor.

Unit for charging lithium-ion battery from external power supply .

UD Electric Demonstrator


If electric power is produced by renewable energy generators, emissions are absolutely non existent

Emission-free. Silent running.

Endless possibilities. As UD continues to explore all possible future paths of transportation, Electric Demonstrator, UD’s electric medium-duty concept-truck, shows the way to zero-emission transportation.




Electric propulsion ELECTRIC MOTOR

The three-phase permanent magnet synchronous motor acts as a generator during deceleration.

2-Speed AMT • A core component of the Volvo Group’s new full electric driveline, the new gearbox has been developed in-house, based on many years of advanced engineering experience. • Using a technology structure optimized for a medium-duty truck, UD Electric Demonstrator’s high-speed electric compact motor combined with 2-speed AMT delivers efficiently the necessary power and torque for a medium-duty truck.

Both batteries provide DC electric power to the junction box The junction box combines the power from both batteries and provides it to the electric motor driver The electric motor driver converts DC electric power to AC and provides it to the electric motor The electric motor provides propulsion power to the wheels via the unique 2-speed AMT

Braking regeneration Braking power is generated by the electric motor The power is converted to DC electric power by the electric motor driver The electric power is provided to the junction box The electric power is split and used to charge both batteries

The truck communicates through WiFi with a mobile tablet to inform the driver about the charging status and battery levels in real time

The diesel powertrain is replaced by a light-weight and compact electrical driveline. Combining a high-speed electric compact motor and a 2-speed AMT, it constantly delivers maximum torque over a wide rev range. To spare batteries and limit electrical consumption, many modifications have been applied to this special truck. The brakes are designed to benefit from an energy regeneration system: when braking, an electric motor driver transforms the kinetic energy into electricity, contributing to extending the range. The steering is now powered by an electro-hydraulic pump, while auxiliaries are moved through energy-saving electric air compressors. Xenon headlamps are replaced by low-consumption LED lamps, while rear lights are composed of a mix of energy-efficient lighting technologies. Equipped with a widely spread CHAdeMO system, and a quick-

charging system, UD Electric Demonstrator can accommodate various customers’ needs, such as charging during deliveries, for example. Designed with the latest UD Trucks’ technologies, UD Electric Demonstrator highlights traditional UD qualities such as road handling and comfort. The electrical driveline and the lithium-ion batteries are positioned in the central part of the vehicle, to allow better weight balance, and reduced vibrations at the benefit of the driver’s comfort. In the past years, transportation needs have evolved considerably. Population concentration in urban areas, and the rapid development of e-commerce have increased the number of deliveries anytime of the day, including early morning and late evening. Besides, environmental issues have become a major concern. UD Electric Demonstrator is a people-friendly and environment-friendly zero-emission and silent vehicle. As a result, as well as addressing the need for early morning and late night deliveries, it can help to solve specific issues, such as garbage collection. Moreover, it increases the possibilities for deliveries in closed spaces, or emission-restricted areas.

Emission-Free Zones where noise is limited are becoming more and more common, as are zero-emission zones. UD Electric Demonstrator can cross all zones and even go where conventional trucks can’t.

Silent Running Because of it s fully elec tric technology, UD Electric Demonstrator makes for extremely silent running and a comfortable experience for the driver.

Large Cargo Space UD Electric Demonstrator is a fully functioning medium-duty truck. This promises great flexibility and ability to carry large loads as well as adapting to a huge range of uses.

Adapted to urban transportation needs of the future, UD Electric Demonstrator is a tangible example of the continuous research that UD carries out to provide the most adapted solutions to each of its customers.


Tokoy Motor Show

Developed by an international team with staff drawn from Japan, Sweden and France, UD Electric Demonstrator is a driving laboratory that showcases what potential electric trucks can bring to future transportation.

I n te r v iew

Toshio Shiratori Director, Product Design Ageo, Complete Vehicle Photo: Nicolas Datiche

This well-travelled, elegant man stands out among his counterparts in the industry. Affable, approachable and modest, here is a man whose work attests to a love of timeless design.

How did you become a truck designer?

I studied design science at Chiba University. My courses included ergonomics and product design. Product design is not about styling. It is about functionality with emotion and making the object useful and convenient to use.

I entered the automobile industry in 1980 and star ted working on product design for cars, trucks, and buses. I went straight into the design department, as design had quickly become my favorite subject during my engineering studies.

Did you have a special interest in trucks?

During the first part of my career, I found the most interesting were trucks and Japanese mini city cars (K cars are specific to Japan - these tiny small-engined cars are strictly regulated in terms size and mechanics, and are not subject to car tax in big cities).

Designing both these types of vehicles meant working with a lot of constraints in terms of dimension, safety, pollution, and so on. Under these strictly controlled parameters, you have to be very inventive and detail oriented to create and optimize the best vehicles. I found this was very creative territory for me.

How did you join UD?

I had several chances to meet the former UD Design Director, Mr Kitajima, when we worked for different companies. I always had a lot of respect for his work, and I guess

he liked what I did too. When he retired, he asked me if I would be interested in joining UD, and that’s how it happened!

What differentiates the design of a truck from other vehicles?

Besides the heavily regulated restrictions, I think trucks are very special because they are the only mass- produced vehicle to

be delivered in many different sizes and configurations for multipurpose use.

What part do mechanical constraints play in the design of a new truck?

They are very important. We conceive our idea, and then we spend about half of the entire development period focused on

making design and engineering constraints converge.

What is good design?

A good design should have a clear message. And if I consider truck design, its design must have a long life. Consistency, contrast

and harmony in simple and smart ways are essential to UD Trucks designs.

What influenced you when you were designing the Quon Vision?

I nfluences are ever y where, s ometimes unconscious. After the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, I saw a picture of a famous Japanese cas tle ad ver tis ed in a train and found similarities with the Quon V ision. T he combination of white and gray stone walls

seemed to echo the stone-colored body of the Quon Vision, as well as its magnificent proportions. I realized then that various memories - some unconscious and deep in my psyche – must have led me to the creation.

Who is your favorite artist? Does his/her work influence yours?

Japanese painters from the Edo period, Ogata Kourin, Utagawa Hiroshige, Katsushika Hokusai, these are my favorites. Their work influenced Western art f ro m t h e t i m e of t h e e a r l y Impressionists. Today their work still looks modern and they have too have inspired me.

Do you think a truck’s shape will evolve radically if electric propulsion progresses to the point of being successfully incorporated into the transport industry?

It is a very promising opportunity for us to redesign the cabin space, of fer more comfor t, storage and functions to the driver.

What would be your ideal truck?

The truck that perfectly addresses all the needs of our clients. I don’t do design for design’s sake. I love an object that perfectly serves its function with emotion.

For many people, being the chief of design of a large company sounds like a dream job! What is the reality of your position?

Really? You think so? I don’t know about that, I don’t really think about it. My satisfaction comes when I feel we have satisfied the needs of our clients. This is very fulfilling for me. It drives my work.

When you don’t design for UD, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?

I love hiking, and I used to play rugby - a lot. I was a winger, and I was considered one of the fastest to the try line in our team (laugh)!

Age: 59 Nationality: Japanese Location: Ageo UD headquarters, Japan Work experience: 35 years in the automobile industry Education: Design Science / Faculty of Engineering, Chiba University Hobbies: Hiking, rugby, DIY

Te c h n olo g y

Quester GCW and Reduction tandem An efficient tool for mining and construction work First of a new generation of UD Trucks specifically developed for the world of heavy-duty transportation, Quester provides a platform for a wide range of applications, including long haul, distribution, construction and mining. For the latter, Quester can receive a useful optional hub reduction tandem axle.


verall available in seven axle positioning configurations, Quester offers three of them developed for the specific conditions of construction and mining work. The bogie suspension of these 6x4R/T and 8x4R versions is designed for rough conditions and particularly suitable for construction and mining sites, where durability and high reliability are of the highest importance. To help traction in muddy or hilly terrain, these versions can receive the extra help of a hub reduction tandem axle. Offering an extra lower range of gears to provide improved traction for off-road work, a hub reduction tandem axle provides excellent durability and useful extra road clearance for construction and mining site operation. Powered by a choice of five different versions of the powerful and fuel efficient MDE 8-liter engine (280 and 330 hp) and HDE 11-liter engine (370, 390 and 420 hp), the hub reduction tandem axle versions of Quester offer all the power and robustness needed for heavy duty operation in tough road conditions.


4 wheel drive rear double axle with hub reduction

GVW with Hub axle


Max GVW/GCW (tons)

6×4 Tractor

GCW 80

6×4 Rigid

GVW 34

8×4 Rigid

GVW 41

Engine Type

Engine power (hp)

Transmission speed (s)



















Rear axle Single/Hub reduction tandem axle Single/Hub reduction Single/Hub reduction

Cu s to m e r s to r y - Jap an

Aiming for perfection Text: Kenta Tanimichi / Photos: Nicolas Datiche

Some companies are driven to enter new markets and introduce new products hoping to expand their business range. For others, focusing on what lies in front of them and trying hard to achieve perfection is what counts. Major transporter Maruwn Corporation, based in Tokyo, is most definitely among the latter. Japanese artists and business people are familiar with the well-known saying; “The devil is in the details!� and it is this kind of thinking that has given Maruwn its unique position in Japan’s logistics industry.

Cu s to m e r s to r y - Jap an


apan boasts some 63,000 truck transporters, of which one company, Maruwn [pronounced Maru-un], has managed to secure a significant share of a very specific market. “Of Japan’s domestic oil transport market - including trucking and maritime cargo - Maruwn has six to seven per cent market share,” says company president Yutaka Ichihara.

Japan and China. Japan imports almost all of its crude oil from overseas. Shipped to refineries along the coastline, the crude is first processed into gasoline, kerosene or other petroleum products and then transported by a Maruwn tanker for delivery.

“Since we specialize in trucking and not shipping, you could say that we’re among the top trucking companies in this market.”

The other larger portion of the business, accounting for nearly half of total revenue, is generated by transporting raw materials for industrial use. Dry cargo, as it is called, includes cables, steel frames, aluminum coil and other heavy, bulky goods.

Petroleum, lubricant and other chemical products account for 36% of Maruwn’s consolidated annual turnover of 49 billion yen or about 400 million U.S. dollars. The company employs around 2,100 people, including affiliates in

“There are transporters that specialize in carrying petroleum products and also others that focus on raw materials, but I can’t think of a Japanese company, apart from us, that does both,” adds Ichihara proudly.

Despite these varied revenue streams, Maruwn is currently facing challenges; de-industrialization and a shrinking Japanese population is bad news for petroleum products and raw materials. This translates into a drop in demand coupled with difficulties hiring from a dwindling workforce. “In order to hire people we need to pay more and improve work conditions. To do that, our productivity has to go up but how can we do that?” Ichihara asks. “If we could automate our business processes we would. But the fact is, we carry heavy goods. Although we try to automate as much as possible in our storage facilities, it is our willingness to meet the specific demands of our customers that makes a difference to our service.” Akio Tanaka, group manager of procurement, explains how it is done. “A truck company that carries merchandize

Haneda Keihin Logistics Centre

Yoshikazu Wakabayashi, Deputy Manager of Haneda Keihin Logistics Centre

December 2012 saw the opening of a new logistics hu b at Ke ihin I s la n d in the Ota neighborhood of Tokyo. “Haneda airpor t, Japan Freight Railway terminal and Keihin truck terminal are all within a few kilometers of our b a s e ,” s a y s Yo s h i k a z u Wakabayashi, second in

command at the center. “O ur five - s tor y s torage facility with a total floor space of 17,0 0 0 square m e te r s (a b o u t 18 0,0 0 0 square feet) has recently b e e n e x p a n d e d ,” s a y s Hamabe. “The center is also equipped with a bonded warehouse which we aim to use to expand our

foreign cargo business.” Wakabayashi walks through neat row s of aluminum building materials stacked in the storage area. “This elevator can hold up to five tonnes,” he says. “We regularly use it to load semiconductor manufacturing equipment that can weigh as much as three tonnes.”

for a network of convenience stores may buy 200 identical trucks each year. Our way is different,” says Tanaka. “We find customized solutions for each of our customers and each type of product. This means that most of our truck bodies are different. Since the goods we carry are heavy and fragile, we might want, for instance, a steel post placed somewhere in the loading area to tether ropes to prevent the cargo from shifting around. That’s the way we do business.” Maruwn’s current fleet numbers around 1,500 vehicles and almost all of them come with custom-made bodies. “I bet you can’t find any other company like us!” ventures Tanaka, who is responsible for truck purchases and liaison with manufacturers. While Maruwn has been focusing on

Ichihara Yutaka, President of Maruwn Corporation (top). With a background in the oil industry, Ichihara brought a wealth of knowledge with him when he became president of Maruwn four years ago Fujita Takeru, Head of General Affairs Department, Maruwn Corp. (middle) Akio Tanaka, Group Manager of Procurement, Maruwn Corp. (bottom)

Each truck is customized to clients’ specific needs, as illustrated by these five trucks


Cu s to m e r s to r y - Jap an

delivering customer satisfaction, it has also started to outsource non-core business such as truck repair operations. It has now closed most of its own repair shops and in 2007, UD Trucks won a contract to do maintenance work for Maruwn’s Kanto region, which includes Tokyo and Yokohama. “From around 2005, maintenance became more difficult as that was the year manufacturers started to use more computerized parts,” says Tanaka. One way of coping with this change was to contract this work out, “We’ve outsourced maintenance of all of our Kanto-based trucks, including that of other brands, to UD and they do an excellent job.” The maintenance contract proved invaluable recently when a Maruwn vehicle broke down on an express way in Saga prefecture, approximately 900 kilometers southwest of Tokyo. “On this occasion, the truck had an engine malfunction. Whether it concerns UD or another manufacturer, we’re usually looking at about a month to replace an engine. But this time it only took ten days. UD enabled us to shorten any inconvenience to our customer by 20 days. That’s huge!” “Keeping our trucks in good working condition and being able to have them fixed quickly is at the foundation of our service commitment,” emphasizes Takeru Fujita, head of the general affairs department at the company. Maruwn’s custom-made truck bodies along with other efforts have successfully shortened load and unloading times at the customer end. But if the usual truck fails to work, finding a suitable substitute vehicle can cause delays. “We’ve worked hard on countless kaizen to cut costs and improve service levels. That’s why fast repairs are crucial to us,” adds Fujita, referring to the Japanese work philosophy of continuous improvement and troubleshooting of the smallest details. In the Japanese transport industry, Maruwn is one of the long-term players. Tenryu Transport, one of Maruwn’s forerunners, was established in 1892. “Then in 1950,


it merged with a company that specialized in railway cargo and that formed the foundation of Maruwn’s current business,” says Ichihara. “Faced with expanding demand at the time, the company received investment funding from Nippon Mining. Its successor JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation is still our biggest customer.” In 1990, Maruwn was listed on the first division of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and today the company is consolidating its business expansion into China. The first subsidiary was established in Shanghai in 2007, then another in Changzhou, a city in Jiangsu province 160 kilometers west of Shanghai, and finally in Tianjin, the largest port city in Northern China. “China is a price-driven market with a myriad of competitors. At this time the revenue from our China business is relatively small,” admits Ichihara, but he is aiming big. “We’re determined to stick to our quality standards so we are focused on giving thorough training to our drivers in China. By 2018, our target is to increase our China revenue to at least 10 per cent of overall revenue. Securing a firm footing in China is one of the key priorities of our global strategy.” And to achieve their expansion strategy, the new generations of this near 125year old company will continue to focus on those “devilish details”, a company philosophy that will guide them in the coming challenging decades.

Keiji Nosaka, Chief Field Mechanic Kameo Metoki, experienced driver of Maruwn Corp.

Outsourcing maintenance work to UD Trucks Kameo Metoki is a veteran driver with 29 years’ experience. His first truck was a 10-ton diesel under the Nissan brand, now UD Trucks. “In those days, trucks were much slower. My truck would slow down to as low as 30 or 40 kilometers per hour in the long uphill grind at Dangozaka on the Chuo express way.” He now drives a Quon and appreciates the huge improvements. “Seat cushions are soft and easy on

the body. Although I suffer from backache, it’s really comfortable driving a Quon. It’s a lot quieter in the cabin too. And I feel safer with Traffic Eye Breaks that alert me if I’m getting too close to another car.” If drivers experience any problems with their truck, they will contact one of Maruwn’s mechanics. Chief Field Mechanic, Keiji Nosaka, grew up with a passion for machines and motorbikes and a dream of making that his job. “I’m now in

charge of visiting our truck drivers based in Tokyo and Kanagawa prefecture. I inspect trucks and discuss with the drivers any overhauls and repair schedules.” As more electronic equipment is used, adequate in-house maintenance is becoming more challenging. “We’ve closed our own repair shop in Kanto and have UD Trucks do the work. I’m happy that they are always reachable - even late at night - and that they are reliable.”


Extra Mile Challenge

UD Trucks Extra Mile Challenge

The finals lived up to their promise Photos: Nicolas Datiche


hat if a competition reproduced the rules of success of a transportation company? What if it focused on every element that mattered in daily operations? That’s how UD came up with the rules of the Extra Mile Challenge. Focusing on driving skills, route planning, cargo strategy, maintenance, safety, fuel consumption, timely delivery, cargo integrity, and profitability, the worldwide competition tackles all

South Africa


aspects of your daily preoccupations. An added bonus is that UD brought the competing teams together on a beautiful autumn day in Tokyo.

dispute the final phase of the Challenge. The game saw the three teams composed of a strategic planner and a driver, brilliantly performing in each section of the competition.

This year, for this real-world-test of a competition, national selections had been carried out in Australia and South Africa. The two winning teams were joined by a highly motivated Japanese team to

Johannes Schutte and Kutsu Masuvo traveled a long way to take part in the finals of the challenge. They came first in a competition opposing 17 teams in their national selections. Both work for AFGRI Animal Feeds, a subsidiary of the large agricultural and food processing AFGRI Group, a company specialized in producing food for cattle and chicken farms as well as pet food. The company relies on its own fleet to deliver fresh food daily to the farms in their region. AFGRI mostly runs 6x4 Quon models, from the original Legacy models, to the latest 13-liter Quons.

Kutsu Masuvo loves to drive, and is especially fond of the ESCOT AMT gearbox, which he reckons is “smooth and saves a lot of energy in the driving”. Johannes Schutte adds that fuel efficiency Kutsu is excellent. “Our Mavuso company standards & are to drive the Johannes trucks until they reach Schutte 650,000 km before replacing them with newest models. They are trouble free for us“.

Japan Koichi Ogawa, Ltd. Londo Logistic, Group leader “To me UD is the best manufacturer bar none! I drive an 11-liter Quon, equipped with the ESCOT AMT gearbox, and it is very confortable and smooth to drive. The fuel economy is also very good.”

Koichi Ogawa & Kiyoshi Kumagai

Yuuji Mukaino, Ltd. Londo Logistic, Chief Executive Officer “I always loved driving trucks and just being around trucks. That’s the first reason why I created the company. After trying different trucks from other companies, I started to buy UD trucks about 25 years ago, and now only buy them. Why? For the trucks first: I think they offer excellent performance and fuel economy, and they are also very safe. And they are reliable: during all these years we’ve suffered very few breakdowns. The service at UD is also very good: once a truck had broken down and UD rushed to fix it even though it happened out of normal working time. I was really moved. To me UD really cares about its customers. That is of prime importance to me.”

Clinton Sheppard & Herman Kaczorowski


If you read the Roads 2/2014 issue, you will have already heard about DGL, a company we had the pleasure to visit at their Brisbane headquarters. Specialized in the transportation of dangerous goods, the company, run by John West, has thrived and is now one of the major transporters on Australia’s east coast. Selected after a tough competition among 16 other competing companies, Clint Sheppard and Herman Kaczorowski won several sections and then went on to overall victory – a truly impressive team. Despite the difficulty of driving a rigid truck when he normally drives a truck and trailer in the wilds of Australia, Clint showed real mastery behind the wheel on the tight Japanese turns, while Hermann secured a victory in the planning part of the competition, important for profitability.

Tim Loc e: No v ati on embe :U D r 9 th Ag Expe eo, ri Tok ence Cen yo ter Te


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Driving skill test Ability to manoeuver in tight spaces is carefully controlled. Perfectly planned strategy has to be effectively executed, in a timely manner, while driving smoothly for fuel efficiency and to avoid cargo damage.

Start Return

Feeling excited to take on the UD Trucks Extra Mile Challenge next year? We will keep you informed about the selections organized in your country, and we look forward to you joining the competition! Best of luck to all of you for the 2016 edition.




Careful planning of the merchandise to be transported: The pick-up and delivery routes are important to optimize profitability and in the competition are as close to real life as possible. Pre-checking is also necessary to avoid potential damage or breakdowns. Teams are submitted to a test on a voluntarily damaged truck to spot possible trouble. Ability to manoeuver in tight spaces is also primordial and reproduced in a very demanding driving test. They have to do all this while driving smoothly to avoid damage and minimize fuel consumption.



The Extra Mile is a real Challenge!

· FU

Delivering quickly is useless if the cargo is damaged. Drive smoothly or you’ll get penalty point for spilling water out of your water tank!






The power of supporters! That Australia won the 2015 edition may also have something to do with the ardent encouragement of its joyful team of supporters. David Pietsch and his wife Ellen came all the way from Australia to enthusiastically support the winning team. When back home in Darwin (northern Australia), they run a truck and construction equipment rental business. “We have 4 new Quons at the moment, the 13-liter GH 470 hp models, prime movers, 6x4. They are mostly rented for use on construction sites and are hitched to one or two trailers. Our clients like Quons. The drivers like them because they are comfortable, and they offer good visibility and excellent maneuverability, which is important on construction or mining sites. In Darwin the weather is usually very hot and dry, except during the three-month rainy season when we can get up to three meters of rain. The Quons never break down, and importantly for us, the air conditioning works very well. We love Quons because there is basically no maintenance. When the truck comes back, we run a normal check and service, change the oil, and that’s it. They are very robust trucks.“


Cu s to m e r s to r y - Au s tralia

From little thin things grow Text: Matt Shea / Photos: Tammy Law

What started as a one-truck, two-man operation has become one of Australia’s most reliable and dynamic transport companies.


ngs big


little thing. That’s all it was. 1982. Queensland’s rail workers were on a 48hour strike, pushing for changes to working conditions. The long freight trains that plied the coast were at a standstill. From Brisbane to Rockhampton to Cairns, nothing was moving. It was the government versus the unions, with the rest of the state caught in the middle. But while Queenslanders pondered their politics, in the Brisbane innersuburb of Stones Corner, Bernie Tobin and Alan Salpietro were pondering an opportunity. Tobin and Salpietro had never before worked together but both had experience in transport and logistics. They gathered a handful of backers, each producing a few thousand dollars to help buy a delivery truck. Their cargo? Magazines. “They would end up doing the magazines just in one truck from Brisbane to Cairns. That’s how it started,” Bernie’s son, Mark, says. There was nothing earth shattering about Tobin and Salpietro’s new venture. No great statement of intent. Even ‘Followmont’, the new company’s name, was purchased off the shelf. “It was just an opportunity,” Mark Tobin says. “An opportunity came and they took it.” Followmont Transport is no longer a little thing. Followmont Transport is a big thing. On a vast, newly developed industrial lot sits the company’s Brisbane headquarters. The eight and a half hectare site is dominated by a giant warehouse — 120 by 100 meters — that serves 650 registered trucks. In the flesh, it’s an intimidating operation. Prime movers and rigid body vehicles file through the building, teams of forklifts scurrying to load and unload cargo. On one side of the warehouse, taking up a third of the entire space is the cornerstone of the company’s business: magazines. Teams of workers unpack pallets of glossy paper stock, organising publications together into shipments for different corners of the state. The 100,000 square meter site is the logical end game to a pattern of growth


Cu s to m e r s to r y - Au s tralia

that began way back in the late 80s and early 90s. “That’s when we started to get that footprint into the regional areas,” Tobin says, “but it’s probably the last ten years that we’ve doubled in size.” Sitting at Followmont’s boardroom table, Tobin himself packs a considerable presence. As CEO and Managing Director, he speaks with little flare about the company his father and Alan Salpeitro built. Tobin isn’t concerned with showy ideas. His reliance is on data, stats and focusing on high-level strategies to grow the wider Followmont group. And he’s permanently plugged in: ask the 39-year-old a question — almost anything, it seems — and he taps away at an open laptop to sling back the most precise answer he can muster. Tobin’s canny eye for figures has seen Followmont grow its business in clever and unexpected ways. In 2015 magazines account for a small percentage of the company’s revenue. “It used to be a lot higher,” Tobin says. “But we’re working on ways to diversify our revenue streams in order to reduce costs and make sure they remain a key client.” These days a Followmont rig is just as likely to be hauling pharmaceuticals or fresh produce as it is paper and pulp. Or cargo for a slew of household brandnames who have chosen Followmont as their preferred freight partner. Repco, Australia Post, hardware giants Mitre 10, and Dulux Paints will all dial Followmont before they dial anyone else. But this isn’t just about a strategy of simply carting cargo for some of the biggest companies in Australia. A favourite story around the Followmont head office is the time the company transported a crocodile. Tobin doesn’t bat an eyelid. It’s all freight, he says, leaning forward to make a point. “That’s the beauty of Followmont,” he says. “You don’t need an account. You can just ring up and we’ll still do it. It’s about making sure we can always be open to different revenue streams.” But it’s also service. It’s a word Tobin returns to time and again. “Service and passion and people that take that extra mile to make it happen is probably the



Cu s to m e r s to r y - Au s tralia

with UD for 25 years, the two partners as intertwined philosophically as they are in business. On the back-of-beyond routes, where you’re more likely to encounter giant marsupials than human beings — that’s where you’ll find UD rigid bodies and prime movers holding the line against earth-cracking droughts and devastating rains. “They’re amazing,” Tobin says. “The reliability. You can buy a new truck and send it out to do Longreach and Winton for five years and you don’t have to worry about it. In terms of actual issues, I think I could name five instances over the last twenty years.” An impressive stat, and one that begins to bend the mind when you consider Followmont just took delivery of its 100th UD truck. “I think we’ve only sold nine of those,” he says. “We don’t really get rid of them.”

key,” he says. “We do it today, not tomorrow … The key thing is our 98-99 percent on-time delivery. It’s really about focusing on what we do and not on what everyone else is doing and making sure that we can give the best service and a competitive rate.”

to every corner of the state. “We do overnight from anywhere from Roma to Bowen,” Tobin says. The two towns have respective populations of 6,900 and 10,300, and are almost 2,000 kilometer apart. “We’re committed to regional and remote areas.”

It explains another curiosity about Followmont’s extraordinary growth: the company’s unshakeable focus on Queensland. Only now is it beginning to turn to the larger southern states. The corporate motto of a passionate family business 100% dedicated to a hands-on approach to our customers, our people and suppliers’ is a well worn idiom, but in Followmont’s case it rings true.

It comes back to finding business that offsets the cost of that service. Such as third party logistics carrying Chinese cargo from the northern port of Townsville. “We’ve got all these trucks going up the east coast [from Brisbane],” Tobin says. “What’s happening there is you’re getting revenue on what would otherwise be coming home empty. And it keeps those other services going. You don’t just send all the freight out of Brisbane and not worry about return. We look at the complete cycle to try to keep our rates competitive.”

Queensland boasts a tiny population density of just 2.6 people per square kilometer (by way of example, Texas, the largest state in the contiguous USA, has a population density of 34.8 people per square kilometer). And yet Followmont keeps rolling out the freight


There’s another company that regularly talks about ‘going the extra mile’: UD Trucks. Followmont has been dealing

The gigantic concourse at the back of the Followmont lot doubles as a museum of older UD trucks that continue to pay their way. On the back of a golf buggy we zip past an expansive workshop — as well as a warehouse under construction that mirrors exactly the behemoth already on the precinct (if anything exemplifies Followmont’s tremendous growth, this is it) — to find a brand new Quon prime mover and Condor PK 16 280, and parked alongside a 1993 CPC 15. Two trucks are freshly commissioned, the third refusing to retire, and yet the shared DNA between new and old is unmistakable. Elsewhere on the lot, a Condor is the subject of some furious forklift activity. The truck features a different livery to the brand models. I call out, asking its year. “1997,” the driver shouts back, before laughing at my puzzled expression. The machine barely looks ten years old. “I can remember in the late 90s or early 2000s,” Tobin says. “You’d have a CPC14 that had done 900,000 km running with a dog trailer from Rockhampton to Longreach every night. Every night. We had a couple of them that did it for six or eight years. You didn’t need to worry about them. I wish everything was like that in this business.”

Tr u c ke r T ip s & Tri c k s

How to keep your eyes safely focused on the road Good vision is vital for your safety, and that of other road users. During long drives your eyes can become strained, decreasing the accuracy of your vision and your vigilance. With this short exercise inspired from Chinese traditional medicine, you’ll be able to relax and refresh your eyes to ensure optimum vision during long days or nights on the road. Massage the acupuncture points around your eyes to relax them and improve your vision. You can do the following eye exercises after meals, during a pit stop, or as often as you like. As you massage the acupuncture points be aware of how it feels. When a pressure point feels tender it means you have found the right spot.

Please keep your eyes closed during all the massage sessions.

STEP 4: STEP 3: STEP 2: STEP 1: · Massage the “Yuyao” points · Identify the two “Yuyao” points located at base of the curve of your eyebrows. · Press your thumbs against the two points in a circular movement for a count of 8 beats per cycle. Repeat the eight circles.

· Massage the “Zanzhu” points · Identify the “Zanzhu” points located on both sides of the top of your nose. · Using either your right or left hand, place your thumb and index finger on the points. Press downwards and massage upwards to a count of 8 beats per cycle. Repeat for 8 cycles.

· Massage the “Shibai” points · Identify the “Shibai” points on your cheeks by dropping a vertical line from the pupils of your eyes and a horizontal line from the sides of your nose. Where these two lines intersect is where the “Shibai” point is. · Press your index fingers on the “Shibai” points and support your thumbs on your jaws with the remaining middle, ring and little fingers on both sides of your chin. Massage the points in a circular movement to a count of 8 beats per cycle. Repeat for 8 cycles

Now you are ready to start driving again, with refreshed, relaxed eyes!

· Pressing on the “Temple“ points and massaging around the eye sockets · Identify the “Taiyang” points which are located at the most hollow areas of your temples. · Press on the “Taiyang” points with your thumbs and flex the remaining fingers into a fist position. · Use the knuckles of your index fingers to slide over the upper eye sockets for the first 4 beats, and continue to do similarly over the lower eye sockets for the second 4 beats of each cycle. Repeat for 8 cycles. When you have completed the fourstage eye exercise regime, look into the distance for a few seconds to ensure total relaxation of your eye muscles.


Moving your business the extra mile Our complete UD extra mile support delivers both quality and value, ensuring your vehicle continues to run in optimum condition. It provides superior uptime and decreased total cost of ownership, the foundation of a prosperous business. Dedicated UD Trucks staff is always willing to put in that extra effort to support you and your business. Enjoy ultimate peace of mind throughout your vehicle’s life cycle - focus on your core business while we take care of the rest!

Going the Extra Mile