Profiles, Truck Product News

Mack Titans out in the Wild Desert

Mack Titans

Wild Desert is a business that works hard behind the scenes, servicing remote oil and gas wells across the Australian outback and keeping the industry moving.

And they couldn’t do it without the help of their fleet of Mack Titans, says managing director David Wiley.

The company is based out of Roma in central Queensland, 350km north-west of Toowoomba. While it is remote, it has given Wild Desert the perfect location for their service needs since 2005.

Half of the 50 truck-strong fleet is now made up of Titans, which are transporting equipment and supplies as far as Moomba in South Australia and the Carnarvon Ranges in Queensland.

“Back in 2005 we saw the opportunity, so we sold a few houses and bought a truck. Since then we’ve just been getting busier every year,” Whiley says.

“Our trucks are mostly running as AB triple or triple road trains, and depending on what they’re carrying and where they’re going, they might do anything from 500 to 3500 kilometres in a trip.

“We’re often way off the bitumen and some of the roads the corrugations are so wide apart you can’t get on top of them. In those places we have to crawl along at five kilometres an hour. On one job a few years ago it took me four hours to go 70 kilometres.”

Whiley with one of the Titans. (Image: Volvo Group Australia/Supplied)

Trucking is in Whiley’s blood – his father was a driver, and drove plenty big trucks of his own.

But after buying a ’98 model Mack Titan in 2006, he knew he’d found a truck that was ideal for the conditions Wild Desert needed – that original truck is still in the fleet!

“My dad drove Flintstones and R600s, so I had a bit of history with Mack, but the Titan is ideal for what we do,” Whiley says.

“They don’t just look tough, they are tough, they hold up well and we’ve kept ours going for years through multiple rebuilds.

“We don’t trade them in, we just keep refurbishing them and they serve us well. The drivers love them too, especially the new ones with the mDRIVE automated manual: removing 600 gear shifts per days really does reduce driver fatigue.”

A Titan configured as a triple road train. (Image: Volvo Group Australia)

Continuing to add to the fleet, Wild Desert ordered three more Titans last year, and has two more on the way. Whiley says they’re aiming to replace three trucks per year over the next five years.

“We’re busier than we’ve ever been, so we’re taking the opportunity to expand, and also to replace some of the older manuals with autos. Not that we’ll be selling any trucks, they’ll just get put on lighter duties,” he says.

“The conditions which we operate in call for a truck that can handle everything.

“Driver function and comfort, room, vision, fuel economy, reliability and most of all, a truck that’s bloody tough, that’s why Wild Desert partners with Mack.”

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