When an opportunity to start their own business arose in 1979, both Dave and Kev Murada had completed mechanical apprenticeships, Kev as a fitter in a coal mine and Dave a mechanic at truck and car dealer Dwyers at Wollongong, after they left school.
Dave, Kev and their brother Pete, who passed away in 1992, are triplets and they grabbed the chance of their own operation with both hands.. Now 62 years of age and having started the business together, these days Dave and Kev have somewhat different roles.
Dave is Managing Director and spends a fair bit of time in the office sharing an operations role with another employee. The rest of the time he can be found driving his favourite truck, a 2003 model Kenworth T904, particularly when things are busy, which is nearly every week, he says.
On the other hand, Kev is a full-time driver and specialises in the heavy haulage operations with which he has vast experience. He did spend a couple of years in the office in the mid-‘90s, but says it nearly drove him around the bend and he couldn’t wait to get back behind the wheel of a cab-over Kenworth, which is where he has been ever since.
“Back in ’95 I was in the office for a while but it just wasn’t for me, so we ended up hiring another employee to help Dave with the operations and I went back on the road full time,” says Kev. “I still quote jobs and Dave and I bounce off each other a beauty, customers ring either of us when they want work done.”
Kev reckons his contribution to the business as full-time driver is beneficial in a number of ways because he always has his finger on the pulse.
“Our drivers know I’m out there doing the same amount of work as them and they appreciate that because they can see that I’m just as stuffed as them after a hard day’s work,” says Kev. “It just works, it really does.”
While accepting that heavy haulage is a hard game, Kev nonetheless enjoys his trips away, saying there’s always somewhere new to go in this vast country.
“We go all over Australia with the heavy haulage and the thing I really like about it is that you go to so many places that you would otherwise never experience,” says Kev. “There are always a lot more challenges with the heavy haulage work, but I really enjoy it.”
Both of the brothers now running the business agree that running 18 trucks, which is the current size of the business, is the ideal number for them.
“Anywhere between 16 and 20 trucks is about right for us and it would have to be a damn good job for us to increase the fleet past that size,” says Dave.
The longest serving employee initially drove casually for them in the early ‘80s and subsequently became permanent 28 years ago.
There is another family member in the business, Dave’s son Jarrod. He did his mechanical apprenticeship with another company and later came onboard as a driver.
“The drivers working for us are all good blokes and we have a great bunch of people in the workshop and office also,” Kev adds. “Our company is based on family values and is an operation where everyone cares. When you get too big, people don’t care as much.”
All up, the last 40 years have seen big changes for the Murada brothers. From starting the business and doing all the driving, repairs and maintenance themselves, they gradually built up a solid team of employees which enabled them to grow and diversify.
“Kev and I have stuck together through it all,” Dave says. “From a young age we played all our sports together and rode dirt bikes together. In fact, we still surf and snow ski together today. Besides brothers, we’re best mates.”