Malec Brothers Transport is an Australian family-owned company which has seen substantial expansion and diversity fuel growth.
Started in 1997 by Matthew Malec and his dad Les, Malec Brothers Transport, with just one truck, started out as a general freight business from the family’s home base in North Geelong, Victoria. The fleet has steadily grown over the years, moving into timber in 2008 and then into Import and Export with containers.
“After we started out in General Freight, an opportunity came up in logging when it was booming around 12 years ago,” says Matthew. “We bought three logging trucks to start with, then looked at packing the wood into containers for export to China and its continued from there.”
Soon after starting out, Matthew met his wife Joanna who now runs the business alongside Matthew, after Matthew’s dad Les retired.
“We started the business in North Geelong then moved to Lara for 12 years before opening the new depot in Yarraville in Melbourne,” says Matthew. “Racheal and I moved to the Gold Coast two years ago so we run the business from here.”
The business now operates from several locations, including Adelaide, Yarraville in Melbourne, Stapylton in Queensland and from the head office on the Gold Coast. The expansion has not just been with transport as the business has pushed to manage the end to end supply chain for producing wood, starting with their own plantations.
“With our own plantation, we are now able to control the products from start to finish,” says Matthew. “With no middlemen we have been able to grow the business quickly. We source, harvest, transport and export plantation pine and hardwood as raw whole logs.”
In line with this philosophy, the fleet covers all aspects of logging, containers, general freight including logging trailers, flat beds with truck mounted forklifts, container skels, reach stackers and specialised log handlers.
Besides the wood products, Malec Brothers also specialise in various building materials such as tiles, bricks, stone, timber flooring, building materials and supplies.
In the beginning, Matthew ran an old Isuzu, so continued with the brand initially as the fleet grew.
“They went OK until they added EGR then we started to see problems,” says Matthew. “We then tried Fuso but have been really happy since moving to DAF when they offered a deal to trade in our older fleet. Some of those DAFs are now nearing five years old with one million kilometres on the clock. They’ve been great and still run on their original engines.”
The Malec Brothers fleet now runs mostly Paccar brands with 12 Kenworths which are mainly T909s for heading into the forests, then around 62 DAFs operating across both the general freight and logging businesses.
“We are very happy with the DAFs and particularly the support we get from the Paccar Dealership in Bayswater, Victoria. Steve Wilson and Ron Ludbrook have helped us for years and their aftersales service is excellent,” says Matthew.
“We still get drivers who want to drive the Kenworth, but most of them now appreciate the new DAFs with the extra comfort,” explains Matthew. “So, with the after-sales support you get from Paccar, they are a great option. I also like buying Australian, so now that the DAFs are built in Bayswater, we will continue with DAF for our next buys.”
For the Malec trailer fleet, Matthew tries to stick with the local suppliers with the logging trailers coming from Elphinstone and Vawdrey.
“We didn’t realise that Vawdrey made logging trailers until we were talking to them about our other trailers,” says Matthew. “We have a few in the fleet now and are happy with them. The Elphinstone trailers are great too and we never have an issue with them.”
To keep operations fully complaint, MT DATA look after the GPS monitoring and reporting side of the business and helps to monitor when the assets are due for servicing too.
“We try send a lot of our gear to our own workshop in Yarraville, but when we bought these 32 DAFs we went with the full contract maintenance contract so Paccar can look after them for their full life cycle,” reveals Matthew.