The Emerald Carrying Company business uses over 100 trucks and employs over 200 drivers, but the family-owned business struggles, like most transport businesses, when it comes to finding talent.
ECC was established in 1965 in Emerald Queensland by Bill and Joan Haylock. Originally, it grew from supplying Central Queensland with freight which was brought out to Emerald by train and distributing it further. The fuel side of the operation grew out of that business and now runs depots in Townsville, Mackay, Gracemere, Emerald, Geebung and Lytton, all in Queensland.
The business services mining, commercial retail and agricultural customers and has now grown to operate a fleet of 100 trucks from body trucks all of the way up to triple and quad road trains.
ECC have moved away from trying to recruiting shilled and experienced drivers and have resorted to employing ‘green’ drivers and have put driver trainers in place to teach the skills and procedures necessary over a period of time until they are ready to handle local work, before they work their way up into the longer distance fleet.
“Three years ago, we actually started going down that avenue of training,” says Troy Sabin, the ECC Townsville Depot Trainer. “I stepped out of out of driving the start of this year to take on this role. We go through everything from what we expect in presentation, to delivering the product and the truck. All of the terminals have inductions that need to be done.
“We go through our standards of what we have on our truck. Our trucks are very noticeable, and we have we have a high expectation of that presentation, not only the vehicle because those people out there are the face of the business, they’re the ones that the people see.
“Then you look at the vehicles, not only is it clean and tidy on the outside, we want it like that on the inside, and mechanically sound. They have to be not only sound mechanically, but in visual appearance as well.”
ECC has got the Guardian system in its triple shifted trucks, because its statistics showed over the years that with the those trucks we found that that’s where the fatigue incidents were happening.
“Blokes were pushing through and and of course things were going wrong. Now, we can actually manage that better as a business, because we know what’s happening. W can talk to those fellows. There might be an undiagnosed medical condition now and we can say, hey, here’s the footage.
“We will assist them wherever we can.
“We have the Guardian in our triple shifted trucks in our single trucks, but we don’t in the road trains, because they have the opportunity. They can just stop when they choose to. They take the rest they need. But we also have satellite tracking, and cameras. We have a forward facing camera and a camera facing into the truck and we run electronic work diaries as well. We have a lot of systems in place electronically as well, to assist with that sort of stuff.”