The Murada brothers loved growing up around heavy machinery as their father operated an earthmoving business which included three bulldozers, a prime mover and a float used to shift the machinery from job to job.
Both Dave and Kev 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. But when the opportunity to start their own business arose, they grabbed it with both hands.
In the mid-‘90s, when the B-double first started on its meteoric rise to domination of the line-haul trailer market, the company embraced the combination in both tipper and flat-top formats for its tinplate scrap carting operation.
Soon after that, the Muradas started ramping up the heavy haulage arm of the business, purchasing another Brentwood float in 1997 to complement their initial unit.
The first half of the noughties saw the company reach the dizzying heights of 36 trucks including a number running around Brisbane hauling scrap metal. Then in 2007 the tinplate scrap contract finished and the trucks working in Brisbane were sold to another company. As a result, the brothers sold 20 trucks to bring the tally back to 16 which is what they describe as the ‘sweet spot’ for the business.
“After that our heavy haulage work really picked up which meant the majority of our drivers were doing float work while a small proportion were still doing the scrap metal work,” says Dave.
In 2011 Metal Transport Industries won a contract with Australian Steel Mill Services working at BlueScope Steel carting slag, which is a by-product of the iron and steel manufacturing processes, from the blast furnace and the BOS (Basic Oxygen Steelmaking).
“We move between 3,500 and 4,000 tonnes of slag every day, in 12-hour shifts seven days per week,” says Dave, adding that BlueScope currently produces between 2.5 and 2.6 million tonnes of steel per year.
This is an onsite operation whereby the slag is carried from the blast furnace to an area where it is processed into construction materials including concrete, sand and road base.
“They turn 1,500 tonnes a day into sand that is sold to Australian Cement for its concrete production and the remainder gets turned into road-base and sold as an alternative to the road-base that comes from quarries,” says Dave.
The company purchased specific trucks for this contract including mine-spec Kenworth C509s and mine-specific off-highway Western Stars, the latter unable to be road registered due to being 3.2 metres wide and riding on 14.00 tyres.
The Kenworths feature ultra heavy-duty 45-tonne capacity Sisu hub-reduction tandems with steel spring suspension. They tow super-sized single tri-axle tippers, two side tippers and two conventional end tippers, hauling 75-tonne payloads. Each of the trailer axles has a maximum load rating of 25 tonnes.