Working from his home in Meadowbrook in Logan, Queensland back in 1975, Tony Maney started out as an owner/driver. He began as a sub-contractor for Mayne Nickless, as many other trucking businesses did at that time. He would also source work from other transport companies and developed a newspaper run out into the Darling Downs.
That small start-up has now grown to a fully fledged overnight freight delivery operation, offering customers a comprehensive service.
The fleet has now grown to 20 body trucks, five prime movers, 12 trailers and ten utes and vans. Most of the body trucks are based in SE Queensland hauling freight into the depot for onward transport to the west or performing pick up and delivery work from the Toowoomba and Roma depots.
The fleet is supplemented by a number of rental vehicles from Penske Truck Rental. When a new run comes on board, a rental will be used to assess what the route will need in the long run, in terms of truck. Sometimes a rental truck works out well enough to be left on a particular route over the long term. The fleet also includes a couple of rental prime movers to supplement the regular trucks and allow for expansion of the fleet, if needed.
“Predominantly for our distance work, our trucks are Scanias, all on a lease,” says Tony. “It’s a fixed cost and you can factor that in and you can deal with it. I just know that a particular truck is going to cost me so much every month. If something goes wrong, it’s still going to cost so much every month. Our local body trucks are older and some bigger long distance trucks have come back into the yard to do local work.”
Trailers are loaded in Meadowbrook and Toowoomba for further West using a method with a great deal of flexibility built into it. The freight coming into the depot has to be assessed and loaded as it arrives to maximise use of the available load space or make the decision to load a trailer rather than a rigid truck.
“18 months ago we were only running single trailers and now we are just about running B-doubles every night,” says Tony. “There’s a lot more demand for freight than there was when we first started, and we have established ourselves a bit better now. I think we have got a fairly good name out there.”
Working in these remote areas there is a certain amount of co-operation going on between rival carriers. If there is a piece of freight destined for an area serviced by a rival, some swapping of freight between them can cut down on kilometres travelled and time taken over these massive distances.