Over the years a number of brands have populated the Metal Transport Industries fleet with three brothers starting out with a pair of Louisvilles and a pair of Kenworth W-model prime movers.
In 1979 brothers Kevin, David and Peter Murada started their trucking business hauling scrap metal for BHP at Wollongong. Having started with four trucks, the company has grown and diversified over the years to include heavy haulage and oversize work,
After two years the Louis were traded in on another pair of Kenworths, this time cab-overs. From then on the KW brand was firmly entrenched in the fleet and continues to provide what the Muradas describe as unmatched reliability and durability.
“After running the Kenworths and Louisvilles side-by-side for a couple of years we realised how good the Kenworths were in comparison and we’ve been buying them ever since,” says Dave.
The operation included the odd Western Star, International, Mack and Freightliner in the fleet, with Western Star being reckoned by Kev to be the next best to Kenworth. However, with accessing spare parts for the Western Star being not as easy to source as spare parts for Kenworths, the die was cast.
“That’s one thing about the Australian transport industry, there are a lot of operators buying Australian-made gear which is great for the country,” adds Kev. “We wouldn’t buy a trailer made in China, that’s for sure.”
Other trailers in the fleet include two 45’ flat-tops, two extendible flat-tops, an O’Phee extendible drop-deck and a standard drop deck.
The brothers reckon that, for them, using Kenworth trucks almost exclusively for the last four decades has made good business sense. With the trucks well maintained by the pair of qualified mechanics in the workshop and driven with care by the drivers, the Muradas agree they can be confidently run for 15 to 20 years if necessary.
“I drive our 2003 T904 and Kev drives a 2011 K200 Big Cab,” Dave says. “We’ve bought a number of new K200s since 2011 but Kev prefers to keep driving the truck he knows best.
“We also still cart scrap metal for a select few customers who we have dealt with over the last few decades. It is our bread and butter so we don’t want to give it away completely. We now use tri-axle trailers with roll on, roll off bins.
“In the past we actually built our own tippers in the workshop for the scrap metal haulage. We don’t do that anymore, but we still do complete overhauls on our floats, we have a three-bay workshop and our two mechanics really know what they are about.”
The company offers mechanical apprenticeships to young people as a way of giving back to the industry that has served them well over the last four decades.
“We like the fact that we can give young people a start, some of our apprentices over the years have their own businesses now and some have gone on to become TAFE teachers,” says Kev. “It’s great to see them do well, knowing that we gave them a start in the trade.”