Running an efficient bulk transport operation can be a tricky job, there is a need to work on weighing up the alternatives, to get the right balance of efficiency, profitability and compliance.
Lachlan George has been running his business, George Transport for 15 years and has grown the fleet to a position where it is all about making the right decisions to get the best out of his team, and his fleet.
George Transport is based in Lake Goldsmith in Victoria, halfway between Ballarat and Ararat, in the heart of the large agricultural expanse of the Western half of Victoria. The operation also runs a smaller number of trucks out of a depot in Toowoomba, in Queensland.
Lachie bought his first truck when he was 19 as a development from the family farming business. He has grown into the business and is still enjoying continuing to improve the way the operation handles the task.
“The trucks side of the business, I find easy, having the right staff all of the time, that’s the big issue,” says Lachie. “We have a farm, as well, but I have always done the grain and hay transport, mostly grain.
“In and around where we are based, in the Western District, it’s a massive grain growing area. Fifteen years ago it was a small area, but it has really grown, throughout the Western Districts and into the Mallee. We don’t have to venture too far to pick up grain. Sometimes, when it gets quiet we might have to go a bit further north, but it doesn’t change much.
The fleet consists of ten trucks, six of which are based in Lake Goldsmith and four in Queensland. All of the trucks are handling bulk loads, mainly grain and fertiliser. One runs as an AB triple, six are set up as A-doubles and then three run as B-doubles. Queensland is home to three A-doubles and the AB Triple and Victoria home to the rest. All of the A-doubles run on the Performance Based Standards scheme grossing out at 85 tonnes. The rest of the fleet run as B-doubles around Victoria.
The Victorian section of the fleet runs out of grain storage and farms into the port and feed mills, predominantly. Most of the time the tasks are based in Victoria and Southern NSW, with forays into South Australia whenever there is a need. Much of the work for the Queensland operation involves Brisbane Port, farming areas in New South Wales and the feedlots of the Darling Downs.