10,000th Mack truck rolls off the factory line and into Rockhaul’s fleet
In January, Brad Turner from Rockhaul in Brisbane took delivery of the 10,000th Australian Mack of the new generation model.
Brad Turner started Rockhaul with a second-hand Mack that he bought from his father, Gavin Turner in 2010. This was no coincidence, as Macks have been hauling rock in the family business since Gavin established Boulder Wall Constructions thirty-five years ago.
Brad, who manages the family’s fleet of trucks, says that Rockhaul began with the dream of following in his father’s footsteps but doing it in his own way. “I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, that I could run my own business and build a future for my family, something I hope to one day pass on to my own children. Obviously we’ve had highs and lows like any company, but I’ve learnt so much and grown with the business the whole way.”
The transport dream runs in the family, with Brad’s brother Jeffrey starting his own Company, Rock Star Transport, in 2015. Together the family fleet has a total of 18 Macks with an additional five going through the build process now. Across the four entities, they have a fleet of 30 trucks, 80 staff and operations which span both Queensland and New South Wales in the civil construction, mining and transport industries.
In November last year, following his order for three new tridents for Rockhaul, Brad received a phone call from his tight-lipped Gold Coast salesman Grant Blackford who told him, “We’ve actually got something special on one of the orders for your Rockhaul trucks.”
It was some weeks later that Brad discovered Rockhaul would be receiving the 10,000th truck of the new generation Mack. “When we found out one of the three would be the 10,000th we were pretty excited. We knew we had an opportunity to do something special,” said Brad.
Grant Blackford from Gold Coast Sales, a former golf-pro who turned truck salesman, sold the truck.
“It’s been 10,000 trucks in 10 years since Volvo took over the Brisbane plant,” says Grant, “and this one’s got plenty of lights and chrome on it.”
In a slice of symmetry, Grant’s father Gavin sold trucks to Brad’s father in the 1980s. For Brad, business relationships are everything.
“Grant is a gentleman. Nothing is an issue. He goes out of his way to make our problems his concern and he gets it fixed for us,” Brad explains. “His service goes beyond the sales floor. His after-sales service is exceptional and critical to any purchasing decision for us. Reliability is a key component of the service we provide our clients, so to ensure our fleet is reliable we need to know we have the support of our suppliers,” he adds.
Brad says they wasted no time putting the new truck to work, driving straight from the Mack yard to do its first load out of Boulder Wall Constructions’ granite quarry in Brisbane.
“We expect the 10,000th truck will do around 120,000 kilometres per year. Because of the nature of the work we do, some days are shorter local runs around Brisbane, and others are further out into Warwick. It’s mostly intrastate work, cruising on the highway at 100km an hour the majority of the time,” he says.
An all-auto fleet
Given the key application carrying rock, Brad is also impressed with the Macks’ tare weight and the mDRIVE automated manual transmission. Over time the companies will be working towards an all -automatic fleet.
“The tare weight and the usability with the engine and the gearbox package are a plus, very important. We’re hoping in the future to have a full auto fleet, and the Mack mDRIVE is a tried and tested automatic. That’s a big drawcard to what we are looking for.”
"We also know that Mack is just the truck of choice for some of the largest fleets in Australia. They're a good fleet truck and have been well received by our drivers” he says. His father Gavin spoke to a number of Mack owners before making their first big order and considered the feedback as being positive all around.
Brad adds that the mDRIVE helps reduce driver fatigue.
“The comfort of the auto and the ease of the day is important, as we’re mindful of the Chain of Responsibility and the fatigue laws. Anything we can do that makes a driver’s day less challenging will mean they’re not going to be as fatigued,” he says.
Mack Financial Services backing
Brad also decided on another first to coincide with the delivery of the new truck.
“I’d never used Mack Financial Services and I thought that, since this is a special truck, maybe this is a good opportunity to do this together. They made it very simple and our finance representative Angie is great to deal with. They knew what we wanted around the repayment structure and they really understood my business," Brad says.
“They offered different solutions around civil and construction, and offered different packages to us based on the civil market such as weather. They’re pretty switched on with what they do,” he says.
Brad places a high value on relationships in business, and the partnership with Mack is set to extend well into the future of Rockhaul.