What keeps Quinn Transport motoring ahead
- From the September 2016 issue.
South Australian hauler, Quinn Transport, has built a fleet to readily take on any type of job that comes its way. Yet in a highly diverse line-up, there is still consistency through the use of JOST equipment.
In the unpredictable grain haulage industry, where plant growth is dependent on the weather, relying entirely on Mother Nature’s goodwill can be a road to business failure. For South Australian carrier, Quinn Transport, a diverse blend of cargo is one key aspect of ensuring enough work to stay afloat – even if the rains don’t appear.
The concept has proved to have merit, too, with the haulage company celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Founded in 1966 by Rodney Quinn, the self-titled transport company has its roots in the small agriculturally centred town of Cleve on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.
With bulk haulage firmly at the core of the business throughout the half-century Quinn Transport has been in business, its fleet of over 100 trailers has a tipper majority, accounting for approximately 70 per cent of the combinations. One of the people responsible for maintaining the hard-working equipment is Quinn Transport Workshop Manager, Ken Summers, who has been with the business for around 25 years.
During his time tending to the Quinn trailers, Ken says he has seen the tippers packed with a wide variety of different bulk materials heading out from the Cleve base in all directions. “Quinn Transport is quite a diverse company, both in the routes we travel, and in the types of freight that we carry,” Ken says. “I’ve seen everything from gravel, steel, grain and iron. If it can go in a tipper, we carry it.”
Alongside the tippers, the remainder of the Quinn fleet is a combination of curtain-siders, dollies and stock crates, with a similarly eclectic mix of over 30 Western Star, Kenworth and Mack prime movers. “It may seem like a random mix of equipment, but we have put a lot of thought into building the fleet to ensure we have something to do any job that comes our way,” Ken explains. “We have the ability to mix and match our trailers to make B-doubles, AB-triples or road trains depending on what the job requires.”
The diverse equipment does share similarities, though, as they are all done up in metallic blue. Underneath the eye-catching exterior, they all share a make up of quality components that have long proven their worth in the Workshop Manager’s eyes. “We have a lot of equipment from JOST Australia in our trailers,” Ken says. “In a business that has many unpredictable elements, one thing we can guarantee is component consistency through the use of JOST landing legs, fifth wheels, king pins and tow couplings across the fleet.”
A recent tow coupling purchased by the transport company was a fully automatic 50mm Rockinger RO500 auction unit that JOST donated to the South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA), of which Quinn Transport is a member supporter.
According to Ken, Quinn Transport has kept the JOST equipment consistent in its vehicles for over 20 years because of the high quality of the components. “Using JOST components keeps maintenance to a minimum as the product generally doesn’t break down. It’s just a good quality product. We rarely have to do more than a regular service on the equipment, so our trailers don’t stay in the workshop for long,” Ken says. “Plus it certainly helps that all JOST equipment is tested in Australia and is capable of handling any of the routes we travel across the country.”
Ken adds that on a daily basis, Quinn Transport branded trailers are criss-crossing the countryside in all directions, heading out from SA across to WA, up into QLD and throughout VIC and NSW. “The only place we don’t really go is up into the Northern Territory,” Ken notes. “We used to do some work in the Territory, but as the work became more reliable in other states, we shifted our focus.”
According to Ken, it is only with its fleet of interchangeable trailers and prime movers in a variety of configurations that a shift of focus is possible.
“You’ve got to always keep your eye out for where the work is, and be ready and willing to take on new haulage work in any area, rather than just focussing on one type of cargo,” he explains. “By ensuring we have a reliable, hardworking fleet, Quinn Transport has continued to grow for 50 years, and I reckon will keep growing for another 50.”