Trailer Magazine


Formula Chemicals: Against the tide

  • Posted on Monday 5th, June 2017
Formula Chemicals: Against the tide

With the transport of Dangerous Goods subject to intense scrutiny from authorities, most chemical manufacturers tend to outsource the transport task to specialised businesses. Formula Chemicals, however, is different.

The world of Dangerous Goods transportation has changed. Not least since the advent of Chain of Responsibility legislation, merely abiding by the minimum requirements necessary for the safe handling, storage and transportation of potentially dangerous chemicals is no longer sufficient.

Today, manufacturers of volatile substances have to accommodate significant security oversight by Government agencies concerned about terrorism and illicit drug manufacturing on Australian soil – a unique combination of challenges that only few businesses have the expertise to handle. Formula Chemicals in Sydney is one of them. While most companies in the field outsource the transportation of their products to satisfy the complex safety requirements bestowed upon them, the family business has gone the opposite way – it set up its very own Dangerous Goods transport service. As such, the company is now fully vertically integrated and able to manage the entire value chain, from production right through to delivery.

The fleet the company has created to handle the highly sensitive freight task is small and entirely Japanese – consisting of four 15-tonne, 14-pallet Hino GH medium-duty trucks, a seven-tonne Hino hybrid and a range of Toyota HiAce vans and crew cab HiLux utes.

According to Managing Director, Leigh Smart, the two closely related brands provide the best performance for the job at hand and align well with the company’s strict three-year replacement cycle to ensure maximum safety and security. In line with that, he says each vehicle is National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS)-compliant and serviced every 20,000km by the company’s main dealership, City Hino in Sydney.

To further strengthen the company’s commitment to compliance and safety, Leigh says Formula Chemicals is also a member of TruckSafe and accredited by the Roads and Maritime Services as part of the NSW Clean Fleet program.
To give the small, yet important Dangerous Goods industry a voice, Leigh has joined the Australian Trucking Association’s (ATA) Board and – with the help of ex-Road Freight NSW CEO, Jodie Broadbent – used his political weight as the Association’s Small Fleet Representative to establish a Dangerous Goods sub-committee that is quickly growing in influence across NSW and beyond.

Ever so humble, he tends to downplay the impact he has made on the Dangerous Goods transport industry and the Sydney community at large, but his nomination for the ATA’s 2015 Contribution to the Industry Award goes to show that by choosing his own path, he has changed just as much for the industry as it has for him.

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