Trailer Magazine

Thompson Bros. Transport

  • Posted on Tuesday 24th, May 2011
Thompson Bros. Transport

It is common practice in Australia’s transport industry to pass on the management of a company in the family circle. Thompson Bros. Transport, though, has taken the term “continuity” to a new level, with two brothers succeeding two brothers in office.

Therefore, it is no surprise that the Dubbo-based family business is including brotherhood in the company name. “My brother Steven and I are the new Thompson Bros.,” says Managing Director Mark Thompson. “It’s fairly unique that two brothers hand over a company to a new generation of brothers, and we are happy to continue the tradition.”

Thompson Bros. Transport has been operating in excess of four decades, covering the harsh region between Dubbo and the Eastern seaboard. “The Sydney-Dubbo route is a strain for both man and machine. The road winds up the Blue Mountains, plunges into the valley, traverses the bendy Kurrajong Hills, comes past Lake Windamere and cuts across the vast Central West Slopes,” Mark explains. “It’s a tough region straining the equipment, but we know the area inside out.”

Harrold and Noel Thompson founded the company in 1962, carting livestock in the Dubbo region. “But the business soon began to flourish, covering the vast area between Dubbo and the Eastern seaboard,” says Sydney Operations Manager Steven Thompson. “Today, we employ 45 people and cart all general freight, be it cement or beer. We’ve just gained a new contract with Bluescope Steel, for instance, transporting home improvement products for the domestic and commercial sector between Dubbo and Tamworth.”

To fulfil the promising new contract, the company just purchased four new trailers, completing a fleet of 97 pieces of equipment, including 21 prime movers and 76 trailers. “We rely on a mixture of Krueger, Freighter and Vawdrey,” Mark explains. “We operate single flat tops, B-double combinations, A-doubles, drop decks, extendable and rigid vehicles.”

Proud to showcase the orange, brown, and white Thompson Bros. logo, the company operates an in house service centre to ensure the fleet is constantly sparkling. “We take a great amount of pride in the presentation of our fleet and all vehicles carrying our logo,” Steven explains. “The orange, brown, and white colour scheme was established in 1962. It’s reminiscence to the company’s origin, indicating that some things never change. A good trailer, for instance, is still characterised by an immaculate presentation and first-class build quality. It’s all about the finish, isn’t it?”

But Thompson Bros. Transport does not only care about spotless presentation. In December 2010, the company teamed up with Vawdrey Australia and unveiled a trailer custom-built to promote the ‘Breast Aware’ program throughout Australia. The eye-catching vehicle painted in vibrant pink was designed to raise funds for the renowned McGrath Foundation, and is still operating around Australia.

“Social responsibility is something we feel obliged to,” says Steven, who has become an outspoken advocate for improved services for breast cancer and greater education for younger women around breast cancer awareness. “We’ve sponsored local charity events before, but at one point we decided to upgrade the engagement and dedicate a whole trailer to charity, promoting the ‘Breast Aware’ program around Australia. Unfortunately, the Thompson family has experienced the fatal diagnosis a number of times.” At the moment, the first pink Titeliner in Vawdrey’s company history is carting general freight from Dubbo to Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne, constantly raising money for charity.

Despite the company’s social commitment, both Steven and Mark do not lose sight of the future. “To preserve a healthy growth rate, we are focusing on blue chip customers. We have recovered from the Global Financial Crisis fairly well and decided to re-direct the business, specialising in the blue chip sector,” says Mark. “Therefore we’re constantly training our staff. We employ good people and look after them, be it management or warehouse staff. That’s our work philosophy.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about personal relationships. We’ve been around for a long time, and we are local people working for local people; providing a personal touch and familiar atmosphere.”

“We’re not the biggest transport company, but I believe we are the best,” Steven adds. “What we’ve learned from the founding generation is to work hard. Success
doesn’t just happen; you’ve got to work for it.”

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