Trailer Magazine

Mixing the old with the new

  • From the December 2019 issue.
Mixing the old with the new

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Marley’s Transport in Perth, a family owned operation that has grown in leaps and bounds. Taking great pride in its fleet, quality and durability are a prerequisite for any of its suppliers – and the latest order of six pocket road train tippers by General Transport Equipment, are no exception.

Started with just one old truck in the small country town of Nangeenan in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt region in 1969, Marley’s Transport now operates a modern and impressive fleet consisting of around 70 trucks, and 150 trailers, over half of which are built by GTE.

GTE has been part of the Marley’s Transport journey for 15 years. Over the years, it has supplied the business with over 100 trailers. If you see a set of tippers travelling along any of Western Australia’s highways bearing the Marley’s name, chances are it was probably built by GTE.

A modern and reliable fleet is part of Marley’s Transport’s commitment to its customers. The business operates from Hope Valley in Perth and has a second depot in Nangeenan, which is where it all started.

The business specialises in carting bulk agricultural commodities including grain, fertilizer, gypsum and lime, as well as livestock and pelletised feed for breeders and broilers. The customer base is wide and varied including everything from feed suppliers and grain traders, to farmers. “There are many farmers we’ve been working with for close to 50 years. They’ve been with us since the very beginning. Over time, we’ve been able to expand and now also transport for many large companies too,” explains Marcus Watson, Assistant General Manager at Marley’s Transport.

The business transports all over Western Australia, operating anywhere within 500 kilometres of Perth. Travelling to many remote locations, a reliable and efficient fleet is vital. “With such a large fleet, there is a need to continuously purchase new equipment to keep it modern. For us, it’s not about looking for the lightest trailer, it’s about knowing that our trailers aren’t going to crack over time or fall apart. GTE’s trailers are built pretty tough – they are almost indestructible, and that’s why we keep purchasing them. Strength and longevity are important,” adds Marcus.

Marley’s Transport is very much a family operation. It was started by Frank Marley in 1969 after his father suggested he buy a truck. The issue was he wasn’t even old enough to drive it. While his father drove the truck, Frank did the farm work. After getting his licence, he and his new wife Georgina became focused on their new transport business, turning one truck into two, and working to grow the business. Today, they continue to run what they started all those years ago, along with their three sons Stephen, Greg and Russell.

Though many of their customers have remained loyal since the beginning and the company’s commitment to good old fashioned service has never waivered, Marley’s Transport has certainly moved with the times, continuously improving and updating its fleet, and taking advantage of new technologies designed to aid efficiency and operator safety.

For end tipper requirements, GTE has become the supplier of choice. “We’ve worked with GTE for a long time. It’s all we’ve bought in the tipper segment for a while. GTE can build to our specs and our requirements. They listen to what we need,” says Marcus.

“Most of our equipment is customised in some way. As an example, all of our tippers now include submarine doors so the driver can access the tipper body from the front of the trailer, without having to climb up and over. That’s now become standard across our fleet.”

The first of the six new pocket road trains by GTE were delivered mid year, with the order due for completion ahead of Christmas. With a light tare weight, each pocket road train combination is capable of achieving payloads of up to 60 tonne, measured by an onboard weighing system using Elphinstone Loadcells. Other features include an auto greasing system, BPW axles and suspensions and Alcoa alloy wheels.

Since beginning to work with GTE for its tipper needs 18 years ago, Marley’s Transport hasn’t looked back. “To change a supplier is never an easy task as you need to build up trust and get a product you are happy with and that suits your needs. We’ve built a great relationship with GTE and it’s a happy one,” says Marcus. “The fact that GTE is local is an added advantage. When you can sit down with Warren Kessey and the team face-to-face, it’s much better than having to look at a product or try to overcome a problem over email. We can also go and look at the trailer during the build and see it every step of the way.”

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