In for the long haul

Having been a participant in the highly competitive Australian Trucking Industry for almost five decades, small fleet operator, Joe Cassar, has seen it all … and then some.

Joe started his business in 1969 with an early ‘60s model Bedford, followed closely by a new Commer purchased later the same year. “That’s the truck that really got us on our feet,” he says.

The bulk of his early work was for Pacific Salt and the business quickly expanded, with Joe buying a string of second-hand Dodges and Bedfords in the early ‘70s to keep up with demand.

Joe’s big break came in the mid ‘70s when he secured a contract to cart for then fledgling business, Greens Foods, and this was to be the mainstay for the following two decades.

The dawning of the ‘80s saw a gradual phase out of the ‘old clunkers’ in favour of Cummins-powered Internationals and Freighter trailers, a fleet standard Joe continues to this day. “It’s a decision I’ve never had any cause to regret,” he states. That said, International doesn’t make small trucks anymore so for his rigid truck requirements Joe describes Fuso as his
firm favourite.

The current J & A Cassar fleet comprises five prime movers, seven curtain-sided ‘Tautliner’ semi-trailers and three rigids, with the company specialising in warehouse relocations and palletised dry goods deliveries throughout Sydney and country New South Wales.

“Our work is so diverse,” Joe explains. “In any one day we could be bringing eggs down from a farm near Lithgow, loading a Show Freight van at a concert or delivering concrete panels for a new building in the city.

Having been in the transport game such a long time, Joe has seen his fair share of unsafe work practices. He’s adamant that the industry needs to continue to embrace change to ensure safer operations and that all parties in the supply chain need to participate.

To this end Joe, along with daughter Michelle who also participates in the running of the business, works tirelessly to meet Chain of Responsibility (COR) obligations and documenting policies and procedures.

According to Joe, Cassar’s COR responsibilities extend to educating employees and reaching out to inform clients so that everyone is singing from the same song-sheet. “We take the new legislation very seriously and wholeheartedly support measures that will continue to create a safer road transport industry for everyone.”

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