Industry leader: Kim Kelly

TR Group National Business Manager, Kim Kelly, details her journey in the commercial road transport industry.

Q: What first drew you to the commercial road transport industry?
A: My Father had a transport company which lead him to opening a semi-trailer hire business. I finished school and completed a Business Degree at University with the intention of doing anything other than working within our family business. I was eventually drawn to the challenge of contributing to growing the largest semi-trailer hire company in Victoria. I like to think we set the standard for quality and service within the hire industry. As a young female in transport, I found I was having to work twice as hard to prove that I had the expertise to not only grow our business but to also offer advice to our customers on the best way to get the job done.

Q: What does a standard day for you look like?
A: My day normally starts with a few early phone calls from our New Zealand counterparts as they are two hours in front of time. I then get my two kids ready for school and head to the office. I generally go to each department for a quick chat and catch up around any queries from the day prior. Then as we know there are no two days alike in the transport industry, so I work on answering emails and see what the day brings. Having over 30 employees and a fleet of close to 1,500 vehicles to rent and lease ensures there is never a dull moment. As National Business Manager I oversee most departments so have a great understanding of how everything fits together to make us one successful business. I head home to finish off any outstanding work and then my second shift as mum begins!

Q: What has been a highlight for your career so far?
A: TR Group purchasing our family Business, Semi Skel Hire, in July 2019. TR Group has been incredibly supportive in allowing me to achieve everything I had hoped to for the Business and more. Over the two years working for TR we have increased our rental fleet by close to 300 pieces of equipment, added prime movers as a category and established new depots in Brisbane and Beresfield, this has been a dream of mine for many years.

Q: What is the best thing about the transport industry?
A: Our industry is fast paced, challenging and exciting with never a dull moment. It is also filled with humble, clever, hardworking people that truly love what they do.

Q: What do female-driven events in commercial road transport mean to you?
A: Female driven events are important because we are known as a male dominated industry. It is rare to find women in top roles within organisations, not because of lack of skill, but because of lack of women within the industry. These events make us feel empowered and motivated to continue achieving the best we possibly can.

Q: How can people and companies in the transport industry better promote it as a career choice for women?
A: The transport industry is not just about trucks and trailers. It is about comradery and working together to achieve a common goal. Every process in the industry is highly reliant on everything falling into place at the right time. If one piece of equipment is unreliable and breaks down, it can have an adverse effect on multiple companies as well as the customer receiving the product at the end.