Trailer Magazine sat down with Sally Tipping, a Director of family-owned business Tipping’s Transport at Dubbo. Having married into trucking 31 years ago, Sally has developed a strong fervour for the industry and the people who work in it.
Q: What first drew you to the commercial road transport industry?
A: In 1990, at 24 years of age, I married into a trucking family. My family, who are all tertiary educated, were quite surprised, to say the least. At the time, my husband was running a small operation with his parents. I discovered the operation was on the verge of bankruptcy and desperately needed structure and a business plan to be viable. Instead of starting a business with a clean slate, I started with a small stream of income and an enormous amount of debt.
Q: What does a standard day for you look like?
A: Being a small operation, I wear multiple hats at any given time – there is no start time and no finish time. I have complete financial and administrative control so I need to be up to date at all times, invoices can’t be put off and need to be high on the agenda for a positive cashflow. I can also be called out of my office at any given time to pick up parts, drop off drivers or even fix a blocked toilet. No two days are ever the same.
Q: What has been a highlight for your career so far?
A: The day Deputy Prime Minister/ Transport Minister, Michael McCormack rang me. A few years back, I was becoming quite frustrated by the way the Transport industry was being portrayed, not only by news media but by Minister McCormack himself. I wrote to him and certainly didn’t expect to receive a phone call in response.
Q: What is the best thing about the transport industry?
A: I am extremely proud to belong to an industry that is essential for every Australian – that makes a difference to every person, in every town, in every corner of our country. That’s a pretty significant achievement.
Q: What do you think could be improved?
A: My biggest passion is promoting the industry, either through my Wave to A Truckie campaign, engaging and encouraging clients from Abil-ity Disability Dubbo, working with the local radio station, mentoring young women entering into the industry or simply emailing various organisations to highlight the work our industry does. I feel sometimes we are caught up in promoting the latest technology or safety features and fail to promote what our industry actually achieves.
Q: What do female-driven events in commercial road transport mean to you?
A: I didn’t have any leadership mentors when I first started in the industry and that certainly would have made a huge difference to my early career. Associations like Transport Women Australia Ltd, which encourage and mentor young women in their career path, make a vital contribution for women and the sustainability of employment in our industry.