Moits Haulage: Down to earth

Over the last 30 years, Moit brothers Michael, George and Tony built Moits Haulage from just one Bobcat into one of New South Wales’ leading excavation and civil works businesses – boasting a company fleet of 50 trucks and a team of 100 people.

One key person supporting the family is Norm Yammine, General Manager of Rock and Dirt Recycling, a Moits subsidiary, as well as Road Transport Manager at Moits Haulage.

Several years ago – no longer content with simply increasing the number of sub-contracted trucks to handle the constant flow extra work – the Moit family went about expanding the company-owned fleet from 13 tipper and dog combinations to the 45 they own today. In line with that expansion, Moits Haulage formally came into being.

Initially, some of the extra trucks had seen prior duty with another fleet, but currently, new Macks make up the majority of the fleet. The company’s floats, a large spread deck and a smaller unit, are pulled by a Volvo prime mover, which keeps the fleet in the same truck family.

Trucks and earthmoving equipment are all serviced under the supervision of George Saliba (or Ox, as most call him) in a sprawling workshop. Moits Haulage is not part of any maintenance accreditation scheme and George is happy to have its rigs inspected over the RMS pits every six or twelve months.

“We’d rather go to the RMS and let them look after it. They know that we are pretty good with our servicing,” George says – adding a system is in place for drivers to communicate with maintenance staff. At the end of each shift, each driver submits a report on the condition of the vehicle they have been driving and any repairs required are noted. This can range from damaged mud flaps or faulty cab air conditioning to air leaks. Any issues are then addressed by the afternoon maintenance shift.

“I’d rather fix it before it goes out the gate,” says George. “That’s how I’ve always worked. I don’t want to go chasing trucks out on the road because that’s too hard and too costly.” George operates an afternoon shift to handle the repairs and servicing, and has a smaller team of technicians available earlier in the day for breakdowns. All drivers are still responsible for the start-of shift-checks in the morning and filling in the fit-for-work documentation.

A common problem often associated with removing material from demolition sites is vehicle overloading, but Moits addresses this by separating the various materials – a strategy that not only avoids the costs of breaches, but also improves efficiency. Just loading a truck and trailer with the one type of material (dirt, concrete, or sand stone) helps the team assess the overall weight, which would be impossible with a mixed load.

Crucial to moving all that material is having somewhere to take it. According to Norm, access to tips is key to the success of an operation such as Moits. “You can have a thousand trucks and a thousand machines, but without a tip you’re worth nothing,” he says.

“The more dirt we can move, the quicker we can get the job done so we can move our equipment onto the next one,” is Norm’s rationale. He cites a job that required the removal of 80,000m3 of material and the client expected 15 trucks to be on the job, yet Norm sent 32 to get the work done quickly.

Like everyone else in the construction industry, Moits can be affected by weather, especially when the tips shut down and there are 45 loaded trucks and dogs on the road with nowhere to go. This can present quite a challenge for management, but there was only one day in the last year when the trucks had to be parked up due to weather conditions. On all other days, the team was able to find a creative solution.

To be able to react flexibly and get everyone’s input, Norm can draw on what he calls his ‘brains trust’ of around a dozen of his top drivers, and he also carries out toolbox talks with all drivers every month, just as George does with his mechanical crew. Communication is obviously important and pays dividends for all involved – be it in the road transport division or in the overall business.

What’s equally important to Moits success is hands-on experience. Joe Vinci, the General Manager, and all Directors are still very involved in the day-to-day operations of the business.

Now, the Moit brothers’ children are entering the business as well, with key employees like George and Norm long being seen as part of the extended family.

“Moits is not a company, it’s a family,” says Norm – acknowledging that Michael, George and Tony’s passion, determination and hard work, coupled with their family-held values of honesty and integrity, underpin the good working relationships they have employees, clients and the Sydney community.

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