Amy Throckmorton was awarded the Rural Transport Rising Star award at the joint Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association/Livestock and Rural Transporters of Western Australia event, after demonstrating a talent for getting the job done as an operations manager.
The Rural Transport Rising Star Award was inaugurated to shine the spotlight on and encourage the best in the young people who are working the rural trucking industry and driving it forward into the future. This is an annual initiative to celebrate and reward the young people building the rural transport industry of the future.
This year’s winner is Amy Throckmorton who works as an Operations Manager forTGR Transport in Geelong, running a fleet of company trucks and subcontractors hauling various loads around the country.
“I like the fact that the Rural Transport Rising Star award is going to highlight the fact that we’re an industry that needs new people coming through in lots of different areas ,” said Amy. “We only highlight truck drivers and you don’t see all the behind the scenes people that may handle things like scheduling. You don’t see the three am ridiculous phone calls, or any of that.
“My partner’s a diesel mechanic and even in that area now you don’t see any young guys coming through to work in that industry. People aren’t coming through as mechanics. It’s scary.
“I’m lucky I’ve got a boss who just thinks all this stuff is great and he’s happy to back all of this sort of stuff. At the end of the day you have to go with it, there’s no choice now, it’s become more and more about the people rather than about actually doing the damn job. It’s so important to remember that. It’s all of theses flexible working conditions you have to deal with and in the past they didn’t exist.”
Asked what she enjoys most about her job, Amy points to the fact that she has a million things to do every day, she’s likes the variation every day and to work towards organising the chaos that a road transport operation often is.
“It’s just pulling it together and being able to say to people this is what we’ll move, this is how many trucks, let’s get the trucks are sorted out, let’s get going,” said Amy. “You never know what you’re up against. You don’t know whether something’s going to break down, or the site will break down. I’ve come out of a background of operations at other companies, where we carted milk, and you get a phone call at 2am to get another 20 trucks, and you have to deal with it, restructure it, it’s the chaos, making it calm and making it happen. I just love being busy.”
The operation where Amy works, TGR Transport has six of its own trucks but also runs a subcontractor network involving 30 different operators’ trucks. The two largest customers are Graincorp and Cargill, the main task is simply moving grain from Ato B. The operation is also involved in carting headers and tractors around the country. A lot of the combinations run as A-doubles, requiring permits and negotiating access where needed.
“There’s a lot going on at any one time, particularly at peak times around harvest,” says Amy. “Harvest will go crazy, all of a sudden, you’ve got 50 trucks that you’re dealing with every day, compared to the 10 or so we are dealing with, when it’s quiet. So it varies every single day in every single week, and that’s probably the best part. The minute that phone rings you just you don’t know what you’re up against. It could be a happy phone call or it could be the opposite.”