Frasers Livestock Transport’s third annual ‘Yarn in the Yard’ has earned high praise from the Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport.
Held at the Warwick depot of Frasers Livestock Transport, the event, which focuses on driver physical and mental health, involved several speakers from the company and Scott Buchholz, who was one of a handful of VIPs in attendance.
Buchholz said workers in the sector had experienced higher levels of stress following impacts of COVID-19 on industry with increased workloads, extended time away from home and long hours on the road.
“This additional stress takes a toll on driver’s physical and mental health,” he said.
“It is a fantastic initiative of Frasers helping drivers keep on top of their physical health with health awareness talks and free heart checks from the Heart of Australia” said Buchholz.
Other presentations included a session on fatigue from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, an address on the Paraplegic Benefit Fund, an update from the Queensland Police Service and Transport and Main Roads, and an animal welfare update from Bio Security Queensland.
The event helps occasion drivers and management to catch up with the presenters and industry leaders following the formal program over a casual BBQ lunch.
“I ask all drivers to please be mindful of your mental and physical health, not only today, but every day – and I would encourage all transport operators to consider hold a ‘Yarn in the Yard’ type event with your staff,” said Buchholz.
‘Yarn in the Yard’ according to Warwick Fraser of Frasers Livestock Transport was a chance to stop and reflect on the business, its people and what can be learned for the year ahead.
“Our employees do a power of work throughout the year, often out on the road on their own, so the chance to get the blokes together in the yard once or twice a year to give them a pat on the back is important for their personal health and the health of the business,” he said.
“My grandfather always said, people do business with people. The ‘Yarn in the Yard’ is about an investment of time back into our people, reminding the blokes that they are not alone, and making sure that everyone is heading in the same direction.”
Troy Redman, a Frasers driver with over 20 years’ experience in livestock handling was pleased to be able to attend ‘Yarn in the Yard’.
“The best thing was being able to talk face to face with the presenters about more sensitive questions that we couldn’t ask in group – all the presenters had great message and I learnt a lot” he said.
“Frasers is a company where all the drivers work as a team, we watch out for each other, and we respect the Family as they are very approachable and listen to our concerns.”
Frasers Livestock Transport was established in 1944 and currently runs close to 60 Kenworth prime movers across its network on the east coast of Australia.
(Image: Warwick Fraser, Scott Buchholz, Frasers Livestock Transport Fleet Manager, Mark Collins).