The original Mt Isa Carriers operation started in the sixties, it was established in 1965, in Mount Isa, by Graham Porter, and Kent Baillie used to subbie for him. By the time Kent took over they were running some old gear and the operation was spending too much money on maintenance, a situation which Kent has turned around since taking over.
“I’d done all the figures and we bought one our first new Mack in 2012,” says Kent. “I said to Graham, we’ve just got to have it otherwise we’re just not going to survive. We had it for five or six years, and we put 1.4 million kilometres on that thing. He was against M-drive and he was against the MP 10, but over the six years we never once put a spanner on that truck. When we traded it in, Mack was shocked it still had the original turbo.
“Now, that’s all we’ve got, the MP 10s, and then we’ve got the 700 and a 600 Volvo. Everything we run is road train. Plus we’ve got a few local trucks that run to Brisbane and around. We own our base here in Pittsworth and our depot in Townsville, but we lease in Brisbane.
“We’re doing a daily service across from Townsville to Mt Isa, so we cover all of that area too. We’ve been up there for seven years, we have a perfect crew. That’s where the latest Mack went to, ‘Hillbilly Deluxe’.”
The Townsville depot services direct to Mt Isa, while the trucks heading West from Pittsworth make a number of stops heading West, starting in Barcaldine, where the operation has got a number of agents around that area, covering Longreach down to Tambo and further West.
The operation runs a wide selection of trailers from mezzanine deck curtain siders to flat tops, drop decks, ramp trailers and pantech trailers for some parcel freight (as agents for most of the major players in parcels). The operation can service, virtually, the whole of North-Western Queensland.
“We’ve done nothing but grow, and the reason is a mixture of things,” says Kent. “However, what we’re seeing now, is people are sick and tired of the big boys, who are my only opposition and I won’t get that work because they are part of national deals with for the whole country. We handle every drop of grog to Cloncurry and Julia Creek, so every drop of alcohol in those areas comes from us.”
One of the strengths of the operation is their local agents, and the policy is Mt Isa don’t care if it’s a parcel or if it’s a full load, whether it’s a few boxes or a stack of tyres.
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