Family values at Dyers Transport

Posted: September 5, 2012 in Heavy Duty Trucks

Graeme Dyer… awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2012 for service to the road transport industry.

Dyers Transport is one of Victoria’s longest established road transport companies, its fleet of around 100 trucks – most with Cummins power – providing general freight, refrigeration and distribution services.

“We’re many things to many customers,” says managing director Graeme Dyer. “You have to be what your customer wants you to be.

“We’re still a family company…I’m lucky I have three sons involved in the business, all with different skill sets.”

Graeme’s sons are the fourth generation of Dyers. “Scott is an excellent mechanic while Greg and David have university backgrounds. Greg majored in transport economics while David majored in marketing,” Graeme points out.

This year Graeme Dyer, now in his early 70s, was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the road transport industry and community of Wellington Shire.

Graeme’s father Leo started the Dyer business in Sale in Victoria’s Gippsland region in 1932 although Leo had earlier operated trucks out of Renmark in South Australia with his brother Dick.

Today, Dyers Transport has depots in Laverton and Dandenong in Melbourne, as well as in Morwell, Sale and Bairnsdale in the Gippsland region.

Graeme Dyer started in the business in 1956 as a driver and took over the running of the company in the early 1980s after his brother Doug retired.

He remembers learning in 1962, after the company accountant told them they were wasting their time in the transport business, how to cost a truck for a job. “We’ve never shown a loss since that time…you’ve got to know what your costs are,” he says.

Dyers Transport’s origins actually date back to 1900 when Graeme’s grandfather, Charles, used a paddle steamer to carry and trade Murray cod along the Murray River. In 1910, Charles bought another paddle steamer and, towing a barge, transported freight and people along the greatest waterway in Australia.

Since those days the Dyer family business has evolved over more than one hundred years into one of Victoria’s best known and longest serving road transport companies.

The Dyers fleet comprises around 100 trucks, most with Cummins power.

Today, most of the company’s haulage is within Victoria, although it handles IGA’s grocery distribution in Adelaide and Brisbane, the latter through a joint venture.

Dyers has been a long-time user of Cummins power. In the late 1970s the company started to evolve from Atkinsons with Gardner engines to Kenworths with Cummins power and it has been mostly that way since.

“We went to Cat for a while when Cummins was having problems in the early days with its ISX and Signature, but we moved back to Cummins because we didn’t think Cat’s Acert technology was the answer,” says Scott Dyer, who looks after fleet maintenance.

Another key factor is Cummins’ service support which Scott Dyer rates as “exceptionally good”.

The latest Cummins engines coming into the Dyers fleet are the ISMe5 for single trailer work, and the ISX550 for B-double operation.

The ISMe5 is a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) engine where urea is dosed into the exhaust stream to reduce emissions.

Scott Dyer points out that Dyers Transport has had a lot of experience with the different ISM variants over the years, and the 11-litre engine particularly suits light tare single trailer work while providing good life.

He points out the latest version, the ISMe5, is the most fuel efficient. Dyers has three ISMe5 engines rated at 440 hp in T403 Kenworths, and has another four on order.

“We’re consistently looking at economy of 2.3 to 2.4 kilometres per litre with our T403s pulling refrigerated vans between the Gippsland region and Laverton,” he points out.

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