Rocky’s Own road to 100th ISX

Posted: October 3, 2013 in Heavy Duty Trucks

Rocky’s Own Transport has put its 100th Cummins ISX engine into service – a milestone achieved in a little over six years.

The company itself has undergone a rapid transformation in this period, growing its fleet from just 20 trucks in 2006 to the current size of more than 130 trucks and 220 trailers.

The company’s beginnings in 1985 were modest, a couple of trucks and a table and chair set up in a small timberyard in Rockhampton (Qld).

Today, the company’s owners – CEO Bryan Smith, directors Marcia Charlesworth, Darryn Charlesworth and Letisha Charlesworth-Smith, and national operations manager Rod Carige lead Rocky’s Own with a strong sense of responsibility and professionalism.

Rocky’s Own put its 100th Cummins ISX engine into service in this Kenworth T609.

Rocky’s Own put its 100th Cummins ISX engine into service in this Kenworth T609.

Dangerous goods and general freight are the core of the Rocky’s Own freight task, a task that now sees a fleet of close to100 Kenworths operating across Australia.

The company also performs one of the biggest logistical moves each year in Australia for the Singapore Armed Forces which carry out training exercises at Shoalwater Bay in Queensland. Last year, Rocky’s Own moved 387 truckloads of vehicles, containers and other equipment in 48 hours from Gladstone port to Shoalwater Bay, 200 km away.

Cummins ISX-powered Kenworths dominate in the satellite-tracked fleet, with back-up support a critical element behind this preference.

“Everything breaks… it’s how a supplier deals with those failures that counts,” says Bryan Smith. “Some of our best relationships are borne out of problems.

“Cummins has shown a willingness to put up its hand when it has a problem. When you see a supplier doing that, working in an ethical and fair manner, the relationship becomes binding. You like to do business with them.”

Kenworth dealer Brown & Hurley is also rated highly for its support. Operating one of the biggest Kenworth fleets in the country, Rocky’s Own “doesn’t get hung up on purchase price”, says Rod Carige. “Resale value, parts availability, and back-up support are the key reasons we buy Kenworth.”

Most of the Cummins ISX engines are EGR units, although it wouldn’t surprise to see Cummins’ new 15-litre iteration, the ISXe5, start to make its mark in the fleet.

Rocky’s Own has been involved in Cummins’ extensive field testing of the ISXe5, running two of the SCR (AdBlue) engines and achieving impressive all-round results.

The haulage of dangerous goods has been the key driver behind the growth of Rocky’s Own, growth that will continue with the company planning to broaden its customer base into new markets, says Bryan Smith.

He says key factors that have made Rocky’s Own strong are its ability to “differentiate itself from competitors, provide a prompt response to customer requirements, and get mobile in a short period”.

“We have the processes in place – OH&S, risk management, driver training, driver management, administrative tools and procedures – to build our business on,” he says. “There’s no doubt that safety protocols enhance your business.”

Driver fatigue management is recognised as being integral to the success and reputation of the company, and Rocky’s Own is one of the few companies in Australia registered as an Advanced Fatigue Management operator.

If there’s one thing that irks Bryan Smith it’s the bureaucratic complexities facing businesses these days.

“Loading and unloading trucks, getting trucks from point A to point B, treating customers fairly and with respect…those are the simple things,” he says.

“The most complex things are when you have to deal with bureaucracy.

“The bureaucratic system in Australia is out of touch with reality,” he says. “We need some commonsense. We need longer terms for governments – six-year terms – so that governments can deliver some hard decisions, not short-term decisions,” he says.

At the delivery of the 100th Cummins were (from left) Brown & Hurley dealer principal Arthur Fowle, Rocky’s Own driver Lawrence Malone, Rocky’s Own national operations manager Rod Carige, and Cummins’ manager of automotive sales and customer support Col Baker.

At the delivery of the 100th Cummins were (from left) Brown & Hurley dealer principal Arthur Fowle, Rocky’s Own driver Lawrence Malone, Rocky’s Own national operations manager Rod Carige, and Cummins’ manager of automotive sales and customer support Col Baker.

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