Safety and local manufacturing go hand-in-hand at John West Logistics, and the recent delivery of a striking new Mack Trident ticks both boxes for the Brisbane-based fleet.
With a fleet consisting of over 250 trucks, JWL employs approximately 420 employees in both Australia and New Zealand.
A self-effacing transport veteran, John West has had a long career in transport.
“I actually started out unpacking containers for Brisbane Carrying Company when I was 18 years old,” says John West.
That career saw West progress from that humble start through most aspects of road transport, including forklift operation, truck driving and fleet management.
These days JWL specialises in the more challenging transport tasks, moving glass, steel and concrete.
“We operate in the high skills end of the market. We don’t do simple stuff,” says West.
“We carry steel, we carry concrete, we carry glass, we carry all sorts of products that is hard to secure and requires highly skilled operators.
“Half of our fleet is fitted with truck mounted cranes, it can be a very high risk environment, if the operators are not skilled and competent at their role.
“We have a low incident rate in terms of injuries and accidents. I put a lot of this down to the induction program we have all employees undertake.”
This new Trident is fitted with the Bendix Wingman Fusion system, providing an active safety package with features such as blind spot alert, autonomous braking and roll stability. Underneath the bulldog on the bonnet, a 13 litre 535hp MP8 engine and a 12-speed mDrive transmission help this striking Aussie haul.
“This is our first Mack with the full safety package and I’m all for it, our company motto is think safe be safe, this truck aligns to where our thinking is.”
This is also the first Trident purchased by the company, which normally buys Mack Granites.
While the green and gold Australian made livery makes the truck stand out from the crowd, John West also cites the Trident’s locally built credentials as an important part of the buying decision.
“Australian made is important to me, and being a true Aussie born on Australia day, I thought I’d like to see a truck in Aussie colours with our company name and logo on it.”
The day cab prime mover will be put into service in South East Queensland undertaking a variety of freight tasks.
While safety may just be a word for some, JWL incorporates safety and compliance into all aspects of its business with a big emphasis on training.
“We put a lot of effort into training our staff before they are allowed to go solo, and we are very proud of our safety record, even if we’ve had a couple of speed bumps over the years,” adds West.
JWL has its own in-house driver apprenticeship program that takes applicants through basic key elements of transport with participants finishing the course with both a job and a medium rigid truck licence.
“We are fortunate to have so many very loyal people in the NZ and Aussie operations and as a result, a great employee retention rate.
“Aussie-built safety is a great fit our company culture.”