Truckie Profiles

Small fleet owner keeps family business going strong

Young small fleet owner Dave Syson, 34, is a second-generation owner of Pelican Freight, which is based at Hervey Bay in Queensland.

His company has seven trucks consisting of four Kenworths, a Western Star, an Isuzu rigid and an Iveco rigid.

Dave’s parents Andy and Sue Syson started the business in 1988 and he took over in 2016, together with his wife Alesha. 

Andy is still a vital part of the business and runs around in his blue Kenworth T350 rigid, which you can’t seem to get him out of. 

Many would know Andy for his great mullet, blue singlet and his friendly South African personality.

“We are slowly moving our small fleet over to Kenworth trucks as we love their product. We currently have a great crew of operators working for us,” Dave said.

He carts general freight and fuel around central Queensland. Big Rigs caught up with him at the popular Gold Nugget Truckstop at Gympie.

“I like stopping here and they serve great healthy meals,” he said.

Dave rates the worst road that he gets along as sections of the Bruce Highway between Rockhampton and Mackay, which includes the Marlborough stretch.

Regarding rest areas, Dave says many of the current ones don’t provide the facilities required by truck drivers.

“A lot of rest areas are not big enough. By the time you get a couple of trucks in there they are full,” he said.

Dave reveals that he and his employees had all received the Covid-19 jabs and abided by all regulations surrounding the pandemic.

His hobby outside his busy work schedule includes fishing and his favourite spot is on Fraser Island and its surrounding waters.

“I catch some reef fish and see a few dingoes on Fraser Island,” he said.

Another passion is riding dirt bikes on his Hervey Bay property and spending lots of time with his family and friends. “I have two children – I have a nine-year-old daughter Indi and a seven-year-old son Blake,” he said.

With Dave the day I yarned to him was Ryan Lovekin who was along for the drive.

I mentioned that I had never come across the surname Syson before in my long career and this enthusiastic young road transport operator did have a possible explanation.

“You won’t either because it is a South African surname. I was born in Australia,” he said.

The average age of truck drivers in this country is above 55 and I left Dave thinking that the road transport industry was in good shape for the future with impressive young operators such as him.

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