Hard work and determination has seen Western Sydney based cold logistics supplier Micway Transport grow from just a few trucks to a fleet of around 80 over the last two decades.
Family owned and operated, the business was founded in 1999 by David and Mary Franklin, with inspiration for the name coming from their children’s names: Michael and.
Micway operates across the eastern seaboard, with a focus on transporting dry, chiller and freezer goods; along with logistics consulting.
Initially starting small, David and Mary were eventually awarded a contract by P&O Cold Logistics to deliver goods into a group of takeaway pizza restaurants in NSW, and using that as a steppingstone the business expanded at an explosive rate over the next two decades.
“It was just a lot of hard work,” said Wayne Franklin, director of operations and one half of the company’s namesake.
“We started with just a couple of trucks, but we have about 80 on the road at the minute, with work for at least a hundred staff and helped out by our sub-contractors.”
An operation of that size requires a top-quality transport fleet that can be depended on to work long hours and tick over the kilometres.
“We work the small trucks 16 or 17 hours a day over two shifts. Those are typically the Isuzu trucks, they’re the hardest working trucks we have in the fleet,” explained Wayne.
“We started our partnership with Isuzu about 10 years back.
“We were able to find a real niche for the smaller N-Series van bodied pallet trucks that could go into those restricted access spaces around the city. Underneath unit blocks, low height, small clearances – they could get in and out easily with our temperature-controlled products.
“We’ve actually added two more medium-duty Isuzus to the fleet in the last six months to bolster the fleet.”
Micway favours a fleet of Isuzu FSD 140-260 trucks with shortened wheelbases, supplied by Suttons Motors in Arncliffe.
The shortened wheelbase platform gives them an edge for their tighter, urban delivery work and back to base duties.
With a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of 14,000kg and a Gross Combined Mass (GCM) of 21,000kg, the FSD 140-260 slotted in perfectly for Micway’s mostly urban freighting needs.
The FSD 140-260 is aptly powered too, with Isuzu’s six-cylinder, 24 value 6HK1-TCC engine, sporting 191kW (260 horsepower) at 2,400 RPM, making light work.
The business currently runs no less than 35 14-pallet trucks at the core of the fleet, all with refrigerated van bodies and tailgate loaders.
Each of the FSDs are fitted with the six-speed Allison LCT2500 automatic transmission, making those longer hours out on the road safe, comfortable and as stress free as possible for Wayne’s drivers.
Specifying the right tools for the job has been a key focus for Micway since day one and this ethos feeds into their continued efforts to provide new or inexperienced drivers their start in the road transport industry.
“Providing those pathways is certainly something we’re proud of,” said Wayne.
“We tend to hire a lot of young people who may have just received their license, and we give them that opportunity in the transport industry.
“I don’t see young people the way the insurance companies do (as high risk), because they haven’t got experience, I see them as a blank canvas.
“We can model them the Micway way of doing things pretty quicky, which usually leaves everybody happy. We’re happy to take on young people who aren’t frightened of a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay.”
That isn’t to say there haven’t been issues recruiting. As with many companies, the pandemic still casts a long shadow.
‘We were pretty lucky,” said Wayne. “A lot of industries were hurt or shut down, whereas goods transport remained essential services of course.”
Micway was therefore in a fortunate position to offer former employees work during the pandemic in order to put food on the table and stock back on the shelves.
“When a lot of things were shut down, we were fortunate to be able to let 10 or 12-odd guys back in the door. Previous great employees that had left on good terms. It was good to be able to provide that lifeline.”