Truckie Profiles

A family business through and through

Small fleet owner Andrew Barber, 47, has five trucks and was behind the wheel of his trusty 1993 model International T-line 2760 when Big Rigs saw him.

He runs Andrew Barber Transport based at Moonbi in NSW.

I saw the very friendly and informative Barber parked outside a roadhouse near Tamworth.

“The International has a 400hp engine and a 15 speed Road Ranger gearbox. My other trucks are a Volvo, a Fuso, a Hino and an Isuzu,” he said.

That day Barber was carting stockfeed for delivery to Warwick in Queensland.

“I travel as far away north to Warwick which is a distance of about 500km and south to Newcastle,” he said.

The first truck Barber drove was a 1984 Mitsubishi. He has been an owner-operator since 2009 and started with one truck and no work, and has built it up to be a very successful and busy business completely from word of mouth, he has never advertised for work.

Barber added that the worst road he travels on is between Tenterfield in NSW and Warwick across the border, as well as the Armidale to Dorrigo stretch.

He carts everything agricultural related, including stockfeed, grains, hay, stock, bulldozers and whatever comes his way – he’s not fussy about what he does as it all helps to pay the bills.

His favourite roadhouses are at Warwick and in the Black Mountains of NSW.

I asked what he hopes will improve in the industry and with driver safety during 2023.

“They have to fix the problem of so many potholes on roads down here – most of the time they fill them with spray tar material which is a band-aid solution,” he said.

Like many owner operators, who rely on their partners to help run the business, Barber said that his wife Kate Barber was an integral part of his.

“I couldn’t do without her and I don’t understand all of the computer technology associated with all the bookwork, which she does well. She doesn’t drive trucks but is vital,” he said.

Testimony to that was when I asked Barber for his email address to enable me to send him some pics – he had to ring Kate to get it!

Their two sons Charlie, nearly 17, who has just started a heavy diesel mechanical apprenticeship with Brown & Hurley Trucks in Tamworth; and Lewis, aged 13, are also very much a part of their business.

They assist with small mechanical repairs, loading and unloading, and strapping up loads ready to head out.

“They share the same interest in trucks as their dad and well and truly know their way around a ratchet tie down strap,” Kate said.

I really enjoyed the yarn I had with Barber that day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend