Victorian transport operator closes the doors

Starting out with a couple of trucks just six years ago, this Wangaratta based transport operation has quickly grown, but its owner has now decided the time is right to walk away.

Newton Transport was started by Michael Newton in 2017. Working as a diesel mechanic for several years, Michael Newton, 45, had also spent time in the bus and coach industry before deciding to purchase his first two trucks.

Predominantly carting timber and steel between Melbourne and Newcastle, Newton quickly built his fleet up to 10 prime movers and close to 15 trailers.

“We just got busier and busier. It wasn’t necessarily something I planned on from the start. I originally thought just having a couple of trucks would be ideal, but I learned pretty quickly that to make it viable, we needed more than a couple of trucks,” he said.

“As our customers grew, we put more trucks on, and we’d use a few sub-contractors here and there too.”

The father of three teenage boys found that running his transport operation meant working seven days a week, so there was little time for family. Add to that the difficulties in finding good drivers, and he says the time was right to close.

“I have a deep passion for trucks and the industry. However, we have reached a point where we can no longer attract drivers and staff. While it has been an incredible journey serving our valued customers, it’s time for a change,” Newton said.

“The main reason we’ve decided to close is family and lifestyle choice. The kids keep us busy with all of their various sporting pursuits. Then there’s the same reasons out there in the industry that everyone is struggling with – finding staff and drivers. I noticed that became a struggle, particularly over the last 12 months.”

While there was no shortage of work available, Newton is ready to move onto his next chapter.

“There’s plenty of work out there. Right up until we decided to finish up it was getting busier and busier. I think we could have put on a lot more trucks, but staffing issues would’ve have made it hard,” he added.

Looking ahead, Newton plans to work on the farm property he purchased about 18 months ago. “I bought a farm not far from Wangaratta and haven’t been able to spend any time on it. I’ve just been too busy with the business. There’s a lot of work there to catch up on so I’m looking forward to pursuing my farming interests. My wife comes from a dairy farming background and we’re looking to get some cattle on there too.”

The entire Newton Transport fleet is now set to go under the hammer with plans to sell all of the company’s late model prime movers and trailers through Ritchie Bros.

They will be available for bidding in Ritchie Bros.’ National Unreserved Auction on February 22-23.

Assets in this dispersal include:

  • 3 x 2022-2018 Kenworth T610SAR 6×4
  • 3 x 2019-2018 Kenworth K200 Aerodyne 6×4
  • 2021 Kenworth K200 Big Cab Aerodyne 6×4
  • 2018 Volvo FH13 Globetrotter 6×4
  • 2021 DAF XF530 6×4
  • 2019 DAF XF105.510 6×4
  • 8 x 2022-1999 Krueger 13.6 m Tri/A Tautliner Trailer
  • 3 x 2005-2004 MaxiTrans 13.6 m Tri/A Tautliner Trailer
  • 2022 Freightliner 13.6 m Tri/A Tautliner Trailer
  • 20 x Quantity of Load Restraints
  • 3 x Quantity of Wooden Load Chocks
  • Quantity of Load Angles
  • Quantity of Plywood
  • Bumper bar to fit Kenworth T610SAR
  • Bumper bar to fit Kenworth K200

The auction event will be held exclusively online. Interested buyers are urged to register to bid, with bidding opening on Saturday, 18 February. Day one of the auction (February 22) will be dedicated to construction and crushing gear while day two (February 23) will focus on transportation and agricultural assets.

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