Road to recovery for Rocklea transport operator

When floods swept through parts of Queensland last year, this family-owned transport business lost much of its fleet – but with new trucks now rolling in and a bigger purpose-built facility in the pipeline, things are looking bright for Rogers Transport.

“We had about 3.5 metres of water through the truck depot, and we lost 26 trucks in total, about half of those were rigids and the other half were prime movers. It’s taken us a while to get back on our feet,” said Rogers Transport’s Rocklea based general manager of operations Brad Rogers, who is the second generation of Rogers to take up a key role within the family run business.

Founded by Gary and Val Rogers over 30 years ago, the successful freight and transport business moves hardware and paint supplies.

Under normal circumstances, the business offers a range of freight and logistics services including container movement, warehousing, local distribution and interstate freight transport.

Brad grew up under the tutelage of his hard-working parents and is familiar with trucking and what it takes to keep the fleet on the road.

“We’ve been purchasing trucks from Brisbane Isuzu for decades. They helped us recently after the floods. We lost probably 15 rigid trucks, so Brisbane Isuzu moved quickly to assist us, and we’ve recently taken delivery of six F Series Isuzu trucks, and we’ve got another six on order,” said Brad.

“The wait times for trucks is ordinarily 12 to 18 months but Brisbane Isuzu were able to secure some within about four months. It’s a huge help and it’s turning things around for our customers too.”

The business currently runs a large fleet of trucks including eight Isuzu FV Series 6×2 models.

There are four Isuzu FVL 240-300 Freightpacks and four Isuzu FVM 230-300 Freightpacks on the road around the clock.

Rogers Transport has now introduced a ‘one driver one truck’ policy which means each driver is solely responsible for their own truck.

And Brad says that’s working well so far, with reduced mechanical and maintenance issues and next to no problems when it comes to upkeep, cleanliness and presentation.

“Rogers Transport drivers love their Isuzu trucks. They’re comfortable, they’re straight forward to use, they’re easy to work with, there’s plenty of parts available for them, and the reliability’s great,” Brad said.

“We’ve got a couple with over a million kilometres still running with original engines. Isuzu engines have excellent performance and longevity.

“The trucks with a million kilometres are the first ones we bought over 15 years ago and they are in fantastic working condition. We’re big on our preventative maintenance and servicing, to look after all our trucks, no matter their age.

“All our servicing is done in-house by the team here and we use genuine parts from Brisbane Isuzu. Parts are always readily available and if there’s a delay it’s because the parts are on a truck up from Sydney or Melbourne and we’ll have them within a day or two.”

Rogers Transport has also opted for automatic transmissions in the new trucks too.

“It was a change at first, but the guys are loving them. They’re loving the new AV unit and the creature comforts that Isuzu offers,” said Brad.

“Swapping to the Allison Automatic was due to availability initially, but the feedback from the guys has been great. They love them, so we’ve continued to spec the new trucks with automatics.

“It’s simpler to have an auto when driving through traffic these days, the roads in Brisbane are only getting busier and busier.

“These trucks service anywhere from Tweed Heads to Noosa and up to Toowoomba. While this part of the fleet is mainly local, the guys do get out on a longer run, on occasion.”

After a difficult time in recent months, Rogers Transport is well placed for the future.

It will soon be moving into a huge, purpose-built facility in the Port of Brisbane, which consolidates their three locations into one depot with plenty of storage and room for expansion.

“We’ve just signed a lease on a new facility out at the Port, so we’re going to amalgamate all our three sites. It’s an exciting time for us, with 55,000 square metres of yard,” said Brad

“There will be roughly 18,000 square meters of storage and a huge container storage area.”

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