Queensland operator handed the keys to its 100th Mack

From purchasing their first Mack truck back in 2004, Queensland container haulage business Southeast QLD Hauliers (SEQH) has hit a century with the recent purchase of a new Mack Super-Liner.

The company has experienced strong growth over the past few decades, having purchased its 50th Mack in 2015.

“We’ve been growing this business steadily for more than 25 years, and Mack have been with us the whole time,” said SEQH managing director Brett Plummer.

“Our operation is all about consistency: duplicating your training methods, workshops, systems and processes. This approach only works if you get a good product you can stick with, and Mack have given us that. We’ve switched trailer manufacturers in the past because they weren’t playing the same game as us, but Mack have been consistent.”

With a fleet consisting of Granites, Tridents, Super-Liners and Anthems, SEQH have found a Mack for every application.

“We’ve got A-doubles, AB triples, some singles and a couple of B-doubles running around,” said Plummer, “and Mack have got a truck that suits each of them.”

Vice President of Mack Trucks Australia, Tom Chapman said the success of the long-standing relationship with SEQH was the by-product of two companies having similar business values.

“SEQH are nationally renowned for their innovation and efficiencies in the logistics operations space. At Mack we share a very similar purpose of ‘moving and building a better world’, so there’s a lot of great synergy in the partnership and it’s one we’re incredibly proud of.

“We work closely with SEQH to customise trucks that not only meet port requirements, but also support SEQH’s business ethos of continual improvement. Over two decades, there’s been plenty to celebrate, so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to acknowledge their 100th Mack and reflect on what continues to be a very rewarding partnership.”

With depots in Brisbane and Toowoomba, SEQH have a typical operating radius of around 500km from the Port of Brisbane, mostly carrying cotton and grain for export, and all manner of imported goods.

(l-r) Angie Hopwood, Volvo Financial Services, Nicole Laspa, Volvo Group Australia, Steve Helm, VCV Australia, Brett Plummer, SEQH, Martin Lambert, VCV Australia, Craig Costello, VCV Australia.

Plummer explained, “It’s not obvious that you’d move bulk products like grain or cotton in containers but a buyer in Bangladesh who only wants 1000 tonnes of grain has no use for a 40,000-tonne bulk vessel. Containers give people a lot more flexibility to get just what they need, delivered right to their door.”

Focussing on flexibility and efficiency has made SEQH among the most successful container specialists in Queensland.

According to Plummer, the secret is simple. “We just turn up every day and try to do everything a bit better. We don’t acquire other companies, we’ve grown organically, by keeping risk low, running a tight operation and just steadily getting more orders in the door.”

Plummer has been intentionally ageing his fleet in recent years, but he’s conscious that as the fleet expands, the older trucks are increasing the load on his workshop.

“We need a workshop, not just for the trucks but for all our plant,” he said. “But we’ve got around 30 of our trucks on service agreements with Mack now, just to help us manage the load.

“They’re running to a schedule. I might replace a few parts sooner than they recommend – I’m more concerned about uptime than the cost of parts – but handing over some of the servicing is all part of our expansion.”

As times and business requirements have changed, Mack has stepped up to enable SEQH to adapt.

Plummer explained, “The Port of Brisbane has a lot of rules. If you want to use the automatic stevedoring for instance, your A-double can’t be more than 30 metres long. We took that problem to Mack and they came out with a shorter-wheelbase Super-Liner that fits inside the 30-metre limit.

“Mack are paying attention to what the market needs, and that Super-Liner is the truck we’ll be choosing as we continue to expand our fleet. We‘re aiming to hit 150 within the next five years or so.”

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