Trailer vandals ‘will be caught’

On Saturday morning, a family owned transport company in Ipswich was woken to the news that two of their A-double trailer sets had been badly vandalised.

Based in Redbank, Eastwells Haulage had parked the trailers on Montgomery Road, just near the depot when they were targeted on Friday night.

“It would have had to have happened late at night on Friday or in the early morning on Saturday because where they were parked is where our trucks come in. We got the call from the driver of one of those A-doubles sets at about 5am on Saturday morning,” said Nathan Venn, who is 2ic fleet manager at the bulk commodity transport business, which has been operating since 2004 and runs a fleet of 33 prime movers.

The business was started by husband and wife Mark and Robyn Eastwell carts throughout Queensland, as well as into NSW, north-western Victoria and South Australia.

The damage to the four Moore trailers included cutting the suzie airlines, cutting the suzie electrical lines, pulling the turntable handles, cutting the airlines under the dollies, cutting the lines for the TIREMAAX PRO tyre pressure control system, ripping off the reflective markers, together with stealing four of the stainless steel water tanks.

“With the amount of damage that was done, we’re still waiting on parts. We still don’t have the exact figure, but it’d probably be at least $20,000 in damage. With the lines that connect the tyres to the Hendrickson TIREMAAX system, all 60 of them were cut,” explained Venn.

“To get these trailers back on the road, we don’t just re-join the airlines, they all have to be tested too for safety reasons, so the labour involved is huge. There were 56 flat tyres, so we lost a day and a half just pumping up tyres. That’s taken time away from our mechanics doing genuine maintenance or leaving on time to be home with their families.

“We’re still waiting on an ETA for parts – we might not see them for another week. But Hendrickson has been a great help in rushing through the parts for us.”

Police are currently investigating the incident. According to Venn, they are pursuing a number of leads but the culprits are yet to be identified.

In sharing the news on Facebook, Eastwells Haulage said, “We aren’t some big multi national, we are a family owned and operated company. We try so hard to look after the gear we have and yet this is the shit we have to put up with in the industry. It’s a gutless, weak act. Come knock on our door if you have an issue, you obviously know where our office is.”

Venn added that the person responsible clearly knew what they were doing and he’s confident they will be brought to justice. “They will be caught. They will be found. That Facebook post about the incident has reached over 300,000 people,” he said.

“We pride ourselves on keeping a good reputation in the industry and we pay all our bills. We’re a small family operated business, so we don’t understand why it’s happened. Our drivers who’ve left in the past, we strive to have them leave on good terms, so we’ve ruled that out as any possible cause.

“Police are doing the rounds looking for CCTV footage, and will finger print the trailers as well.”

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