Queensland transport operator to close its doors as owner retires

After battling issues with staff shortages, a Queensland transport operator has made the difficult decision to close his doors after 21 years in business.

Based on the Northern Gold Coast Karl’s Transport is a well-established logistics company that was started by Karl Thomas.

“After careful consideration, I have made the difficult decision to retire and close Karl’s Transport,” Thomas said.

“We encountered persistent challenges in finding qualified staff for our business. Despite actively advertising job openings, we consistently experienced candidates failing to show up for scheduled interviews and the workload has become too much.

“It is important to clarify that our decision to close the business was not motivated by compliance, but rather a personal choice influenced by various factors. It was not a decision taken lightly. I appreciate the support of the industry and will fondly remember our commitment to high standards throughout the years.”

Starting out as a single truck owner operator in 2002, Karl’s Transport transitioned into a company in 2004.

Over the years, Thomas expanded the fleet to include 13 prime movers and 18 trailers, establishing a strong presence in South Australia, Perth and North Queensland before settling in the Northern Gold Coast.

As he prepares to embark on his next chapter, Thomas has made the decision to put his fleet under the hammer.

Thomas has selected Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers to sell the company’s assets, following a long-time relationship with the auction house – as he exclusively purchased vehicles from Ritchie Bros. throughout his career, often accompanied by his late father, Peter Thomas, who shared his lifelong connection with trucks.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to our valued clients and the exceptional staff over the years who played a crucial role in the success of Karl’s Transport. I also extend my appreciation to my mother Pat, sister Bethany, and uncle Neville, for their support in handling administrative tasks during the early years. My late father Peter Thomas shared my passion for trucks and attended Ritchie Bros. auctions with me, leaving a lasting impact,” said Thomas.

“I would also like to express my gratitude to Wildcat Diesel, Ringtread SA, and TAC Rentals for the valuable partnerships we have developed.”

Rory Mackin, territory manager at Ritchie Bros., added, “We’re honoured that Karl has chosen Ritchie Bros. to sell his trucks and trailers in our highly anticipated National Unreserved EOFY Auction on June 21-22. Among the standout offerings is a brand-new, unused 2023 Kenworth W900SAR Legend, a rare find in today’s market where wait times for new Kenworth models extend all the way to 2025.”

Assets include:

  • 2023 Kenworth W900SAR 6×4 Legend (Unused)
  • 3 x 2021-2014 Kenworth T909 6×4
  • 2017 Kenworth T900 6×4 Legend
  • 2015 Kenworth T409 SAR 6×4
  • 2010 Kenworth K108 6×4 Aerodyne
  • 2 x 2010-2008 Kenworth T608 6×4
  • 2006 Kenworth T904
  • 2006 Western Star 4900 6×4
  • 1997 Kenworth T950 6×4
  • 1994 Kenworth K100E 6×4
  • 9 x 2022-2014 Graystar Tri/A Multi-Temp Refrigerated Trailer
  • 4 x 2020-2002 FTE Tri/A Refrigerated Trailer
  • 5 x 2008-1999 Lucar Tri/A Refrigerated Trailer
  • 3 x 2022-2019 Rytrans Tri/A Dolly
  • 2021 Tiapan/Maitland Bogie/A Dolly
  • 2014 Ardends Bogie/A Dolly
  • 2011 Arends Bogie/A Dolly
  • 2 x 2009-2000 Moore Bogie/A Dolly
  • 2001 Vawdrey Boogie/A Dolly
  • 1998 Roadwest Bogie/A Dolly

The auction event will be held exclusively online. Interested buyers are urged to register to bid, with bidding opening on Saturday, June 17. Day one of the auction (June 21) will be dedicated to construction and crushing gear while day two (June 22) will focus on transportation and agricultural assets.

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