After two successful decades in business, Mark Eastwell and his wife Robyn have decided to take a little step back – but it’s definitely not goodbye.
The couple run cargo and freight company Eastwells Haulage in Redbank, Queensland, as well as River Road Mechanical, which they have used primarily to service their own fleet for the past seven years.
They have recently made the decision to disperse the trucks and trailers in their fleet and move in a different direction, so they can slow down and focus on the finer things in life.
Eastwells Haulage will continue to operate in the same capacity and service it has come to be known for, but looking after its subcontractors, who have stood by them in the past.
Meanwhile, River Road Mechanical will open to outside transport companies for all servicing and repairs of heavy vehicles within the Brisbane area.
Mark said: “It’s been a great 20 years, and our businesses have served us well.
“I was one of the fortunate ones in that I could choose when I wanted to get out and come out on top.
“We just felt like we had achieved what we wanted to achieve in our business, and we wanted to channel our energy into other places.
“We’re a very tight-knit family, our kids all still live in the area and we’re looking forward to spending more time together, as well as spending time with friends and doing some travelling.
“We’re very comfortable with the decision, it’s put us in a great position and we couldn’t be happier.”
Eastwells will be selling their fleet and the majority of their trailers via Ritchie Bros. – about 145 pieces of equipment in total.
“We have a great relationship with Ritchie Bros., we have sold through them for the past three years.
“They always do a very good job. They present their gear well.
“We have a guarantee for the sale and if they go over and above that, we get a percentage.
“We have a very modern and well-maintained fleet and Ritchie’s were extremely impressed with the quality of the equipment.”
Mark and Robyn started their business with just one truck and a dog back in 2003, and expanded over the years to a fleet of about 32 trucks at its largest.
Mark has been involved in almost every aspect of the company, from maintenance to driving to payroll, while Robyn is mostly on the admin side of things.
All of their four children have also worked in the family business at one point, both in and out of the office, teaching them valuable life skills.
“Having the business has allowed our children to follow their dreams in their chosen careers,” Mark continued.
“While this doesn’t include the trucking industry, we are more than grateful for the opportunities that this has afforded our family and for the friendships we have made along the way.”
Looking back over his career so far, Mark said the highlight has been the people he’s had the privilege to work with.
“The amount of different people you get to meet, not only other company owners but their drivers, their families, even our own drivers who have just left the company.
“We have built a lot of strong friendships, and our relationships with other companies is what we’ll use to grow the mechanical side of the business now.”
Mark thanked his customers for their ongoing support and reassured them that Eastwells will continue to offer the same great services as before thanks to their reliable subcontractors.
“We have a very good group of subcontractors and some top operators towing our trailers as well.
“That way, we can keep good control of the service we provide.”
He also thanked his wife Robyn for her support and hard work over the years.
“A lot of times the wives are forgotten about in businesses like this and there’s an awful lot of behind-the-scenes support that goes on.”
Eastwells’ fleet will be sold through Ritchie Brothers’ National Unreserved End-of-Year Auction on November 29-30. See here for more information.