Sawtells celebrates 90 years in business with new Volvo FH16

Currumbin-based bulk hauliers Sawtell and Sons is celebrating its 90th year in business by taking delivery of yet another Volvo FH16.

The latest addition, an FH16 700, will join the interstate tipper fleet covering the majority of the eastern seaboard transporting potatoes and fertiliser on long haul routes from South Australia to Far North Queensland.

Only one year after Volvo began building trucks in Australia at its Wacol factory in 1972, Sawtell and Sons purchased its first Volvo and have been buying the trucks almost exclusively ever since.

The business started in 1933 when Percival Sawtell and his two eldest sons purchased the only transport business on the southern end of the Gold Coast at Currumbin.

Claire Sawtell, Ken Sawtell and Joe Scalia, VCV Brisbane Sales.

Ken Sawtell, now joint director of Sawtell and Sons with his young brother Grant, said the vibrant southern suburb of the Gold Coast looked very different back then.

“There were five sons in the family. The two eldest started in the business and my dad took it over in the 50s and started to build it up to what it is today,” Ken said.

Ken said the business his grandfather started now spans across four generations.

Ken laughs when explaining that he failed his first year studying business at Queensland Institute of Technology; the family business is now thriving, growing from the initial two trucks to a fleet of 60 and a workforce of 80.

These days, Sawtell and Sons does a combination of local and interstate work, with slightly more trucks working on the interstate side. The local fleet is kept busy transporting, sand, gravel and fertiliser.

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