Features, Road transport company

A fitting tribute to Emerald Carrying’s success

When it came to ordering Emerald Carrying’s 200th Kenworth, the Haylock family wanted it to be something special – and the Legend SAR fit the bill perfectly. Named ‘Remember When’, the truck pays tribute to the company’s proud heritage.

Started by Bill and Joan Haylock in 1965, Emerald Carrying remains family owned and operated – with the second and third generation of family members steering the business into the future.

Their son Greg Haylock took the reins in the mid 1990s as managing director. He’s joined by his children Matt Haylock (group general freight/fleet manager); Ben Haylock (group operations manager); and Taylor Haylock (contracts and treasury coordinator).

[L-R]: Brown and Hurley CEO Paul Hurley, Emerald Carrying managing director Greg Haylock, Emerald Carrying group general freight/fleet manager Matt Haylock, Emerald Carrying driver Steven Cullen, and Brown and Hurley dealer principal at Rockhampton Simon Graham. Photo: Brown and Hurley

“I remember going to the depot when I was only four or five years old,” said Matt. “I grew up in the business as a kid – and Ben was the same. I remember helping to load the trucks, polishing the trucks, washing the trucks. On the school holidays, I couldn’t wait to get over to the depot to help out.

“You couldn’t do what we did as kids now though – it was so different back then.”

Emerald Carrying specialises in transporting bulk liquids throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory; and carting general freight between Brisbane, Emerald and its surrounding regions.

Today the business operates a fleet of approximately 120 trucks, from its depots at Brisbane, Emerald, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone and Darwin. The trucks run as rigids right up to quad road trains.

Greg and his wife Debbie Haylock also acquired Monaro Fuel Haulage in 2016, which runs an additional 52 trucks, with depots in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

“We employ close to 450 people between the two companies – around 350 at Emerald and 100 at Monaro. A lot of our growth and success is thanks to our great and loyal staff,” said Matt.

Though he grew up in the family business, Matt officially joined Emerald Carrying in 2003 as a local driver at the Emerald depot and worked his way up. Even though his current management role sees him spend more time at the depot than on the road, you’ll still find him behind the wheel whenever he gets the chance.

In fact, when Big Rigs called Matt, he was in the truck, bound for Emerald.

“I’m actually in the truck now – I jump in whenever I need to, to do the Brisbane to Emerald run, which is about 11 hours each way. I still enjoy a long distance run,” he said.

“I love being out on the road. It’s a great chance to catch up with friends and clear the mind. I have my own trucks that I put aside – a 2006 Kenworth T904 and a 2017 Legend 900. Ben also drives when he needs to.”

The latest Legend SAR is the third Legend within the fleet. Emerald Carrying also took delivery of another Legend SAR around 18 months ago – it was among the first of the limited edition model to come off the production line. That Legend is based at Mackay, while the new one, ‘Remember When’ is based in Brisbane and carries general freight up to Emerald.

The 120-strong fleet is almost exclusively Kenworths, which the company began buying brand new in 1995. Photo: Emerald Carrying

The milestone truck was delivered on November 1 and has over 40,000 kilometres on the clock.

“We asked for build number 200 too. We’ve called it ‘Remember When’ which is a reflection of where we’ve come from,” Matt said. “It’s the 200th Kenworth truck we ordered, but we’ve taken delivery of about 50 more Kenworths since then.”

The vast majority of the Emerald Carrying fleet wears the Kenworth badge.

“We have everything from singles to quad road trains. With Kenworth, it’s the reliability, the resale value and the support network,” said Matt.

“We’ve been dealing with Brown and Hurley Rockhampton since 2000 and for Monaro Fuel Haulage, it’s Twin City Truck Centre we work with.”

While the long distance trucks are typically one driver per vehicle, many trucks on the shorter runs for the fuel division are on the go around the clock, with up to three drivers on each.

Long-time company driver Steven Cullen is the lucky truckie who gets to steer the new Legend SAR. He’s been with Emerald Carrying for about 20 years.

“Steve tells me this is his retirement truck,” said Matt. “He liked the original SARs when then came out and always said he wanted to drive one. Before this truck, he was in a 2010 Kenworth T908.”

The milestone truck is the second Legend SAR to join the Emerald Carrying fleet. Photo: Brown and Hurley

Emerald Carrying has no set criteria on when its trucks are replaced, but they all undergo very strict maintenance routines. Each truck is fitted with ABS braking and a variety of safety systems. They are also regularly serviced and tested in-house by its team of specialist mechanics.

As Matt explained, “If the truck is sentimental, we tend to hang on to them for longer. Some of our older Kenworths have over 3.5 million kilometres on them and are still working. We bought our first brand new Kenworth fuel truck in 1995 – a T601. We took that one off the road around 12 months ago so we can fix it up and restore it. Though it’s taking a little longer than we hoped!”

With six decades of success already behind them, the Haylocks continue to build on their family legacy.

Asked what it’s like seeing the business his late grandparents started grow into what it is today, Matt said, “It really blows my mind. I wish they were both around to see what it is now. I’m so proud to be part of it.”

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