Flash back to 1971. The very first Australian made Kenworth, a K125CR, had just rolled off the production line. During that same year, Patrick Soars launched his landscape supplies business ANL, which has gone on to become a leading force in landscaping, building and gardening products and supplies across NSW.
The fact that both brands are celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2021 isn’t the only link between ANL and Kenworth Australia. You see, for many years, Kenworths have been the go-to ‘big rig’ for ANL, which now boasts a fleet of over 200 trucks, including three brand-spanking new Kenworth T610SARs. They stand out in their gleaming green and gold livery, representing ANL’s fleet colours, as well as the fact that it’s a true-blue Australian family owned and operated business, which is now in its second generation.
After starting the business in 1971, Patrick’s wife Sharon Soars came into the business as co-director in 1976. Today they are joined by their sons Harley and Patrick Soars.
“Trucks are key, they’ve always been an advertising tool as they represent our business, we are proud of our old school looking livery,” said ANL’s Asset & Maintenance Manager Harley, who joined the company in 2009, as soon as he finished school. He’s now helping to drive the family business into the future.
“We prefer Kenworths over the European trucks because I think in applications where we are going off-road, they are very sturdy, and they’re just proven. The drivers like the new cabs, we like the look of them. It’s everything about them. And they’re made in Australia too,” Harley added.
“We have a big range of trucks, from B-doubles down to small tippers and everything in-between. In the larger range, Kenworth is our preferred truck brand.”
In the last 18 months alone, ANL has purchased various new Kenworths through truck dealership Gilbert and Roach, in Huntingwood, Sydney.
Sales consultant for Kenworth and DAF, Jamie Morgan, has worked closely with the Soars family for several years. He started with Gilbert and Roach over 25 years ago as an apprentice mechanic and has worked his way through the ranks, moving into a sales role seven years ago.
“ANL is an extremely professional company to work with. Now Harley has become my first port of call. He’s moved up through the business and is the future of the business,” Morgan said.
The latest truck delivery – the three new Kenworth T610SARs, all fitted with Ultrashift AMP transmissions – were delivered mid January and have settled into the fleet very well. They are used to cart compost and agricultural products throughout NSW. They are all used with trailers by Muscat Trailers, which is ANL’s preferred trailer supplier. ANL has used its products for over 30 years.
Prior to that ANL received its three newest T909s in April 2020. One of these is used as part of a PBS-approved quin dog, which Harley said was one of the first combinations of its kind, achieving a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of up to 68.5 tonne on PBS routes. The other two T909s are used with quad axle dogs.
Add to this another six T409s purchased just before these and an extra two new T610SARs that are due to join the fleet in the middle of 2021, and it’s clear to see that ANL loves its Kenworths. “These trucks are all a reflection of what we like to use,” added Harley.
ANL operates from 15 sites across NSW, running a mixture of on and off-road equipment. “What people may not know is the fact we have just as much off-road plant equipment as we do on-road fleet. We utilise all the equipment as tools for the business, which are used to produce and cart all our horticultural and agricultural products that we sell. Our large trucks consist of everything from B-doubles and truck and dogs, to Matilda Walking Floors which is a subsidiary of ANL.
“Dad brought the first walking floors to Australia. We’ve been producing walking floor trailers since the 1970s,” said Harley.
Along with the flashy new trucks, ANL has held onto a vintage gem too – the first Kenworth it ever purchased back in 1976. “It cost $61,000 at the time, which was a lot of money back then. We have it in our ‘museum’. We are currently in the process of rebuilding it this year for our anniversary,” revealed Harley.
Over the past 50 years, ANL has grown from humble beginnings into a key player in its field. “ANL started off as a landscaping and supply business and we pioneered the decorative bark industry. ANL today is the largest recycler of organic waste in Australia.”
With the first 50 years of growth, service and commitment to its industry already under its belt, the future is looking bright for ANL.