For owner operator Cameron Shaw, heavy haulage transport marketplace Loadshift has helped him to grow and diversify his business.
From his base in Quirindi, NSW, Shaw travels Australia-wide behind the wheel of his Iveco 7200 Powerstar for his business Castlemountain Contracting.
“I don’t have any set routes. I go wherever the customers need me to go. Next week, for example, I’ll be heading to Perth,” he said.
Aged 29, Shaw began driving trucks when he was 21, but that wasn’t until after he completed his mechanic apprenticeship and had a go in spare parts and warehousing. “My background led me to trucking,” he said. “Trucks have always been around me throughout my life. My grandfather was a beekeeper so I was always going out with him in the truck doing honey. I loved the sound and thrill of going down the road – so he sort of drew me to it.”
It was around 2016 that Shaw decided to go it alone and purchase his own truck. “I’ve been going strong ever since,” he said.
When he bought the truck from a family friend, Loadshift was recommended to him so he decided to give it a go. “And it just clicked. It can be very hard to find interstate jobs when you don’t have the contacts, so Loadshift puts you in touch with freight forwarders and customers,” said Shaw.
“About 80 per cent of my work has come through Loadshift. There are many customers I found through Loadshift and then I’ve just kept doing work for them.
“Loadshift allows me to plan my work ahead of time. I’ve recently started planning a month ahead, so I can price customers knowing that I’ll be able to find something to come home with. It means you can branch out and grow your network. It provides so much opportunity.
“Before I started using Loadshift, I had no leads to any jobs other than local work, so I couldn’t plan where I was going weeks ahead, as I’m doing now.”
During harvest season, hay makes up about a third of Shaw’s work. “At harvest time I stick purely to hay for a good four months of the year, but Loadshift enables me to find loads when I’m going on long distance trips, so it helps me keep prices down for the customer.”
Along with hay, Shaw transports a lot of machinery and portable buildings. Over time, he’s expanded his trailer fleet to cater to a wider variety of tasks. Along with the Powerstar, he has a smaller Isuzu NKR 200; along with a 45ft drop deck, two A trailers (one is 24ft and the other is 28ft), a 25ft flat top, a 40ft skel and a 40ft flat top single axle trailer. “So I can cater to a lot of customer needs,” he said.
For Shaw, Loadshift provides certainty and variety. “If I’m sitting in Tamworth and there’s someone needing something delivered to where I’m going, then it makes it more sustainable all around.
“Loadshift is very simple. If everyone knew everyone, you’d have work all the time, but if there’s no communication, you don’t know what’s out there. That’s where Loadshift comes in – and the app and the website are so easy to use too,” he said.