As a five-year-old kid, Brett Tynan was already dreaming of working with trucks. Though he would’ve been too young to envisage the success that would eventually come his way, sparked by hard work and a willingness to seize opportunity.
“My dad drove trucks pretty much all my life. I’ve been around them and in them since I was kid,” he said.
Now 46, Tynan began driving trucks when he was 24 and it wasn’t long before he went out on his own. “I started driving for SRV Road Freight Services – that was my first linehaul job.”
SRV was started by Errol Cosgrove in 1997. “Errol helped finance my first truck, which I bought off him, then I bought another couple of trucks and towed his trailers, and then I bought my own trailers,” explained Tynan.
Exodas was started in Queensland in 2001 – and what a two decades it’s been. From an owner operator, Tynan has built the business up to a modern fleet of 110 trucks (predominantly Kenworths and Volvos, with some Scanias thrown in too), and around 200 staff across four depots in Queensland and NSW.
So what does he attribute this success to? “Stupidity,” Tynan joked, before getting back on topic. “We’ve really grown with our customers. We’ve worked with our two biggest customers from early on. Now we have 15 or so trucks with each of those two customers, so we grew with that and picked up some more.”
Though he admits he didn’t come into the industry expecting his business would grow as much or as quickly as it has. “I didn’t plan on having this many trucks, it’s just where we’re at and what’s happening at this point in time. Opportunities come along and you just take them. I believe we offer a great service, and you grow with your customers.
“I started out in general freight and plants – I did a lot of plants in the beginning. When I first started, we did a lot of stuff through a loading agency, then over time we built relationships with some of our customers and have expanded with them in the general freight sector. I started working with our two biggest customers when we had only five trucks, so I’ve expanded as they have.”
With this growth came the opportunity to grow even more. In October 2015, Evergreen Freight was incorporated as a subsidiary. This arm offers transport and warehousing services for all Bunnings Greenlife across South East Queensland.
In March 2017, Tynan acquired Malin Refrigerated Transport (MRT) to complement the company’s existing services and provide the ability to offer express return services from North Queensland.
Today, Tynan says about 70 per cent of the fleet is refrigerated, with services offered across the eastern seaboard.
Last year was a big year of deliveries for Exodas, which purchased 11 new Kenworths, 14 Volvos and five Scanias. While some were to cater to growth, others were purchased to upgrade existing equipment.
“Some drivers prefer one and some prefer the other. We like to have two different manufacturers predominantly. Both do the application we do pretty well. We like the trucks to be presented well too,” said Tynan.
Among the new additions was a flashy Diamond Edition K200, the 50th Kenworth for the business and one of 75 limited edition Kenworths released to mark Brown and Hurley’s 75th anniversary.
As for what’s in store for the future, Tynan is happy to take it as it comes but with plenty of new trucks already on order – another eight Kenworth K200s and eight Volvos so far – it’s shaping up to be another busy and exciting year.