It’s the small Sydney-based trucking operation with the big heart. With His Excellency the Governor-General of Australia David Hurley and wife Her Excellency Linda Hurley on hand to cut the ribbon, Turbans 4 Australia (T4A) officially launched its latest initiative last month, Green & Gold Charity Logistics.
It’s yet another community-minded project from Sydney-based truckie Amar Singh, who somehow finds time around running his own transport company to help so many others under the T4A charity banner he launched in 2015.
For now, Green & Gold Charity Logistics only has the two trucks – a 6-tonne, 10-palleter and an 8-tonne 12-palleter tautliner – plus a 14-tonne loaner from major T4A supporter Penske for the next three months.
But it’s already run off its feet helping with flood relief work in Lismore.
Around the official red-carpet launch with the Hurleys on March 18, Singh says the small Green & Gold fleet has made 15 trips from Sydney to Lismore in just three weeks, racking up a fuel bill nudging $7000 in the process.
“We’re asking the trucking industry to support us, particularly any fuel providers who can help us with fuel, that’s our biggest cost,” said Singh.
“We want to put that money toward buying food. One thing you have to realise about us is that we actually buy stuff from Foodbank and Costcos, and other suppliers, to give it up for free.
“Whether you pick up $2 worth of supplies from us, or $100, it’s all free. Unlike other organisations, you don’t need to be a member.”
Since T4A first launched, Singh said trucks and the charity have always gone hand-in-hand: “We did hay run out to Coonamble [in 2015] and used seven trucks, but they were all mine and mates’ and other companies.
“Trucks are an integral part of the charity and what we do. Everyone’s happy to donate a carton of milk but no one understands how the carton of milk is going to go from Sydney to X, Y, Z.
“We need a truck, and it’s this charity that will do just that.
“This [Green & Gold Charity Logistics] is a new start and a new beginning, and we want to have trucks that are ready to serve, when and if, a disaster hits, and expand that side of things as well.”
In another busy week for Singh and his tireless team of volunteers, T4A also held trucking’s first Harmony Day in Sydney.
Co-organised by truckie Mike Williams, Big Rigs columnist and On the Road podcast host, the family-focused event at Liverpool Catholic Club was held to help bring the wider trucking community closer.
Singh was thrilled with the turnout – the event joined forces with Convoy for Kids Sydney (see page 30-31) – and he is hoping it will become an annual fixture.
He was also proud that T4A was able to hand over a cheque for $3000 to convoy charity, Newborn and paediatric Emergency Transport Services (NETS).
In keeping with his charity’s core value of mateship, Singh meanwhile also plans to launch the Australian Driver Welfare Union this month.
Singh, however, wants to stress that this group isn’t aiming to compete with existing unions and associations.
“It’s all about helping drivers, no matter what race and background, and also about training. I want to start a buddy-up program. New drivers coming in are going to have issues while learning the ropes and it’s not like the olden days now when you could get in a truck and take a mate with you because of insurance reasons and company policies.
“We also want to address the licensing issue: no driver is happy with it.”