Family Owned and Operated Transport Business

family owned and operated transport business

Mick De Winter and his wife Michelle started IWS Haulage in 1995 and, while small, this family owned and operated transport business does well in the supply of wholesale sand and landscape products, including regular sub‐contracting work for Holcim. 

The fleet now runs 10 tipper and quad dog combinations, five Freightliners working as painted sub-contractors for Holcim and five Volvos painted up in IWS colours. There is also a smaller DAF tipper and dog for more local work. 

The five Volvos handle a mixture of work. Moving the businesses own rock or loading for the quarries delivering to their customers. IWS have also got into the decorative stone business and are finding there is an expanding demand for a specialist product like this with its limited number of suppliers. There has proved to be a growing demand for what is a dwindling resource.

The Holcim contract sees the trucks servicing the company’s concrete plants with materials, as well as shifting road base for any road construction projects they are involved in. The trucks are integrated into the Holcim fleet with all of the tracking and management equipment Holcim require fitted on board. 

family owned and operated transport business

After working for himself and running his own trucks, Mick found transitioning across to working directly for a big company difficult. The systems employed can often be inflexible and at odds with the way he wants to run a truck. It has taken some time to settle down to a way of working that suits both IWS and Holcim, but the operation does function now, with only occasional hiccups. 

All the trucks handling quarry work run under the Performance Based Standards (PBS) system to maximise efficiency, running at 57.5 tonnes GCM. 

“We got on the PBS bandwagon pretty early,” says Mick. “When we started off with it, Boral didn’t even understand it and we had to get someone from PBS to write them a letter to explain it. Michelle put a lot of time into getting the PBS working for us, doing all of the research. She had got it all organised and then the responsibility for PBS passed from Queensland to the NHVR and she had to start all over again with new people.

“There is one route where we can only get PBS weights in one direction. They will give it to us one way, but not the other. They knocked us back for a permit, so we changed the permit application to one direction and it got through.”

Currently the family owned and operated transport business’ fleet will go as far south as Coffs Harbour. Heading north the trucks can sometimes go as far as Gladstone. There are two or three trucks based out at Gatton, at the old farmhouse, to handle increased work in that area.

“We are doing a lot of work in Toowoomba now and I think it’s going to get bigger,” says Mick. “My next project is to get a workshop up and running then we can do more of our maintenance ourselves. We are building it on the plot next door, it should be able to do our work and also some for other people as well. There’s a shortage of good mechanics around here.”

family owned and operated transport business