Andrew James is no stranger to operating trucks, having been an owner-driver for 30 years and also having founded a company called North East Tilt Tray Hire about 20 years ago. The business boomed for a good few years with a national plant equipment hire company providing the bulk of the work, but that all changed virtually overnight, forcing Andrew to seek out other opportunities.
“We were running floats and heavy-duty tilt trays and all was going swimmingly until our major client closed down its Benalla branch and moved everything to its Shepparton and Albury branches which were already covered for transport, leaving us high and dry,” says Andrew.
The change of business name to Jamesy’s Transport and purchase of a flat-top trailer saw Andrew venture into subcontracting work for some of the larger transport companies for a number of years until he found his current niche.
With a new custom-built Pumpa trailer, with easily removeable bolsters and auto tensioning straps, and Kenworth T950 prime mover, Andrew reckons Jamesy’s Transport is well equipped to manage the workload of treated pine posts one day and concrete troughs the next in the safest and most efficient manner possible.
Jamesy’s Transport runs two semi-trailers doing the post hauling work with the trailers also used to cart concrete troughs used for cattle feed and water.
“It’s more about service than anything else,” Andrew says, “I’ve been self-employed and buying transport equipment for 30 years and in that time I’ve always found overall service to be more important than purchase price.
“I expect long-term performance and durability from my equipment so for me quality is a big factor.”
This aspect of Andrew’s mindset is admirably demonstrated by the two prime movers he owns, a flash Kenworth T950 conventional powered by a Cummins N14 ‘Redhead’ and a Freightliner Argosy cab-over punched by a Detroit Diesel Series 60, with the extremely well presented 1997 model T950 serving as the flagship of the fleet.
“The T950 is an oldie but a goodie,” says Andrew. “The Argosy is a good truck too, being a cab-over it’s more manoeuvrable than the Kenny which means it’s better suited to some of the places we deliver to with tight access conditions.”
That said, Andrew says he is looking at upgrading the Argosy next year with its successor likely to be a Kenworth K200 cab-over.
“We hardly ever travel on freeways so we need trucks that can handle the rougher conditions we encounter on a daily basis,” he says.
At the end of the day, according to Andrew, he is no stranger to operating trucks and having durable and reliable equipment that’s designed to suit his operation is the number one priority.