One of the key factors in the ongoing success of Russell Transport in Queensland is the diversity of its operations. Diesel News speaks with Shane Rachow, Supervisor of the company’s Heavy Haulage division, to find out what makes this highly specialised operation tick.
The Russell name has been synonymous with road transport for the best part of 95 years and across three generations of the Russell family. With head office at Eagle Farm, Brisbane, the company also has depots at nearby Lytton in addition to Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast and Molendinar on the Gold Coast.
Close to a century of continuous operation in road transport simply doesn’t happen without a carefully considered business plan that must be continually updated to reflect the changing needs of customers and society at large.
Another vital element involves having employees who are the best of the best in terms of their specific areas of expertise. These people need to have the experience to know how to tackle tasks which can vary widely from day to day, as well as the nouse to devise contingency plans for those times when things don’t work out as initially planned.
The Russell Group of companies comprises three distinct businesses, Russell Transport, Metro-Lift Cranes and Caloundra General Transport, with common directors and shared support service functions that enable the businesses to work either independently or collaboratively, as needs dictate. This results in a cohesive service offering to clients across a range of disciplines.
For example, the obvious synergies between the Russell Transport heavy haulage division and Metro-Lift Cranes means the two companies are often working together to facilitate the loading and unloading of over-dimensional and over-mass freight.
The man behind the wheel of Russell’s heavy haulage, both operationally and literally, is Shane Rachow. His time is divided between organising loads and gaining route permits in addition to loading, unloading and driving the trucks.
With this type of work, experience is everything and Shane has this in spades, having done 18 years in the heavy haulage realm. What’s more, his father was also involved in heavy haulage for some 40 years.
Shane has been working for Russell Transport for close to two years, the first as a driver and the last year as Supervisor with some driving still involved. He describes the job as challenging yet rewarding and proceeds to elaborate on the types of issues he is dealing with on a daily basis.
“One of the biggest challenges we face is with communication between us and the customers,” he says. “We need to have the correct information as far as dimensions and weights go and if we don’t get this right the job takes a lot longer because we have to reapply for permits.”