Bedrock Quarry Products and Bulk Transport use brightly painted new trucks in innovative combinations up to 85.5 tonnes, which come and go from plants and project sites around Sydney.
The tippers running around the city in Bedrock’s colours are instantly recognisable and there seems to be plenty of them on the roads. The infrastructure growth in Sydney means there are a lot of building materials on the move to feed the projects on the go.
Diesel News met the founder of the business working out of a small building on a suburban block in Sydney’s far North-West. Bedrock began operating back in June 2010. With an original plan of growing to a fleet of three trucks. Mick Colley has been in the transport industry for 30 years working for other people. He only decided to take a leap of faith and start up his own operation in June 2010.
“One thing led to another and so I decided to give it a crack,” says Mick. “I left a company because I wasn’t happy with the new owners and moved on. I decided to buy one truck and drive it myself. The plan was to expand to between three to five trucks. Once you get to five, you really don’t need to be in a truck.
“I contacted a few people I had dealt with over the years asked if they would be interested in giving us a bit of work, and they said they would support me. I went and bought my first truck and they did stick to their word and supported me.
“In 2010 we were still in the GFC, but there were signs it would pick up. I think that was our success, because we started in a quiet period. We could see the way the industry was growing, and we started to grow before the industry grew, we could see what was coming. Some of the industry’s suppliers, when it started to boom, didn’t have the facilities to keep up with the workload.”
Having the capacity to grow meant the fledgling company could start to pick up new customers. The business sold itself as customers looked for sand and gravel suppliers with the capacity to deliver, at a time when other operators were stretched to the limit.
“Getting the trucks looking right was the plan from day one,” says Mick. “We sign wrote the first one and we started to get calls from that. I was talking to a sales manager at one of the big operators and they said they had seen my trucks everywhere. I said ‘oh yeah’, later they asked how many trucks I had, and told them ‘one’.
“We were were one of the first operators in Sydney to sheet the whole sides of the bins and sign write it. Now look at it and everyone does it. I think we can be considered one of the leaders in the tipper industry in Sydney, because we did things before everyone else does.”
One of the things which Bedrock have led the way with is operating an A-double with triaxle dolly around metro Sydney. The truck runs Sydney to Marulan everyday and is capable of a 61 tonne payload on a truck running at 85.5 tonnes GCM. This is when it runs at HML on selected routes. The PBS permit specifies different areas whether the truck can run HML, CML or GML.
The deciding factor for trucks in innovative combinations up to 85.5 tonnes, as it often is in New South Wales, is the bridge capacities and how Roads and Maritime Services rate them according to the bridge engineers’ assessments.
“You look at something like the Mooney Mooney Bridge on the Freeway North of Sydney,” says Mick. “You look at it and you think, ‘new bridge, should be right’, but 79.5 tonnes maximum. That’s our biggest problem. We can still use our other A-doubles, with bogey/bogey trailers. But the tri-tri is our best option. It works so well. You can back it easily, you can do everything easily with it compared to the shorter trailers.”
“The top mass A-double set-up is on PBS needing Intelligent Access Program, including onboard mass monitoring. This makes deciding to start using something like this is a big investment, but it can reap big returns. Its problems are the limitations on what it can do. It is worth it all of the time it can run at the top GCM of 85.5 tonnes. Currently it simply runs from the quarries into concrete plants where access for HML is allowed. and the Bedrock operation has enough of these runs to justify the expense.”