Goulburn Post

Transport leader putting driver safety and wellbeing first

Keeping Australia moving: Simon Laurence with fellow drivers Leanne Healy (left) and Andrea McGrath.

This is branded content for Ron Finemore Transport.

If Australians weren't aware of the vital role truck drivers play in keeping our country moving before COVID, they sure are now.

Around the country dedicated drivers and the transport companies employing them worked tirelessly to keep the supply chains open as they navigated the pressures of border closures and testing rules.

For Ron Finemore Transport, its long-time commitment to creating the best working environment possible for its valued drivers came to the fore.

"There was a lot of pressure on our drivers with requirements for PCR testing and later Rapid Antigen Tests and border permits so we very early on put in place strategies to streamline that and help them wherever possible," said Ron Finemore Transport managing director Mark Parry.

"In some states, drivers had to be tested every three days. We were able to set up our own testing centres so there was no wait, taking a lot of stress off our drivers and looking after their health and wellbeing."

The regionally-focused transport and logistics business, with founder Ron Finemore at the helm, prides itself on its focus on staff welfare.

It continues to lead the way in embracing the latest safety technology for its fleet of prime movers, partnering with universities and industry bodies to help advance technology and systems to improve road safety and driver conditions.

The company operates Australia's most modern fleet; its prime movers - predominantly Volvos, Mercedes Benz, and Scania - are all just over two years old and are renewed every two to three years.

With its head office in Wodonga, the company also includes regional hubs located in Orange (Central West region of NSW) Wagga Wagga (Riverina region of NSW), Goulburn (Southern Tablelands of NSW) and Eagle Farm (Brisbane, Queensland). The facilities act as the distribution point for neighbouring regional centres.

"We're a regional transport provider and our drivers live in the regions they service. Our work is mostly out and back each day - we don't do a lot of long haul," said Mr Parry. "It means drivers can be home in their own beds at night."

Join the team keeping Australia moving.

The company's drivers say it's the commitment to quality and safety that they enjoy most about working at the company.

Simon Laurence, who began working at Ron Finemore's seven years ago, said the quality of equipment was the best available.

"They are certainly in the forefront of making sure the equipment we have is as good as it could be from a safety point of view," said Mr Laurence, whose daughter Nicola also works at Ron Finemore's.

"For me this is a very important aspect of the job - the fact that it's a young fleet with the latest safety cameras and equipment. These new modern trucks are very comfortable on the road - they're fully automatic, so just like driving a big car - except for the long load sticking out behind."

Colleague Krishna Mallampati, who's about to celebrate ten years as a driver with the company, based in Albury, said it was a career he loved.

After migrating to Australia from India with his wife, Mr Mallampati was driving a taxi in Albury when he applied to work at Ron Finemore's and trained to become a driver.

"It was a good opportunity for me," he said. "The training I received was really amazing and now I'm in a job I really love to do. And I'm very proud to be part of keeping the supply chain moving."

Great opportunities: Krishna Mallampati has worked with Ron Finemore Transport for ten years. Picture: Supplied

Recruiting more drivers is one of the key priorities for the fast-growing business. Like others in the sector, the labour shortage is the biggest challenge.

"We're investing and growing quickly - in the last six years we've gone from 193 prime movers to 280, and 600 employees to 900, and we will continue to grow. The only thing holding us back is people," Mr Parry said.

"We're working hard to try to demonstrate what great career opportunities we can offer people in the regions."

Find out more about working with Ron Finemore Transport visit ronfinemoretransport.com.au To apply head to jobs@rft.net.au #careers

This is branded content for Ron Finemore Transport.