A Word from the New CEO

McColl’s Group Holdings was acquired, in May, by an investor club known as Friesian. The club includes new CEO Simon Thornton and Chairman Mark Mentha – both familiar faces at the company.

“It is great to be back in the driver’s seat at McColl’s,” Mr Thornton said.

“A lot has happened in the five years I was away. The industries we serve have changed dramatically, with new owners and new priorities. Some of our previous customers no longer exist and new ones have arrived with big plans for the future.”

McColl’s new board members include James Macdonald, a partner in law firm Piper Alderman.

James specialises in commercial law and had previously served McColl’s in negotiating customer contracts.

Friesian’s plans are long term; the club intends to invest in McColl’s over time to see what kind of company it can grow into.

“This is the first time in 12 years that the company has not been for sale,” Mr Thornton explained. “We plan to develop the company over the next generation.”

“We have new employees arriving all around the company. We are hiring new drivers and trainers; there are also new graduate business analysts, compliance, safety, operations and financial people.

“The Dairy Division is commissioning 10 new pocket road trains to cope with its extra work. The Bulk Food Grade Division and Bulk Chemicals Division are also expecting new tankers and prime movers to arrive in the next few months.

“The 2018 financial year was a good one for McColl’s. We are looking forward to cementing productive partnerships with our existing clients and forging some new ones.”


Fleet Investment

McColl’s is committed to providing reliable service by investing in new and innovative equipment. Recent fleet upgrades and additions include 40 prime movers and 24 tankers.

Among the big additions are six new Byford road-trains and three new Tieman 26-metre road trains for the Dairy division. These road trains feature steerable axles, providing better maneuverability and easier and faster access onto farms. The road trains are also capable of carrying a bigger payload, which is a welcome boost to McColl’s haulage capacity.

The six Byfords are headed for the Dairy regions of Northern and Western Victoria and South Australia, while the Tiemans are headed for NSW. Other additions to the Dairy Division included one Tieman 30,000-litre single tanker; two Dunn Engineering dollies; and four 30,000-litre Byford single tankers. The Dairy Division has purchased 26 Volvo FM 540, one FH 540 and three Scania R560s to replace older assets and growth.

McColl’s has purchased two new Evolution tankers made using carbon fibre composite materials, with a polyethylene thermoplastic interior for the Bulk Chemicals Division.  This means the tankers are far less corrosive and suitable to transport a wide range of liquids. The thermoplastic interior also reduces absorption which means that we can switch safely between different products after a wash out.

Two new Tieman dangerous goods stainless tankers have been ordered to work as a pocket road train in Western Australia, two Byford stainless DG leads to work as B-doubles on the Eastern seaboard and two Marshall Lethlean stainless lead tankers.

McColl’s Bulk Food Grade Division added nine Kenworth T409s, one Kenworth T610, two Scania R730s, two Volvo Globetrotters and one Tieman compartmented tanker to its Fleet.


New CoR laws are on the way

On a cool winter’s day in June, 80 people from McColl’s and many of its customers gathered at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium to hear about changes to Chain of Responsibility (CoR) legislation.

COR specialist Michael Crellin led the briefing session; with over 25 years of investigative experience from the Queensland Police Service, Department of Transport & Main Roads and the national Heavy Vehicle Regulator, Michael shared his wide knowledge of the new legislation.

Throughout the workshop, there was lengthy discussion about the implications of the law changes, followed by scenario role-play to ensure that everyone was in tune with the changes and the different expectations of each individual in the chain. It was an informative and enjoyable afternoon with everyone taking away an increased awareness of the changes ahead.

We introduced the McColl’s CoR App as a way to engage people along the supply chain in their responsibilities. You can find the app here: safechain.com.au

It was great to see so many of McColl’s business partners eager to work together to make our shared logistics operations safer for our people and other road users.


Our People

With nine years’ experience behind the wheel, doing everything from driving long haul to installing underground fuel tanks, WA Operations Manager for the McColl’s Bulk Chemicals Division, Nicole Trounson, has a solid grasp of the transport industry.

Last year, Nicole (pictured left with her daughter) decided to get off the road and take on a new challenge – becoming the Operations Manager for McColl’s Bulk Chemicals Division in Western Australia.

“I love driving trucks and being on the road but it was time to try something new and this role uses all of the experience I’ve gained over the years,” said Nicole.

“It is a huge responsibility managing the transport of dangerous goods across the state, as well as managing people, but I have a great team and we work really well together.”

Day-to-day, Nicole manages a multitude of aspects of the business from customer requests and HR issues through to truck break downs at any time of the day or night and, occasionally, filling in behind the wheel, with the bulk of deliveries going to mine sites across WA.

“We are a small team with five drivers and when you are covering such a large area hauling dangerous chemicals like sodium hypochlorite and solvents, you always have to be on the ball,” Nicole explained.

“If one of my drivers is stuck somewhere in the middle of the night, I must answer that call, make sure the driver is safe and get them back on the road as soon as possible.”

This is Nicole’s second stint at McColl’s. So, what drew her back to the company?

“I like the people I work with, not just in my team but right across the country,” she said.

“And taking on this new role has also given me the chance to be at home more with my family, which is really important to me. It’s one of the things I like about working for McColl’s – they are flexible and understanding about making family a priority.”

Justin Keast, General Manager – Bulk Chemicals Division, said Nicole’s dedication was great to see.

“Nicole is very customer focused and she has built a great rapport with our WA customers. She understands what the customer needs and does everything she can to ensure that those needs are met,” Justin said.

“She manages each aspect of her role with a steady temperament and friendly disposition and I think we’ll see the WA business grow under her leadership.”


A word from the CEO

McColl’s is pleased to report a solid performance so far this year with considerable changes in the Dairy sector leading to increases in volumes for our business.

In addition to our regular linehaul customers, we have been busy supporting the growth of The Union Dairy Company in Western Victoria and early start-up work with Freedom Foods in Northern Victoria. We were proud to renew our relationship with Sugar Australia and look forward to continuing to support Fonterra, especially with its new Stanhope plant.

Safety is paramount at McColl’s and I am pleased to report our safety culture has led to a reduction by more than 20 per cent in lost time days on last year and 50 per cent over the past three years.

Over the past six months, we have invested in 28 prime movers and 13 tanks, while another 21 prime movers are on order for our Farm Pick Up and Bulk Chemical Divisions. McColl’s remains committed to investing in a safe, modern fleet to best service our customers’ needs.

Jamie Bolton, CEO

Working together to improve safety

After a successful trial, McColl’s has launched a new hazard reporting system.

The Hazard Reporting App assists drivers to proactively identify hazards that could harm McColl’s employees, as well as issues at customer sites.  Detailed data capture enables lessons to be learnt and improvement trends to be identified.

The system will provide many benefits including:

  • No paperwork or forms
  • Quick and simple reporting process
  • Promptly notified to National Safety Manager via email
  • Ability to take and attach photos.

McColl’s National Workplace Health & Safety Manager, Joe Boras, said: “This tool will further improve the strong safety culture within McColl’s by monitoring hazards and addressing the issue raised before an injury occurs.”

Our People

McColl’s driver trainer Jeff Hosking could be the most likeable bloke on the planet.

Jeff started out at McColl’s in 2011, driving line haul for the Bulk Food Grade Division (BFGD) out of Tongala.

Peter Shearer, McColl’s BFGD General Manager, said that during  the time Jeff was with BFGD he always had a positive attitude.

“He was very customer focused,” Peter said. “Jeff takes great pride in his work and that was always reflected in the cleanliness of whichever truck he was driving.”

Since 2014, Jeff has been a McColl’s driver trainer working across Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

“I do everything from a pre-employment drive with prospective hires to see their skill and attitude, as well as inductions and renewals,” he said.

“We now have telematics, camera systems and GPS which we use to coach, train and provide feedback to our drivers.

“I also conduct drug and alcohol testing, which is important to have in the transport industry. We’re doing the right thing for our drivers and customers.”

Even in the past few years, Jeff has seen major changes to truck safety and driver training.

“There’s a lot more training than there ever was,” he said. “We want to have the most professional drivers on the road and we’re always trying to give customers the best service.”

And the secret to being a great truck driver?

“Patience!” Jeff laughed. “Be ready for anything and stay calm. You never stop learning in the transport industry, that’s for sure.”

McColl’s driver performs lifesaving CPR

WA driver Phil Pidgeon is being applauded after a life-saving encounter.

Late one February afternoon, while metal detecting for coins at Brunswick Junction, Phil noticed a man collapse by the roadside.

Retiree, Andy Gross, had suffered a heart attack as he walked to dinner.

Andy’s wife Louisa said “Phil, the good Samaritan, ran over and gave Andy CPR until the ambulance arrived. If he hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t have Andy. I’m 100 per cent sure.”

Andy spent about 10 days in hospital and has had heart surgery.

“Andy has an internal defibrillator now and is very tired but he’s home and recovering,” Louisa said. “We’re very grateful to Phil!”

Get Appy This Summer

Sitting in the shaded cabin of a big truck or a car can give a false sense of security from the harsh Australian sun. But beware – ultraviolet rays (UV) penetrate windscreens and windows with long term exposure impacting eyesight, causing skin cancer and inducing premature aging.

With two in three Australians diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime, McColl’s is determined to have everyone driving a vehicle be sun-smarter this summer.

Here are four simple steps to staying safe from UV rays.

  • Know when you’re at risk. The strength of UV rays varies depending on the time of day and where you are. Don’t be fooled by the weather, UV rays penetrate glass and cloud.  Know when you’re most at risk by simply downloading the See UV app.
  • Daily sunscreen. Don’t leave home without it and re-apply during the day.
  • Sunglasses. Keep UV rays away from your eyes.
  • Slip on a hat. When you leave the truck, car or even the office, slip on a hat for extra protection.

Safety update

Technology Used to Assess Employee Health

A new and innovative machine has been used to assess employees’ health at several major McColl’s sites across the country.

The Bio Impedance Health Testing Machine uses a five minute, scientifically validated clinical assessment to measure the major markers of aging.

Staff are encouraged to step onto the machine so various measurements can be taken including:

  • weight
  • body fat percentage
  • organ fat level
  • soft muscle mass
  • skeletal muscle mass
  • hydration level
  • biological age
  • balance between left and right side of the body
  • protein and mineral levels

Employees who took part in a voluntary program gained valuable insights into their health.

On completion of each test, an accredited external health practitioner reviewed participants’ results and worked with them to establish a number of short term lifestyle/health goals.

There are plans to roll out the health program to other McColl’s sites in the new year.