Business

Local family successfully trucking ahead

Frasers distinctive green livery can be seen on highways and byways across eastern Australia.
Frasers distinctive green livery can be seen on highways and byways across eastern Australia. Contributed

SEVENTY years in business have given the nation's third-largest livestock transport company a clear understanding of what is important. For Frasers Livestock Transport it's all about maintaining long-standing relationships and embracing new technology.

Established in Warwick in September 1944, Frasers is one of the country's oldest livestock transport companies still operated by the founding family.

Charles Missen Fraser and his wife, Edna, started the business the year they were married, financed into their first truck - a Ford that still boasts pride of place in the FLT complex - by Charlie's grandfather, who lent them "a hundred quid".

As the family story goes, he prophetically declared "you never know, Charlie, one day you might own a fleet of these."

Business initially revolved around carting wheat, hay and fence posts, then longer trips carting local chickens to a Woolloongabba abattoir.

Frasers principals Ross, Peter and Les Fraser welcome third-generation Warwick Fraser (front) to the family livestock transport operation.
Frasers principals Ross, Peter and Les Fraser welcome third-generation Warwick Fraser (front) to the family livestock transport operation.

 

By the 1960s the business had grown to a fleet of trucks as the second generation of Frasers joined the family business.

Today Ross, Les and Peter Fraser are at the helm. All three started working stock in saleyards as schoolboys and spent years "riding shotgun" and driving before stepping into hands-on management roles.

At its core, Frasers Livestock Transport remains very much a family business. In early years, Charlie and his sons drove while the books were kept by Edna and, later, Maryanne and Robyn Fraser. For the past 20 years, Donna Fraser has been responsible for marketing, advertising and website development while third-generation Warwick Fraser is now in operations.

A lot has changed in seven decades.

Frasers currently operate a fleet of 50 Kenworth prime movers and 150 trailers in single, double, B-double, B-triple and road train configurations. Their total one-time uplift capacity is 250 decks of cattle.

The Fraser fleet annually covers some nine million kilometres carting more than four million head of livestock - 80% cattle, the balance sheep and pigs - between properties, abattoirs, saleyards and feedlots across eastern Australia.

Frasers believe that good staff are key to their business growth and success.

"Business is about people doing business with people and ours is no different," Ross explained. "We have some terrific young staff, along with some third-generation, and currently a father-and-son team driving: Having good people is critical to our business."

Today, Frasers employ 110 staff in administration, workshop and driving roles spread from their Warwick base to depots at Gracemere, Roma, Dalby and Goondiwindi.

Frasers line-up at the Warwick depot provides a photo opportunity.
Frasers line-up at the Warwick depot provides a photo opportunity.

It is not only staff loyalty that underpins the Frasers operation. The Company has long-standing relationships with producers dating back to the start of the business: The grandfather of current National Farmers Federation president Brent Finlay used Frasers to shift sheep from the Pikedale district in the 1950s and the business relationship between the two families continues today.

These days Frasers count some of the country's major beef producers - Australian Agricultural Company, Acton Land and Cattle, Napco and Consolidated Pastoral - among their client base.

Ross Fraser describes his parents as entrepreneurs who saw an opportunity and built a business with the goal of handing it onto their sons.

"When we became involved in the business, we were using 20-foot body trucks and 34 or 36 foot trailers," Mr Fraser said. "There was no double-deck, three- or four-deck sheep work or road trains.

"We pushed for change because we could see the opportunities and efficiencies."

Improvements in airbag suspension, crate design and trailer technology have made a significant difference to livestock transport, along with Frasers' introduction of GPS tracking which allows centralised operation monitoring and route-tracking.

Frasers B-Triple and roadtrains load Acton cattle on Barkly Downs in the far north.
Frasers B-Triple and roadtrains load Acton cattle on Barkly Downs in the far north.

"The GPS MTData system is impressive, I can log-on via my iPhone and locate any one of our trucks, at any time, Ross Fraser explained.

"Our mechanics can monitor engine-management and on-board computers relay detailed reports on acceleration, braking and cornering, all of which helps improve safety and overall fleet maintenance."

It's this willingness to embrace technology and initiate change that has taken Frasers to the forefront of the livestock trucking industry.

In 2013 the Company won the Queensland Safe Work and Judges' awards for an innovative cross-loading ramp designed and fabricated in their Warwick workshop.

It's a fitting example of the innovative approach Frasers have for their business: "You have to be prepared to embrace change when it improves efficiency," Mr Fraser said.

It's an approach they also bring to the personnel-side with Les's son, Warwick Fraser, the third generation to join the business.

"We love seeing young people become involved in our industry: It's good for business and you have to look to the future," Ross Fraser said.

Topics:  frasers livestock transport, logistics, trucking



Warwick emergency crews rush to trapped child

THERE was a brief moment of panic for a parent this afternoon.

Brazen thieves target small business

Senior Sergeant Craig Berry said the break in was a timely reminder for home and business owners to check their security measures.

POLICE are hunting for thieves who broke into the local store.

Spring brings the rise of the tick

TICKED OFF: Owners of tick infested properties have an obligation to take actions to prevent cattle tick spreading.

WHEN spring arrives, so do the ticks.

Local Partners

9000 reasons to support our community clubs

Community clubs are good at what they do. They are not so good at telling the world about what they do, as Clubs Queensland CEO Doug Flockhart explains.


Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

'Baby' recreates famous Nirvana cover shot 25 years later

The baby from Nevermind album has recreated the iconic cover shot.

PREVIEW: Luke Cage origin story is a strong addition to MCU

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage.

MIKE Colter stars as latest Marvel superhero to get his own series.

Kate goes down fighting in heated Survivor elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Kate Campbell.

YOGA teacher's 'good guys' alliance fails to get off the ground.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Rural properties expected to soar as investors seek income

Rural properties are should become highly sought after

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.