75 YEARS ON: Warwick trucking company celebrates milestone
A SINGLE Ford truck and a lot of determination was all it took to build the Frasers Livestock Transport empire that runs today.
The family owned and operated business have serviced rural and regional Queensland for 75-years with a fleet of dark green trucks founded by Charlie and Edna Fraser.
"Our parents started the business in September 1944, so it's just past its 75th year," director Ross Fraser said.
"Dad came off a farm out near Pratten - a farm we still own actually, it was only a very small farm but we've surrounded that with some more grazing country.
"Mum was from the other side of town, she worked in a dress shop in Warwick and they met at a dance in Pratten."
It was a business that was always destined to be family run, according to Mr Fraser, who organises day-to-day operations with younger brothers Les and Peter.
"The three of us left school at the end of grade 10, at the end of junior year, and the three of us came into the business," he said.
"Our parents, dad in particular, always expected us to take the business over and never made any secret of that."
With grounding family beliefs, it was no surprise that the business would become a generational organisation.
"Our solid family background and family education has certainly helped to get us where we are today with the three of us still in the business," he said.
"Especially with the third generation with Les' son in the business now.
"There has to be a bit of compromise that we don't always see eye-to-eye but you just have to see what is best for the business and what is best for the family."
It's no different for Les, who said it is a privilege to work in the industry.
"We're proud of what we've been able to achieve and we're very fortunate that our parents had the foresight to kick start the business when they did," he said.
"We service a lot of big corporate and a lot of family businesses right up the eastern seaboard of Australia."
As the country's third largest livestock transporter, Frasers has become well-known across the eastern seaboard of Australia.
With depots in Goondiwindi, Roma, Toowoomba and Rockhampton, the business continues to break new ground.
"We cart about four million head of livestock a year - sheep, cattle and pigs - doing about seven million kilometres," Mr Fraser said.
"We're fortunate enough to be country operators, in places like Warwick where you still find good staff and good people.
"That's been one of the reason for our success, the dedication of our staff - good staff."
While change was always destined to be inevitable, the development in the trucking industry has been a recent adaptation for Mr Fraser.
"The biggest growth that we've seen happened in the last 15 to 20 years, where we've got into pulling multiple combination trailers and doing a lot of triple road train work," he said.
"There's no doubt mum and dad saw a lot of changes, but the changes that we've seen too have just been incredible in truck and engine truck technology, trailer technology.
"Years ago in the 70s we carted some sheep from central north Queensland down to Moree and we did it with 13 trucks and today we'd do that with three."
As with most family businesses, the three brothers have all had their time on the road, which Ross credits to the longevity of the company in all facets.
"Business like ours you can't run from the boardroom, you've got to be active in the business and work with your people, you just cannot run it from the boardroom," he said.
"I think the fact that there are no big corporates in livestock transport tells that story.
"It's all part of the business, we've got 110 staff working for us - that's our business, our people are our business."