Fyfe Transport a tale of teamwork in Western Australia

By: Steve Skinner, Photography by: Steve Skinner


David and Christine Fyfe have battled hard to get to a comfortable place in livestock and grain transport.

Fyfe Transport a tale of teamwork in Western Australia
It's been tough at times, but trucking is a labour of love for David Fyfe.

 

For David and Christine Fyfe, life and trucking in the Western Australian wheat-sheep belt is all about teamwork.

The couple operates Fyfe Transport and enjoys a life and trucking partnership forged through the highs and lows of transport in Western Australia over the past three decades.

They started out as a two-up driving team carting express freight for a big company from the east coast to Perth. Christine had earlier honed her skills driving an articulated dump truck at the mines.

Express work across the "long paddock" was tough enough but then the Fyfes went into business for themselves with a single truck, battling some lean times to stay afloat.

David could be away for a week at a time, come home for a day or so and then get going again, leaving Christine in charge of their three children – Liam, Nathan and Sheridan.

The kids would ride along whenever they got a chance on local work near their base at Lake Grace, a tiny town 350km south east of Perth, and the boys would help out unpaid in the truck yard every afternoon after school.

A couple of decades on, the Fyfes have a close-knit family spread between Lake Grace and Perth, half a dozen Kenworth prime movers along with their own trailers and subbies when needed and they can afford to pick and choose the work they do.

David runs the show and still does a lot of driving, while Christine does the books.

It’s mostly sheep and grain, with some general freight thrown in. You get the impression David’s so passionate about what he does that there’s not much separation between work and leisure.

"I don’t have to do what I do, but I do it because I love it," David says.

"I don’t think you have to do anything you don’t like.

"There is nothing like getting around the countryside watching the seasons change and hearing the turbo whistle. Just another day in paradise."

On the financial side of things: "I’ve always earnt just enough to keep me interested".

David says his drivers need to be multi-skilled. They not only need to be experts in animal behaviour and agile enough to clamber all over stock crates, but they need to be bush mechanics as well.

He rates another secret to success as collaboration with local businesses. And they don’t get any closer than the Tyrepower franchise right next door to the Fyfe Transport depot, run by David’s mate Peter Hudson who was a huge help in the tough early days.

Sometimes a couple of beers – or port in cold weather – was Peter’s only payment for Saturday evening work helping David centre-punch axle quills to prevent the bearings coming loose.

You can read the full story on Fyfe Transport in the September edition of Owner//Driver magazine.

 

"There is nothing like getting around the countryside watching the seasons change and hearing the turbo whistle. Just another day in paradise."

Posted by Owner Driver on Monday, 24 August 2015

 

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