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Truck stop of the month: Puma Citiswich

Located at Bundamba alongside the Warrego Highway, the Puma Citiswich gets first bite of the truck traffic as it heads west from Brisbane’s western suburbs.

Puma Energy is certainly one of the big movers on the Australian retail fuel market. Of interest is the move into truck stops, notably in strategic locations on main highways.

One of the newer truck stop is the Puma Citiswich, located in the Ipswich suburb of Bundamba.

Unlike some of the Puma outlets around the country, the Puma Citiswich has not been bought and rebranded. Opened in December 2015, it is has been purpose built for the expanding Citiswich Industrial Park at Bundamba, as well as the truck traffic heading west out of Brisbane along the Warrego Highway.

Retail business manager Craig Paroissien, who has been with Puma Energy for just over two years, confirms that the truck stop’s location was part of a strategy.

“There’s a big development happening here,” Craig says, pointing to the vacant land nearby the site.

“That massive paddock is going to be an industrial area and there’s a fair bit of industry as you’re heading west.”

Craig says the Puma Citiswich gets first go at trucks on their way to Toowoomba and beyond, as well as those linking up with the New England Highway at the top of the range.

“A lot of our regional sites definitely are truck stops, but metro sites generally are not. But on the fringe there are some like this, and we’re looking to do more.”

In his retail business manager role, Craig oversees around 24 sites, from as far west as Charleville and north to Bundaberg, as well as the north side of Brisbane.

He admits to having little or no previous connection to the truck industry. Not so for his brother Bruce Paroissien, based in Echuca, Victoria.

“Bruce collects vintage trucks,” Craig explains. “He’s got an old International from the 1950s.”

However, he’s aware that Puma Energy has the right recipe for attracting truck drivers to roadhouses, especially at the Bundamba site.

The truck stop’s food court has a wide range of options, including Oporto, Coolabah Café, Brahman Pies, Origin Kebabs, Zambrero’s Mexican cuisine and 7th Street Café; the latter selling healthy options such as Brubecks salads, the YouFoodz range, gourmet chicken wraps as well as brewed coffee from Brazilian coffee beans.

Craig says the fuel counter also sells “grab and go” type foods, including pies, sandwiches, fried food and donuts.

“If they’re sitting down they tend to go for Oporto or the kebabs,” Craig says.

Other enticements for truck drivers are the fast flow diesel, AdBlue at the pump, shower facilities and free Wi-Fi.

“All the benches have power points so they can charge their devices up, but definitely the free Wi-Fi is what they love.”

Craig says the site’s popularity has increased since its opening just over a year ago, with mornings traditionally the busiest time. With plenty of parking area, he says it’s common to see around 12 trucks parked out the back overnight.

“Truckies are often creatures of habit,” Craig says. “They’ll find a place they like and they’ll keep going back there, although it has to fit in with their runs and scheduling. But it seems to work.”

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