The art of growth

Bur­geon­ing earth­mov­ing trans­port com­pany Eastern Plant Hire has re­freshed its ‘Am­bas­sador’ pro­gram as an strat­egy to ad­dress a short­age of qual­ity driv­ers

Australian Transport News - - Contents -

In busi­ness terms, growth is al­ways con­sid­ered good. Growth, how­ever con­trolled it is, can also present its own chal­lenges in this day and age – es­pe­cially in truck­ing! How­ever, one com­pany is tak­ing the bull by the horns to be the driv­ing force be­hind its expansion and evo­lu­tion, with in­no­va­tive think­ing to ad­dress the growth chal­lenge.

Eastern Plant Hire started out as a mod­est equip­ment agency busi­ness in 1997, run by broth­ers Michael and David Will­son.

Since then it has grown to be­come a spe­cial­ist earth­mov­ing trans­port com­pany in­volved in projects across three states.

With more than 50 trucks in the com­pany fleet and over 3000 in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tors on the books, EPH runs un­der the ban­ner of sup­ply­ing “The best ser­vice on Earth!”

As well as a tip­per fleet, the com­pany also has a small fleet of earth­mov­ing equip­ment for hire, in­clud­ing road sweep­ers and wa­ter carts.

EPH was the pri­mary haulage con­trac­tor for Mel­bourne’s $2.5 bil­lion Eastlink toll­way back in the early noughties; an iconic pro­ject that moved nearly as much dirt as the iconic Snowy Moun­tains Hy­dro Elec­tric pro­ject.

Since then EPH has pur­sued more op­por­tu­ni­ties both in Vic­to­ria as well as New South Wales and Queens­land.

“The eastern seaboard is cur­rently see­ing a mas­sive in­fra­struc­ture boom, and we’re an in­te­gral part of it,” EPH manag­ing direc­tor Michael Will­son says.


In­no­va­tions like the devel­op­ment of an Eastern Plant Hire app for clients and con­trac­tors have served to push the com­pany

“We use the term Am­bas­sador be­cause that’s what they are, they’re brand am­bas­sadors for our com­pany”

into ground-break­ing ar­eas with in­creased con­nec­tiv­ity, trans­parency and com­pli­ance, as well less pa­per­work for em­ploy­ees, con­trac­tors and clients alike.

Not alone here by any means, EPH has strug­gled to keep the pace of driver re­cruit­ment in line with the busi­ness’s growth.

“Like many truck­ing com­pa­nies, it can be a chal­lenge to fi nd and re­tain driv­ers, so that’s why we started our Am­bas­sador pro­gram,” Will­son says. “And we’re now look­ing for more owner- driv­ers to be­come ‘EPH Am­bas­sadors’.”

An EPH Am­bas­sador is an in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tor. Prospec­tive Am­bas­sadors can buy an ex­ist­ing EPH fleet truck and then go to work for the com­pany.

“We use the term Am­bas­sador be­cause that’s what they are, they’re brand am­bas­sadors for our com­pany,” Will­son says.

“The trucks carry our logo and they’re the face of our com­pany.

“Ser­vice is some­thing that we pride our­selves on, it’s the very ba­sis of our busi­ness.”

The EPH fleet is multi-branded, how­ever. A large num­ber of these trucks carry the Kenworth logo. Along with West­ern Star, there’s also a smat­ter­ing of Euro­pean brands in the fleet, mainly Mercedes-Benz and DAF.

“Some driv­ers will only drive our Ken­worths, though we also have driv­ers that love the Euro­pean com­fort and ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity also of­fered by our cab-overs.”


The EPH tip­per fleet runs un­der PBS to max­imise pro­duc­tiv­ity as well. How­ever, Will­son is keen to point out the ad­van­tages of be­ing an EPH Am­bas­sador.

“They get to take ad­van­tage of our buy­ing power for a start,” he says. “We have our own work­shops and their trucks can be ser­viced on site, so this can be very cost ef­fec­tive.”

And then there’s the con­ve­nience of be­ing con­nected to both the com­pany and the cus­tomer via the EPH app.

“Our EPH app means that there’s a lot less time taken up by pa­per­work and they can see ex­actly how much they’ve earned and when they’re go­ing to get paid,” he says.

“An­other ad­van­tage of be­ing a part of the Am­bas­sador fleet is con­sis­tency of work. We pri­ori­tise the Am­bas­sador trucks when work is slow.

“We can’t con­trol the weather, but we al­ways sup­port the Am­bas­sadors over the com­pany trucks to keep them earn­ing.”

Will­son says the com­pany is grow­ing and has plenty of work com­ing up.

“Our fleet is grow­ing fast, and there’s plenty of work in the pipe­line,” he says.

“Now is a good time to join the EPH fleet, it’s a great busi­ness op­por­tu­nity.”

Be­low L to R:

Com­pany ve­hi­cles are tted with state-of-the-art in­for­ma­tion sys­tems to make track­ing, com­pli­ance and mon­i­tor­ing ve­hi­cle pro­duc­tiv­ity ac­ces­si­ble at the click of a mouse; EPH Am­bas­sadors re­ceive work and in­voice for work com­pleted via the com­pany’s smart­phone app


EPH manag­ing direc­tor Michael Will­son says an in­fra­struc­ture boom on the east coast is see­ing un­prece­dented de­mand for driv­ers and sub­con­trac­tors


With more than 50 com­pany trucks in the eet, the work­shop is a busy place Op­po­site:

The eet is pre­dom­i­nantly made of North Amer­i­can brands though EPH also op­er­ates some Euro­pean makes

Top: The busi­ness fea­tures on-site work­shops for ease of ser­vic­ing

Above left:

Am­bas­sadors can even have ve­hi­cle main­te­nance car­ried out at EPH work­shops

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.