Truck­ing is Bobbin busi­ness


BASED at Pam­bula on the Sap­phire Coast re­gion of New South Wales, the truck­ing op­er­a­tion started by Neville Bobbin with one truck 47 years ago, is to­day a thriv­ing busi­ness with three gen­er­a­tions of the Bobbin fam­ily (Neville, Bren­don and Phil) ac­tively in­volved in its op­er­a­tions.

Bob­bins Trans­port trucks are a fa­mil­iar sight on the high­ways of eastern Aus­tralia, haul­ing re­frig­er­ated and gen­eral freight, with the com­pany’s foray into road trans­port start­ing out in the south­ern forests around Eden in 1970.

After a two-year stint driv­ing trucks and op­er­at­ing a bull­dozer around Jind­abyne and Is­land Bend on the Snowy Moun­tains Scheme, Neville, along with wife Lyn, pur­chased a Perkins-pow­ered AA-180 In­ter­na­tional to put to work haul­ing logs out of the bush to the Harris-Daishowa chip mill which had just been es­tab­lished on Eden’s Twofold Bay.

With Neville, now man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, see­ing an op­por­tu­nity to move into land­scap­ing sup­plies using mulch from the chip mill, the busi­ness moved away from log haulage into land­scap­ing with the busi­ness ex­pand­ing.

“We found that in Mel­bourne no-one would do their gar­dens in the footy sea­son. Once that fin­ished, the mar­ket for chip mulch would just boom,” Neville’s son Bren­don said.

With a num­ber of trucks run­ning mulch and fer­tiliser, the com­pany ex­panded into gen­eral and re­frig­er­ated haulage, with the ac­qui­si­tion of other op­er­a­tions, in­clud­ing Town’s Haulage of Eden along the way.

Its dis­tinc­tive blue and sil­ver colours, now a sta­ple on the high­way, were adopted from a Ken­worth SAR pur­chased off Beer’s Abat­toirs in Cul­cairn a num­ber of years ago.

Since then those base colours have been re­tained with the de­sign evolv­ing into the dis­tinc­tive pat­tern.

“We sat down one af­ter­noon and we de­signed it – it took about 10 years to get it how you see it to­day and have them all look­ing the same,” Bren­don said.

All Bob­bins trucks have an Amer­i­can Bald Ea­gle adorn­ing the sleeper, a per­sonal touch of Neville’s which high­light the plight of Amer­ica’s na­tive bird.

“Bren­don first put it on his Ken­worth T900 but I was in North Amer­ica in 1987 when there was only around 1000 bald ea­gles left in the wild,” Neville said.

Cur­rently the Bob­bins fleet num­bers 28 prime movers and 12 rigids and more than 50 trail­ers, with a fur­ther 10 sub-con­trac­tors work­ing out of the pur­pose­built fa­cil­ity just off the Princes High­way at Pam­bula. With a fo­cus to­day on re­frig­er­ated, gen­eral and brick trans­port, Bob­bins trucks run up and down the coast to Syd­ney and Mel­bourne on daily line haul runs, with trucks also de­ployed to Bris­bane and through­out in­land Aus­tralia be­tween the cap­i­tals.

With al­most five decades in busi­ness, Bob­bins Trans­port has be­come a large op­er­a­tion while still re­tain­ing a fam­ily fo­cus.

Be­cause of this tight-knit unit, Neville was able to move out of the driver’s seat into man­ag­ing the fleet in the 1980s, with Bren­don Bobbin over­see­ing the busy Pam­bula de­pot.

“Bren­don’s been here since day one – as a young fella he used to help me re-line a set of brakes of a night-time here,” Neville said.

The third gen­er­a­tion, Bren­don’s son Phil ,is cur­rently pi­lot­ing a Ken­worth T950 Leg­end on in­ter­state with a B-dou­ble fridge van.

Grand­sons Dy­lan and Con­nor work in the yard of a week­end, keep­ing the trucks im­mac­u­late.

With the re­cent ar­rival of Phil’s first child, Neville’s first great-grand­son, a fourth gen­er­a­tion in­volve­ment in trans­port is a def­i­nite pos­si­bil­ity.

Gen­eral op­er­a­tions are man­aged by Adam Twyford, who hails from a trans­port fam­ily in Bega.

“Adam grew up with trucks like Bren­don did –his fa­ther worked trucks with us and now he’s been with us for nine years,” Neville said.

The com­pany to­day em­ploys more than 80 peo­ple, with the ma­jor­ity of driv­ers com­ing out of the Bega Val­ley/South Coast area but, as is the case in trans­port, driv­ers are be­com­ing hard to find.

“We are run­ning out of driv­ers,” Neville said.

“We need the younger ones com­ing on – we have the rigids here to start off with and bring them through

“Phil is a case in point, he started in a rigid and worked his way through and now he’s driv­ing a B-dou­ble at 22 years of age.”

And his motto for the busi­ness and life: “You al­ways look ahead – you can’t look be­hind”.

❝ As a young fella, he used to help me re-line a set of brakes of a night-time here.

(From left) op­er­a­tions manager Adam Twyford with Neville, Bren­don and Phil Bobbin.

Even the mail­box is dressed in the Bob­bins Trans­port colours.


Pride of the fleet – Bob­bins Ken­worth T950 out­side the Pam­bula de­pot.

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