MJ Freighters

When an of­fer came for Tyson Carter to fol­low his dad Trevor into the truck­ing in­dus­try, he jumped at the op­por­tu­nity. Both now haul scrap metal around south- east Queens­land

Australian Transport News - - Contents - WORDS PETER AND DI SCHLENK

Tyson Carter to fol­low his dad Trevor into the truck­ing in­dus­try cart­ing metal

Decked out in Sims Metal blue, the MJ Freighters’ Ken­worth T909 looked the goods as driver Trevor Carter fu­elled it up at the BP Archer­field in Bris­bane. The Ken­worth is one of eight trucks in the MJ Freighters fleet, which in­cludes three B- dou­bles and five sin­gles, all of them haul scrap metal. It’s also one of three Ken­worths; the other f ive trucks are West­ern Stars.

The T909 is six years old. Its 600hp Cum­mins en­gine has ex­haust gas re­cir­cu­la­tion (EGR) with a diesel par­tic­u­late filer (DPF).

“I do two re­turn trips a day to Toowoomba with scrap metal, five days a week,” Trevor ex­plains. “At the Bris­bane de­pot it is shred­ded or com­pacted and then shipped to China.”

Although only 3pm, Trevor was on his way to MJ’s yard in the

“There aren’t many P-plates on a semi”

north­ern Bris­bane sub­urb of Bracken Ridge to knock off for the day. He en­joys the early start and the early fin­ish even bet­ter.

Trevor’s el­dest son Tyson was not far be­hind the Ken­worth, driv­ing one of MJ Freighters’ West­ern Stars.

Trevor has been with the fam­ily-run busi­ness for the past seven years. In that time, Tyson, now aged 20, got to know the own­ers Ray and Stacey Bred­hauer and their son Mat. Last year, Tyson was of­fered a driv­ing job with the com­pany. Now with his HC li­cence, it’s some­thing he’s al­ways dreamed of do­ing.

“It’s been good so far,” Tyson smiles. “I’ve been driv­ing since June and it has been a good ex­pe­ri­ence be­ing on my own.

“It helped hav­ing spent a lot of time with Dad. I’ve been trav­el­ling with him since I was a lit­tle kid and now it’s my turn to do it. It also helps hav­ing the sup­port at home from my mum, sis­ter and part­ner An­drea.”

Tyson’s West­ern Star 4800 is a 2007 model C15 set at 550hp un­der the bon­net. Ac­cord­ing to Tyson, MJ Freighters was happy to give him the op­por­tu­nity.

“They ap­proached me with the of­fer that if I got my li­cence, they would sort out the insurance and I would hit the road as a P-plater,” Tyson ex­plains. “The boss is con­fi­dent in my abil­ity, which is good.”


Tyson adds that he would love to be driv­ing the Ken­worth T909 but ad­mits that he has to start some­where and the West­ern Star is a good step.

“It’s a foot in the door that I am very thank­ful for,” Tyson says. “All I have to do now is keep up my end of the deal and do the job prop­erly and pro­fes­sion­ally.”

Tyson has al­ready added his own per­sonal touches to the West­ern Star, adding big­ger stacks and a new sun vi­sor.

“The boss paid for the vi­sor and I paid for the stacks and a few other lit­tle things,” he says. “We both do our bit.”

These touches re­flect the pride that Tyson has in his truck. Each week­end, both fa­ther and son spend time wash­ing their ve­hi­cles.

In a sim­i­lar sce­nario, Trevor first got into

truck­ing through his un­cle, Ge­orge Carter, when he would sit in the pas­sen­ger seat dur­ing school hol­i­days.

Af­ter fin­ish­ing school, Trevor worked in the yard for Mil­dura-based Kelly’s and Young Truck­ing. He went on to drive an In­ter­na­tional T-Line, haul­ing gen­eral from Ade­laide and Mel­bourne into Mil­dura.

“I did about 12 months there then Mil­dura oper­a­tor Jimmy Un­der­wood gave me a chance run­ning be­tween Ade­laide-Bris­bane,” he says. “I was 19 years old and it was a re­ally big ad­ven­ture. I’ve been driv­ing for the last 30 years.”

Trevor ex­plains that life on the open road was great but things have changed a great deal since the early days. For starters, work­ing for MJ Freighters driv­ing lo­cal means he’s home with the fam­ily ev­ery night.

Also mak­ing life eas­ier for Trevor are the mo­tor­ways that have opened around Bris­bane in re­cent years. He’s look­ing for­ward to the new Toowoomba Range Cross­ing be­ing fin­ished. It’s due for com­ple­tion in late 2018.

“It will help me be­cause I will be able to use that in lieu of go­ing through 30 sets of traf­fic lights in the city to the scrap de­pot on the west side of Toowoomba. I reckon it might save me half an hour,” he adds.

Trevor is grate­ful that the Bred­hauer fam­ily gave Tyson a start. It’s a re­fresh­ing sce­nario for an in­dus­try that rarely of­fers young peo­ple a foot in the door.

Tyson says many of his mates have asked how he was able to get be­hind the wheel at such a young age. There aren’t many P-plates on a semi. “It does pose a lot of ques­tions when you over­take and they see a P-plate on the back door,” Tyson grins.

Just like his fa­ther’s truck, Tyson’s rig tares in at 23-tonne empty. To han­dle the tough con­di­tions of con­stant load­ing and un­load­ing of scrap metal, both trucks haul Te­fco trail­ers.

“The scrap is loaded gen­er­ally by an ex­ca­va­tor or front-end loader,” Tyson con­tin­ues. “Large pieces of steel with some very sharp edges may be dropped in the back.

“I’m for­tu­nate in some ways to only pull a sin­gle trailer. Dad has to un­hook the B-trailer and spin around and tip the A. Some of the places I go to are very tight so in re­turn it is good to have a short bon­net.”

Cur­rently Tyson is happy on lo­cal runs, but says he may con­sider in­ter­state driv­ing in the fu­ture.

“When I get some more ex­pe­ri­ence I may give it a crack,” he says. “I did a trip to Bund­aberg the other week; it’s good to get out and around a bit.”

Above: The West­ern Star 4900 that Tyson Carter drives for MJ Freighters

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