After decades of buying second-hand trucks, the Woods family changed direction and bought their first newie – a Kenworth T610
After decades of buying second- hand trucks, the Woods family changed direction and bought their first newie – a Kenworth T610
T he old saying is ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’. But while that might be the case for actual old dogs, the same isn’t true of those ‘old dogs’ in the transport industry. To survive in transport, ‘old dogs’ have to keep up with what’s new in the industry as well as mastering everything they’ve learnt from previous years. For my own safety, though, I’m going to drop the ‘old dog’ analogy because those oldies also know ways of punishing those who call them old dogs.
More to the point, when you’ve learnt the new tricks and grown your transport business from a ‘two trucks between mates’ kind of business into a flourishing 34-truck and 75-trailer fleet, what new things are there left to try? Well, for Kim Woods, his wife Diane and sons Jamie and Chris, the one thing they could try was buying their first brand-new truck. He formed Brisbane-based Bondwoods Transport in 1994 with a mate.
Back before Facebook, Google and eBay filled our days, Kim was running 48-foot boxes on and off the rail for Cubico/Boxcar. Kim and another contractor were kept flat out with local work.
When Cubico mentioned bringing in another subbie, the two men bought another truck and formed Bondwoods Transport. For 14 years, Bondwoods built a solid reputation based on both men’s old-school values of service and reliability.
In 2008, Kim bought out his partner and it became a one-family operation. “It was too large a job to change the name,” Kim’s son Jamie explains. “So we just kept Bondwoods.”
During those first 14 years, Cubico was bought out, the company that bought Cubico was then bought out, then that company was bought out, and then that company was also bought out and then … well, you get the gist.
There had been many changes of management but Bondwoods kept supplying its reliable service and the work kept coming.
Bondwoods did meet on hard times when the Global Financial Crisis hit in 2007. It lost a chunk of work, with several trucks having to be sold and the fleet downsized to eight prime movers. Coincidently, 2007 was also the year Jamie joined the Bondwoods’ driving team (I’m not saying he caused the GFC, but the timing is interesting).
As 2008 disappeared in the rear-view mirrors, the Bondwoods’ team was starting to replenish its workload. Over the next decade, it set about building a solid reputation with all its customers. In 10 years, the company has more than quadrupled its fleet, though Woods admits it’s never gone chasing work and hasn’t looked at taking anyone else’s work, either. The customers come to them.
“Our growth is run by the growth of our customers,” Woods says.
OUT OF THE DRIVER’S SEAT
Jamie managed six years in a driver’s seat before the business became too busy for him not to suit up and get in the office. The same thing happened earlier this year when younger brother Chris ‘Boof’ Woods had to retire his seat to take over the interstate operations.
While the move to a comfy office chair was to take care of the day-to-day operations, one of the other aspects Jamie was instrumental in was increasing the presentation of the Bondwoods’ fleet.
Bottom left: Father and sons – Jamie (left), Kim and Chris ‘Boof’ Woods
Below: Driver Chris ‘Coco’ Faaaliga scored big when he was handed the keys to the new T610