Jim rolls on, just like his trucks
IT'S A testament to the durability of the Kenworth truck that 74% of all those ever manufactured in Australia are still on the road.
Likewise, Jim Hurley, joint managing director of Brown and Hurley, Australia's largest Kenworth dealer, is still going strong after 54 years with the company.
Last month, Brown and Hurley staff escorted Bryan Smith and Rod Carige of Rocky's Own Transport to the Kenworth factory to take delivery of their 100th Brown and Hurley Kenworth.
Rocky's Own transport now becomes a member of the Brown & Hurley 100 Club.
"We have seven companies in the 100 club and two companies in the 200 club - Mills Transport and Lindsay Brothers," he said.
This month Brown and Hurley will order their 10,000th truck from the Melbourne factory.
"Our 10,000th will be sold to Wycombe freighters in Warwick who have purchased every thousandth truck from us since the beginning," he said.
In 1986 Mr Hurley and Rob Brown took over as co-managing directors from their fathers who founded the company shortly after they were discharged from the army in 1946.
Mr Hurley's two brothers run the Coffs Harbour and Kyogle dealerships and his two sons run Toowoomba and Yatala.
Mr Hurley believes Kenworths are the best truck in the world
"They have great build quality and are made to suit Australia's harsh road conditions," he said.
"They are Australian manufactured down in Melbourne where they build 14 trucks per day.
"If I notice something that needs modification on the trucks, I can ring the factory and have it fixed on the line straight away."
A Kenworth truck can cost between $350,000 for a road truck up to $750,000 for a mining truck capable of pulling up to four dog trailers.
"All trucks other than Kenworth are fully imported," said Mr Hurley.
"American trucks especially are much lighter in construction and don't cope as well with Australian conditions."
As an experienced observer of the road transport industry Mr Hurley takes a dim view of companies and operators who tamper with speed limiters on trucks.
A recent two-state police probe into dodgy practices in the trucking industry was undertaken after a truck was clocked travelling at 142kmh on the Hume Hwy at Mittagong earlier this month.
Police have so far issued nearly 70 defect notices.
"I believe that people who tamper with truck safety should be jailed for 10 years and should have their trucks confiscated," he said
"That would stop it overnight.
"If you can't make a living and be profitable and stay within the law then you should not be in business."
Mr Hurley will turn 70 at the end of August and is planning to step back from the day to day grind at the company.
"I plan to stay involved in the company but get out and spend more time with our customers," he said.
"Some have been with the company for three generations."
So like his trucks Mr Hurley plans to keep rolling on.