Cummins is a key supplier to family business Parry Logistics, a quiet achiever celebrating its 65th anniversary this year.
While Tamworth is well-known as the ‘Country Music Capital of Australia’, an amazing historical fact is that the city is also the ‘First Town of Lights’, being the first place in Australia to use electric street lights in 1888.
The lights still shine brightly in this bustling inland city in north-western NSW, as do shining lights in the trucking industry like Parry Logistics along with numerous other outfits.
Like many family transport businesses, Parry Logistics has forged its reputation as a successful company from modest beginnings.
Greg Parry isn’t known for spruiking his business in the public arena. He’s a quiet achiever who, without hesitation, praises his “dedicated, loyal staff” for being the key to his success.
The Parry business is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year, a business that was founded in the small town of Werris Creek by Don Parry – Greg’s father – in 1958.
Werris Creek, 45 km south-west of Tamworth, was home to the Parry family business until 2002 when Greg, who took over the reins in 1998 after leaving school at the age of 15 to work for his father, made the decision to set up HQ in Tamworth.
“That was a pivotal move,” he recalls today. “We moved to Tamworth with only five trucks and seven trailers.”
Greg Parry (centre) with Cummins on-highway business manager David Paddison (left) and Cummins Tamworth branch manager Cambell Carmichael.
Today, the Parry fleet presents a vastly different picture, comprising 60 trucks – 40 of which are linehaul Kenworths – and 115 trailers, and it’s a fleet that’s noticeable on the highways for its immaculate appearance.
“When I walk around the yard and see how well the trucks are looked after I do take a lot of pride in what we’ve achieved,” says Parry, whose son Brandon is yard manager. “We have dedicated long-term staff here and they’re the reason for our success.
“Our operations manager, Dean, started here when he was 18 and next year is celebrating his 20th year with us. We have 20 staff who have done over 10 years with us. That’s unheard of in the transport industry today.”
Relationships with customers and equipment suppliers are vital to Greg Parry. “We get great support from Cummins in Tamworth. We have a long-term relationship with (on-highway business manager) Dave Paddison and it’s good that we have personal contact with (branch manager) Cambell Carmichael.
“To Cambell’s credit he has turned the branch around in recent years. It’s all about support. Other suppliers have been and gone while Cummins has stuck in the town through thick and thin and has now invested in a new branch facility.”
Parry has his own workshop with six technicians who carry out routine servicing and trailer repairs while any major engine work goes to Cummins. “Cummins recently swapped out an engine for us within 24 hours…you can’t beat that kind of support.”
660 hp Cummins looming
Parry is showing keen interest in the next generation 15-litre Cummins, the X15D, that is looming on the horizon with a 660 hp rating and massive peak torque of 2360 lb ft. One of the biggest news stories of the 2023 Brisbane Truck Show was the unveiling of the 660 hp Cummins in DAF’s flagship XG+ cabover which is set to hit Australian roads in 2024.
“I’ll definitely be looking at the DAF with the Cummins,” he reveals. “We have three DAF rigids and they’re impressive trucks. We’re currently running B-triples at 96 tonnes on the Newell Highway to Brisbane, Moree and Melbourne and the 660 hp DAF could be well suited to this.”
The current Cummins X15 rating in the company’s Kenworth fleet is at the top-level 600 hp/2050 lb ft. “It gives us the best fuel consumption with 80 percent of our B-double work being on the New England Highway,” he says, noting it is one of the toughest stretches of highway in the country.
While driver shortage is reported as a huge problem in the industry, Greg Parry is in a fortunate position. “We have a full house of drivers and a lot of enquiries from drivers looking for employment,” he confirms. “Providing drivers with modern equipment is just part of the solution. Looking after them on a personal level and making sure they get back home with their families is the most important thing.
“We’ve got a few young drivers who are among our best employees. One of these is a woman, Courtnee, who is doing a brilliant job in a rigid truck. We’re definitely looking for more female drivers.”
With the company’s B-double fleet operating mainly in the Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne corridors, Parry has depots in these cities as well as at Moree on the Newell Highway which services the north-west region of NSW.
With Parry Logistics’ business now stabilised after robust growth, especially during the COVID period, Greg Parry makes the revealing comment: “We’ve never been a company to go out and chase business. We’ve expanded primarily through word of mouth.”
Exceptional customer service obviously underpins a business built on sensible goals and driven by a team of loyal employees who are acknowledged as being the key to the success of this quietly achieving company.