Mack Trucks bearing Karreman Quarries’ name is a familiar sight on Brisbane’s roads. The Mount Cotton based company provides road base for projects across South East Queensland. The company’s 500th truck was clearly going to be something special, the gold 100 years Mack Trident certainly fit the bill for such an important milestone.
“We bought our first Mack in 1974, we were sand mining on North Stradbroke Island,” says Karreman Quarries Managing Director, Dick Karreman, “We did and we never looked back.”
Dick and his brother Maarten Karreman ventured into the business back in 1970, leasing equipment, transporting produce, and sand mining. The brothers started operating out of the Mount Cotton site in 1976.
A pragmatic approach to getting things done has served the Karreman family well over the intervening years, and local innovation and manufacturing has had a major influence on vehicle purchasing decisions, “Fundamentally, the fact that they are built here Australia is part and parcel of our decision to buy Mack,” says Dick.
“We build new crushing plants, and we build them ourselves, we source the steel here, we source the engineering here, those basic principles, that support our own, the fact that it can be built in Queensland,” “That’s fundamentally the Mack story and our relationship with the brand.”
“They’re assembled here and that’s why we bought them.” And when asked about that long-running relationship, he replies, “They’ve been great servants to us, “And we’d like to think that it’s been a partnership that goes both ways.”
The Trident truck and dog combination has been a mainstay of the Karreman fleet for many years, however, PBS has only added to the efficiencies of the business both in terms of fuel and productivity.
“Everything we run is PBS, we’re getting 57.5 tonnes gross, and we are getting 40-tonne payloads.” “That’s unheard of when you compare it to a B-double and other combinations, that’s the best payload you are going to get out of a vehicle.” “PBS is the best way to go economically, for value and productivity.”
To highlight both the strong relationship with Volvo Group as well as the pursuit of efficiency and productivity the business has also just added 3 Volvo L260H wheel loaders to the fleet.
“They brought this one out and I said, you’ve now got it right,” Dick says of the new loaders, “Now the vision is right, the balance is spot on then the fuel economy on top of that, we ordered three!” Fuel consumption from the previous competitor brand loaders went from 60 liters and hour to 16 liters an hour.
“Fuel economy is fundamental at the end of the day.” He continues, “Hence the Mack trucks, you get your 2.1 and 2.2 kilometers to the liter.” And now you’ve got it to spot on with the loader.”
The Hercules dog trailer behind the 100-year Trident also pays tribute to Dick’s brother, Maarten who recently passed away.
“This truck is a serious milestone for me personally,” muses Dick. “We never set out to go buy 500 Macks, I’m surprised I’ve lived long enough to see it!”
Dick Karreman recalls a conversation he had with a pioneering Mack operator as a young bloke in Western Queensland, “There was a guy called Des Stevenson who owned Cubbie Station, and he used to run doubles with fresh produce to Darwin.”
“Des said to me, what’s your dream?” “What’s your goal?” Dick recalls, “And I replied that I want one of those B61 Macks one day.”
“30 odd years later I get invited to lunch with Des and we hadn’t seen each other for well over 25 odd years.” “By the time we got to desert he asked, did you ever get to own that Mack son?”
“I said yeah we got a few, we’ve got about 40 of them.” By this time the company was running R models. The Karreman fleet now numbers 100 trucks on the road as the family business continues to forge ahead with a new generation stepping in to take the helm.
“I never dreamt I’d see it.”