DOOLAN, Warwick

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2010.

Until 10 years of age, Warwick lived with his mother and sisters in Darling Downs. Trucks were his passion. He completed an apprenticeship and worked as a diesel mechanic at Mobil Oil in Yarraville, Victoria

Warwick soon realized there was more money driving trucks then working on them, and he did not need to get dirty. His first job was with Les Boyer out of Melbourne up the eastern seaboard to north QLD for companies such as NQ Xpress and Darwin Express, driving a Kenworth with an 871 Detroit.

A change took him to Leitch Heavy Haulage running a fleet of tankers contracting to Joe Bromage from Shell. Warwick would often drive a tanker one day, mainly from Canberra to Sydney, and low loaders every other day. Next he drove tankers ex-mobile in Victoria to the Riverina and Canberra for Ron Lazorivitz from Black Forest, SA. He then went to Esso as a company driver for about eight years. An opportunity arose to purchase his own truck and be a subcontractor to Brambles Heavy Haulage. A secondhand White Road Commander (ex Bunkers) bought for $23,000.00 started Warwick in business as a tow operator. Brambles was winding down operations and in 1990, Warwick purchased a low-loader from them.

Doolans Heavy Haulage was born. Along came the second and third truck, one being an ex-Eastoe Transport, W-model Kenworth for $75,000. Quite a few secondhand Macks followed. Warwick says, “When they stopped making tin cabs, they stopped making Mack trucks!” Drake trailers/dollies and specialized trailing equipment joined the fleet which now consists of about 40 trailers. Warwick suggested that Drake trailing equipment has been very kind to him as reliability and resales are A1. In 1995 Warwick’s son, Troy joined him as a driver. His partner Lynne has been managing the office since 1996 and daughter Bronwyn gives office-assistance from time to time. His first new prime-mover was purchased in 1996. Since then, the trucks have been either Kenworth or Mack, all Cummins powered. With Warwick at the helm, good drivers and staff, his business flourished becoming a major carriers in Victoria, doing local and interstate.

In 2008, Warwick decided to sell up hoping for its continued growth. It is now a part of the Silk Logistics Group. Warwick is manager and his family is still working with the group. The economic downturn has changed his plans for rapid growth but his expectations are still high. Warwick says, “I have a lot of good employees and good long-standing customers that need to be looked after and serviced before I consider retirement. The business is only as good as the people you have in it!”