Doug Paton and his wife Flo formed Paton’s Transport in July 1977 when Doug was aged 30. Prior to that Doug worked at the Murray Goulburn Koroit milk factory for two years before being offered a contract to provide bulk milk transport services to them. For over 25 years Paton’s Transport carted bulk milk for Murray Goulburn as well as doing inter-branch work. Along the way Paton’s expanded into general freight and have grown this part of the business to the stage that they are now one of the main suppliers of general freight services to south west Victoria from their Warrnambool depot.
Doug’s first truck was a 1977 Leyland Mastiff and this was followed by a UD CK40. The early years were tough and repayments were high with interest rates at the time being around 20%. Only very hard work and very long hours kept the company afloat during this period.
Doug and Flo’s son Jamie joined the business as a truck driver in the mid 1980s and is now a part owner of the business. Doug and Flo’s daughter Kim worked with the company for a short time while her husband Jerome is a current employee of 20 years. Doug and Flo’s grandsons Chris and Wade also now work with the company among a total of 34 employees.
These days the main focus of the business is daily general freight from Melbourne to Warrnambool, south west Victoria, and interstate work to Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. Some of Paton’s main customers are Toll Express, Victorian Freight Specialists, Asixa Transport, Linfox, Visy and Westvic Containers. Today’s fleet consists of 21 trucks (of which 12 are b-double rated) and 29 trailers. Of these trucks, 10 are late model Cabover Kenworths which, for the most part, has been the truck of choice for many years.
Although not driving as much these days, Doug is still very actively involved in the decision making and day to day running of the business and even though he is now in his mid 60s, looks as though he could continue for some time yet.