Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005
Don Matthews is owner and director of G.T.S. Freight Management Pty Ltd. in Mildura. It's a company which illustrates the high level of management skills achievable in road transport.
Don began his solo trucking career in 1975 with a 1418 Mercedes Benz carting grapes to market and soon found he had to buy another four trucks to keep up his workload. Business steamrolled a little out of control when at this time Eric Anderson, a haulier from Euston, moved in with additional financial strength.
Five more trucks were added and a depot site acquired in Golgol, hence the original name 'Golgol Transport Service.' Growth continued to 14 trucks, and with depots and managers in all states, Don's management ability was put to the test. Through the following years GTS continued to grow and eight acres of industrial land was purchased in Mildura for a new state of the art depot. At this time Eric was bought out of the business. With his son Damien, Don entered the specific field of freight management. Don has always insisted on good systems to work by and provides opportunities for training to high skill levels for every aspect of the industry.
The GTS fleet is very diversified with over 200 trailers being hauled by 80 B-double primemovers made up of Kenworth, Freightliner, Volvo and Mack which are powered by Cummins, Detroit and CAT Motors. Additionally, the business operates from 11000 sq metres of insulated warehousing and employs nearly 200 people.
Don is first to recognise the contribution and support of his wife Shirley in the success of the business. It has always been a family affair and today, Don's son Damien is the managing director. Don, who is now semi-retired in Queensland, maintains a close interest in the systems he created. GTS today specialises in wine and glass cartage and is continually replacing rolling stock with modern technology. Don is a much respected and notable contributor to the ongoing success of Australia's road transport industry.