Nortrans and BOC hail a half century together

Award-winning safety focus at centre of enduring partnership

Nortrans and BOC hail a half century together
Ashley Mills and Rodney Battle


Relationships between transporters and their customers are rarely counted in decades, but Nortrans and gas and engineering company BOC have racked up five of them.

Little wonder, then, that the partners have celebrated the milestone in style in Townsville and, remarkably, were able to have two of the original protagonists on hand for it.

They were 97-year old Arthur Battle, Nortrans founder and first signatory of BOC Nortrans contract, and Ted Behrendoff, one of the first Nortrans drivers for BOC.

BOC South Pacific head of regional operations Ashley Mills attributed the five decades of service to an alignment the firms have in safety and customer service, an appreciation that has seen the long and safe record the two firms have recognised in 2017with a Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Australia (CILTA) award for Excellence and Innovation in Safety.

"Road transport is a critical part of BOC’s national delivery network and allows us to supply gas to almost any location in Australia – including our mining, resources, agriculture and industrial customers located in remote areas across North Queensland and the Northern Territory," Mills says.

"We are proud to celebrate this milestone with Nortrans and recognise the team for its strong commitment to safety which has been the highlight of its 50 years of service to BOC.

"Nortrans is known for its professionalism and spirit in getting the job done.

"They are often faced with tough conditions including floods and storms in the wet season.

"Despite these challenges, the team will proactively find a solution to limit the impact on our customers.

"This was evident in the recent floods across Queensland, which stranded four Nortrans trucks in remote locations for up to two weeks, due to road closures.

"During this period, no BOC customers were left without stock due to the quick response from Nortrans to make alternate supply arrangements."

Read our profile of Nortrans and the Battle family, here

Nortrans owner Rodney Battle notes the partnership has spanned three family generations and helped shape Nortrans into the remote area specialists it is today.

"Working with BOC has driven us to be a leader in technology and safety – and permeate a strong internal safety culture throughout our entire business from the front seat, right through to the workshop floor," Battle says.

"It is a proud moment for Nortrans as we reflect on the past 50 years and how far we have come with BOC.

"We started with one gas truck, and now have 36 gas qualified drivers working across a fleet of 25 full-time gas trucks with the latest technology including satellite tracking and safety cameras."

BOC has operated in Queensland for more than 50 years with Gas & Gear stores in Garbutt and Cairns, and 72 gas agents in north Queensland.


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