Sawtell and Sons closing in on a century

Family-owned bulk hauliers Sawtell and Sons celebrate 90-year milestone with new Volvo FH16 fleet addition
sawtell, volvo

Currumbin QLD based bulk hauliers, Sawtell and Sons are celebrating 90 years in business this year.

Celebrating nearly a century in business is certainly no mean feat, and keeping it family-owned is even bigger.

The hauliers have been buying Volvo trucks almost exclusively for over five decades, and thought the best way to celebrate was to take delivery of yet another Volvo FH16.

The Volvo truck will join the interstate tipper fleet covering the majority of the eastern seaboard transporting potatoes and fertiliser on long haul routes from South Australia to Far North Queensland.

The business began when Percival Sawtell and his two eldest sons purchased the only transport business on the southern end of the Gold Coast at Currumbin Ken Sawtell in 1933.

Sawtell and Sons joint director Ken Sawtell says the vibrant southern suburb of the Gold Coast looked very different when his grandfather founded the business.

“There were five sons in the family. The two eldest started in the business and my dad took it over in the 50s and started to build it up to what it is today,” he says.

Only one year after Volvo began building trucks in Australia at their Wacol factory in 1972, Sawtell and Sons purchased their first Volvo.

“I remember because I started driving for the business that same year. It was a Volvo F86,” Sawtell says.

The family business is now thriving, growing from an initial two trucks, to a fleet of 60 and a workforce of 80.

Ken Sawtell now directs the business alongside his younger brother Grant, and says Sawtell and Sons spans across four generations.

These days, Sawtell and Sons does a combination of local and interstate work, with slightly more trucks working on the interstate side.

The local fleet are kept busy transporting sand, gravel and fertiliser.

“Business relationships that span decades are a rare thing in any industry,” says Volvo vice president Gary Bone.

“The relationship that has been forged with the Sawtell’s and Volvo speaks volumes and is a true testament of the resilience, determination and integrity of the Sawtell family across the generations.

“I’d like to think these qualities are also reflected in some way by us here at Volvo.

“Shared values make the best foundations for long term partnerships and I’m proud that Volvo has been part of the Sawtell journey to date,” Bone says.


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