Fields of Gold

Inverell is known as the “Sapphire City” because of the gemstones found throughout the district where Campbell’s Fuel Service has been supporting its clients for more than 60 years.
Freightliner Cascadia.

Located in northern New South Wales close to the Queensland border, Inverell is the service hub for the surrounding agricultural region which produces crops such as wheat, barley, oats, sorghum, and wine grapes.

Broad acre farming requires reliable supplies of diesel fuel for equipment such as tractors, water pumps, and generators as well as for the road transport which delivers the produce to capital city markets such as Sydney and Brisbane.

Fuel is the lifeblood of any successful farm or agribusiness and it is essential to have a reliable supply of fuel to keep the farming and associated transport operations running smoothly and efficiently, and in non-metropolitan areas such as the greater Inverell region it’s not as simple as being able to drop by the local servo.

Campbell’s Fuel Service was established by Colin Campbell back in 1959 and today his son Stewart runs the business which services customers across the region including those involved in primary production, transport, commercial and mining industries as well as retail and local government bodies.

The company currently employs more than 30 permanent and casual staff. Campbell’s Fuel Service remains an independent family-owned petroleum products business and is a distributor of BP and Castrol fuels and lubricants.

More than a mere supplier of products, Campbell’s Fuel Service is considered by many of its customers as an essential partner.

In addition to fuel deliveries, this can also involve the provision of on-site storage tanks to assist in best managing the logistics of on-farm fuel requirements.

Operations are based at the head office in Inverell and the customer service extends to the other side of the Queensland border with a depot in Goondiwindi, as well as depots in the New South Wales towns of Moree and Wee Waa, where cotton is a major crop in both areas.

Campbell’s Fuel Service also operates the well-known BP truck stop located on the Newell Highway in Moree.

Hino 3248 model 700 Series.
Hino 3248 model 700 Series at the Inverell depot in northern New South Wales.

As well as being committed to providing excellent customer service, Campbell’s Fuel Service behaves as a good corporate citizen and is active throughout the communities in which it operates and proudly supports many charities, sporting clubs and organisations.

The Campbell family also have their own farming operation and use repurposed Hino trucks which were formerly tankers and are now fitted with stock crates.

Bulk supplies of fuel are delivered to the Campbell depots by Toowoomba-based Maktrans, mostly from the Brisbane terminal but some loads are taken out of Newcastle to service the southern end of the Campbell Fuel Service market.

“Partnering with Maktrans works really well because they look after the bulk carting operation from terminal to depot and we’ve only got to worry about delivering from the depot to the customer,” says Campbell Fuel Service’s Jason Cracknell.

“They also run some of our bigger farm deliveries with bulk drops taking the fuel direct from terminal to customer.”

In addition to typical B-double configurations, roadtrain combinations are frequently utilised as well. To perform its own deliveries Campbell’s Fuel Suppliers has been true to the Hino brand for many years.

“Hino has been a stable brand because it stands up to our local conditions and having a service branch close by is good,” says Jason.

The Campbell family have been a long-time loyal customer of Tait Hino in Inverell, and in the past couple of years have taken delivery of a number of Hino 3248 model 700 Series in 8×4 configurations which have replaced earlier Hino models.

The latest 480 horsepower trucks have a maximum torque of 2157Nm and are equipped with 16-speed automated transmissions.

This specification is proving to be well-suited to rural fuel supply applications. Underground storage tanks are refilled via hoses using gravity, while the on-board pumping equipment powered by the Hino’s engine is utilised to transfer fuel from the tanker to above ground tanks.

The decision to use Hino trucks took place prior to Jason’s time with the company, but he recalls those initial Hino Rangers were a staple for rural fuel suppliers when they first came onto the market due to their cost and power, and the Hino brand has since proved to retain its value.

Jason Cracknell.
Campbell Fuel Service General Manager Jason Cracknell.

“I think that particular truck model gave them the great relationship with Hino to begin with, so they’ve carried on from that,” says Jason.

Five of the newer Hino trucks operate out of the Inverell depot, with a remaining Hino Ranger retained as a back-up unit.

The Moree and Goondiwindi operations each run two truck and dog trailer combinations.

“I’m particularly proud of our service because our order and delivery offering is probably second-to-none,” says Jason.

“We’ve had staff who have been here for 15 and 18 years and I have to say that the Campbell’s Fuel family has been the best business that I’ve worked for in over 28 years since I started my career. They’ve been loyal, giving and honest people to deal with.”

Those types of values are typical in rural-based businesses and reflect the situation where, unlike the cut and thrust found in other transport industries, good drivers are able to be recruited and retained as the business expands.

In recognition of the need to be at the forefront of operations, particularly in the dangerous goods transport space, Campbell’s Fuel Service recently qualified for the ISO quality assurance standard applicable to the petroleum distribution industry.

As the older fleet units are progressively replaced with the latest model Hino trucks, the benefits of the Hino Connect telematics system are becoming more apparent, particularly in relation to the remote work which is an unavoidable aspect of the business as trucks and drivers deliver fuel and lubricants to properties located at the extreme edges of the areas in which Campbell Fuel Services operates.

“Hino Connect is going to be of benefit to the company to know where our drivers are and how long the trucks have been onsite,” says Jason. “It’s also now a workplace safety compliance requirement for drivers doing remote work.”

With many clients spread throughout the northwest of New South Wales and the southwest region of Queensland, by using modern equipment and operational methods and a strong dedication to service standards, Campbell’s Fuel Service combines technology with traditional values to drive its continued growth.

Send this to a friend