Legacy is often the means to value people and traditions.
It’s an inheritance from which to remember and learn. Indeed, legacy served as one of the main themes of a recent Followmont Transport Leadership Conference which gathered together over 50 senior managers from across Queensland and NSW where the past and the present helped shape discussion of future directions and set the table for a major reveal.
Followmont Transport legacy itself begins 36 years ago when it was co-founded by Bernard Tobin and Alan Salpietro.
For 25 years they guided and built the company on an ethos of hard work and strong customer service.
More than ten years ago, the four shareholders of the company which includes Managing Director and CEO Mark Tobin, realised the importance of healthy leadership, the significance of having a roadmap and agreed to a goal of working smarter rather than harder.
That was a watershed moment for the business which from that point underwent a seismic change.
While the foundation of the business remains service, its legacy now revolves around its people having a real sense of belonging to a family business including the values that come with it.
“Our business has transitioned, as has our legacy,” says Mark.
“Our legacy today, whilst the foundation is still service, is around our people having a sense of belonging to a family business and our people feeling empowered, educated and inspired by leadership as opposed to having it demanded by leadership.”
Underpinning this is the notion of care — caring at once for one and other and customers while acknowledging everyone is only as good as their last delivery and therefore, last interaction.
The Leadership Conference included a special reveal of the 100th anniversary Legacy Mack Super-Liner.
Mack, as part of customising each of the commemorative trucks, made available a year from every one of its last 100. Followmont selected 2016, the same year Mark purchased Followmont thus preventing it from being sold to Toll.
“Where we are now we can be seen as one of the top transport businesses in Australia,” he says. “That is why we celebrate with the newest addition to the fleet family, the 100 Year Mack – Legacy.”
With so many of the Followmont Transport team having a close association with the Mack over the years it is considered a fitting addition to the ever-expanding fleet.
The 11-tonne special edition Mack Super-Liner is spec’d for B-double operations.
At about 8 metres long it will carry all forms of freight. Based out of Brisbane it is likely to travel up and down the whole of the eastern seaboard.
Belair Spray Painting were authorised to carry out finishing flow and clear coatings by Mack Trucks Australia on all 100th anniversary Limited Edition trucks.
Followmont and VCV Brisbane then commissioned Belair to air brush the custom Followmont branding.
The design concept was put together from another print piece with a view of creating something bold that would include the emblem as well as the gradient concept.
This was carried out prior to the final clear coats to preserve the artworks for the life of the truck. It’s the third truck that Brand Manager Meg Ellis has been entrusted in to project manage.
King Bars also created a one-off custom Texas Bumper for Followmont based off the original 100th anniversary bumper design. Blingman HQ carried out a few custom stainless and LED lighting creations to further enhance the vision in creating this tribute to the Legacy of the Tobin family within the Followmont team.
The Followmont and Mack Trucks relationship has been built on the back of the 30-plus year history between Followmont and UD Trucks.
When Volvo Group Australia took control of the UD brand a number of years ago it gave them the opportunity to showcase their other products in the business. This saw both Mack and Volvo commercial vehicles ingratiated into operations.
VCV Brisbane North has since built a very strong relationship between the whole Followmont family, with sales, service and parts supplies only a few minutes away.
Today, as a result of this partnership, there are approximately 45 Mack, 25 Volvo and around 180 UD Trucks in the Followmont fleet with additional units from each brand on order currently.
Mack Trucks, VGA and VCV Brisbane North were all invited by Mark to be involved in the project.
Given the legacy of Mack Trucks Australia in the Australian road transport industry, the limited edition Mack Super-Liner was considered a great fit to play a small part in the Followmont Legacy project.
Family values have been carried through the business generationally from Bernie, Mark and now Ben Tobin.
This is inherent in the company legacy as are its people with many longstanding staff members having been employed between 15 and 25 years.
The values the Tobin Family live by echo through the business according to Chris Fasone, Followmont Transport Regional Manager South QLD, who started in 1988 having had to take on a second job sorting magazines to support his new family after the birth of their first child.
“It didn’t take me long to be tempted in making Followmont my primary role with the opportunities available to me back then and the care shown by Bernie Tobin who took me under his wing and shared his wealth of experience with me,” he says.
“I don’t know if I can ever voice enough in gratitude to thank the Tobin Family and Followmont for the opportunities and life lessons they have afforded me over the years. I have never met a family that is so generous with their time.”
Since then Chris has been provided with many opportunities in various positions including Forklift and PUD operator, supervisor, customer service representative, depot manager and regional manager.
“In every position I have received their full support and assistance and in every instance it has made me better personally and operationally,” he says.
“Not only have they made me feel part of the family, they also have employed Jason, my first born who has been provided with the same opportunities as have many others. Followmont has become part of me over the years and I treat it as my lifeline and will be forever grateful to Bernie, Mark and Ben for the experience I have gained,” says Chris.