New South Wales trucking company, Ross Transport, is celebrating 45 years of operation with its latest Western Star prime mover featuring Transport Women Australia Limited (TWAL) signage.
The company has also expanded its tipper division with its first Western Star live body floor truck and pup.
In 2013, True Ross joined the family business (third generation), managing operations with Frances (grandmother) and Alan (father). True's husband, Jason, is also in the business as a professional driver and driver trainer.
True Ross was appointed as a Board of Director for TWAL in May 2019.
"In 2017 we designed the truck 'TRUELY FRANTASTIC' – A fully pink truck named after myself and my Grandmother Frances," said True Ross.
"This truck was a recognition truck to women in the transport industry as well as recognising and supporting the fight against cancer”.
"This truck has attended various charity events, convoys & truck shows for the kids to jump inside and have a honk and put a smile on their faces
Our 45th anniversary truck is a play on from 'TRUELY FRANTASTIC' with the name 'TRUELY PINKTASTIC' which is a gunmetal grey and magenta pink colour.
True Ross said the business tries to do something different every five years to celebrate their anniversary.
"For our 40th anniversary we had the all blue trucks and for our 45th anniversary we have designed the gunmetal grey and pink trucks.
Both TRUELY FRANTASTIC and TRUELY PINKTASTIC will attend various convoys, truck shows and charity events.
"Our aim with these trucks is to encourage younger children – and women more specifically – to be enticed to want to learn more about the industry and get involved" said True Ross.
"We need younger generations to enter our industry and we need more women.
"We have so many children that are so interested in TRUELY FRANTASTIC and climb all through the trucks and I think TRUELY PINKTASTIC will be the same."
The TWAL logos on the back of Ross Transport's truck and tautliners are designed to spread awareness for TWAL and the work they do.
"We aim to work with TWAL and have members or directors of TWAL attend events with TRUELY PINKTASTIC with a TWAL stall tent as well," said True Ross.
Ross Transport has donated $791,000 since 2005 to the i98 Illawarra Convoy which funds initially went to Camp Quality, but now go to the Illawarra Community Foundation. The business also sponsors various surf clubs and football clubs each year.
"Community is so important to us," said True Ross. "Where we live in the Illawarra is truly remarkable. Our transport community allows us to support one another, interact and share experiences."
Ross Transport has invested in a truck and pup live body floor for a safer freight task.
"Going forward for Ross Transport, we aim to keep doing our thing, keeping people employed, advocating for our industry and having fun," said True Ross. "We said we were going to stop at 50 trucks, but are now at 60 plus trucks, so who knows where the future will take us."
TRUELY PINKTASTIC is a Western Star 4900 and will go on the road as a B-double tautliner combination as part of Ross Transport's interstate fleet.
"This truck will be found predominantly in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, but will go anywhere the work takes us," said True Ross. "Hella Australia kindly donated driving lights and headlights to us for this truck as well when they were aware of it and the TWAL logo on the back."
TWAL, according to True Ross, is still working very hard in the background despite not being able to hold any events due to COVID-19.
"We now have eight directors across four different states who are working on some remarkable projects," said True Ross.
"We have launched our ‘Creating Connections Mentoring programme’ in early 2020 which is off to a kicking start. "We are in the process of planning our eighth conference 'Driving the Difference Conference' which will be held at Mantra Epping from 28-30 May 2021.
"Also, we are currently in the process of planning the release of our second year of ‘Driving the Difference scholarships’ with the support of Daimler and when we are able to again, we will go back to quarterly Learning Initiatives Breakfasts in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland."
TWAL is still working with Girl Guides and has recently developed a rapport with the 'Make your Move' (MYM) program with the aim to broaden the reach as far as practically possible with students in year 10-12 as well as the disengaged youth across Australia to demonstrate why transport is a good industry to be in.
"A lot is still happening on the TWAL front and we can’t wait to start showing our faces again at functions, events and truck shows," said True Ross.
In 2018, Frances Ross was awarded the Don Watson award at the ATA National Trucking Industry Awards. The Don Watson Memorial Award is presented by Noelene Watson to the individual who has given conspicuous service to the Australian trucking industry. The winner is selected from a range of exceptional people who do not need to nominate to be considered.