Rob Cavanagh is passionate about his business… his customers, his people, his equipment suppliers.


Over the past 28 years, Rob Cavanagh has gone from being a single truck operator working as a sub-contractor to running a fleet of 35 livestock trucks across NSW, Queensland, South Australia, and the Northern Territory.

Originally from Casino in far north NSW, he grew up on a mixed beef and dairy farm, a background that gave him the experience in dealing with saleyards and abattoirs.

Today, he owns two NSW-based livestock haulage operations – Cavanagh’s Transport in Inverell which he set up with a single truck in 1988, and Stockmaster in Tamworth which he bought from Jim and Helen Savage in 2010. Both operations retain their own brands but are run from the same office in Tamworth.

“Stockmaster was a company with similar values to ours and it has allowed us to better service our client base as well as expand our geographic spread,” says Rob Cavanagh.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have had very loyal customers right from the start of my business. In fact, I’ve still got my foundation customers which I think is a great effort by everyone involved.”

600 hp Cummins the preferred choice.

Stockmaster runs 24 trucks today while Cavanagh’s has 11. The two operations have 37 B-double trailer sets, while several roadtrain combinations are also used for the haulage of cattle and sheep.

Cummins dominates in the Stockmaster and Cavanagh’s Transport fleets with eight of the latest generation 15-litre engines, the ISXe5, in service. The preferred rating is 600 hp with peak torque of 1850 lb ft. Kenworth’s K200 is the prime mover of choice.

“If there’s a weak spot in an engine we’ll find it here,” says Rob Cavanagh.

Our ISXe5 engines have been very good so far… we’ve had very few problems. They’re running cooler… that’s a huge thing.

“Their fuel economy is good too… they’re comparable with the original Gen II Signature engine.”

Loyalty received, loyalty returned.

For Rob Cavanagh, loyalty received is deserving of loyalty in return. “If you expect a supplier to be loyal to you, you should be loyal to the supplier. Good suppliers are critical to having a successful business.

“No one comes close to Cummins on service,” he adds with obvious conviction.
“The 1300 hotline number (to the Cummins Support Centre) is the greatest single advancement at Cummins since I’ve been in trucks.”

Stockmaster’s workshop in Tamworth is staffed by three mechanics, a boilermaker and an apprentice. Engine oil change intervals for the ISXe5 are 16,000 km, one of the key aspects
of a high standard maintenance program that includes mid-life engine component change-outs – a program that Rob Cavanagh believes will see the 15-litre Cummins with a 1.2 million km

He says that “keeping the drivers happy” is critical to the success of his operation.
“Our drivers get five weeks annual leave and we contribute $1000 to their accommodation when they go on holiday,” he points out.

“It’s the drivers that have made this place, no doubt about it. I reckon we have the best team of sheep carters in the country.”

Both the Cavanagh operations have Advanced Fatigue Management accreditation which he believes has built in the kind of flexibility needed while providing gains in driver satisfaction and overall efficiency.