The manager of iconic Cape York freight company Tuxworth and Woods said that for every day the roads were closed, it cost the business money.
“We lose money every wet season but we know it’s going to happen, we just don’t want it to go any longer than it needs to,” he said last week.
Not that it’s cheap to run in the dry season.
Operating on some of the worst roads in Australia, keeping the trucks on the road can be costly.
“When we’re up and running it costs $100,000 a month in fuel and $100,000 a month in maintenance,” Simon said.
“There’s only a handful of us who go up to the Cape and it can be tough on the trucks. But it’s still worth it.”
Still a family-owned and operated business, with Val and Norm Tuxworth playing active roles in the company, there is a consensus in the Cape that big outfits like Toll will move in once the roads improve.
“We’re ready for that but we’re not worried. If anything we want to work with companies like them and Sea Swift as much as possible,” Simon said.
Local knowledge of the roads and communities is crucial to the business.
“In Weipa for example, we know that people work shifts and are sometimes sleeping in the day, so we try and accommodate locals as much as possible.”
Tuxworth and Woods travels to all corners of the Cape, including Kowanyama and Aurukun, but they are the lifeblood of cattle stations and roadhouses.
“Trucks are important everywhere but they are so important to the Cape,” Simon said.