David Evans, Director of Evans Trucking, has been working with poultry in various types of jobs for around 30 years. “I’ve been right through. I’ve worked in the plant itself, the hatcheries, and a whole lot of different roles all to do with birds,” he says.

Transporting day-old turkeys can be tricky, but Evans Trucking has accomplished a feat of fowl freight that wouldn’t be possible without its specially made Thermaxx rigid body.

Six million. That’s the approximate number of how many live day-old turkeys have been safely transported by Newcastle-based Evans Trucking in just two years. To make sense out of the huge number, Evans Trucking Director, David Evans, breaks the number down and explains that each delivery he makes counts between 25,000 to 30,000 chicks stacked neatly in crates in the back of a Thermaxx rigid truck.

“We took delivery of our first Thermaxx rigid in January 2014, and have done an average of two deliveries in it every week since then,” David says. “Over the entire time, we haven’t had a single problem with it, and we haven’t lost a single bird.”

David explains the achievement proudly, as transporting the fragile baby turkeys requires very specific conditions to be met in order to safely make the roughly 1,000km journey from the hatchery in Victoria to the farm in Newcastle.

“Baby turkeys need to be kept at very particular temperatures – we have to make sure the birds have a body temperature of around 40˚C,” says David – adding that keeping the temperature in its required range within the box is complicated by the constant supply of fresh air coming in from outside the rigid, which is also fitted with multiple fans throughout to keep the air circulating. “To make sure the conditions are just right, our Thermaxx rigid has a Thermo King fridge unit that keeps the temperature where we need it to be,” says the Evans Trucking Director.

Sharing the role of Director with his wife Carol, David explains that they renamed the company from Evans Freightlines to Evans Trucking when they signed the turkey distribution contract in 2014. Now, both Carol and David take turns running up and down the eastern seaboard in the rigid, depending on scheduling and availability. “My wife and I run the company together, with Carol taking care of the books. But she’s got her HR licence too and can drive the truck,” David says. “Usually we’re making the trips together – actually most of the time that we get to spend together is doing the runs up to Newcastle.”

The two Directors share the cab of the Isuzu 1000 truck that David picked out to have the Thermaxx body mounted on. “I chose the truck and took it to TRS with my list of requirements for turkey welfare,” says David. “The staff at TRS really took care of me. I just told them what I wanted and where I would be carting it and they put a package together and built it all in the one location.”

The requirements that David specified to Thermaxx for the rigid are in line with the strict Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines, reassuring the Evans Trucking Directors that the turkey chicks are travelling in the safest conditions during their journey.

With baby turkey safety at stake, the reliability of all equipment is of utmost importance, especially considering how delicate the chicks are. However, David explains that the Thermaxx rigid has never let him down. “We’ve done around 450,000kms in the rigid and haven’t had a single spot of problem,” he says. “This vehicle was my first experience with TRS and I haven’t got a bad word to say about the entire experience. The rigid was delivered on time and TRS takes care of all the servicing – it’s been pain free really.”

With the Thermaxx rigid successfully meeting the strict requirements for animal welfare, Evans Trucking has been able to transport more than six million turkey chicks safely between hatchery and farm, making for a feat of fowl freight that the husband and wife team can be proud of.