One of the early adopters of the Trucksafe accreditation scheme, Tambo's Gerard Johnson, was recognised at the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Queensland forum in Rockhampton last week.
His company has used the set of minimum standards a trucking business should meet for it to be a safe, responsible operation, for 20 years.
Gerard said he joined up in 1999 because of the systems it offered to make sure their maintenance was up to date, and because it indicated to their suppliers they were a reliable company.
"It's probably more important today," he said. "Back then it was so customers knew they were dealing with a professional company.
"These days when it comes to chain of responsibility, it makes sure you've got all bases covered.
"It's all visible, it makes sure we've identified all our risks and everything we're doing, and brings us up to scratch."
Frasers representative Athol Carter said it was important to recognise the contribution that family businesses like Johnsons gave to their industry.
"We all have a great story to tell and we need to share that," he said.
Over 850 companies, incorporating 17,000 trucks and trailers, have been accredited with the Trucksafe system.
General manager Justin Fleming said there was some wonderful work being done around Australia with the scheme's animal welfare modules.
"It's been really successful for us, from the lotfeeders all the way through to the exporters," he said. "Our aims are best practice risk mitigation, which gives improved safety. Our animal welfare is critical to us, and also a number of our customers all the way in the chain."
The newest version of the animal welfare standards will be launched in April and Justin anticipated they would prove to be a gamechanger for many.
"A lot are queued up to join Trucksafe because of them," he said. "It will mean a customer in Europe will be able to scan with his phone and see the processes his product has gone through."
It's a process that starts before the truck arrives to load, taking into consideration things such as the temperature and having all stops to the destination planned.
"They have to have the appropriate vehicle for the load and maintenance up to date.
"Then there's a very good chance they'll avoid an animal welfare issue through breakdowns."
The standards also take fit-to-load guidelines into account with drought-stricken animals, Justin said, and gave operators a place to take influencing behaviour.
"Trucksafe is really a whole-of-business safety management system - there is mental health support in the event of an accident, for example," he said. "That's how people in the industry do business these days."