It's the best job in the world
AS FAR as office views go, Liam Fyfe reckons they don't come much better than the stunning vistas on his daily runs between WA abattoirs, saleyards and farms.
Even after a solid unbroken decade behind the wheel - the first six years driving for his parents' company Fyfe Transport - the 28-year-old owner-operator of Fyfe Logistics can't fathom a better gig than carting livestock around the idyllic wheat-sheep belt 345km southeast of Perth.
"I don't know what it is,” he said, when asked why more millennials aren't lining up for the same cubicle view he enjoys from his signature Kenworth T659.
"The money's not bad, and you're not stuck in an office, but I don't think people like the hours that you do,” he said.
"The last young guy I asked to come drive for me said 'nah, too many hours'.
"Everyone wants a nine to five job ... or to go to university.”
Third-generation driver Liam admits it was a huge help having the support of wife Vanessa and his parents David and Christine, who have been in the transport game since 1987.
They gave him a sub-contracting role towing their trailers when he bought his first truck in 2015.
But two years later Liam saw a chance to expand, helping to rebuild the roads washed away by the devastating 2017 state floods with a new Kenworth T404 SAR.
"I saw an opportunity and went for it.”
Today, however, as a new dad of 13-month-old twin boys Enzo and Kynan, Liam doesn't like to spend too many hours away from home.
That's why he's content to mostly work the livestock rounds in and around his Lake Grace home.
"There is probably nine or 10 of us in my industry under 35 who prefer to cart livestock more than anything else,” he said.
"To be honest, carting livestock is better money than anything else, you get home a fair bit more, and you're only loaded one way.”
Liam admits an end to live sheep exports would impact on his business if it ever came to pass - he estimated 50-60 per cent of his contracts have a shipping component. But laid-back Liam hasn't lost any sleep since a private member's bill by Liberal MP Sussan Ley was tabled in parliament calling for a ban to the trade.
"I've learned over the years not to be worried about anything.”
Eventually, Liam concedes, he'll more than likely take over the reins of the family business, maybe even alongside his famous younger brother Nathan Fyfe, who is captain of the AFL's Freemantle Dockers.
Nat, a qualified driver himself, also helps his parents out during breaks from the footy field.
But until then Liam hopes his story inspires other 20-somethings to follow his lead and give driving a go.
Sure, there are things he'd change; there are too many rules for his liking, particularly around log books.
But the pros easily outweigh the cons for this next-generation trailblazer.
"You're your own boss,” he said.
"You've got your task and that's all you need to worry about. There are no customers nagging you.
"Put it this way, I couldn't see myself doing anything else.”