Introducing the Dealer Principal of Brown and Hurley Kenworth DAF Coffs Harbour… Graham Sebbens.
Coffs Harbour is a full Kenworth and DAF Sales and Service Dealer. We have Trailer Franchises with Barker Trailers, Hercules Engineering and Roadwest Transport Equipment and employ 44 full time staff in Coffs Harbour, as well as managing our Satellite Branch in Tamworth with 5 staff.
The dealership’s highlights have been winning Kenworth Dealer of the Year in 2000 and 2003, Kenworth Gold Service Dealer of the Year in 2010 and 2012 and Silver in 2011 and also Top Gun and MX Sales Champion awards in 2015. We sell to, and service, several national fleets totalling more than 1,000 trucks combined.
In terms of something unique about the dealership, we are a one stop facility for Truck and Trailer sales with full Trailer smash and mechanical repairs. We are a family business dealing with many family transport businesses, so we understand their needs and can accommodate them extremely efficiently and personally. Our customers tell us that our best attributes are that we listen, respond promptly and follow through on all commitments made. These sorts of comments are testament to the dedication of the staff.
My favourite local spot is Dorrigo Mountain. There is nothing like a Sunday motorbike ride up the twisties of Dorrigo Mountain for Lunch and maybe a fizzy drink!
My favourite truck model is the T409SAR prime mover with 50” integrated sleeper, it’s a really nice unit.
I got started with Brown and Hurley in 1986, but had experience doing many things before then. I left school when I was 14 and had about 8 semi permanent jobs between 14 and 16, then applied for a storeman job with a semi trailer dealership. I got that one and worked for them for 5 years, becoming parts interpreter and assistant parts manager. In 1986 I applied for another storeman job with Brown and Hurley. I obviously got that job and worked in various roles, including Parts Manager, Service Manager, Trailer Manager, and now am in the role that I think I sub-consciously always wanted, Dealer Principal. So, I’ve been in the industry mostly in dealerships for more than 30 years now and I still love every day of it!
If I wasn’t working in this industry I think I’d be an electrician, working alongside my son. I’ve always played with electronics and electrical stuff and I find it fascinating the power of something that cannot be seen visually.
In terms of role models I can’t say that I have one individual role model. I have great respect and admiration for the founders of Brown and Hurley and their families. Their values and philosophies in business and life have been inspiring to me and I have tried to have similar values throughout my career and personal life.
In my career there have been a few occasions I would consider significant, but I guess a couple that stand out to me are the way we achieved repeat trailer sales business from 2003 onwards and continues today under Dylan Hurley’s management. Most recently, securing a truck order for more thna 40 new trucks to a major fleet, whilst competing against several other major truck brands. But I have to say that it has never been an individual achievement and only ever been possible by having the best team and back up.
The future of the industry? The transport industry has seen a lot of technology and emission changes over the past decade and I believe this is the way of the future. We will see another emission change in the next 4-5 years with the date still to be confirmed. I believe the freight task throughout Australia is still growing and so will the need for the latest technology in equipment. Some real positive and exciting changes ahead.
Thank you for your time Graham and the opportunity to get to know you and the dealings at the Coffs Harbour dealership better!