Dennis Jurss is closing the Hi-way 1 Truck Centre in Gympie after almost 20 years. The company once spanned Queensland.
Dennis Jurss is closing the Hi-way 1 Truck Centre in Gympie after almost 20 years. The company once spanned Queensland.

End of an era as 20-year-old iconic trucking business folds

LONGSTANDING truck business Hi-way 1 has hit the end of the road with owner Dennis Jurss saying a changing market is forcing their doors closed after two decades.

Mr Jurss started the business in April 2001 and over the next decade expanded stores up the Queensland coast.

But the business could not stay on the road in the modern climate.

"The demand for used trucks as dramatically reduced," he said.

"The volume of business … wasn't especially viable.

A big part of this was competition from other markets.

"Gympie's gotten closer to Brisbane," he said.

Sue and Dennis Jurss.
Sue and Dennis Jurss.

"Not physically, but with the travel times it's so much easier for people to shop around."

Tightened bank lending rules were also squeezing the sales market.

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Mr Jurss said they moved shop last year to help reduce overhead costs but the downturn in the used truck market continued to keep things tight.

There is no official end date in sight, but Hi-way 1's parts and servicing would wind up at the end of the month.

He said the shutdown was "disappointing" as "we're probably letting some of the staff down".

"If the business was going okay we would have been happy to keep going," Mr Jurss said.

"It's a sign of the times."

But he said having an end-date in sight was "a bit of a relief" after the past half-year of trading.

The Jurss have been selling trucks for almost 20 years.
The Jurss have been selling trucks for almost 20 years.

At the company's height there were nine Hi-way 1 businesses running in Queensland, from the Sunshine Coast to Cairns.

He said three years ago the company was still employing more than 150 people.

The closure of the Gympie depot will close the door on a career spent with trucks.

And it happened by accident.

He had eyes on being an architect when he became "entangled in the family business at Goomboorian".

"So I never became an architect," he said.

This did not stop him from designing a house at Tin Can Bay - the one the Jurss are going to retire to once the doors close for good on Hi-way 1.

"We're going to stay in the area for sure," he said.

"Hopefully enjoy a little relaxation."

Gympie Times

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