Tongala mechanic sheds 23.5kg after being challenged by boss to be healthier

By Daneka Hill

Employees at a trucking company have lost a combined 165 kg after being challenged by their boss to be healthier.

Tipping the scales as the biggest loser nation-wide was a Tongala mechanic who shed a massive 23.5 kg by the close of the 12-week challenge which ran from September to December.

Bradley Cartwright works for McColl’s Transport and credits support from family and work for his leaner shape.

“My family were a fantastic support, with my wife making sure she helped by preparing my food, so I didn’t fall off the wagon,” Bradley said.

The mechanic said his 19-year-old daughter was the deciding factor after she encouraged her father to get involved in his employer’s health challenge.

“We work 12-hour shifts so it can be hard to find the time,” he said.

“I really enjoyed it, both learning about the food and the exercise.”

The 12-week health challenge was a first for the company after a health and wellness co-ordinator was hired in 2019.

New health co-ordinator Megan Taylor said the loss of 165 kg by 50 employees was a fantastic result and she hoped to continue the program annually.

Ms Taylor said the long-haul nature of McColl’s Transport jobs made it hard for workers to live healthy lives.

“The challenge provided our people with guidelines,” Ms Taylor said.

“It’s great to see so many of our people continuing for longer than the 12 weeks.

“One of the most rewarding things is seeing changes in overall health, such as blood glucose levels and mental health improving.”

McColl’s chief executive Simon Thornton said the independent carrier company made the decision to employ a health co-ordinator to ensure their workers were both happy and healthy.

“Truck driving can be a really tough job and the industry has one of the highest rates of disease like stroke, coronary artery disease and heart failure,” Mr Thornton said.

McColl's Transport has 450 employees across 14 depots.