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DOING COOTAMUNDRA PROUD: Truckie Gear co-founder Simon Sutherland with Excellence in Innovation Award sponsor Heath Harrison of the Cootamundra Herald and NSW Business Chamber solutions execultive Sue Mills. Picture: Jennette LeesSomething as simple as a well-packed bag can make the world of difference when on the road for truck drivers, or in fact any business traveller.
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Identifying a gap in the market in 2013, Truckie Gear was born by local man Simon Sutherland and former local Anthony Wells.

At Saturday night’s Cootamundra Development Corporation Business Awards, the business partners and theirassociated products were recognised with the 2016 Excellence in Innovation Award.

This award is aligned with the NSW Business Chamber Regional Awards and Mr Sutherland and/or Mr Wells will now go on to represent themselves, Truckie Gear and the Cootamundra community at a gala event in Albury.

The concept behind the business is simple. Quality products purpose made.

Truckie Gear’s flagship product the Truckie Bag came about when Mr Sutherland and Mr Wells realised transport operators often rely on a travel bagto complete their work week, yet there was no specific product on the market for these frequent travellers.

There are 540,000 people in Australia who hold a heavy vehicle licence. This represents a substantial market and Mr Sutherland and Mr Wells saw a way of better servicing this market.

The Truckie Bag features compartments for a national heavy vehicle driver work diary, separate section for wet clothes, section for two pairs of shoes, security/business card holders and a padded section for a laptop/tablet device.

The end design came from two years of research and development and feedback from customers, trucking across Australia as you read this, speaks for itself.

“Finally a work bag that will hold everything comfortably, whether doing interstate or local runs,” wrote one review on social media.

Mr Sutherland was proud to accept the Excellence in Innovation Award telling the room of gathered small business people just like himself he and Mr Wells are starting to see the business kick some goals.

The duo have known each other for a lifetime, having gone to kindergarten together, and now in business together and going from strength to strength putting Cootamundra on the map.

He thanked wife Gemma for her ongoing support.

“She has heard me come into the kitchen on many occasions and say ‘I’ve got the perfect idea’,” Mr Sutherland said.

This idea has certainly put Cootamundra on the map and as the business continuesto grow and new products are put intodevelopment, Truckie Gear is entrenching itself into the market and showing what is possible when launching a business from regional Australia.

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