Big Rigs 10 November 2023

Page 1

FRIDAY, November 10, 2023



TV trucking show learns fate Page 4



Truckies’ food van forced to close Page 10



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Police defend claims they are waking up truckies


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An anonymous truckie claims police have woken up drivers at BP Wingfield and BP Eastern Creek (pictured).


A MEMBER of Victoria police has responded to claims that police officers have been waking up sleeping truck drivers to carry out compliance checks. During a Technical Q&A at the ATA’s Technology and Maintenance Conference (TMC) in Melbourne in October, a member of the audience said he has heard anecdotal evidence of truckies being woken up by police in Victoria. However, Victoria Police officer Robert Mitchell said he has never heard of this happening, and it would go against policy.

“If we’ve got members waking up truck drivers, that’s against our officers’ policy around fatigue management,” he said. “That’s different to a driver we pull over who claims, ‘Oh I need five minutes to fill out my work diary,’ it doesn’t work like that. “If someone is sleeping, they should have recorded a change to rest as prescribed by the regulations. “All interactions are captured on bodycam footage and vehicle footage. “If they are asleep, I’d be very surprised, I’d like to know about

it.” He said he has never woken a truck driver up for a compliance check. “However, I’ve dealt with a lot of drivers who are awake and sitting in their truck, and you knock on their window and say ‘What’s going on?’ and they claim ‘I’m resting, you can’t speak to me.’ That’s not right.” Mitchell told the TMC attendees that the Victoria Police take truck drivers’ fatigue management seriously. “In my view, it’s probably the greatest driver of road trauma and the lowest detected and reported factor. “It’s very difficult to investi-

Several readers have contacted Big Rigs about being woken up by police officers in different locations around Australia.

gate and very difficult to prove beyond reasonable doubt, and often when we intercept someone they are showing symptoms of fatigue.” After we shared a story about Mitchell’s comments on our Facebook page, several of our readers got in touch to say that they had experienced being woken up by police officers in different locations around Australia. One reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “This has been happening for years, especially at BP Eastern Creek in New South Wales and BP Wingfield in South Australia.

“It also happened to me in Adelaide about five years ago. A cop on a motorcycle was knocking on every truck door asking for logbooks. “I have heard from other drivers that the same thing is happening elsewhere too.” The truckie said he was woken up by the police officer but chose not to say anything about it because it would only make things worse. “I didn’t say anything because that would just bring more trouble. They give you more of a hard time if you argue.” Another reader added that police used to wake up truckies in the 80s, and a third agreed that it has “been happening for years.” Under the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s Basic Fatigue Management rules, solo drivers must have 7 continuous hours stationary rest time within 24 hours, with 14 hours of work allowed. Stationary rest time is defined as time out of a regulated heavy vehicle or in an approved sleeper berth of a stationary regulated heavy vehicle. The National Driver Work Diary contains instructions, advice on fatigue laws and examples to help you complete it.

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States slow to apply for share of rest area funding


JUST nine rest area proposals were put forward by state and local governments for funding assessment at the latest meeting of the Albanese government’s Heavy Vehicle Rest Area Steering Committee. Of those, only “five or six” were assessed as “very worthy” by the committee which comprises of Senator Glenn Sterle as chair, four industry representatives and five truckies. Sterle told Big Rigs that two of those proposals were sent back to the sources for more information, and one was deemed not worthy of going any further. Those proposals to get the tick of approval now go to Transport Minister Catherine King who will decide which ones will be the first to get the green light with regional projects funded on an 80/20 basis (federal/state), and metro pitches on a 50/50 split. The Australian Government has committed $140 million over 10 years to support new and upgraded heavy vehicle rest areas within this initiative, under the Heavy Vehicle Safety

Senator Sterle, left, with the committee that met again on October 20 to begin assessing proposals from the first tranche of the Heavy Vehicle Rest Areas initiative.

and Productivity Program. “I’m not allowed to say where they [the proposals] are because the minister hasn’t ticked off on them, but we’ve got some things moving,” Sterle said. “I’ll be back in Canberra next week and say, ‘Hello Minister, have you seen the proposals so far?’ “We’re very keen to get things rolling. Of course, we’re at the mercy of the states as to when they get the crews digging.

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no mistake about that,” Sterle said. Sterle said every region put in a proposal, aside from the Northern Territory. “I think NSW had about four but that’s about all I can say.” Sterle said the committee is also very keen to see the results of the online survey that opened up to truckies in July asking them where they’d like to see new sites or improvements made to existing facilities.

nounced its plans to redevelop additional highway sites following the opening of a new flagship service centre on the Hume Highway in NSW. The company said this highway redevelopment strategy is part of its five-year plan to invest in “world class” highway service centres along key routes. The newly developed north- and southbound Pheasants Nest sites on the Hume include truck driver amenities, a large food court area and separate fuel and diesel canopies. Further development announcements, including the twin M1 sites at Wyong, will be made soon, said Ampol.

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“I can’t say there’ll be shovels in the ground next week, but the states have been good and we have a new tranche open now that closes in January for the next round.” Sterle concedes he would have liked to see more proposals but reiterated that the government department is working closely with its state counterparts to encourage more applications. “I would love a lot more activity coming from the states and local government, make

“No one knows where we need our heavy vehicle rest areas better than the men and women who will be sleeping in them. “I want to see them [the survey results] so I can say to the states, ‘What about these’? Sterle said the next committee meeting will be in January. “We want to get the money out the door.” Truckie Rod Hannifey, who is on the committee in his capacity as president of the National Road Freighters Association, said he’s hoping the minister will sign off on at least one of the proposals before the end of the year. Now the funding guidelines have been ironed out he’s also hopeful that awareness of how the program works, and interest in the funding will only grow among state and local governments. “There are still things outside those guidelines that I’m pushing for and one of them is the use of stockpile sites,” Hannifey said. “The other is green reflectors and those two go hand-inhand in some ways.” Meanwhile, Ampol has an-

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New season of popular TV show finally confirmed


IT’S been a long wait for fans of popular television show Outback Truckers, but now season 10 has finally been confirmed, with filming to begin immediately. The last season aired in 2021 and the team behind it, Prospero Productions, says it’s worked tirelessly to get a new season off the ground. Distributed by Abacus Media Rights, Outback Truckers’ worldwide premiere was on 7mate in 2012. The show has now aired in over 120 countries, including the UK and Europe on the Discovery Channel. But since Discovery pulled out of the deal, Prospero had been trying to secure a replacement – and now 7mate has thrown its support behind the show. “7Mate has been a fantastic, loyal broadcaster and such a great partner on this series. We’re very proud to be partnering once again with 7Mate,” said managing director at Prospero Productions, Julia Redwood. “It’s a huge relief. We’re delighted that we’re able to press the go button on it and need to

Steve Grahame became a popular show favourite, delivering to some of the most remote communities in Australia.

hit the ground running.” Though filming usually begins in August ahead of the wet season, the production team will be working hard to film as much as they can up in the north of the country before Christmas. “We are a little behind the eight-ball in terms of when we usually like to start filming. Our challenge now is to get as many stories in the bag as we can for the northern part of the country. When truck drivers can’t go north, neither can we.” Redwood confirmed that filming would continue well into the new year. “Normal-

ly we would film for about six months and then have five months to edit, so the new season won’t be hitting screens for about a year.” As per previous seasons, season 10 will consist of 13 onehour long episodes. “We’re very excited and this is something I’ve been longing to do. It’s been two years since the show aired, but three years since we’ve been filming – so it’s a long-time between drinks!” added Redwood. Prospero is now actively casting for the series. Though they have confirmed the return of some of the old show favou-

Sludge was on the show from seasons three to nine, but was recently side-lined from driving following a motorcycle accident.

rites, they’ve remained tightlipped over who we can expect to see back on our screens. They’ll also be looking for some new faces too. “With 13 hours of television, you’re looking at 39 stories, so that’s a lot of shooting and a lot of editing. Outback Truckers is observational television, so it’s whatever happens. The magic happens when the editing process puts it all together,” explained Redwood. “The drivers are so important to telling these stories – it’s those people who wear their hearts on their sleeves and can express what is happening and

what could happen if they don’t deliver on time.” She added that what’s also been quite interesting is seeing numerous younger truck drivers apply to be on the show after growing up watching it. “We have a researcher working on the show who was talking to a young driver who said she got into truck driving by watching Outback Truckers – and now she’s a truck driver like her dad. We would love to find more truck drivers who’ve been inspired by the show.” Redwood also revealed the sort of drivers they’re on the hunt for. “When you have a


great driver on a great route, that’s the sweet spot for us. The ideal combination is something that is interesting and challenging. Sometimes we have these giant, fantastic loads, which are always great to follow too. So we’re looking for epic loads, epic roads and great stories,” she said. “We are always on the lookout for the weird and wonderful, along with the returning characters that the fans love to see.” Think you’ve got what it takes to be on Outback Truckers – or know someone else who’d be great to watch? “We always encourage people to dob in a mate or a relative,” said Redwood. “We find some drivers are quite modest and need a bit of a shove – so nominate yourself or nominate a mate who you feel deserves to be on the show and represents all of the greatness of this industry.” To apply for season 10 of Outback Truckers, email mail@ • Big Rigs spoke with truck driver Sludge about his path to recovery from a recent accident, see page 20.








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Work progresses on Qld’s $2.16bn road

THE new Coomera Connector motorway, which aims to ease congestion on the Gold Coast’s busy M1 motorway, is taking shape as works continue to progress on the $2.16 billion project. Major construction of the Coomera Connector began in March, and now the nearly 1-kilometre bridge that will cross the Coomera River has more than 50 per cent of the 117 bored piles cast. The Coomera River Bridge starts on the northern bank of the river, crosses the river to Hope Island Road and across Saltwater Creek. It will consist of 29 headstocks, 498 girders and 117 bridge columns. Piling on this bridge will be

completed by end of this year, with the separate overflow bridge structure north of the river commencing soon after. Construction of the Coomera River Bridge will continue until 2025. The 4-kilometre Stage 1 North section of the project, from Shipper Drive, Coomera to Helensvale Road, Helensvale, will consist of around 6 kilometres of drainage pipes, 648 concrete girders, more than 950,000 tonnes of fill brought to site, and a 4.19 kilometre shared active transport path. Design and site investigations are currently underway for the Central package from Helensvale to Molendinar

with an early works contract awarded in February 2023. The major contract is expected to be awarded in late 2023 and the design details released in early 2024. Early works are due to commence in early 2024. Design and site investigations are also underway for the South package from Molendinar to Nerang. Details of the design for this package are expected to be released in November 2023. “The Coomera Connector is the largest single road project in the state and will reduce the heavy reliance on the M1, improving safety, capacity, travel time reliability and accessibility for all road users,”

said Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey. “This is one of the fastest growing regions in the country, and it’s important we continue to invest in new and improved road and transport

options to meet current and future demand. The Australian and Queensland governments have committed $2.16 billion on a 50:50 basis to plan and build Coomera Connector

Stage 1 between Coomera and Nerang. The new motorway is expected to open progressively to traffic from late 2025, with planning continuing for future stages.

WORK is progressing on the 42 bridge structures that are being built along the $1 billion, 26km Gympie bypass project. These bridges are being built in 23 locations over waterways, local roads, the North Coast Rail Line and the new Bruce Highway. Two of the

bridges are over 250 metres long. A whopping 730 bridge girders and deck units are part of the project, with the final 21 of these delivered in the last week of September. The first girders were installed on the project in October 2021 over Tin Can Bay

Road, with the final girders in place on the 250 metre long Six Mile Creek Bridge on September 26, 2023. The largest girder on the project was over 38 metres long and weighed 102.5 tonnes. “The completion of these girders is a major milestone for this critical road infrastructure

project, and I thank the workers on this project for their efforts,”said Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey. “If each of the bridges were placed end-to-end, they would span almost four kilometres, which is longer than Queensland’s longest bridge,

the Ted Smout Memorial Bridge which crosses Hays inlet and links Brisbane to Redcliffe. “I would like to thank the community and the travelling public while we delivered these vital pieces of pre-cast concrete bridge elements to site from Brisbane, one truck (or jink-

er as they are also called) per girder.” The Gympie bypass is jointly funded on an 80:20 basis, with the Australian Government contributing $800 million and the Queensland Government $200 million. It is due for completion by late 2024, weather permitting.

The Coomera Connector aims to improve safety, transport capacity and travel time. Photo: Department of Transport and Main Roads Queensland

Bridges take shape on 26km Gympie bypass project

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EV weight trials welcomed

DAIMLER Truck Australia Pacific has welcomed trials by the NSW, South Australian and Queensland governments that allow greater

truck front axle weights for electric trucks. As a rule, electric drive technology weighs more than a traditional internal com-

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has just revealed the eActros 600 in Germany which has a range of 500km.

bustion engine which means more weight and higher front axle load. Australian states have long enforced front axle weight tolerances that are significantly lower than many regions, including Europe. This can exclude some vehicles from local sale or cut their productivity by reducing the amount some models can carry without breaching overall weight limits. Daimler Truck Australia Pacific says this could limit the take-up of electric trucks that produce zero emissions and operate near silently in our market. The truck manufacturer welcomed the increased limit trials in the

three states; noting that European authorities have approved a similar increase in front axle weight allowances for EV trucks over internal combustion variants. “Electric trucks deliver massive benefits to the community and operators alike, so we are excited that these state governments appear to be prepared to conduct trials such as these to try and ensure Australians are not left behind the rest of the world when it comes to this great technology,” said Daimler Truck Australia Pacific president and CEO, Daniel Whitehead. Mercedes-Benz Trucks is currently undertaking a local

evaluation program for the battery-electric eActros and eEconic rigid trucks in Australia, while sister company Fuso is preparing to launch its new generation eCanter electric truck. Mercedes-Benz Trucks has just revealed the eActros 600 in Germany, a pioneering electric prime mover that introduces a raft of new technology, has a range of 500km and demonstrates the rapid advancement of electric commercial vehicles. The brand is taking orders for this model in Europe, and is under consideration for Australia and New Zealand although it is too early to determine the final specification and when

the vehicle could be available locally. Mercedes-Benz Trucks is currently studying unique local customer requirements and regulations as it considers the specification of trucks such as the eActros 600, which is an intrastate model rather than a replacement for a linehaul vehicle. “It’s our view that fuel cell electric technology will deliver for longer linehaul applications with maximum weights, but a battery electric truck like the eActros 600 would be a brilliant for many intrastate applications,” said Mercedes-Benz Trucks Australia Pacific vice president, Andrew Assimo.

VICTORIA has become the first Australian state or territory to launch a permanent low/ zero emissions road network, which will allow certain trucks to operate under a pre-approved permit. The announcement was made by Victorian Minister for Ports and Freight, Melissa Horne at the Freight Decarbonisation Summit, hosted by the Department of Transport and Planning. The Low/Zero Emission Heavy Vehicle (LZEHV) access map has been developed with

heavy vehicles. With Volvo Group Australia currently being the only manufacturer to offer a full range of electric heavy vehicles, the company has been leading calls for the weight concessions for zero-emissions heavy vehicles to facilitate the adoption rate needed to meet Paris Agreement emissions targets. “We’ve been very clear that without legislative changes such as these, we won’t as an industry meet the emissions targets that we are all working towards,” said Martin Merrick,

president and CEO of Volvo Group Australia. “I applaud the commitment shown by the Victorian Government by taking these steps. We’ve made our commitment to both industry and society that we will be at the forefront of zero-emissions transport, and I’m heartened to see government taking steps along this journey as well.” The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has also begun developing a Future Heavy Vehicle Roadmap to serve as a blueprint for future planning.

This network will allow Volvo heavy-duty electric trucks to operate under a pre-approved, three-year permit with a 7.5-ton steer axle weight concession on these routes.

Victoria launches new low/zero emissions road network the aim of simplifying the implementation of these vehicles on Victorian roads. Access maps will reduce the need for structural assessments on a permit-by-permit basis for operators of approved vehicles – saving time and cutting red tape for operators. The first map centres will be on a new Volvo electric semi-trailer, allowing the manufacturer to start offering this combination for use on the approved network by local operators to super-charge a shift towards more sustainable


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Brakes still on EV uptake, believes Isuzu boss

ISUZU’S Australia boss Andrew Harbison has added his voice to the industry call for more government help to facilitate the uptake of electric trucks in Australia. Speaking in Tokyo during the recent Japan Mobility Show where Isuzu Australia announced its new truck range, which includes the signature N Series EV, Harbison said Canberra must try harder. “If you look at other markets where electric vehicles are being adopted quickly it’s happening either because governments are mandating it, and there has to be X amount of EV as part of your sales, or there’s massive incentives for customers to adopt it,” said Harbison, Isuzu’s director and chief operating officer in Australia. “But in the Australian market the government is talking a big story on one hand and then doing absolutely nothing to support the introduction of EVs on the other hand.” Harbison said the Truck Industry Council, which lobbies Canberra on behalf of OEMs, is doing a great job and is making headway: changes to EV truck width and axle weights

Andrew Harbison, Isuzu’s director and chief operating officer in Australia, believes the government in Australia must do more to help EV uptake.

are two recent wins for manufacturers at the forefront of the technology. “But the governments are still scrambling,” Harbison said. “On one hand they are wanting to be the ones that can spruik a 2030 or 2035 [zero emissions] message but have no concept of what it’s going to take to bring that to reality. “It’s places like the US and Europe, where mandates are in place where you’re seeing the major uptake of product. The infrastructure here still has a long way to go.

“Having the product is one thing but got to have the infrastructure and environment to operate in.” Isuzu’s latest Future of Trucking Report, due for release in 2024, tells the Truganina-based powerhouse that customers are now more receptive than ever to the emission free alternatives. The report presents follow-up data from a survey of over 1000 Australian stakeholders within the trucking and road transport sector who provided their perspectives initially in 2019, and then again in 2023.

The survey aims to examine emerging patterns in the trucking market post-pandemic and to identify key insights that will be likely influence the industry in the coming years, said Isuzu Australia’s chief of strategy Grant Cooper. “The findings also uncover sentiment around the appetite for a zero-emission future as well the perceptions of EV product in the Australian market,” he said. “Whilst a moment in time of course, the data provides a rare insight into the thought process of end users, which inturn works to inform transport solutions that we see at events like the Japan Mobility Show. “The good news is that Australian transport businesses are well and truly considering adopting a zero-emission strategy for their own truck fleets, with a huge 91 per cent in favour according to the FoT report. While this is a positive sign, only about 10 per cent of businesses are considering implementing a zero-emission strategy right now, whereas 70 per cent of businesses are looking at implementing within a

Isuzu Australia Limited chief of strategy, Grant Cooper, introduces the N Series EV at the Brisbane Truck Show.

timeframe of two to five years, Cooper added. “This is telling data on the industry’s readiness for the transition. “These findings are inline with other research we’ve conducted with some of the country’s largest road transport fleets. The ship is turning—albeit at a slower than desired pace for some.” In terms of the strictly zero (tailpipe) emission methodologies fleets are considering, Battery Electric is overwhelming the preference followed by Hydrogen Fuel Cell, and then the Hydrogen Internal

Combustion Engine (ICE), which has gained considerable momentum since Isuzu’s last survey. “Traditionally it’s been reluctantly accepted by customers and it’s been driven by regulation, whereas what we’re seeing now, both with Euro 6 and EV adoption, it is customers who are pushing for it and they’re leading the charge and governments are struggling to catch up in terms of regulation,” added Harbison. For more on Isuzu’s new N Series EVs and when they are expected to arrive in Australia, turn to page 18.




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Changes too slow


BIG RIGS was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Japan Mobility Show in Tokyo late last month as a guest of Isuzu Australia. That was an eye-opener in more ways than one. By far the vast majority of the exhibitors were from the car industry, but the truck manufacturers that did front, gave us a dazzling display of what’s in store over the next few years for fleet owners and smaller operators alike. Now we just need the federal goverment to catch-up. Yes, as I write this, there have been inroads into allowances for greater axle weights and truck widths, which is encouraging. But where’s the infrastructure to recharge and incentives for encouraging uptake? Until then, it’s only going to be the likes of Australia Post, Toll, FedEx, and local councils, etc, who are likely to show much interest in this technology because there’s a mandate to do their bit to lower emmissions.

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Popular truckie food van closes after two months


ONLY eight weeks after opening Nan & Pop’s Tucker Box – a food van set up by a veteran truckie and his wife at Yaamba Rest Area on the Bruce Highway – its owners have had to make the heart-breaking decision to close up shop. Peter and Joanne Dehaas (aka Nan and Pop) said they had big hopes for their little business, which quickly attracted many rave reviews. That was until they received a hefty tax bill of over $10,000, which forced them to re-evaluate their plans. “At our age, it’s a bit of a kick in the guts. This was going to be our semi-retirement. We wanted to eventually ease it back to four days a week. Now instead I’m going to go back to driving until everything settles down,” explained Peter. “We were doing alright but couldn’t afford to pay such a huge tax bill when we’re just

starting out. Every time you turn around someone has their hand out – it’s two steps forward, four steps back.” With the cost to purchase the food truck, together with the cost of stock, the couple had already poured close to $60,000 into their new business. “We were kicking goals. It was a tremendous little business. We tripled our takings in four weeks,” Peter said, adding that an article recently published in Big Rigs resulted in even more people pulling up for a coffee or a feed. “It was getting better and better and the response from that article was incredible. It was definitely getting busier every week. The people we met out there were unbelievable. It’s a shame. “All the lads who stopped here just raved about having it there, because it was a good position, and we were building a really good rapport with

our customers. We had a lot of drivers who became regulars, so there was a lot of banter. But it wasn’t meant to be for us.” Peter says their ultimate decision wasn’t made lightly. “We talked about it for a fair while before we made the final decision, but we just couldn’t see how we could dig ourselves back out of the hole while still trying to build a business.” The couple has now put Nan & Pop’s Tucker Box on the market, with the hope of finding a local buyer. They had originally chosen to set up at the Yaamba Rest Area, located about 40 kilometres north of Rockhampton, to fill a gap for truckies passing through the area. “In a perfect world, we would love to find someone out where we are, because we could then transfer our permits to them, so they could get up and going in just a few days,” Peter added. “It took three to four months

for us to get those permits. We had to go through the Rockhampton Council and then through Main Roads too. If we can find someone out here, these are hurdles someone else won’t have to jump through. “We’ll give them all the training and help they need. It’s actually a good little business, it really is.” When the couple shared the news online via their Nan & Pop’s Tucker Box Facebook page, many of their loyal customers were quick to react. Mick Adams wrote, “Sad news. Will definitely miss the great food and great friendly service.” Carl Stronach commented, “Just heard the news. Going to miss you both. All the best for your future.” Ryan Wilson echoed the same sentiment. “That is terrible news. I hope everything sorts out for you, shame to lose such a great business.”

Around 90 per cent of their customers were truck drivers.

“I rang the police. The people who stole the equipment were known to police. They went out and arrested a couple of them and we were able to go pick it up.” He added that he is happy and relieved to have the trailer and dolly back. “I’m very pleased. There were a few things we had to fix,

but the damage was minimal. “I will be paying the reward to the person who tipped me off.” A 2022 Moore white/red lead drop deck tipper and a 2022 Moore red tri dolly owned by Eastwells were taken from Pittsworth road train breakup pad in the Toowoomba region of Queensland be-

tween 10.30am on Friday October 6 and 10.30am on Sunday October 8. Eastwell told Big Rigs at the time that the robbery couldn’t have been planned far in advance. “One of our drivers split his road train at the road train pad in Pittsworth on Friday morning, to go unload the trailers,” he said. “The only reason he didn’t hook it back up was because he had to do a B-double load, so he just took his back two trailers and left his lead and dolly there. “When he came back on Sunday morning to hook it back to the road train they were gone.

“It’s not like someone saw them sitting there for a long time and thought ‘Oh, they’ve been forgotten about, no-one will notice if I grab them.’ Within 36 hours they were gone.” Eastwell shared that the items were worth approximately $200,000 and their loss would leave him substantially out of pocket. The incident also came at an especially inconvenient time for the company, as the owners Mark and Robyn are in the process of taking a step back to “focus on the finer things” like time with family and travel. “My wife and I are actually in the process of taking a bit of a step back with our business,

Reward pays off: trailers recovered and arrests made BY KAYLA WALSH

A FAMILY business based in Redbank, Queensland have shared their joy after their stolen trailer and dolly were recovered. Mark Eastwell, who runs cargo and freight company Eastwells Haulage, offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the equipment’s recovery – and it has paid off. Eastwell said a tip-off led to police finding it concealed in a shed around Bideston, between Toowoomba and Pittsworth. “Someone had seen my Facebook post about the stolen trailer and dolly,” he said. “They rang me and gave me a tip off that they had spotted them hidden in a hayshed.

The trailer and dolly were stolen from Pittsworth road train breakup pad.

and had made the tough decision to disperse all trucks and trailers in our fleet and move in a different direction,” he continued. “We’re still going to have our workshop, River Road Mechanical. Eastwells will run as a loading agent. We’re just slowing down a bit.” Eastwells will be selling their fleet through Ritchie Bros in their National Unreserved Endof-Year Auction on November 29-30. “It’s about 145 pieces of equipment in total,” Eastwell said. “The trailer and dolly have been fixed up now and sent down to Ritchie Bros. They will also be for sale in the auction.”

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Industry on high alert as bushfire season begins Hundreds of firefighters have been battling bushfires across Queensland. Photo: Facebook/Queensland Fire and Emergency Services - QFES

WITH the Northern Territory and Queensland being heavily impacted by bushfires in recent weeks, conditions are continuing to change rapidly, as emergency services brace for what authorities believe could be the worst fire season in decades. Many thousands of acres have been burned, properties have been damaged beyond repair and lives have already been lost. And with more dry weather predicted, there are warnings that there is more to come. Queensland fire crews re-

portedly battled more than 420 bushfires in the last week of October alone. With that, many roads are being cut off at short notice. The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) has advised of various impacts to the state-controlled road network as a result of bushfires. But due to extensive fires across the state, diversions and alternative routes are difficult to confirm. The Bureau of Meteorology has forecasted limited rain through to mid-November. While Bushfires NT

warned of roads being heavily impacted by bushfires. During October, it says almost every major highway had been impacted. Well-known truck driver and water driller Danyelle Haigh posted to her Facebook page late last month that she and her family had to deviate from a planned water drilling trip to Mt Isa, so they could head back to their rural NT property to protect it from a raging fire. She says the fire was sparked by lightning strikes and was bolstered by strong winds. When she spoke with Big Rigs just a few days later, Haigh said, “They’re all under control at the moment – hopefully it stays that way. The fires are still only 5km from our property. “We back burned up to the property, so that’s what stopped them – and we have a water cart too so we’ve been putting some of the smaller fires out with the water cart. “Fires are expected here for this time of year with storms and that, but a lot of these fires have been deliberately lit. Ten-

nant Creek just got hit again with fires on the other side. “We’re back out drilling now but if we have to, we can deviate back.” The rapidly-changing fire situation only adds weight to calls for a national interstate freight route alert system. WA’s peak trucking body, Western Roads Federation (WRF), and the NT Road Transport Association (NRTA) have united in their calls for this type of warning system to be put into place. “The lessons learnt during the 2020 Eyre Highway fires and again being learnt by the Barkly Highway fires is that early advice has to be given to interstate operators that a road is closed due to a fire or flood incident,” said WRF CEO Cam Dumesny. “Currently all systems are state-based, leading to some interstate drivers arriving at, or near incident sites. A national system enabling earlier incident advice to interstate drivers may enable them to consider alternative plans.” Drivers are being reminded to drive carefully, be aware of changed traffic conditions and

follow the direction of any traffic control on site.

Truck driver Danyelle Haigh drives the water cart as she and husband Anthony Haigh work to protect their property.










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Contract Haulage truckie honoured for his heroic act

A quick-thinking driver has been honoured after he came to the aid of a fellow truckie, pulling him away from a burning cab and ultimately saving his life. IT TURNED OUT ANDREW WAS A RETIRED TRUCKIE WHO MADE THE DECISION TO COME BACK FOR ONE TRIP A WEEK. HE SUFFERED PRETTY HORRIFIC INJURIES… AND IT TOOK HIM A WHILE TO RECOVER.” STEVEN YOUNG

When interstate truckie Steven Young, 39, saw the incident, he raced in to help.


INTERSTATE truckie Steven Young, 39, was travelling along the Dukes Highway just outside of Bordertown, SA, when he was confronted with an horrific scene he’ll never forget. The Contract Haulage driver was travelling between Melbourne and Adelaide when he came across a fatal head-on collision involving a car that had veered onto the wrong side of the road and collided with a fully loaded B-double. When asked how quickly he realised the driver was still in the truck, he said, “I knew straight off the bat, because the truck was on its side. He was conscious and had just gotten out of the truck but he could barely stand up – I thought he broke his legs. He was covered in blood and diesel. It was very confronting. “I saw the flames shoot into the air. It was like an explosion, then as soon as I saw the flames, I started hitting debris.” Using his radio, Young

called up the accident, flicked on his hazards and raced to his fellow truckie’s aid. “There was a car just in front me and he had gotten out but was so shook up, he didn’t know what to do. I got straight on the phone to 000 and told them where the accident was. I originally thought it was just the truck that was involved, then I realised the debris on the road was actually a car,” he recalled. “While I was on the phone, I ran down and jumped over the guardrail to get to the truck while it was on fire. I wrapped the driver’s arm around my neck and grabbed him by the hips to drag him up the hill. I didn’t want to lift him into my truck so got him into a car and he stayed there until the police and ambulance arrived. “Once I got him back to safety, I had to get everyone clear from the guardrail cables. Because of the fire, the cables were making noises like they were about to snap, so I got everyone clear of that until the police arrived and then they took over.” Young says that there were

no visual injuries apart from the driver hitting his head and tearing his ear, which needed stitches. “But he was pretty banged up and was clearly concussed.” Young rang the truckie’s employer after the accident to see if he was okay. “His name was Andrew and I wasn’t sure which depot he was from, so I rang Derrimut in Victoria and found out he was from the Adelaide depot. “It turned out Andrew was a retired truckie who made the decision to come back for one trip a week. He suffered pretty horrific injuries – including a broken collar bone and fractured sternum – and it took him a while to recover.” Though that was the first time Young had ever seen an accident of that severity, it sadly wasn’t the last. “Since then, I have seen a few more,” he said. Andrew worked for Collin’s Transport in Adelaide. “They actually reached out to me with a letter from the managing director and owner of the company, personally thanking me, following the accident,” added Young. He was also formally honoured for his actions last month, when he was presented with the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian accolade. Bridgestone Australia & New Zealand managing director, Heath Barclay, said Young’s story highlights the camaraderie of the industry. “His selfless actions, not just on the night, but following the crash demonstrates that the title is beyond fitting.

“Mr Young prevented a terrible crash becoming worse and showed incredible kindness and care for his fellow truck driver. This is precisely what the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian embodies.” As Young admitted, he didn’t even know he had been nominated for the award. “Someone nominated me without my knowledge – still to this day, I don’t know who nominated me,” he said. “I received a phone call from the chair of the Australian Trucking Association, David Smith, at about 8.30 one night. I was actually on my way back from Brisbane, and I panicked when I got the call, I didn’t know what to think. I thought I’d done something wrong!” On presenting Young with

the award, Smith said, “Your actions that night and in the follow up were selfless. We’re delighted to present you with this accolade. “It’s crashes like this that put a spotlight on the dangers our truck drivers are exposed to on a day-to-day basis, and highlights the need for motorists to be aware of their surroundings at all times on the road. “We are privileged to have heroes like Steven Young in our industry, because he shows genuine kindness for his peers and places importance on what matters most.” Young has worked for Contract Haulage for about five years, based at the depot in Preston, Victoria. He does general and oversize semi work, from behind the wheel of a Kenworth K200.

“I’ve been driving trucks since I was about 23 professionally, on and off. Dad got me to get my HR licence because he owned a tipper, but prior to that I was a diesel mechanic, so it made sense to get my licence. “Currently I’m doing mainly Melbourne to Brisbane, but sometimes I do stops at Canberra and Sydney on the way, or go via Adelaide first. We do a mixture of local and interstate, but the majority is interstate.” The Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian accolade is evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Australian Trucking Association. If you know a member of the industry who warrants this title, nominate them at ian.

Steven Young (right) is presented with the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian Award by Bridgestone Australia’s Matthew Crynes (left).

Truckie comes to the rescue of stranded motorcyclist AFTER breaking down on a busy freeway with no emergency lane due to roadworks, this motorcycle rider was stranded, until a good samaritan truckie came to the rescue and escorted him to safety. The incident occurred late last month on the Princes Freeway, between Geelong and Melbourne. Craig Jamieson spoke of the incident live on radio, on the 3AW Breakfast Show with



Ross and Russel, praising the truckie for his actions. “I’ve been repairing the bike and thought I had it

fixed. I took it down on the freeway for a shake-down just to make sure – obviously it wasn’t fixed,” Jamieson told

Ross Stevenson and Russel Howcroft live on air. “I was having some carby issues and I broke down on a spot on the freeway, on the M1, that had a concrete wall up the side of the lane, so there was absolutely nowhere to get off.” With traffic speeding past, it was quite the scary situation for Jamieson. After seeing him stopped, the truck driver slowed down

and put their hazards on, escorting him off the freeway. “I was paddling the bike, still sitting on the bike because I didn’t want to stretch out into the lane any further by getting off the bike and pushing it. There were cars screaming past at the speed limit, then a truckie pulled up behind me and put his hazard lights on and rode real slow behind me while I pushed the bike up to a safe spot to get off

the road,” Jamieson explained on air. “There was no shoulder at all, there were roadworks there and they’ve got concrete barriers right up to the side of the road, so there’s absolutely nothing to get off the road at all.” Jamieson added that the truckie was a fantastic bloke and is hoping to find out who it was so he can buy him a beer!



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Isuzu sounds warning to main heavy-duty rivals

Although the focus in the short to medium term is the release of its new N and F series ranges, Isuzu Australia reveals that it is also gunning for dominance across all three sectors. BY JAMES GRAHAM

AMID all the buzz around the impending release of the allnew Isuzu truck ranges here, there was still one scratch to left to itch for the Australian executives at the launch event held during the recent Japan Mobility Show in Tokyo. The market leaders in Australia for the last 34 years due to their dominance in the light- and medium-duty sectors, the top brass at Truganina HQ made no secret of the fact they now have the incumbent heavy-duty top dogs also in their sights. Despite having no prime mover in the ranks, Isuzu has still managed to sit clearly in the number three position, well clear of the likes of Scania, Mack and UD, the latter of which is now owned by Isuzu but distributed here by Volvo. “One of my predecessors stood up 20-odd years ago in front of a group of journalists and claimed that Isuzu would be number one in the

heavy-duty market and that fire still burns deeply within us in Australia,” Isuzu Australia director and chief operating officer Andrew Harbison told Big Rigs while in Tokyo. “We have sold a heavy-duty product in a prime mover form [the Giga], and it’s a product you can’t break, but it ran a 16-litre engine, it wasn’t particularly fuel efficient, and it had a Japanese gearbox behind it. “So, it was a good product but it’s not where you want to be for taking the number one position in the heavy-duty market.” While Japanese rivals Fuso and Hino have made inroads into the segment with their Shogun and 700 series, respectively, Harbison said he’s resisted the recent heavy-duty product offered by Japan because it was “not right”. “It was an advancement on what we’ve had previously, which is a 16-litre Isuzu engine which pushes out 510-520hp, and a good, reliable option, but when you

compare it against the market in Australia, it’s not the right specification. “The strength of our heavy-duty market in Australia has been because we take a Japanese truck and we turn it into a global truck by running Meritor axels, Hendrickson suspensions, etc, etc, Allison transmissions, etc, etc, so we’re taking that industry benchmark componentry to get far better fleet commonality and far better performance.” One of the missing pieces of the puzzle for Harbison is securing a 13-litre engine mated to an industry-benchmark transmission. “Now what colour the engine is is still up for debate and the transmission comes down to what the engine is. But whether it’s some version of the Volvo i-Shift which is part of that alliance we have with Volvo, or an Eaton, but specified for Australia. It’s that 13-litre, 500-550hp band that we’d really love to attack. “A couple of years ago, Isuzu purchased UD from Vol-

Simon Humphries, left, and Andrew Harbison answer industry media questions at Isuzu Motors Ltd HQ in Yokohama.

vo as part of bigger broader strategic alliance that Volvo and Isuzu formed and the first iteration of that alliance was released in Japan a few months ago, which was both an Isuzu and UD branded 13-litre Giga product with a UD 13-litre engine and driveline in it. “We are deep within negotiation with our parent company about what that looks like but we’re not finalised yet. “It’s frustrating to see the product that we would like to have so close but not having a clear picture on when that’s going out, but we’re pushing hard.” “When we’ve got nearly

[L-R] Isuzu’s Andrew Harbison, Grant Cooper and Ben Lasry with the new Giga Fuel Cell truck at the Japan show.

50 per cent market share in the light-duty and nearly 50 per cent in medium, and you look at the fact we’re number three in the heavy-duty market, if we could have a proper heavy-duty product that competes directly in the 500-550hp range we believe absolutely that we could take the market with it.” When that product does land, chief engineer Simon Humphries told Big Rigs that a good guide of what to expect here would be what was available in the Giga range. “The product was good and reliable and well accepted by some customers, but the reality is that product wasn’t going to be made available with the advanced safety features and the engines were a bit old and they weren’t going to be competitive with Euro 6,” Humphries said. “They go for a long time. But for the customers who go a long distance the economy wasn’t’ there, it wasn’t competitive. So, we said, ‘Okay, we’ll wait for the right product when it comes’. We believe they do have the right product coming, it’s just going to take a little while. “We’ve always said to Japan what we had was quite good but it needs to be competitive on fuel economy, needs to have the right transmissions, nice smooth fast-shifting AMTs and needs to have competitive power. “So, we’re looking for something that can give us about 450hp, through to 530550, and a couple in between, if we can get engines that fill that horsepower range. “We’re not really looking to do road trains, or anything like that, but up to the B-double and PBS, truck and dog type market, we’ll be fine.” Both Humphries and Harbison discounted the possibil-

ity of an 11-litre engine in the heavy-duty sector because of the market size. “Yes, it would be nice to have it, but the volume tapers off there. “Sure, there’s 660, 700 and 770 on the market, but it’s very small numbers and very high warranty risk, so we’ll leave that to custom builders, or the established players who play in that spec. “We’re waiting for the fruits of the joint development between Isuzu and UD Trucks. That’s underway but it will take its time. “It’s not next year, or the year after. We’re focusing on renewing the rest of the range first, and then the heavy-duty vehicles to top it off will come after that - more than two years away, but before 2030.” So, will the new hydrogen-powered Giga Fuel Cell truck that was unveiled to the public for the first time in Tokyo be part of that equation? Humphries doesn’t see why not. “I’m seeing that our federal and state governments are picking hydrogen almost as the default winner as the diesel alternative for long-distance transport,” Humphries told Big Rigs. “Although it’s still longterm, the environment seems to be right to build up [hydrogen] infrastructure. “In the meetings we had earlier in the week, we put our hand up to say when the Giga Fuel Cell pipeline is ready to put into an Australian spec truck, we’ll happily evaluate it in Australia. “We certainly think that it’ll be relevant to Australia. But obviously we’d have to have enough hydrogen stations to make it worthwhile and that could be three or four years away; could be a bit longer.”


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Prices herein are recommended selling prices for both Privileges members and non-members, inclusive of GST. Recommended selling prices in this publication are provided as a guide. Prices may vary at the dealerships. Freight charges may apply. Core charges are not included in selling price however may be applied by the dealer. All items have been included in good faith on the basis that goods will be available at the time of sale. Promotion available at participating Dealers from 1 November to 31 December 2023 or while stocks last.

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Isuzu’s next-gen range revealed

The long-standing market leader in Australia is confident the new range will be worth the wait when the first variants start arriving from next year. FOR the first time since 2008, Isuzu Australia Ltd (IAL) has unveiled details of an all new truck range that will be rolled out in Australia from 2024. Announced at the recent Japan Mobility Show in Tokyo, the first cab off the rank from the long-time market leader will be the four-cylinder medium-duty F Series models in the second half of next year. “The launch and release of an entirely new product lineup, from our driver’s licence N Series models all the way through to our FY heavy-duty trucks represents a significant undertaking, and so staging the various range releases in Australia made best sense,” explained Isuzu Australia director and chief operating officer Andrew Harbison. “This, combined with the production timelines from the factory in Japan, mean that we’ll see our full model lineup progressively rolled-out leading into the ADR 80/04 heavy vehicle exhaust emissions in late 2025.” The innovative Isuzu modular architecture and component standard, or I-MACS, underpins the new model’s entire design and functionality, said Isuzu. The approach is one of combining various components, parts, and devices on an ‘as needs basis’, thereby catering to the diverse requirements of Isuzu truck customers and markets. Medium and heavy-duty product manager and chief engineer, Simon Humphries, said the new four-cylinder F Series models cover the key 9000 to 12,000 kg GVM sub-segment of the medium-duty market. “A key category where we’ve been fortunate to enjoy over 50 per cent market share year to date,” said medium and heavy-duty product manager and chief engineer, Simon Humphries. “These all-new models deliver on the design premise, with best-in-class safety features, new cab design and improved ergonomics, the latest exhaust emissions treatment and new cabin and engine combinations. “We’ve retained and further enhanced our highly regarded, low displacement, high-torque four cylinder, turbocharged and intercooled N-4HK1 engine, with lower

First glance at the Japanese spec fourcylinder medium-duty Isuzu F series.

exhaust emissions courtesy of the new selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system for lower NOx output.” The N-4HK1 produces 177 kW power (240 PS) and 765 Nm in the FFR/D, FSR/D models and 154 kW power (210 PS) and 726 Nm for the FSS 4x4. Transmissions include the six-speed torque-converter automated manual (TC-AMT) and six-speed manual.

Safety harnessed

The new F Series variants feature three new safety systems on top of what Isuzu says was already a class-leading package. “We now have adaptive driving beam (ADB), fullspeed adaptive cruise control (ACC) and traffic sign recognition (TSR), all features that contribute greatly to the experience of driving the vehicle and for others in the environment.” The new FRR/D, FSR/D models also benefit from the inclusion of the auto lighting system (ALS) and auto rain sensing wipers (AWS), to round out the full-featured safety suite. Additionally, FSS 4x4 models will see the introduction of advanced emergency braking (AEB) and electronic stability control (ESC) – a first for Japanese vehicles in this category. FRR and FRD models also receive full air braking system with EBS, while further enhancements to the vehicle include advanced CAN electronic architecture for better integration and control of ancillary and body builder equipment.

Four-cylinder medium-duty F series models will arrive in Australia in the second half of next year.

All-new cabin

Inside the cab, drivers are greeted by an all-new interior, with new display, dash, lighting, storage and seating and steering componentry, with improved ergonomics contributing to reduced user fatigue. Essential operational information is provided to the driver via the large and sharp, enhanced full-colour TFT 7-inch multi-information display, located between the speedometer and tachometer. Comfort out on the road is provided via the new ISRI NTS2 6860 driver’s seat, while improved user experience comes by way of a new steering wheel featuring buttons for the AV unit, cruise, and the multi-information display.

Exterior aesthetics

The cab exterior has also undergone a full transformation

with new lamp assemblies and aerodynamically sculpted panels. A new grille provides a powerful visual statement, with the integration of the Isuzu badge allowing for greater flexibility for client livery and signage. The smart looking and smart performing headlamps incorporate a combination LED lamp assembly with Bi-LED high and low-beam, distinctive daytime running lamp (DRL), position lamps and indicators, all in one unit. “This new headlamp is both a well-executed design element on the truck, and it performs effectively with the multitude of standard functions, plus the new adaptive driving beam,” Humphries said. “This is reflective of the smart thinking that is evident throughout these new

models, provided with both excellent form and function. “From the conceptual approach with the modular engineering design and I-MACS, to the visual design and the integration and performance of the various components of the truck, I can see that we have a product that will enhance the transport operations of our customers in a variety of ways.

Medium and heavyduty powerhouses

Another major part of the launch of the new Isuzu model range will be the F Series 6-cylinder models, with a 6.7-litre DB6A Euro 6 engine in FSR/D, FV and FTS models. These models will all feature Allison full automatic transmissions. “Our 6-cylinder F Series model range with new engine that is an outcome of the alliance with Cummins

As we see here in the Japanese spec, the F Series cabin for Australia will also boast a fresh new interior.

represents one of the first major product initiatives from Isuzu Motors’ strategic partnerships,” said Humphries. “This is a first-class product, and the Isuzu medium-duty truck range has long-benefited from Isuzu’s expertise in incorporating the industry benchmark components. “We’ve also upped the spec on our heavy-duty FV models, with higher capacity steer axles, Meritor full-air disc brakes, and an all-new chassis frame.” The FX and FY heavy-duty model ranges will also herald the introduction of Isuzu’s Euro 6 (Step C) 6UZ1 Isuzu engine and once again, a shift to auto only, with the Allison HD4430 across all models. “The 7.8-litre and 6HK1 has done a magnificent job for us but it is not being developed beyond the current emissions standards,” Humphries said. The trucks will also receive higher capacity Meritor steer axles and Meritor full-air disc brakes on all axles, plus a comprehensive ADAS suite. “We’ve been able to keep Meritor axles but combine it with the modern disc brake technology and an all new rivetless top flange chassis frame 870mil wide, so pretty big news. “Of note, is also higher capacity steer axles. We’re anticipating what’s happening in the regulatory space with the increased axle limits that are being talked about, requiring wider tyres, and the like.” Continued on page 18






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Prices herein are recommended selling prices for both Privileges members and non-members, inclusive of GST. Recommended selling prices in this publication are provided as a guide. Prices may vary at the dealerships. Freight charges may apply. Core charges are not included in selling price however may be applied by the dealer. All items have been included in good faith on the basis that goods will be available at the time of sale. Promotion available at participating Dealers from 1 November to 31 December 2023 or while stocks last.

Whilst every effort is made to limit the impact of delays, due to current global supply chain challenges, some products may not be available in all retail outlets during the promotional period.

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New look for light-duty dominator in latest range From page 16 THE new MY25 N Series light truck range is set to build on its enduring market success with a host of new features and an expanded line-up. “The new N Series is a winner in so many ways, from the new cab to more car drivers’ licence and tipper models, increased GVM ratings, firstin-class safety and ADR80/04 emissions compliance, it all stacks up,” said light-duty product manager, Jeff Gibson. “We also have some pretty-neat new model options including the tight-access master - the NKR, new 6500kg GVM narrow cab models and a new high-power 4J engine variant, the 4JZ1 with both 150 and 175-horsepower ratings. “The all-new cab is comfortable, spacious and very efficiently appointed, while our new 9-speed Isuzu dual clutch transmission will provide seamless shifts for a super smooth driving experience,” he continued. Upgraded safety features include intersection autonomous emergency braking (IEB) on all models, fullspeed adaptive cruise control (FACC) for all 2-pedal models and traffic sign recognition (TCR) for all models. “With pilot models due to arrive shortly for our validation trials, we’re keen to get out on the road and put this new model through its final paces,” Gibson said. The current ‘start of sales’ target for the MY25 N Series is early 2025.

N Series EV trials

The roll-out of the all-new range also includes the signature N Series EV, with Australian customer trials scheduled for 2024. “We also have several Japanese-spec N Series battery electric models due to arrive shortly in Australia,” continued Gibson. “In line with our strategy of targeting last mile and local council and government applications, the trucks will be car and light rigid licence models, rated and 4.5 and 7.5 tonnes GVM. “The eNLR at 4.5 tonnes GMV will feature a three-battery configuration with 60kWh capacity. The eNPR is rated at 7.5 tonnes GVM in a five-battery configuration with 100kWh capacity. Battery electric trucks on the ground and in trial is a major stage in this overall new model release program and it’s a remarkable experience to be a part of.” Harbison told Big Rigs that Isuzu is anticipating having the first EV product in

Isuzu Australia’s light-duty product manager Jeff Gibson runs the media through some of the features buyers here can expect to see in the MY25 N Series.

Australia by the end of 2023 or early 2024 for preliminary testing and then in customers’ hands for the first customer trials in the first couple of months of 2024. He said Isuzu will be primarily targeting the council and last mile logistics sector – Isuzu’s international partner FedEx is a likely early adopter – but won’t be rushing to market. “As the market leader you always want to be first to market with something but it’s interesting that if you look back over the introduction of technology history with Isuzu we actually haven’t been first to market with a lot of stuff. “What we’ve always strived to do is make sure the technology is always right so that when it gets into the customers’ hands it’s going to fit within the ‘reliability is everything’ mantra that we live by. “We don’t want to use our customers in Australia as the final test bed of our product. We want to ensure that it’s right before it gets to them.” Head of product Matt Sakhaie told industry media in Tokyo that Isuzu Australia is well into the launch program for these new model ranges and is anticipating excellent performance in local operating conditions. “The execution of the design concepts and principles into the product is impressive,” Sakhaie said. “The simple example of the new N Series EV and ICE product and the commonality of platforms and yet vast number of possible configurations and variations to meet all manner of market and customer needs is quite remarkable,” he said. “It’s this agile approach and broad thinking that encourages us at IAL, as we know we’ll have an even better product to

offer shortly.” An overarching theme of the Isuzu/UD Trucks showcase in Tokyo was the Isuzu Group’s long-term goal to create environmentally responsible transport that can drive both economic growth as well as positive environmental outcomes. “This broader push from our parent company is of course well underway and as we saw in Tokyo, an unapologetically holistic approach to technological development is being pursued,” noted Harbison. A significant part of this

approach is the Isuzu Modular Architecture and Component Standard (I-MACS) – a new approach to product development that allows the combination of various components, parts and devices to be applied in light of future tech advancement and the expansion of vehicle types. Industry media got a firsthand look at the methodology in action at Isuzu Motors Limited’s manufacturing plant in Fujisawa. “Offering agile responses to changes in customer need and identifying the range of

challenges faced by our customers is a key driver in developing and rolling-out these strategies and companywide capabilities,” added Sakhaie. “We have set out to improve overall product delivery – be that the delivery of fitfor-purpose solutions or reducing the time-to-market To better emphasise this transformation, every product and support offering throughout the Isuzu Australia brand has now been consolidated under one banner. “From commercial vehicles - be they light-, medium- or heavy-duty, internal combustion or battery electric – through to parts, accessories, power solutions and our broader mobility offering, every product now has the same in-house development process applied, with the voice of the end user very firmly top of mind. “Specialised teams within IAL now head-up these product disciplines and the responsibility for product development across each of these divisions is led by one point of contact. From an engineering capability standpoint, these are profound changes, enabling the product team to function at its maximum capacity with benefits to our dealer network and ultimately our customers.” Sakhaie said a good example of this approach at the Melbourne HQ can be seen in

the Isuzu Dual Control lineup, the popular 10x4 product as well as the brand’s Agitator specification. “Our growing product capabilities represent an innovative and genuine solution for the end user,” Sakhaie said. “This broader fit-for-purpose engineering approach also serves to elevate the Isuzu brand from that of our competition.” Other highlights at the joint Isuzu/UD Trucks stand in Tokyo was a world-first reveal of the e-Vision Cycle Concept which showcased the potential for a fast-turnaround battery-swap system and a look at the Quon GW 6x4, a model being closely watched by the Australian market. The truck is already on sale in Japan under the Isuzu EXY classification and is touted to combine efficiency and power for heavy hauling applications. “Having boots on the ground here Tokyo, it’s hard not to get swept up in the concept that this really is a critical juncture in our industry’s history,” Harbison said. “It’s a fantastic time to be involved in the transport industry and it does feel as though we’re on the cusp of seismic change in the way we think about and approach transport and mobility, especially from a product perspective.”

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Sludge overcomes more hurdles during recovery


IT’S been over seven months since a motorcycle accident left Sludge with horrific injuries and though he’s continuing to improve each week, the popular truckie says there’s still a little while to go. “My body is good and going really well, but my head is now the issue. I got over the hurdle of the hurt body and needing painkillers and that sort of thing, but my vertigo is next level. I do struggle with it,” Sludge told Big Rigs. “The vertigo buggers up my balance. With the brain injury, all the bleeds were on the right side of the brain, so it affects your balance on the left side. So when I get tired, the left side of my body doesn’t work properly and that’s when I start falling down.” Paul ‘Sludge’ Andrews became a household name in the world of trucking thanks to his regular appearances on hit television show Outback Truckers – together with his instantly recognisable purple 2008 Peterbilt 379 called ‘The Phantom’. Still unable to get back behind the wheel, Sludge says he’s been using his push bike to keep active. Early last month, he headed out to the Kulin Bush Races, which was his first public outing since the accident on March 4. “I could get around by riding my push bike which was really good. But the other side of that is that it’s been two to three weeks afterwards where I haven’t done a lot. It took me out for a bit,” he said. “At Kulin, there were a lot of people and too much light for me. I’ve become very light sensitive. When there are bright lights I have to wear sunglasses. I went to my son’s

Sludge shared a brief video from the Perth Custom Motorcycle Show that took place on October 21.

graduation the other day and I had to wear sunglasses and ear plugs. It is what it is though, I can’t do anything about it, I need to learn when to go out and when not to.” Though he’s hopeful of eventually returning to trucking in some capacity, it’s likely to still be a while away. “As much as I think I could go back to work tomorrow, there’s the repercussions every time I go and do something, so I know I’m dreaming,” Sludge added. “I would be surprised if I could go back to work within the next 12 months. It’s hard to accept because my body is good – but then my head isn’t and I just don’t have the stamina. I can only last two or three hours. When we were at Kulin, I’d go to the caravan to

The couple were married on September 9.


sit down for 20-30 minutes, then I could go back over to where our friends were. So I am bouncing back better than I was.” Sludge says his neurologist believes the vertigo could take anywhere from one to three years to clear up. “That’s what has pulled me back to a little

After a tough year, Sludge and Wendy recently took a break.

bit of reality because where I think I am and where I truly am are two different things.” Sludge has had his beloved Phantom since 2009 and has racked up 2.97 million kilometres on it since then. “I want to get it to 3 million, so I don’t want to give it up just yet,” he said. He added that he has no plans to sell the truck and has it away in the shed. “I have a couple of mates who help me out and drive it when needed too.

One of my mates said the other day he’d be surprised if they ever give me my licence back. But I’m not going to give up that easy. I still love trucking. Maybe I need to look at a different avenue of trucking like driver training or something like that. It’ll never be back to the way it was. “I’m slowly starting to restore my truck as well. I need to sandblast the chassis and get a new bumper put on. I want to put it back to the

way it was as more of a show truck. There are a couple of spots on the bonnet that we’ll touch up too.” But despite the many hurdles he’s had to overcome, Sludge is hopeful of eventually getting back behind the wheel. “I’d still like to work a little bit but predominantly want to keep the Phantom as more of a show truck. It’s done its honest day’s work. If I was going to go back on the road, I would probably get a smaller truck for around town and probably use the Peterbilt when I need to do the heavier work,” Sludge explained. “As much as I want to go back to work, my head won’t let me. A lot of people see it but then a lot of them don’t. I’m not feeling as good as how as I look. “Everything is good except that vertigo, but it’s crippling. I’m learning to live with it, but it eats me up when I can’t do things.” With a new season of Outback Truckers now confirmed, Sludge is hoping to get involved again. Sludge was on the show from seasons three through to nine. “I’d like to think after Christmas we might be able to do some filming in the truck. I won’t be able to drive it but I’m hoping I can sit in the passenger seat and have someone else driving – I don’t want to miss out!” Prospero Productions also filmed Sludge’s wedding to his long-time partner Wendy last month. “They did the wedding video for us, which was just awesome. That touches our hearts as they didn’t have to do that,” he added.

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Refurbished orange Fiat hits the road once again

This stunning 1976 Italian beauty was headed for the wreckers before being rescued and restored to its former glory. BY DAVID VILE FOUNDED in Italy in the late 1890s by a consortium led by Giovanni Agnelli, the Fiat (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino) automotive group is a name that is today known around the world. The Fiat heavy vehicle division was merged into the Iveco organisation in the mid-1970s, and while never being a major player in the Australian truck market, Fiat trucks nonetheless had a presence on Australian roads for a number of years. Over the years very few have survived the rigours of time, and to come across one which has been beautifully restored, as is the case with Greg Webb’s 1976 110NC cabover is somewhat of a rare find. The restoration of Webb’s Fiat was only completed in August this year, with the truck making its show debut at the American Iron Historic Show in Echuca in September. Hailing from Lakes Entrance, Webb had owned and operated two Fiats many years ago, and his 110NC was essentially a ‘barn find’ coming

into his ownership via a farm clearing sale in 2019. “It was a genuine one owner truck, and I was interested as I was the owner of a similar one back in the day and thought ‘Well, she’s too good to let the wreckers get it’,” Webb explained. “It was a local farm truck, it only ran around the district around the farm with a crate running a few sheep into the saleyards and had only done 130,000km over its life, hence the condition it is in. I found it about 40 k’s from home. I went to the auction, got it for not a lot of money and drove it home.” As such the Fiat had not been subjected to a lifetime of back-breaking work and was in quite sound condition, right down to the original Fiat dealer stickers on the cabin windows. Nonetheless, there was still a bit of rust to chase out and the truck was stripped back to the rails and pieced back together on-site at the Webb workshop. “Wayne Mitchell was the main fabricator, and he did a fantastic job, we took it down to chassis, freshened her up and put her back together.

“We had to buy another truck just for the windscreen, and that took a lot of finding and got the tray back together with some old bits and a few new ones. “The mechanicals also got a freshen up, with the engine putting out a somewhat modest 130 horsepower, running through to a 5-speed/2speed gearbox. “She gets along. It will do about 104k’s in top notch. They are probably not the greatest powerplant, but they were a reliable old truck back in the day.” Originally from Orbost in eastern Victoria, Webb owned two Fiats in the earlier days, with a 110NC on market freight and later a 130 with a tipper. “I used my 110 running from Orbost to the Melbourne market five years, before I sold the job and the truck. It was a 5.5-hour trip each way. Some people say, ‘why a Fiat’? but they were a popular truck in the 70s. “They were as good as anything; the Melbourne market had literally dozens of them.” Over the last 50 years, Webb has owned a number of trucks and now runs a

Greg Webb’s Fiat rolled virtually straight out of the shed before the Echuca show.

waste business in Lakes Entrance with his son with up to 60 trucks in the fleet at one point. The Fiat was carried up on a trailer to Echuca with its stablemate, a Mercedes Benz 1418 which has also been beautifully restored, with both trucks standing out in their orange paintwork.

It was a maiden trip to Echuca for the Webb trucks, with Webb having previously displayed the Mercedes at shows throughout Gippsland. With two trucks completed Greg reckoned that would be it in terms of restorations for the time being: “But you can never say never,” he said

with a smile, and no doubt the Fiat, given its rarity, will be a popular drawcard at future shows. “There wouldn’t be too many of them still about, I don’t know of many others that have been done up. It took us 3.5 years to get it like that and she’s virtually come straight out of the shed.”

The Fiat was carried up on a trailer to Echuca with its stablemate, a Mercedes Benz 1418, which has also been beautifully restored. Photos: David Vile

Greg Webb, centre, flanked by Wayne Mitchell and Jason Robinson who worked on the project.

The original Fiat dealer sticker on the cabin window has stood the test of time.

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Honouring our trucking legends

Transport veteran joins old friends on Wall of Fame With over 50 years of service under his belt, Trevor McKinnis is a worthy inclusion among the legends at the Road Transport Museum. BY AINSLEIGH BILATO TREVOR McKinnis of Stawell, Victoria, recounts his first visit to Alice Springs’ National Road Transport Museum three years ago, where he spent many hours trawling through the extensive display. “I was just walking around, taking everything in, when a bloke comes to me and asks ‘How much longer are you going to be, mate? It’s half past 5 and we close at 3.’” Wandering through the rows of frames that make up the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame, McKinnis was pleased to spot a number of familiar faces with whom he shared the highways, driving interstate. “It was really good to see them there,” he says. “They all have a story.” In August, McKinnis joined these mates on the Wall of Fame, having been nominated by his daughter. McKinnis ranks his 2023 induction into the Wall of Fame as the proudest moment of his transport career, the achievement made all the more special as he was joined at the Festival of Transport by two of his daughters and his partner, Jen. As it was the family’s first time attending the Festival of Transport, McKinnis notes that they were impressed by the event, both for the opportunity it provided to meet new friends and its appeal to all corners of the transport industry. He tells of enjoying the welcome drinks at a table of log carters from NSW and livestock freighters from Queensland, united by two important threads – a passion for transport and the ability to tell a good story with a beer in hand. McKinnis’ 50plus years in the industry have equipped him with both!

McKinnis worked for Frewstals Wholesale for almost 30 years.

Trevor McKinnis said being inducted into the Wall of Fame was the proudest moment of his career.

His first taste of road transport came from working in a tyre factory in his early 20s. The protectionist policies that Australia adopted post-World War 2 meant that the importation of car and motorcycle tyres was near impossible and, as a result, local manufacturing was thriving. Although the Australian workmanship shone, the decades of import-substituting industrialisation is blamed for a lower standard of living and slowed productivity. Tariff reforms in the 1970s combatted this but saw the manufacturing industry stagnate. For a 27-year-old McKinnis, this meant he found himself hungry for more work and, true to his upbringing in rural Victoria, found it on a sheep farm belonging to Rodney and Albert Blake. In a Thames Trader, McKinnis would cart wool from the farm to the port of

The draw of a new 1418 cabover Benz saw McKinnis take up work delivering bricks.

Geelong and make the return trip loaded with gypsum. Following a number of unsuccessful seasons on the farm, McKinnis decided it was time to move on to the next challenge, telling his employer: “There’s not much use pouring money into me if you’re not getting money coming in.” He started work with a local bottle yard, running empty beer bottles to Melbourne and back every day. The bond that McKinnis formed with John and Glenda Blay, his employers, was one that he has been fortunate enough to carry throughout his career and still holds dear today. The draw of a new 1418 cab-over Benz saw McKinnis take up work delivering bricks. He soon swapped the Benz for a new International T-line, a rig better suited to handle the ever-increasing workload. After five years of carting bricks, the call of the Western Highway proved too strong, and McKinnis began running interstate from Melbourne to Adelaide. He recalls his five years of interstate work as “hectic”. “We never heard of such a thing as a seven-hour break when we were on interstate. Might have been a two-hour break and then you would get going again.” McKinnis remembers nights that he would return home and his partner, concerned that he was taking a while to come inside, would find him asleep across the steering wheel with the truck still running. He admits that he is leaving a

safer industry than the one in which he had worked. Working all day and driving all night eventually took its toll and a drained McKinnis noticed his children growing up without him at home. He realised that he needed to spend more time with his family while he still could, lest the consequences of driver fatigue catch up with him. McKinnis took up work at a local abattoir, Frewstal Wholesale, carting hanging meat to Melbourne. It was clear that he had found the work/life balance he had been looking for in this role, staying with Frewstals for one month shy of 30 years. An exciting part of McKinnis’ role was getting to trial new trucks, from Volvo to Mack, that the business purchased in the search for the ideal fleet. He

was particularly impressed by a Scania R630 that handled the Adelaide Hills with an ease he hadn’t seen before. “I thought that was the bee’s knees!” he says. However, he never found a model to top the yellow T404 SAR Kenworth he operated while driving interstate, remembering: “I did some miles in that little baby!” Hosted in the museum’s Kenworth Dealer Hall of Fame as part of the Festival of Transport, the Transport Women Unite Red Ball gave McKinnis the chance to reunite with a T404. “I stood in front of it with Jen and got a photo!” Regardless of the truck, McKinnis has always prioritised maintenance. He says this is how he earned his nickname at work of Grumpy. “Being grumpy was the only way

to get something done on my truck! If I stood there and asked nicely, they wouldn’t do it, so I had to tell them off!” He would wash and polish his truck every night when he got home from Melbourne. Although I’m sure pride in his equipment was the primary motivation for this practice, he shares an added bonus – “If we kept our trucks clean, the highway patrol never worried with you!” When Covid hit in 2020, McKinnis decided it was time to retire. Having never been out of a trucking job for more than an afternoon, McKinnis’ 50 years of service in transport was complete. Although that message doesn’t seem to have reached the industry yet, as he regularly receives calls asking if he’s keen to jump behind the wheel again.

His daughters joined him to celebrate his induction into the Wall of Fame.





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They’re small but mighty

These 1/14 radio-controlled scale truck models may be small, but they’ve been drawing in big crowds as they travel NSW’s events circuit.

These two models were built from kits and then highly modified by to create a Peterbilt and Kenworth T909.

Sligar’s miniature Volvo FH16 looks very much like the real-deal, as it rolls out of a teeny service station.


STARTED in a scout hall with just a handful of members in 2009, Little Big Rigs Sydney now has over 50 members – and growing. “We’re just a bunch of enthusiasts who build and collect 1/14 scale model trucks. We went to our first show in 2010 and now travel to different events and truck shows including the Kenworth Klassic in Clarendon, Convoy for Kids Goulburn and Illawarra Convoy,” said James Sligar, who took over the group in 2019. He says he’s been into anything radio-controlled since he was a little kid and now has 12 scale truck models, three excavators, a bulldozer, a tipper and a roller in his personal collection. “They’re all fully hydraulic as well,” he said. “You buy them as a kit from a local hobby shop or online and then build them and paint the cab. Some people modify them too. They might be 3D printed or scratch built to make it look like a lifelike truck. I know a guy Darren who has recently built a model truck, based off his cousin’s real Kenworth T909, called The President II. “You can modify them and add stuff to them. I recently built a Volvo FH16 – it comes as a logging truck, but I’ve modified another truck kit and aftermarket tanks and bits and pieces to turn it into a Volvo FH16 prime mover.” Lisa Dixon is heavily involved with the running of the group, with her husband Les Dixon and their son Steven being avid collectors. She’s been with Little Big Rigs Sydney since 2014. “The

This Scania set-up is the latest addition to Les Dixon’s 31-strong scale model truck collection.

last few years I’ve been getting our insurances organised for events and helping to arrange the spaces we need at shows and events,” Lisa said. “People have gotten used to us being at certain events, so we’re locked in for a few years at the Clarendon Kenworth Klassic, we’re locked in for the Fairfield Easter Fair for the next 10 years, we go to the Diesel Dirt and Turf Expo every year and the Illawarra Convoy is a definite for us every year.” A diesel mechanic by trade, Les now serves as workshop manager at Hawk Logistics. Prior to that he was with Scott’s

Refrigerated for 15 years, up until their recent closure. He says that while he’s been into trucks for quite some time, he blames Lisa for his ever-growing model truck collection! “It was actually my wife’s fault, she told me to find a hobby about 10 years ago. I bought one model truck and it grew from there. Then I met a bloke from Little Big Rigs Sydney at an event and that’s how I got into it,” explained Les, whose model collection started with one truck and now sits at 31. “It’s the enjoyment of actually putting them all together and the result of the finished

An impressive Kenworth road train set-up at the Kenworth Klassic.

product,” he added. The most recent addition is a Scania he only finished in early October. “I have a couple of favourites but this latest one I just built is top of the lot at the moment. It’s a Scania that’s based off a European twin steer model, with a big float at the back of it. I did some modifications to that one so that the axle is all electronically lifted,” Les said. According to Lisa, the group has grown through word of mouth and through people seeing the displays at events. “We still get people coming up to us and saying they’ve never seen this before. The scene is a lot bigger overseas than it is here,” she said, adding that she has big dreams for Little Big Rigs Sydney. “Ideally we’d eventually like to get a warehouse and have that as a permanent fixture. We used to use an old industrial area in Riverstone,

James Sligar with some of his collection.

A couple of miniature Mercedes-Benz trucks at the Kenworth Klassic in Clarendon in September.

which was a shared space, but we couldn’t go there on certain days or at certain times, so it got to a point where we couldn’t really stay there, so that’s why we have the mobile network. “But essentially we’d love to be able to do up a permanent warehouse where we can build bridges, have a construction site, a delivery area, a service station, farm, delivery area, like what they do overseas. We’ve approached a

few trucking companies to see if there’s a space we can use and haven’t been successful yet, but that’s our end goal.” Little Big Rigs Sydney shares its travels via its Facebook and Instagram pages. Sligar also runs a Youtube channel called RC Truckin Australia with Jimmy. It is also on Tiktok @jamessligar. Confirmed events Little Big Rigs Sydney will be at are the Convoy for Kids Goulburn (November 11), Illawarra Convoy (November 19), Fairfield Easter Fair at Fairfield Showground (Easter long weekend 2024), Diesel Dirt and Turf Expo (April 1214, 2024), and the Clarendon Kenworth Klassic (September 2024). Sligar added, “We usually have at least 20 trucks at each event. These trucks have fully functioning three-speed transmission, working differentials and suspension like a real truck. There is also the option to install a light and sound kit to make it sound like a real truck. “There are many regulars that follow our page and come along to each show, so we see them all the time – and the kids love them too.”

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Deniliquin show turns it on BY DAVID VILE

THE central Riverina town of Deniliquin was the place to be across the last weekend in October, with the return of the Deniliquin Truck Show and Industry Expo. The truck show dinner kicked off proceedings on the Friday night, with a healthy roll-up of both trucks and showgoers to the Deniliquin Racecourse on Saturday, October 28. With strong corporate support, along with representation from industry bodies, the event drew a healthy variety of trucks from across a wide area, with prizes up for grabs across 13 different categories. It was a successful trip to Deniliquin from northern Victoria for Kyle Nichol, who took out the coveted ‘Truck of the Show’ with his recently restored 1990 Kenworth K100E cabover. Organised by a dedicated group in association with the Deniliquin Rotary Club, all funds generated out of the event are put back into the local community, and no doubt the 2024 event will again be one of the highlights on the truck show calendar. *The Deniliquin Truck Show was cancelled in 2022 due to floods. Continued on page 30

The show drew a healthy crowd to the Deniliquin Racecourse.

McNaught’s Transport from Berrigan was as always well represented.

Kyle Nichol took out Truck of the Show honours with his cab-over Kenworth. A beautifully restored Commer on show.

The trio of Armytage Kenworths with a Mack SuperLiner in close company. Photos: David Vile

It wouldn’t be a truck show without an International S-Line!

This 1996 Mack Superliner shines in the Deniliquin sun.


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Truckloads of fun for fans

Macheda Transport’s Kenworth SAR was a multiple award winner, including taking home the ‘Muscles’ Gray Memorial Award.

The Kenworth C509 of Sam and James Armytage of Conargo, took out Best Local Truck.

Category winners Truck of the Show Kyle Nichol Runner Up Peter Cullen Best 0-3 Years Macheda Transport

Scott McSweeney took out the 40 years+ category with his awesome 1967 Peterbilt.

Bet 4-9 Years Bill Gray TPT Best 10-25 Years Benny’s Transport Best 26-39 Years Nichol Trading Graham Thomson Motors and Cummins were once again part of the industry exhibitors.

Best 40+ Years Scott McSweeney Best Local Sam Armytage Best Fleet McNaught’s Finley Best Rigid Lyn Rose Commer Best Farm Truck Andrew Hicks

Best Farm Truck went to the White 9000 of Andrew Hicks.

Best Non-American R&J Marsh Haulage Wall of Fame inductees From 2022: Kevin Gough Stanley Gardner Edwin Carter From 2023: Herbert Grimison David Mahn Kenneth Maher Truck Show sponsor and prominent Deniliquin company, Purtills, had its latest Volvo and road train fuel tanker on show.

The show got a big thumbs up from 7-year-old Liam Aitchison of Deniliquin.

Memorial Wall: Gary “Joe” Hussey Neil “Smithy” Smith



Truckies caring for the kids BY COLIN HENDERSON

CONVOY for Kids, Sydney 2023 rolled from Sydney Dragway into the Hawkesbury on Sunday, October 29, with a family fun day at the Hawkesbury Showground. Over 200 trucks, hot rods, some buses, classic cars, two motorcycles, fire engines and a Newborn and Paedriatric Emergency Transport Service Ambulance (NETS) joined the convoy. Convoy for Kids Sydney is raising funds to purchase equipment for the NETS Ambulance Service. Mark Smallwood, pres-

ident of the Convoy for Kids Sydney, was completely thrilled with the turnout from truckies across Sydney. “This year, it looks like have been able to double the funds we have raised from last year. Some of the donations are still rolling in,” Smallwood said. Convoy for Kids thanks the many sponsors on the day: Transport Workers’ Union of NSW, DSE, Winston Express, AirRoad, Retriever Towing, Radio Station SWR FM and Gilbert and Roach. We also are supported by volunteers from the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation. Company and owner-driv-

ers from across Sydney, polished the chrome, in some cases twice, and climbed on board with their families to participate in this historical fundraiser started over 30 years ago by truck drivers and their families. Convoy for Kids heard from one AirRoad driver, Darren Costello who has been participating for over 25 years, happy that AirRoad has continued to offer support for the convoy. “We would welcome more sponsors, and are incredibly grateful for the support we have already,” Smallwood said.

Hundreds of Hawkesbury locals also turned up in support visiting, admiring the polished chrome, taking hot rod rides and strongly supporting the day. “It was a great Western Sydney day, an early start and we love that despite everything the world is throwing at them, companies, truck drivers and their families choose to dig deep, truckies are still caring for kids, wanting to be part of the Convoy for Kids Sydney,” Smallwood added. “The Convoy for Kids Sydney committee is thrilled so many wanted to take part, and we will be back next year.

Many more drivers and their trucks are very welcome. We thank Sydney Dragway and Hawkesbury Showground and will continue to use both venues next year.” Convoy for Kids Sydney have been raising funds for the NETS NSW Ambulance service for many years. NETS NSW themselves say that one in 49 children will use their service sometime during their childhood. NETS services an area of 815,810 square kilometres across both rural and metropolitan areas of NSW and the ACT. “NETS NSW relies on community support to main-

tain and renew the equipment and the ambulances they use,” Smallwood said. “Convoy for Kids have previously purchased an electric trolley which carries the transport system for sick children on planes, and on the road in a NETS ambulance. Truckies are happy to help NETS NSW with their shopping list.” Convoy for Kids Sydney will return at the end of October in 2024, and organisers are putting out the call for sponsors who can help build the funds raised for the NETS NSW Ambulance Service. Continued on page 34

Lindsay Transport drivers flying the Convoy for Kids Sydney Flag leaving Sydney Dragway.

Stunningly restored Blue Circle Southern Kenworth W900 lines up with the fleet at Clarendon.

Fleet Towing, one of the many towing companies that showed their support for the event.

DMT Heavy Haulage Kenworth classics are an impressive line-up. Photos: Colin Henderson

The team from Hancock Excavations got off to an early start at Sydney Dragway.

Event sponsor Winston Express Haulage gets the Healthy Heads message out on the road.



Huge industry turnout for Sydney fundraising convoy

From page 32

Convoy sponsor AirRoad shows its support with another big turnout from the team.

Dr Andrew and Tom from the NETS Ambulance team with a former transport patient.

Convoy sponsor DSE Transport delivering for kids entering the Hawkesbury Showground. Photos: Colin Henderson

Sponsor Retriever Towing also turned out in force.

Event regulars MMM Logistics again played a big role to help families and kids in NSW.

Peterbilt Top Cat pulling the All American Custom Chrome trailer.

The Retriever Towing family show their support.

Sponsor Winston Express also arrived in large numbers to ensure another successful convoy.


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Plenty to see in November

The Tassie Convoy 4 Kids raises money for the children’s ward at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

The Castlemaine Rotary Truck Show. Photo: Diesel Fumes

The sun shining at the Allora Heritage Weekend earlier this year.

The Kyabram Mack Muster features all Mack models and associated brands.

HERE are a few major trucking events happening near you to mark in your diary.


Mullumbimby Truck Show November 11 Mullumbimby Showground, NSW Held in conjunction with the annual Mullumbimby Agricultural Show, the Mullumbimby Truck Show will feature a truck parade through town to the showgrounds at 11am. There will also be a host of activities on offer for all the family, including sideshow alley, rides, food vans, full bar facilities and live music, as well as horse and cattle events. Truck registrations open from 9am at the Mullumbimby Industrial Estate off Manns Rd. Goulburn Convoy for Kids & Carnival Day November 11 Goulburn Showgrounds, NSW au A jam-packed day of fun for the whole family at Goulburn Showground, Braidwood Road. On the day there will be a huge array of trucks on display following the convoy, free

carnival rides, entertainment galore including the return of Bluey and Bingo, activities and interactive games for the kids plus much more. A variety of food and refreshment stations will be available. Entry for kids is free. The Convoy for Kids Goulburn charity provides financial assistance to local families who have a child living with a permanent disability, special need, cancer or terminal illness.

ment and kids’ rides. Registration $55 per category. Public entry $5, children under 12 free. Held in conjunction with the annual Bathurst Swap Meet Car & Bike Show. Gates open 9am to 4pm. For registration and further details email info@ or phone Debbie on 0407 489 634, Haylie on 0438 316 150 or see the website and/or Facebook page.

East Gippsland Heritage Truck Display November 18-19 Maffra, VIC clecollection Held at the Maffra Recreation Grounds on Newry Road, the East Gippsland Heritage Truck Display is open to all trucks of any age, reflecting the history of transport in Australia. There’ll also be live music, catering and kids’ entertainment, including a jumping castle and model trucks. Free camping is also available for exhibitors.

Illawarra Convoy November 19 Illawarra, NSW Touted as the largest truck and motorbike convoy in the Southern Hemisphere, the Illawarra Convoy raises funds for individuals and families affected by potentially life-threatening medical conditions, together with charities that work with these people, and local hospitals. Last year’s event raised over $2 million.

Dane Ballinger Memorial November 18 Bathurst Showground, NSW Featuring over 200 market stalls, food stalls, live entertain-

Tassie Convoy 4 Kids November 25 Pontville, TAS struckshow The Tassie Convoy 4 Kids is back this year on November 25, departing the Glen Lea Road in

Pontville at 4pm. Truckies are encouraged to decorate their vehicles with tinsel and lights to get in the festive spirit. The Top 10 trucks in the convoy must register in advance by contacting Emma Bygrave on 0448 810 441. Otherwise trucks are encouraged to turn up on the day. All money raised will go towards the children’s ward at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Castlemaine Rotary Truck Show November 25-26 Castlemaine, VIC Held at Campbells Creek Recreation Reserve and organised by the Castlemaine Rotary Club, expressions of interest are open now for the Castlemaine Rotary Truck Show. It’s the 35th time this show has taken place and attendees can expect an even bigger event this year. There’ll be plenty of trade exhibits, market stalls, new award categories and some surprises too.


Geelong Classic Truck and Machinery Show January 13-14, 2024 Geelong Showgrounds, VIC classictruckandmachinery.

The Geelong Classic Truck and Machinery Show is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2024, and tickets are already on sale. The weekend will feature everything from trucks to farm machinery to a vintage tractor pull, with a huge variety of model clubs and hobby displays. You can even catch a cannon firing, a military enactment and an aircraft engine demonstration. Allora Heritage Weekend January 27-28, 2024 Allora Showgrounds, QLD The Allora Heritage Weekend promises lots of fun for all the family, with displays of vintage and veteran cars and trucks, antiques, historical machinery, and more. There will be a swap meet from 6am both days, and camping is also available. For more info contact Graeme on 0428717623.


Livestock Bulk and Rural Carriers Association Conference 23-24 February, 2024 Wagga Wagga, NSW The annual LBRCA, held at the Range Clay Target Shooting Range and Function Cen-

tre, is a gathering of fellow truck owners and drivers, government, suppliers and industry representatives to focus on the needs of rural and regional heavy vehicle transporters. Issues range from unfair infringements and regulation to unsafe loading and unloading facilities. Attendees can also expect a trade exhibition, the Young Driver of the Year Award presentation, Gala Dinner and Auction Spectacular.


Kyabram Mack Muster 2024 March 16-17, 2024 Kyabram Showgrounds, VIC The Kyabram Mack Muster is a must-attend for Mack fans, featuring all Mack models and associated brands, but it’s also open to other truck makes. There’s free entry for exhibitors, with a Friday BBQ at the showgrounds and a meal at the Kyabram Club with a guest speaker on the Saturday night. For further details phone Dave Willis on 0428 692 753, John Laffan 0427 484 247 or Tim Daws 0458 868 988. Have you got an event you’d like included in the next Save the Date? Email all the details to au.


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Illawarra Convoy: Bigger and better THE region of Illawarra, NSW, is gearing up for the Illawarra Convoy, the biggest truck and motorbike convoy in the southern hemisphere.

Taking place on Sunday November 19, the event always brings in a huge crowd and guarantees fun for the whole family as well as raising

money for those in need. This year, the day will kick off with bikes leaving Illawarra Coal’s Westcliff Colliery on Appin Rd at around 8.15am,

The crew at Ross Transport is proud to have donated $1 million to the convoy over the last 18 years.

followed by family’s buses then lead. Non-lead trucks will join at Maddens Plains to Mount Ousley, Warrawong to Shellharbour Airport. There will then be a family fun day at the airport, where attendees can enjoy the arrival of the convoy, free kids’ rides, over 65 food, market and trade stalls, joy flights from Touchdown Helicopters, Little Big Rigs, a junkyard show, motorcross demonstrations and Cars for Convoy. A major drawcard for the event is a live performance by Ricki-Lee, who first found fame on Australian Idol. The powerhouse vocalist from the Gold Coast has since sold over a million records globally and has had almost 100 million streams of her music. The second headliner is Thirsty Merc, who have four critically acclaimed albums and over 250,000 album sales under their belt. Supporting the two major artists are The Goat featuring Tim Stevens, local cover band Altered States, 2022’s Con-

THE Tassie Convoy 4 Kids is back this year and spots are filling up fast for their famous “Top 10”. The Christmas-themed charity convoy will take place on November 25, leaving the Glen Lea Road in Pontville at 4pm. The Top 10 trucks in the convoy must register in advance by contacting Emma Bygrave on 0448 810 441. A $100 entry fee is required to secure your position and all money raised will go towards the children’s ward at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Bygrave explained: “You pay $100 to secure a spot in the Top 10 and then we advertise you on our Facebook page, and people do their own advertising as well.

“People donate money towards the truck they want to see leading the convoy. The truck that raises the most by the close date - we close donations a couple of days prior gets to lead it.” Anyone who wishes to watch the convoy is welcome to line up along the route, and there will be a support vehicle taking donations. Truckies are also encouraged to get in the Christmas spirit by decorating their trucks with lights and tinsel. The Tassie Convoy for Kids used to be part of the South East Suns Truck and Trade Show, but has been independent since the pandemic. “The convoy used to travel to a show that we held in June on the long weekend, but

The Illawarra Convoy has raised an incredible $22m for charity since it was launched.

voy Band Competition winners The Vandastruts, plus Kate Young, Angie Childs and friends, and Polly Hazelton. Since it was launched in 2005, the Illawarra Convoy has raised an incredible $22m for charities and families in need within the Illawarra and South Coast regions. “The support of the convoy continues to amaze me every year,” said founder Marty Haynes. “There are so many

groups these days fundraising throughout the year and the free family fun day is our way of saying thanks to these groups, and celebrating their successes, while also showing families in the area that the convoy supports, that we’ve got your back. “Lock in into your diaries, because on Sunday 19th of November, we’ve got ourselves a convoy!” For more information or to donate, visit

during Covid we couldn’t hold the show so we decided to split it and still do the convoy,” Bygrave added. “This is our third year of

doing the convoy separately and it’s been a great success.” For more information see the South East Suns Truck and Trade Show Facebook page.

Tassie Convoy 4 Kids gets festive

Last year’s convoy was a huge success.

Participants are encouraged to decorate their trucks.

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Congratulations to Bryant Day, who has won a $500 Shell Coles Express Gift Card for this ripper shot with Uluru in the background.

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SHELL Rimula has partnered with Big Rigs in a big way – so there’s even more reasons to send in your best truck shots. Each month, the Big Rigs team will choose a #PicOfTheMonth, with the lucky winner receiving a $500 Shell Coles Express Gift Card. Keep an eye out for our regular posts on the Big Rigs National Road Transport Newspaper Facebook page, calling

for your best truck photos and add yours in the comments, or email them to editor@bigrigs. Don’t forget to include a brief note about the truck and where the photo was taken. We’ll feature some of the best photos in each edition of Big Rigs Newspaper, with one winner announced each month. Keep those amazing truck pics coming!

Danny White enjoys the sunrise in central Victoria.

Wayne Agius shared this awesome shot snapped by Corina Oldenmenger, taken just north of Newman, WA, climbing Cathedral Gorge.

Another great shot from Milly MC, this time of Robert Von Dronin from Salmon Earthmoving “Always on the moooove”.

Colin Reid snapped this epic shot while running quads down the Flinders Highway in Queensland.

Daniel Mahar sent this great shot of the C509 enroute to Stawell to deliver their 49 ton excavator to site.

Russell Hitchcock got this shot at Swansea, on his way from Newcastle to Sydney.



When the going gets tough, truckies keep everyone going

Aaron Fuller captured this awesome pic while parked up at Little Topar Roadhouse after a shower and a feed on the way to Broken Hill.

Daniel White heads back towards Hobart from Perth, along the 90 mile.

Paul Neal shared this great shot of the Campbell Earthmoving K100 out the front of the Kenworth manufacturing plant in Bayswater, Victoria at sunrise.

Filip Schubert snapped this ripper at “golden hour” while stopped near Melbourne Airport.

Joel Simpson transports a load of pumpkins from Charters Towers, heading southbound.

Bryce ‘Baldy’ McGahey sent this snap of his Kenworth at Darra, Queensland.

Tom Charlton shared this great pic snapped as he was “hanging out with the bro, chasing white lines, livin’ the best life”.



78 new Fusos for Border Express fleet upgrade

BORDER Express will invest $13 million in a pick-up and delivery (PUD) fleet upgrade that includes 78 new Fuso trucks. Included in the massive order are 60 Shogun heavy duty trucks, 15 light duty Canters and three medium duty Fighters. Border Express is also investing in a fleet of electric forklifts at its newly constructed Wetherill Park facility in NSW as part of a multi-year plan to transition away from LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) handling equipment. Earlier this month, Border Express also revealed it was entering into a deal to become part of Freight Management Holdings, the Australian subsidiary of Singapore Post. According to Border Express, the primary selection

criteria for the new trucks was driver safety, reliability and low emissions. “The safety of our drivers and the public is at the centre of everything we do at Border Express, so the advanced active safety technology of the Fuso trucks was vitally important in our selection process,” explained Mark Luff, Border Express executive director transformation. “Environmental advocacy is also important to us, so the Euro 6 emission ratings of most of the selected units, as well as the low fuel consumption across all models was something that gave Fuso another advantage. We also considered Fuso’s reputation for producing high-quality, reliable vehicles,” he added. Daimler Truck Australia Pacific president and CEO Daniel Whitehead attended a handover of three Fuso

trucks with Mark Luff and Border Express executive chairman, Tom Vukovic, at its Tullamarine depot recently and was honoured that Border Express had selected Fuso as part of its fleet improvement project. “We are excited to partner with Border Express as it invests significantly to serve its customers by introducing the safest and most reliable trucks with high levels of driver comfort and low emissions,” Whitehead said. More than half of the Fuso fleet upgrade has been carried out, with the rest of the new trucks expected to be operational before the end of the year. Of the Shogun units, 24 will be 13-litre 510 prime mover models capable of hauling single or double trailers. The 510 Shogun features the most powerful engine

available in a Japanese truck. Border Express is also introducing 36 Shogun 360 14-pallet rigid trucks. Just like its big brother, the 360

FUSO has launched its comprehensive Fuso Connect telematics system, which is now standard on Shogun models

and includes a free 12-month subscription. The locally installed system allows for a fleet administrator

or operator to access important information such as vehicle location, driver behaviour, engine status and much more around the clock. The information can be accessed on a desktop as well as mobile devices using iOS or Android platforms. Vehicle performance can be closely monitored with fuel efficiency reports, while a driver scorecard can also be generated to encourage high driving performance. Over-speeding, over-revving, harsh braking and excessive idle time can also be monitored and reported in real time. Customers can track and trace trucks in real time and set geo-fences to send an alert

when a vehicle enters or exits a specified area. Fleet administrators can also be alerted to vehicle impacts and rollovers. Vehicle maintenance status is also visible. Fuso Truck and Bus Australia vice president, Alex Müller, says the Fuso Connect system was introduced to enhance customer service. “We are very excited to bring our customers an advanced telematics system for the popular heavy-duty Shogun model,” he said. “Fuso Connect will empower our customers with real-time insights, increased operational efficiency and enhanced safety measures – and we know it will be a popular introduction.”

[L-R] Border Express executive chairman Tom Vukovic, Border Express executive director transformation Mark Luff and Daimler Truck Australia Pacific President and CEO, Daniel Whitehead, in front of three new Border Express Fusos.

features a high-tech engine that meets the strict Euro 6 emission controls and works with an efficient automated manual transmission (AMT).

Border Express is also rolling out 15 six-pallet Canter small trucks, two 10-pallet Fighter rigids and one Fighter crane truck.

Shogun launches Fuso Connect telematics system

The information can be accessed on a desktop as well as mobile devices using iOS or Android platforms.


The Fuso Connect telematics system is now standard on Shogun models.


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Cascadias hit sweet spot Two new Freightliner Cascadia 116s have been added to the mix for Sunshine Sugar and SCT Logistics, to haul raw sugar from the mills in the Northern Rivers region. The trucks are being used to deliver locally produced products to customers in northern New South Wales and south-east Queensland. Sunshine Sugar employs 500 farming families and has 1000 direct and indirect employees in its operations that include mills at Condong, Broadwater and Harwood. SCT operates 95 Freightliner and Mercedes-Benz trucks across its Australian operations, including several Actros models on behalf of

Sunshine Sugar that deliver cane to the mills. Introduced to the fleet in 2019 through Daimler Trucks Murwillumbah, these trucks have impressed with their performance and safety levels, while delivering a payload boost over the trucks they replaced. The two new Cascadias were also chosen for their excellent payload as well as their performance, comfort and efficiency. They run a 13-litre Detroit DD13 paired with a 12-speed automated manual transmission (AMT) that uses GPS and topographic data in order to pick the right gears for the terrain and

The two Cascadias have been delivered by local dealership Daimler Trucks Murwillumbah.



to coast when safe in order to save fuel. The Cascadias have also impressed the SCT and Sunshine Sugar team by delivering a 10 per cent fuel economy improvement over the bonneted trucks they replaced. “We are very pleased with the fuel economy as this represents a significant improvement,” said SCT Logistics national fleet manager Mick Sommers. Apart from the low fuel consumption, the Cascadia engines also meet the stringent US EPA GHG17 emissions rating, which is tougher than Euro 6, something that is appreciated by SCT. Safety is also an SCT and Sunshine Sugar priority, so the long list of Cascadia safety features was key to the decision.

The two new Cascadias were also chosen for their excellent payload as well as their performance, comfort and efficiency.

Daimler Truck Australia says that despite new model introductions, the Cascadia is still the only bonneted truck in the country to feature a steering wheel-mounted airbag. Customers can also choose an optional side mounted head protecting airbag. The Cascadia comes standard with a full suite of active safety features including an Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS) using both radar and camera technology. Side Guard Assist,

which looks down the left side of the truck to check the blind spot, is a popular option, as are the spotter mirrors that can be fitted to the bonnet to provide additional vision. And Sommers is a fan of these mirrors. “I first experienced them in the US in 2019 and I just thought these are a God-send, they are brilliant.” SCT also installs cameras for additional visibility. The two Cascadias have been delivered by local

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dealership Daimler Trucks Murwillumbah. “They have delivered 30 Mercedes-Benz trucks for us and have been excellent. The team there have always provided excellent service and support, which is really important,” Sommers said. “The drivers love them. They are comfortable and the Detroit engines have great performance, with more horsepower than the trucks they replace. The automated transmissions are also smooth and they work well.”



Fourth-generation owner dedicates truck to his mum

The very first Western Star 49X to land in Australia has found a home – and the purchase is a pretty special one for this road transport operator. BY KAYLA WALSH COLIN Pattel, who has run his family business – Pattel’s Heavy Haulage in Townsville – for 38 years, says this truck will probably be the last new one he ever buys. “I’m 63 now, and I’m hoping to retire in 2025,” he said. “I have things I want to do after retirement and if you don’t do it, things can happen, health-wise, so you have to make the move. “It won’t take long for two years to go by and I’m glad I’ve got pretty good gear now. “Because this will probably be the last truck I’ll buy, I named it after my mum, Myrtle. “People might say ‘I’ll believe you’re retiring when I see it!’ because I had previously bought a Volvo that I said was going to be my last new truck, but then this one came along.” Pattel first spotted the gleaming red 49X at the Bris-

Colin Pattel, right, taking delivery of “Myrtle” from Penske Australia’s Townsville sales representative Rex Ross.

bane Truck Show back in May, and after some administrative back and forth, and customising the truck to his company’s needs, Myrtle finally got to work a few weeks ago. “I saw the truck at the Bris-

bane Truck Show and I didn’t think it was for sale, I thought it was a demo they had travelling around to shows. “But I got in touch with Penske, who are the distributor for Western Star in Australia, and they actually offered


Myrtle hard at work.

me that truck. We did a deal and that’s how it all happened.” Western Star describes the 49X as “the toughest of the tough”, with a heavy-duty frame, an impact-resistant bonnet, and intelligent LED headlights with high-impact polycarbonate lenses and additional hard coating protection. It also comes with an optional TufGlass impact-resistant windshield, which is 2.5X more resistant to damage. It’s the most tested Western Star ever, and the American manufacturer claims it has the most advanced suite of active safety systems ever offered to the vocational market. Safety features include Active Brake Assist 5, the only system on the market that works down to 8km/h, as well as side guard assist, adaptive cruise control to 0km/h and brake hold mode. Pattel’s model has 140

tonnes GCM capability and a 72” sleeper cab. “The 49X has a few varieties but they chose this one to bring to Australia and I’m very happy with it so far,” he said. “We mostly use it for moving machinery and equipment, wide loads, whatever comes along in the construction and mining industry.” After he bought the truck, he did a bit of work to it before he put it on the road. “I bought the truck as it was but it wasn’t built for me, so I added signs and radios, aerials, more spotlights. “We also added ice packs, toolboxes, and a rack on the back, behind the cab. “I spent another 50k plus on it, easy!” he laughed. Trucking is in Pattel’s blood, going back generations. His parents, Bill and Myrtle Pattel, bought an old Ford truck in Townsville and set it up as a concrete agitator back in 1958.


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By the time their son Colin was born in 1960, MI & WGF was a thriving earthmoving and tipping business. “My grandfather and great-grandfather were also involved in the transport industry,” he continued. “I’m the fourth generation in transport in my family.” Although Bill Pattel sadly passed away when his son was just 25, Myrtle still lives in Townsville. “Mum is still going, she’s 91 years old now and still living at home where I grew up. I was happy to name the new truck after her.” Rex Ross, Truck Sales Representative for Penske Australia, said he was delighted to sell the special truck to Pattel’s Heavy Haulage. “I’ve known and worked with Colin for some 25 years now and it’s an honour to have sold him not only the first Western Star 49X in the country but the first one to be delivered into our region.”

Pattel says Myrtle will probably be the last new truck he ever buys.



Ron Finemore’s double milestone with new Actros

RON Finemore Transport (RFT) has marked the introduction of its 300th Actros by rolling out its first 30 metre high-productivity Super B combination featuring a Vawdrey trailer set. The combination will be used to carry groceries for Woolworths between Sydney and Melbourne and features a payload of 50 tonnes. The occasion was celebrated recently by RFT executive chairman, Ron Finemore, Daimler Truck Australia Pacific president and CEO, Daniel Whitehead, and Vawdrey director, Paul Vawdrey, when the combination made its debut at the Woolworths distribution centre in Mulgrave. With a partnership of more than 50 years, Daniel Whitehead said RFT has been a fantastic brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz Trucks. “Ron Finemore Transport has set the benchmark for safety and efficiency for more than half a century and we are proud that Mercedes-Benz trucks have played a role in the company’s great success,” he said. Finemore added that he was pleased to attend the han-

dover of the 300th Actros and continue the company’s relationship with Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Truck. “Our relationship with Benz continues today because of three key strengths: safety, reliability and service,” Finemore said. “These are key strengths of Benz and also the key values that RFT strives to deliver in its client relationships. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Mercedes-Benz based on these core mutual strengths and values.” Mercedes-Benz Trucks Australia Pacific vice president, Andrew Assimo, said the 2663 is the perfect 300th Actros milestone truck. “It’s fitting that the 300th Actros delivered to Ron Finemore Transport is pulling a combination that delivers productivity gains as well as benefitting from low Euro 6 emissions, sharp fuel consumption and comprehensive integrated safety features,” he said. Like all Actros trucks, the special 300th RFT unit features a raft of advanced

safety systems including the fifth-generation radar/camera Advanced Emergency Braking System called Active Brake Assist, which has the capability to automatically perform full emergency braking for vehicles and moving pedestrians. All Actros models also come standard with Lane Departure Warning System and Attention Assist (AA). “Safety is the number one priority of Ron Finemore Transport and the Mercedes-Benz trucks tick all the boxes,” Finemore said. The high-productivity combination features two quad-axle trailers that deliver a gain of six extra pallets over a traditional B-double set. It also increases the truck’s payload to 50 tonnes. Both trailers can be loaded from the rear with a forklift, after the rear trailer has been split, which enables faster loading. This is made possible because the front trailer body can slide back over the king pin and axle set that sticks out when in normal operation. The 300th Actros is a world away from the first

[L-R] Vawdrey director, Paul Vawdrey, Daimler Truck Australia Pacific president and CEO, Daniel Whitehead and Ron Finemore Transport executive chairman, Ron Finemore, with the milestone Mercedes-Benz Actros.

Mercedes-Benz trucks to wear the RFT colours. The 2663 features the topof-the-line 630hp 16-litre six-cylinder OM473 engine linked to the latest generation 12-speed Automated Manual Transmission (AMT)

Equipped with Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC). PPC uses topographic map data and GPS information to help the truck anticipate terrain and select the optimum shift pattern and engine response for maximum fuel

economy. This includes the ability to coast as much as possible in order to save fuel. The combination of strong fuel efficiency and Euro 6 emissions “puts Mercedes-Benz ahead of the rest,” said Finemore.

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Detroit engines: why only genuine parts will do

ONLY genuine, Detroit-endorsed parts and consumables will do when it comes to maintaining your premium Detroit engine. From filters and lubricants to specialised service by factory-trained technicians, don’t trust your Detroit to anything or anyone but the best, says Penske, the authorised distributor of the Detroit portfolio across Australia and New Zealand.

Detroit-endorsed filtration

Filter selection and maintenance are integral to fuel and lubricating oil systems and critical to optimising engine operation and service life. Filter performance and test specifications vary between manufacturers, as do other factors, including media strength, resistance to impulse failures, and burst strength.

For oil filtration, Detroit recommends replacement at prescribed service intervals aligning with engine oil changes.

Finer filtration generally provides increased engine service life but may require shorter filter change intervals. Detroit specifies filter performance based on the optimum combination of filter micron rating, filter capacity, and mechanical requirements. Care should be taken when comparing micron ratings between filter makes, as not all manufacturers use the same tests. It is also important to note that capacity and efficiency (micron) ratings should not be the only criteria for judging filter performance. Furthermore, fuel quality or biodiesel content can also affect filter life. This is why it is critical that a Detroit factory-trained technician is entrusted with the care of your engine. When it comes to fuel filters, Detroit recommends: • E ngine fuel filters be changed according to the service interval that matches the truck’s operation or when the fuel filter service warning shows on the dashboard. • F rame-mounted fuel filter changes should be aligned

with engine oil changes. • U se of genuine Detroit or Davco FuelPro three-layer frame-mounted fuel filters. These are the only approved frame-mounted filters for Detroit DD-series engines. For oil filtration, Detroit recommends replacement at prescribed service intervals aligning with engine oil changes.

Genuine Detroit parts

When you buy Detroit’s genuine parts, you know you’re getting the component that fits your engine exactly. Detroit’s genuine parts are made specifically for your Detroit product, so there is no “making it fit” or “this will do.” Detroit gets it right every time. Designing and manufacturing for maximum performance, durability, and reliability, the same Detroit team that built your original engine also built the parts. Before new parts are branded with the Detroit Genuine Parts logo, they are put through the most rigorous examination and testing processes in the industry.

Frame-mounted fuel filter changes should be aligned with engine oil changes.

Comprehensive national network

With an extensive network of over 100 authorised service locations, our expert technicians and support team do everything possible to get drivers back on the road. Our service locations offer a full range of Detroit parts, with many featuring overnight deliveries in addition to their local parts stock, leading to expedited turnaround times and lower overall costs. This is backed by our strategically-located Penske Distribution Centre, positioned and inventoried to serve custom-








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ers as efficiently as possible. Additionally, you’ll have ultimate peace of mind as every new Detroit-equipped truck has an industry-leading four-year/800,000 km/12,000 hours /400,000-litre fuel burn standard engine warranty. And with Detroit, there’s no mid-life changeout. Options are also available for tailored extended coverage for additional duration, mileage, or increased fuel burn limits to suit customer operations. When you buy a Detroit product, you purchase billions of miles of engineering excellence.



Booth Transport accepts keys to milestone Kenworth

THE 80,000th Australian-designed and built Kenworth was handed over to Booth Transport at a celebration at the Kenworth DAF Bayswater plant in Melbourne late last month. Fifty-two years after Kenworth began manufacturing its heavy-duty trucks in the suburb of Bayswater, employees came together to watch Booth Transport director, Peter Booth, and CEO, Nathan Falconer, accept the keys to the milestone T610SAR from PACCAR Australian managing director, Damian Smethurst. “Booth Transport is a fourth-generation company that we at Kenworth are honoured to have partnered with for more than 25 years,” Smethurst said. “Eighty thousand trucks gives us another significant milestone to celebrate, one which we are immensely proud of.” The story of Booth Transport started in 1932, when 14-year-old Lindsay Booth began working in the vineyards and farms in the south of Adelaide, eventually saving up to buy his first truck in 1936,

which was used to transport wine and other agricultural products locally. Today, Booth Transport provides milk, dangerous goods and container

transport across the country, including Tasmania, as well as of course wine, staying true to its origins. Smethurst continued,

“Though we also celebrate what happens every day. Every single customer whose truck comes down the line at Bayswater gets the same detail and

care as even our largest customers; every single one of our trucks is going to have a life and a history. “Each one of our custom-

ers contributes to us achieving these great milestones and each one of the latest 10,000 trucks since we celebrated 70,000 in March 2021 represents the growth of our business and the strength of our product. “Our trucks are built for the environment in which we operate, which sets us apart from any other brand.


Representatives from Booth Transport and PACCAR Australia with the 80,000th Kenworth designed and manufactured in Australia.


“We thank many of our local supply partners, many of whom have worked with us for decades, that have enabled us to build every single Kenworth truck, all 80,000 of them. We demand the highest level of quality and service from our suppliers and they continue to deliver for us, so we can continue to deliver to our customers.”




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*Terms and Conditions: Promotion is available through Brown and Hurley PACCAR / TRP Parts Departments only. Coffs Harbour Lic No MVRL10098 Lic No MD10866. Kyogle Lic No MVRL 39 Lic No MD1912. Tamworth Lic No MVRL10098 Lic No MD14159. Promotion starts 6.00AM 01/10/2023 AEST. Ends 11.00PM 9/12/2023 AEST. Entry is open to Australian residents 18+ who fulfil the entry / eligibility requirements. To enter, spend $500 including GST or more on PACCAR / TRP parts in one transaction. Only 1 entry per person or business, per day. Win a 2023 Sea-Doo RXT-X RS Jet Ski and Trailer. Total Prize (incl GST) is $39,303. Registration and Insurance on both the Jet Ski & Trailer will be at the winner’s expense. If a Business / Company wins, the prize will be issued to the owner of the Business / Company, not the person purchasing the parts on their behalf. Prize draw 10.00AM 14/12/2023 at promoter’s address. The winner will be notified via email & phone no later than 14/12/2023. Promoter - The Brown & Hurley Group Pty Ltd. ABN 66 010 732 966. Level 1, 26 Burnside Rd Yatala QLD 4207. We reserve the right to correct errors & omissions. See website for full terms and conditions. NSW Authority No. TP/02986



New Viper range lights the way for trucking industry

PROLIFIC Australian automotive-lighting manufacturer Lightforce has launched its new range of Viper Light Bars. The Viper range is offered in a variety of configurations to meet all automotive needs, from weekend adventure and hunting through to commercial long-haul road transport. It’s claimed to offer unrivalled capability, sleek design, easier installation, improved features and a performance improvement of 25 per cent compared to previous models – all with 25 per cent less weight and a recommended retail price (RRP) up to 40 per cent lower than the previous generation. Lightforce has been at the forefront of automotive and hunting lighting for more than 35 years and exports its products to more than 50 countries internationally. The introduction of the Viper range follows several years of state-of-the-art research and development by Lightforce’s experienced in-house engineers and designers, who were tasked with producing a range of LED light bars as formidable as its namesake.

Lightforce product manager Haydn Ryan said the design of the Viper range was a real head-turner. “The new design has that ‘factory’ look we feel that our customers are asking for,” said Ryan. “The entire range is slimmer, lighter and beautifully designed, elegant yet rugged and incredibly capable at the same time. We have worked with our partners from overseas to ensure a premium product.” The Viper range not only looks good due to a screwless, modern front-bezel design but is claimed to deliver best-inclass performance thanks to an average increase in light output of 25 per cent. At the bottom end of the range, the modest 6-inch Single Row Viper Light Bar produces a thoroughly impressive beam length of up to 256m at one lux and it only gets better with other light-bar configurations in the range, which include both single-row and dual-row configurations claimed to offer industry leading visibility. The 20-inch Single Row Viper Light Bar, expected to be popular with weekend adven-

Lightforce has been at the forefront of automotive and hunting lighting for more than 35 years.

turers, offers a beam length of 562m at one lux, 160m more than its predecessor. At the heavy-duty end of the range, the 50-inch Dual Row Viper Light Bar’s capability stretches just beyond a kilometre at 1065m. The range also includes a 6-inch and 10inch single-row amber light bar designed for dusty conditions or camping environments. The amber colour reduces the amount of bugs and insects when outdoors compared to a white LED. Haydn Ryan said improved

safety was another key goal during the development of the Viper range. “Each light bar projects a reduced 5500k colour temperature, which is associated with better all-round visibility and reduced driver fatigue,” said Ryan. “The reduced colour temperature also means there is less glare and reflection against road signs and in foggy and dewy driving conditions, which can make boosted illumination unpleasant in some circumstances. The Viper range is a real pleasure to use.”

Rugged usability has also been enhanced through a marine-grade powder-coat finish courtesy of the industry-leading AkzoNobel application, which is tested to Australian standard AS1580 and therefore UV resistant and impervious to salt spray. The polycarbonate lens is also claimed to make Viper light bars less prone to scratching and damage than other light bars. Lightforce said it focused extensively on installation factors when developing the new bars. Each Viper light bar

comes with its own free ‘smart harness’, which comprises a unique bridge rectifier. “This is a unique feature that allows our Viper range to be fitted more easily to even the most recently introduced vehicle models,” said Ryan. “The harness also has an eight-pin switch connector, making it super easy to plug and play into a range of vehicle-specific Lightforce switches for that very popular factory look, which is what we have achieved in the entirety of the range’s design.” The Viper range includes 304-grade stainless-steel side brackets – an improvement on the mild-steel units used by some light bars. All Viper light bars feature Osram Oslon LEDs and are waterproof to one metre, having been fitted with a genuine Gore breather. Radio interference is also significantly reduced, which is ideal for AM or UHF radio users. The Viper Light Bar range is available now. For more information contact Lightforce on 1800 030 308, email sales@lightforce. com or visit


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Get your truck ‘Ryco Ready’

NORTH American manufacturers of heavy vehicles are a leading choice for freight and long-haul logistics providers. Based on the end user industry, in 2022 the Australian logistics industry alone held the largest share of the market, outperforming mining and construction. Continued advancements in trade and the strengthening of logistics infrastructure are two of the primary factors expected to drive the logistics segment’s growth over the forecast period, which means more trucks on the road as the industry progresses. More trucks means more to service, and it’s important to look closely at what

filtration you’re using. The Ryco team have worked closely with customers and technicians in fleet service operations to understand the challenges their customers face, specifically in the selection of filtration products. To help drive the efficiency in these service operations, Ryco offers a range of service kits that are clearly labelled with interchange part numbers for ease of reference by technicians. As a company driven by innovation and the goal to provide the best filtration options possible, the testing facilities and procedures of Ryco not only meet global ISO standards, but the Ryco lab equip-

ment can test beyond standard ISO requirements and develop products that can filter more efficiently because of it. In particular, Ryco is leading the industry when it comes to cabin air filtration. Thousands of professional drivers are spending hours in the cabin of these long-haul prime movers, many times in what could be considered harsh and rigorous conditions. For this reason, Ryco engineers thought it crucial to have a cabin air filter that could incorporate medical grade media technology to filter out virus and bacteria while still promoting air flow. It’s why

Ryco cabin air filters incorporate medical grade media technology to filter out virus and bacteria while still promoting air flow.

Ryco offers a range of service kits that are clearly labelled with interchange part numbers for ease of reference by technicians.



0.3 Micron

Dust & Dirt



the N99-rated cabin air filter is now available to suit a range of popular Kenworth trucks delivering safer breathing conditions for vehicle occupants. When testing filters, especially those suited to a large capacity engine, Ryco selects a fine particle or dust to test with, ensuring a Ryco filter is designed to operate and combat the local geography and the fine silicate particles that an engine can ingest from our environment. Ryco working closely with the commercial truck industry

is driving the expansion of their range and continues to innovate with the support of Australian engineering and globally recognised testing capabilities. The North American filter range extends from fuel and oil filters to specialty filters such as air dryer and refrigerant filters. With exciting ‘all-in-one’ offerings coming soon, professional drivers can be sure their fleet and investment remain in safe hands with filtration designed to support commercial vehicles. The continued expansion of the e-commerce industry bodes

well for the commercial vehicle industry, especially North American heavy vehicle manufacturers. Across eight decades, with a commitment to continually innovate with new technologies and cutting-edge manufacturing, Ryco has become one of the most recognised brands in the automotive industry. When it comes to filtration, there is a trusted and proven range from Ryco that support North American commercial vehicles, so when you need to get the job done, you can be Ryco Ready.

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An easy truck wash solution – clean faster and clean safer

EVERYBODY knows that driving a big prime mover hauling either a B-double or a 50,000 litre tanker is fabulous fun. It’s even better when the rig is clean and looks like a million dollars on wheels! One Australian pressure cleaner manufacturer is focused on this, producing what they call their ‘Truck Wash Specials’. “We carried out a detailed survey of truckies and found that all of them like driving a clean vehicle but none of them like cleaning the rig. In fact, they found it tiresome, tedious and boring,” said Aussie’s chief engineer John Hales. Aussie Pumps can relate to that. They like doing exciting things like designing great machines for Australians and shipping them overseas to prove to the world that we can do better design work and production than the Americans or Europeans.

Clean is green

By using the truck wash special concept, in other words the ideal combination of pressure and flow, not only do truck operators halve their cleaning times but they also save water, and

Big trucks come clean with the Aussie Pumps Truck Wash package.

either electricity or petrol depending on the machine they’re using. The company makes a complete range of high pressure cleaners in Class A configuration that go all the way from 3000 psi to 5000 psi. Yes, they’re Class A, so no operator certification is required under the terms of the current Operator Safety Standards. Along with the product comes an absolutely free online safety training course to protect oper-

ators, and employers, from injury or litigation. The base model is a Scud 351 or alternatively, a Scud 400 with 4000 psi pressure. Both are built into a unique stainless steel frame on four flat free 13 inch steel wheels. Economic, easy to use, exceptionally effective, these machines don’t have a primitive pulley and belt drive. Rather, they have a sophisticated, fully enclosed gear drive from engine to pump.

“We built these originally for the hire industry where they wanted products that couldn’t be broken,” said Hales. So far as the truck wash specials are concerned, they’re designed to last decades.

Aussie puts safety first

The ‘Aussie Get Home Safe Training Program’ comes with every machine, and is also available to existing users of pressure cleaners of any brand

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or size and type. The course is aimed at Class A machine operators. It is informative for Class B users too, but they will still need RTO certification. This can be expensive, and certification must be renewed every two years. Class B machines also put restrictions on the operation of the machine. The Class A course developed by Aussie Pumps is online and operators can go through it within 20-30 minutes. Of course you have to pay attention but, when you send in your completed test and answer correctly, you will receive the Aussie Pumps ‘Safe Operator’ certificate of completion. Class A pressure cleaners have a combined flow and pressure rating of bar/litres of under 5600 psi. That includes most of Aussie’s machines, including the 5000 psi models in both engine and electric drive units. “We often ask what we recommend for the best job for truck wash-down. Frankly, we think the Scud 351 with 21 litres of flow and 2600 psi is ideal. The pressure is not so much that it will blow the Duco off the vehicle, the flow is enough

to flush mud and dirt away and if more pressure is required, you can swap out the gun for a turbo that’ll give you the impact of 4000 psi,” said Hales. When you buy your Aussie Truck Wash special, don’t forget to order the foaming gun that can spray detergent foam all over the vehicle in no time flat. See it looking like it’s covered in shaving cream and then hose it off and watch the dirt disappear. Save time, save water, save power, look great. For further information including the free Safety Training Course and a free guide on how to get your rig looking schmick with the least possible effort, visit or call the High Pressure Division on 02 8865 3500.



A clean rig is more than just about looking great

FLEET managers and heavy vehicle operators know the importance of keeping their truck clean – and the financial cost and inconvenience associated with having to do so, if they don’t have the necessary equipment available onsite. A clean rig is not just about looking great. Having a truck that is free from dirt and grime is an important part of ongoing maintenance that ensures your vehicle is running safely and, importantly, adheres to traffic authority regulations and bio security requirements. Since 1968, Good Sight

have been Australia’s leading suppliers of vehicle wash equipment. They are now the sole Australian distributors of Istobal’s range of truck and bus wash equipment to ensure your fleet is clean from top to bottom, inside and out. For smaller fleet operators, Istobal’s manually operated, high pressure truck wash systems are a great solution. For larger fleets, with higher volume requirements, Istobal’s range features fully automated rollovers and touchless machines. To compliment these are low and high pressure under chassis

Having a truck that is free from dirt and grime is an important part of ongoing maintenance that ensures your vehicle is running safely.

With Good Sight and Istobal as part of your team, no matter the shape and size of your fleet, all your heavy vehicle wash requirements are covered.

and wheel wash systems. There are even solutions for interior washing of refrigerated trailers and shipping containers. The latest in water recycling technology ensures operating costs are kept to a minimum and your environmental impact reduced. With Good Sight and Istobal as part of your team, no matter the shape and size of your fleet, all your heavy vehicle wash requirements are covered. Istobal’s heavy vehicle wash equipment is suitable for a comprehensive range of Australian industries including freight and logistics, livestock and ru-

ral transport, tankers, and waste management. Since launching the new Istobal range, Good Sight Vehicle Wash Equipment has been assisting civil and haulage contractors who must adhere to EPA and local government regulations, assisting them to improve and reduce the costs associated with their heavy vehicle cleaning obligations. Interestingly, Good Sight has noticed an influx of private operators opening up specialised, stand-alone truck wash facilities near large logistic and warehouse distribution centres around the country. This is an

WITH GOOD SIGHT AND ISTOBAL AS PART OF YOUR TEAM, NO MATTER THE SHAPE AND SIZE OF YOUR FLEET, ALL YOUR HEAVY VEHICLE WASH REQUIREMENTS ARE COVERED.” exciting development for the industry. Interested in adding heavy vehicle wash equipment to your facility? The team at Good Sight can put together a cost

projection analysis highlighting how the addition of new equipment (or the upgrade of old equipment) can improve your bottom line. They even have 100 per cent financing options available. Best of all, Good Sight has an Australia-wide support network of qualified service technicians backed by a full inventory of spare parts. They offer flexible and economical maintenance options, providing their customers with peace of mind that their equipment runs efficiently at all times. For more information, visit

The full comprehensive range of commercial wash equipment that meet the requirements of all heavy industries. • Drive-through wash systems - Rotating High-Pressure - Brush wash system

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Truckin’ In The Outback

Trucking two-up couple were lured to the west

two boys aged eight and 10, “We love seeing the differand their transport careers. ent terrain. Driving down a Mesmerised by Australia’s rugged outback and The couple works for two-way road with one lane Rudhran Holdings, which each way and having road harsh terrain, this husband-and-wife duo now drive sub-contracts to Team Glob- trains crossing each other, it’s al Express, and is owned just unbelievable to see that in and Valenti- real life – that’s what keeps us two-up, steering triple road trains throughout WA. byna Ramkumar Sivanandam. They cart going,” said Pats. BY DANIELLE GULLACI IT was back in 2014, after moving to Australia from the other side of the world that Prakaash ‘Pats’ Karuppanasamy, 40, and his wife Kokilavani ‘Koke’ Prakaash Devan, 37, began their journey into the transport industry. Originally from India, they first arrived in the ACT – with a 10-month-old baby in tow –

and spent several years there, but eventually realised, the west was calling. Shortly after their arrival down under, they began working together as contractors, delivering for Australia Post and building up their own little fleet. “We started out with one van, then made it two when Koke got her driver’s licence here and we grew that to five vans. We still have those vans,

with people driving them for us,” Pats explained. They continued delivering parcels until Covid hit in 2020, at which point they both went for their HR licence. “I got it first and Koke was a little hesitant at first but then went for it and got it,” Pats said. “The driving instructor said he had seen many women coming in for their HR li-

cence but he had never seen an Indian woman going for her HR.” They decided to move to Queensland in the hope of finding greater opportunity to further their trucking skills – and they did just that, with the two of them eventually securing their MC licences. For the past six months, they’ve called Perth home, juggling parenthood, with

general freight, refrigerated goods and mining machinery from behind the wheel of a Mercedes Benz Actros or a Freightliner Cascadia. “My wife loves the Benz, because of the manoeuvrability and turning circle,” Pats said. They typically travel to the Kalgoorlie/Coolgardie area or to Port Hedland; heading up the Great Northern Highway or the Great Eastern Highway.

“We moved to Queensland because we wanted to drive road trains and enjoy the outback life. Then all this happened when we moved to Perth because Rudhran Holdings believed in us. They’ve provided a great deal of training and helped us to evolve as linehaul drivers,” added Pats. And though he can’t be completely certain, he believes his wife Koke could be the first Indian woman driving

Though he can’t be completely certain, Pats believes his wife Koke could be the first Indian woman driving triple road trains in Australia.

Koke says she’s proud to be in the triple road trains and hopes to eventually progress to quads.

Kokilavani ‘Koke’ Prakaash Devan (left) and Prakaash ‘Pats’ Karuppanasamy (right) moved to Perth earlier this year.

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Truckin’ In The Outback

The couple works for Rudhran Holdings.

triple road trains in Australia. “I’ve checked with many available resources if there are any predecessors to her in this domain and I ended up finding no one else so far. I was told verbally of some Punjabi women driving HR and up to B-doubles, but not a triple road train,” said Pats, who is immensely proud of how far his wife has come.

“Wherever we go, people turn their heads or raise their eyebrows. At every roadhouse we go to, we’ve been told that they’ve never seen an Indian woman driving triple road trains.” Koke added, “Going from Perth to Port Hedland, there’s been a couple of roadhouses where I’ve asked for the shower key and they’d try

and charge me, not realising I was a truckie. “I’m proud to be in the triple road trains. My boss’ wife, who is originally from Romania, is also friendly and calls to tell me how proud she is of me being a female truckie – she’s proud to have a female driver at the company too. Without farmers, there’s no food, but without trucks, Australia

stops. I’m very proud to be a part of that.” When asked how they find being in the truck together 24/7, Pats answers without hesitation. “Koke is my rock. Yes, sometimes we might get annoyed at each other, but we complement each other and love to travel together.” And Koke echoes that same sentiment. “Everywhere he goes, he says she’s my rock, but I never tell them he’s also my strength and my everything.” Though they’re both loving their current work, their big dream is to eventually buy a truck and go out on their own. “We hope we can buy our own truck and then expand with a second truck,” said Pats. Koke added, “I like going into the mine sites, they’re always very respectful there and we get to travel lots of different roads. In the future, I’d like to move into quads, but I love oversize as well, as it’s a bit out of the ordinary.” While her dream is to drive quads, Pats’ hope is to move into interstate work. Though he admits, “I’d like to drive interstate, but she wants to get into oversize or quads, so I’d prefer to go her way,” he said. “We might look to establish an oversize family transport business or if we get a breakthrough in interstate driving, we could go that way, because we love driving and

love travelling and that gives us an opportunity to explore the entire continent. “For the moment, we are really enjoying it. I hope once we get a chance, we can let our kids be a part of the trucking journey too as a family business.” Pats continued, “We already know that trucking will be our life. But we’ll try to explore different domains in trucking, like carrying ammonium nitrate and dangerous goods. “I have a lot of friends who

are in IT and at 40, they are already looking to start taking it easier. I don’t want that. We chose this life and at the end of it all, I want to have a life that’s been well lived, and more memories to cherish.” And for Koke, she hopes she can inspire other immigrant women to give road trains a go. “I want to prove that Indian women can also be part of Australia’s truck industry. I hope my story can help inspire other women from different cultures to be part of this industry and represent it.”

They cart a mixture of general freight, refrigerated goods and mining machinery.

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New speed cameras prove to be big revenue raisers court. Spy will be covering the matter if it ends up before a magistrate and I’ll be keeping readers posted.

Good rest area on bad WA road

The Boorabbin Rest Area situated along the Great Eastern Highway in WA is a great spot for truckies to stop when they travel on what many describe as a challenging road. It is located between Coolgardie and Southern Cross which are 187km apart. Several drivers have told Spy it is a road which requires extra care when they are negotiating it. “It is not the best in places,” one said. A Perth based small fleet operator told me that whilst it was rough in sections some parts had been widened and passing lanes added. However five drivers have told me that the Boorabbin Rest Area is a welcome stop off for drivers who want a rest and a fatigue break. “There is plenty of bitumen parking for trucks and is also a memorial there to some deceased drivers,” another said. The monument and gar-

den commemorate three truck drivers who perished in the Boorabbin bushfire of 2007. It’s located 100km east of Southern Cross and is a short walk from a truck bay on the southern side of Great Eastern Highway. Truck drivers Trevor Murley, Lewis Bedford and Robert Taylor perished as they drove into the path of a bushfire on Great Eastern highway on December 30, 2007 after being allowed through a roadblock. Shortly after the fire, three white crosses were erected by the highway at the point where the men died. Three years later, the Department of Environment and Conservation, in consultation with the families of the three men, built a permanent memorial consisting of a granite monument and an information shelter. Behind the original white crosses on the highway, three permanent bronze plaques have been placed. The rest area has an Eco toilet block that always seems to be very well maintained and has benches, tables and some fireplaces. There is plen-

A youngster was enthralled by how the cars manage to stay on the trailer.


Cameras in Tasmania

New speed cameras in Tasmania – which also detect drivers on their mobile phones and those not wearing seat belts – have been big revenue raisers. One small fleet operator told Spy that on a trip between Nubeena on the Tasman Peninsula and Hobart he saw four such cameras, some

of which were in relatively hidden locations. One of the cameras has been placed near where a 70km speed sign has been placed close to a 100km sign. So truckies have been warning others on their radios or by bush telegraph about them. On the subject, Spy hears that a complaint has been made by locals about truckies speeding through Taranna which is 9km from Eaglehawk Neck and 6km from Nubeena. This section is often very busy with trucks and vans. At the small hamlet of Taranna, which has a population of around 200, there

is also a sign advising truckies “not to engine break” whilst travelling there. On a positive note, truckies in the area have been raving about the good food served up at the Dunalley Bakery which is also along the Arthur Highway and around 57km from Hobart and is a small fishing village. “They serve up the best bacon and egg burgers you would find anywhere and lots of us drivers enjoy a stop there,” one truckie told me.

Speeding fine to be contested in court

Our story on many truckies and other motorists being detected by speed camer-

as at Torrens Creek on the Flinders Highway received a big response. Whilst out and about one night, Spy spoke to a prominent lawyer who said he had been breached twice whilst travelling through and near Torren’s Creek. Many of the truckies who were breached just paid the fine even though it cost them $1200 and the loss of six demerit points. Some wanted to contest the fines in court but thought they had little chance of success and if they failed would have to pay legal costs. But this solicitor advised me he intends contesting the second breach notice in

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A truck travelling at Eaglehawk Nest in Tasmania on a section where new detection cameras are located.


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Café popular with drivers

The Hopetoun Café in Victoria has been getting great reviews from numerous truck drivers who stop there. Hopetoun is a major service centre for the Southern Mallee area of Victoria and is located 400km north-west of Melbourne on the Henty Highway. There are around 200 farmers in this region growing such key crops as wheat, barley, oats, canola, lentils, peas, chickpeas and lupins. Lots of trucks from many areas pass through Hopetown. One Ballarat based truckie told Spy that whilst you had to park about 200m away from the café, it was well worth the walk to get there for a feed. “I had a steak sandwich with chips and salad there the other day and it was so good. And the coffee was amazing. A lot of truckies stop there,” he said. Another said there was an extensive range of food to choose from to cater for the

The giant mudcrab replica in Cardwell’s main street.

tastebuds of even the hungriest drivers. “The bacon and eggs was wonderful and served up just the way I like it,” another said.

Question from youngster

The monument at the Boorabbin Rest Area dedicated to three truck drivers who lost their lives during a 2007 bushfire. Photo Google Maps

A family was sitting in the eatery of a big roadhouse and they had a clear view of the numerous trucks nearby in the parking area. One youngster, who was aged about seven, asked his parents, “Look at all those cars on the back of that truck trailer and I don’t know how they don’t fall off?” he questioned. It was an innocent but learned query from a lad who I gleaned wants to be a truck driver when he leaves school. Sitting nearby was a veteran truckie who is a wealth of knowledge of the industry. He walked over and offered an explanation to the curious boy. “The cars are very well tied up and secured as is required by the law,” he said. This exchange attracted the attention of most in the near packed eatery and was enjoyed by all.


Insect plagues

Just about every truck I have seen at roadhouses in recent weeks has had the front covered in dead insects. Drivers from around the country tell me there are plagues of various insects which appear in front of their trucks whilst on highways often virtually from nowhere. Whilst this is most prevalent at night, it also does occur during daylight hours. They can be moths, grasshoppers and lots of other species which end up sticking to the truck exterior and at some stage have to be cleaned off. On one Kenworth I saw, these spattered insects smelt rather on the nose as the driver contemplating the task of hosing them off. You have to feel sorry for

these poor drivers when they have to do this stinking task.

Mango and crustacean barter

The mango season in the far north is in full swing and truckloads of the delicacies are being road transported to markets around Oz. But if you live interstate, as far away as South Australia and WA, these mangoes can be quite expensive especially the much sought after Bowen Mango type. Spy knows of one Queensland driver who enjoys nothing more than to get his mouth around the flesh from rock lobsters which can also cost a lot around where he lives. So he knew of a WA truckie who when off duty caught a legal bag limit of lobsters. He would eat what was required,

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and freeze the rest for another day. These two got talking and decided to barter some mangoes for a few rock lobsters which they deliver in their refrigerated trailers when in each other’s area. I also heard of an NQ truckie from around the Cardwell region who took some frozen mud crabs down to Sydney when delivering there. In the main street of Cardwell which is on the Bruce Highway there is a large replica of a mud crab outside a business. The NSW people who took delivery of the crustaceans used to live in the far north and missed eating these crabs which are expensive at markets when you can manage to find somewhere that sells them. Continued on page 58



Medical service popular with truckies at remote roadhouse

A cow outside the remote Musgrave Roadhouse.

From page 57

Cows, good food and service

The Musgrave Roadhouse on the way to Cape York in the far north has been gaining a reputation amongst truckies for being a good place to stop at when they are in the area. It is located 136km north of Laura and is approximately halfway between Cairns and Weipa. Many locals drop in to pick up mail and so do numerous truckies in their big rigs, transporting essential supplies to remote

Cape York communities and cattle stations. During a recent visit one of my friends saw cows out the front providing a genuine rural atmosphere. Once a year the roadhouse hosts a cricket carnival on concrete pitches out the front. The last one featured 12 men’s and women’s teams. Former champion test players Jeff Thomson and Doug Walters were guests at the last carnival and proved a real hit with locals and visitors. One Cape York driver said

the roadhouse has good facilities, fuel is a reasonable price and there is a good selection of food available. Musgrave Roadhouse is well known for its former role as a Telegraph Station, one of several that were essential links as communication was established between Thursday Island in the Torres Strait and Mt Surprise to our south west. Musgrave Telegraph Station was named after Sir Anthony Musgrave who was governor of Queensland from 18831888. The station was one of six constructed to service the new electric telegraph line on Cape York Peninsula in 1886. All six Cape York stations (Musgrave, Coen, Mein, Morton, McDonnell and Paterson) were pre-cut and framed in Brisbane by the contracting firm E & J Headland. It opened for business on December 23, 1886. In the late 1920’s, the high cost of maintenance and low traffic on the line prompted the Post Master General to consider closing some of the stations. Short wave radio had been introduced on Thursday Island and it was felt that alternate

telegraph stations could be closed without seriously affecting the service. Musgrave Telegraph Station closed on June 22, 1929. Fred Shepard bought the station in 1931. He already owned Lilyvale Station and then applied for the lease on Artemis and Mary Valley, thus completing the estate of 2350sq/km. He died in 1952 and the properties continued to be operated by his wife Mary and family. Mary retired to Mareeba in 1976 and the estate was divided between the families. Because of its location

Musgrave has always been of vital importance to the welfare of travellers in Cape York Peninsula. As more tourists began to visit the region the family decided to turn the homestead into a roadhouse. Meals and drinks were originally served from under the house until the present café and accommodation were built in the 1980s. It has seen many changes but is still owned and operated by family members.

Nurse at roadhouse

Once a fortnight a nurse sets up a clinic at the remote Lynd

A lot of truckies stop here to see the nurse and have a cold drink and a feed from the menu. Photo: Google Maps

Oasis Roadhouse and it has been extremely well received. The Oasis is 347km west of Townsville just near the Lynd Junction and at the end of the Hann Highway about 300km from Hughenden. Everyday scores of trucks stop off there from the Atherton Tablelands, and western centres such as Hughenden, Julia Creek and Cloncurry, Charters Towers and coastal Townsville. The nurse sets up a clinic at the strategically located roadhouse which is owned and run by members of the Royes Family. She is able to dispense prescriptions which saves people long trips to Charters Towers, Hughenden of Atherton to be dispensed. A lot of truckies stop there to see the nurse and have a cold drink and a feed from the menu. Spy has been to the Oasis many times but not for some years. Another attraction there is the smallest licensed bar in Australia which can only fit three patrons inside. So you can imagine the lineup when buses full of tourists stop there. Spy has heard the roadhouse is for sale.



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Truckin’ In The Tropics

with Alf Wilson

From bull rider to bull transporter

MICHAEL Carr may be just 155cm in height but he stands tall when it comes to his courteous nature and knowledge of the road transport industry. Big Rigs saw the 52-yearold sitting in the driver’s seat of his Kenworth T909 triple road train at the tiny hamlet of Homestead which is beside the Flinders Highway.

It was in the early afternoon and the temperature was soaring in the mid-thirties and the sun was burning. But Carr who works for Bill Matton Transport at Gracemere in central Queensland was delighted to have a yarn. Gracemere is located 9km west of Rockhampton, which is famous for being the beef

There were 86 head of cattle on board the triple.

capital of Australia. “I am taking 86 head of cattle from Gracemere to Cloncurry out west. They are all big bulls,” he said. A genuine country man who was born and bred in Winton, Carr had been travelling from home along the Gregory Development Road between Clermont and Charters Towers. “It is a terrible road with lots of rough shoulders and is narrow at places. It requires great care when driving triples,” he said. The road is also known as the Belyando Highway and Carr did say that a rest area along it at Cape River was good to stop at with toilets and a shaded area. His hobbies include watching rodeo and it was with some irony that this gentleman of the highways and byways was transporting bulls.

“I used to be a bull rider at rodeo events,” he said. Like most livestock transport drivers, Carr has to clean out the trailers after dropping off his cattle. It is a dirty and smelly task as they have to hose away the droppings and urine left by the animals. However Carr wasn’t complaining in the least and just said it was part of the job. Bill Matton Transport is owned by Bill and Christine Matton and is a community minded company that supports local events. The company was started by Bill’s dad and has been going strong for decades. “They are a great company to work for – and I have been a truckie for most of my working life,” Carr said. During our chin wag I told Carr about the speed detection cameras just along the

Michael Carr has been a truckie for most of his working life and currently works for Bill Matton Transport.

Flinders Highway at Torren’s Creek and he said he sticks to the limit anyway. Just before I left Carr he opened the door of the Kenworth and presented me with a Bill Matton Transport cap.

It was a pleasure to have met with Carr and have such a great conversation. Then he drove off heading for the outback town known as Long Gully, which is 450km away.

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Truckin’ In The Tropics

It’s a family business through and through

with Alf Wilson

A chip off the old block

DRIVING in tandem with Andrew Lock was his son Shayne Lock, who was in the company’s Kenworth K100 – and he is definitely a chip off the old block. A very young truckie at age 23, Shayne said he loved life on the road and would be a truckie for many years. “I have been driving since I was 19 which was the day I got my licence,” he said. When I saw Shayne he was parked 100m away from his dad’s rig and offered to

drive it closer so I could snap a father and son picture. “Dad has taught me a lot about the industry,” he said. Shayne had also transported pipes to Townsville on the long journey from South Australia and they both were going back empty. This young gun of the road transport industry likes stopping at the Little Topar Roadhouse and enjoys the freedom whilst driving long distances. “This is my first time up

here and the truck is reliable,” he said. It was obvious that this happy and friendly driver was being groomed to take over the family business, although that could be many years away as his dad Andrew was very fit and enthusiastic. The day I was at the Port Access hook up pad there were many truckies either waiting to travel a bit along to the Townsville Port or checking out their trailers after leaving there.

As a small fleet operator, Andrew Lock says rising fuel prices are a major concern.

ANDREW Lock, 59, has run the Adelaide based family business Lock Transport for two and a half years but has been a truckie for most of his working life. I saw Lock standing near his 2009 Freightliner Argosy on October 9 parked at the Port Access Road pad. He had brought up pipes for delivery to Townsville. “It is a good truck and the other one I have is a Kenworth K100,” he said.

An experienced driver, Lock rates the Tanami Track as the worst highway he has travelled on and he is not on his lonesome there, with many other truckies also nominating it. “It has about 60km of bitumen and the rest is dirt,” he said. A favourite roadhouse he stops at is the new Mobil at Gillenbah in NSW which he said has good food and facilities.

When he gets time off work, Lock loves riding his trusty Harley because of the “freedom he enjoys” and also likes football. Rising fuel prices are a major concern for this small fleet operator. “It adds a lot to our costs and you try and get the rate up to cover it,” he said. Earlier that morning just a few kilometres up the Port Access Road a bushfire restricted traffic flow for a few hours.

BASED at Warrnambool in Victoria, owner operator Paddy McKenna was far away along the Port Access Road in Townsville when Big Rigs spotted him tending to his trailers. McKenna, 52, drives a Kenworth K108 and had transported fibreglass pipes from Lonsdale in South Australia. He said it was the fourth time he had travelled to the far north of Queensland. “I have been a truckie for 32 years and it is a good life,” he said. His first name is Pat, “But

everybody knows me as Paddy,” he said in explanation. On the front of his Kenworth were numerous small dead insects – and he had encountered many during the long trip. “There has been lots of them at many places especially between Dalby and Bundaberg,” he said. On his travels McKenna enjoys stopping at the Little Topar Roadhouse where he said the owners and staff are friendly, the food is good and truckie facilities are clean. He nominated the worst

road he travels along as between Cunnamulla and Charleville. During the football season, he barracks for the Essendon Bombers in the AFL. Outside work McKenna likes spending time with family and sleeping. A very friendly truckie, I saw McKenna an hour after snapping his pic at a roadhouse about 4km away and he had a wide smile on his face. As I drove off I also saw this hard working driver tending to his trailers in the roadhouse parking area.

At just 23, Shayne Lock has many years on the road ahead of him. Photos: Alf Wilson

Trucking’s a good life for this friendly truckie

Owner-operator Paddy McKenna drives a Kenworth K108.





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Decarbonising the freight industry VTA COMMENT PETER ANDERSON CEO, Victorian Transport Association

IN an era marked by growing climate consciousness and the increasing need for sustainability, the freight industry stands at a critical juncture. With the pressing global challenge of climate change, the imperative for the decarbonisation of the freight industry is important to acknowledge. The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) strongly advocates for and supports the shift towards decarbonisation within our crucial sector, but we also recognise the shift will take time and require support from government. The freight industry plays a pivotal role in the economic framework of Victoria, driving the movement of goods and services essential to both local and global markets.

However, this indispensable function has historically been associated with substantial environmental costs, chiefly in the form of carbon emissions. As the world increasingly recognises the adverse effects of greenhouse gases on our planet, the freight industry’s responsibility to reduce its carbon footprint becomes more paramount. Decarbonisation of the freight industry not only aligns with the global environmental push towards lower emissions, but also offers multifaceted benefits to operators, businesses, consumers, and domestic and international economies. Transitioning towards sustainable, low-emission transportation methods and technologies presents a range of advantages that are not limited to environmental preservation. These and other issues were discussed at length at the VTA’s second Alternative Fuel Summit last month, and again the following week at a Victorian Government forum on decarbonisation. These events provided a forum for freight operators and customers coming

Viva Energy is building a New Energies Service Station located in Geelong, Victoria, to support the uptake of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) in heavy fleets.

together to strive for consensus on manageable paths towards decarbonisation, recognising that the path won’t be the same for everyone. One of the significant advantages of decarbonisation lies in the potential for cost savings. While initial investments in eco-friendly technology might seem daunting, the long-term savings are substantial. Enhanced fuel efficiency, streamlined logistics, and reduced maintenance costs of green vehicles contribute to

Hino unveiled a sign of things to come with prototype heavy-duty Profia Z-FCV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle) at the Japan Mobility Show 2023 in Tokyo.

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significant operational savings for freight companies. Moreover, as governments and consumers increasingly prioritise sustainable practices, companies embracing decarbonisation may gain a competitive edge, fostering brand loyalty and attracting eco-conscious customers. And with emissions reductions an increasing requirement of Environmental, Sustainability, and Governance reporting (ESG), it is freight customers that are increasingly requiring evidence of decarbonising from operators as a condition for their business. This shift towards cleaner technologies in the freight industry also presents opportunities for innovation and economic growth. Research and development in green transportation systems foster new markets, job creation, and stimulate technological advancements. Supporting and incentivising the development of low-emission vehicles and infrastructure not only benefits the environment but also bolsters economic growth and promotes

technological leadership. And of course, reducing carbon emissions from freight transportation contributes significantly to improving air quality and public health. The potential adverse health effects of air pollution caused by freight emissions are generally well-documented. Decarbonisation initiatives, such as transitioning to electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles, reduce harmful emissions, leading to cleaner air and better health outcomes for communities residing along transportation routes and in urban centres. The VTA recognises that decarbonisation cannot be achieved in isolation and can only be attained in partnership with customers, consumers, and regulators. Collaborative efforts among industry stakeholders, policymakers, and technology innovators are essential. Governments need to provide policy frameworks and incentives that encourage and support the adoption of low-carbon technologies. This can involve tax incentives, subsidies, and reg-

ulatory measures that encourage the deployment of cleaner transportation methods. The industry must also invest in research and development to continuously innovate and improve existing technologies, making them more efficient, accessible, and cost-effective. Public-private partnerships, knowledge sharing, and collaborative research initiatives can play a significant role in accelerating the transition to a greener freight industry. Decarbonisation of the freight industry is not just a growing community imperative but an economic and social necessity. The benefits extend far beyond environmental stewardship, with cost savings, innovation, improved public health, and economic growth among the numerous advantages that beckon us towards a sustainable future. It’s an ambitious and longterm goal that may seem unreachable for some, however through VTA and industry advocacy, we will ensure the transition is manageable, sensible, and affordable.

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Progress finally gearing up for women in trucking WOMEN IN TRUCKING LYNDAL DENNY CEO, Women in Trucking Australia

HISTORICALLY a male-dominated industry, the road transport sector is beginning to see the emergence of greater numbers of women into trucking positions as cultural ideologies begin to challenge traditional gender roles. The industry as a whole is doing great work on the gender diversity front, with recruiters and board room discussions now recognising increased representation of women as a clear imperative. It’s a far cry from the not-toodistant past, when ambitious wannabe female drivers were largely invisible – dismissed on paper before they even made it to interview stage. Today, government-funded initiatives and companies focussing on equity and in-

clusion are making great inroads – not only in recruiting but also retaining their female heavy vehicle drivers. It’s evident that a convergence of women hungry for opportunities to take the wheel and a sector-wide cultural shift is seeing an ecological evolution. It’s incredibly encouraging to see so many companies not only delivering female-centric training programs but also working to create safe, inclusive and supportive work environments that provide opportunities for female career growth and development. Large employers like QUBE, Cleanaway, Chill, Hanson, Followmont, Linfox, Australia Post and SEQH are to be commended for stepping outside the traditional male talent pool and exploring new approaches to recruitment. Volvo Australia continues its great work supporting organisations delivering female heavy vehicle driver training initiatives. The Queensland Trucking Association and the

Lyndal Denny, second from left, says companies are finally taking concrete steps to improve gender equality in trucking.

Department of Employment and Workplace Relations also run training and recruitment initiatives supporting women into non-traditional roles, and great work is being done by the HVIA and the Australian Logistics Council to seek an industry-wide exemption from anti-discrimination commissions with a view to

allowing all of industry to advertise roles for “female-only applicants”. Clearly there are green shoots appearing everywhere as companies and organisations move past gender equity lip service and begin to turn good intentions into concrete action. Weathering the storm

of being a woman in a male-dominated industry is not easy. We know that women having other women around to discuss challenges and share lessons they’ve learned along the way propels them forward. In filling this void, Women in Trucking Australia (WiTA) also continues to do its bit by providing much-needed access to resources and support in addition to working with stakeholders to give women the capacity and confidence to reach their full potential. WiTA strongly believe that championing diversity and inclusion in the workplace through the recognition of women as a vital untapped resource not only makes great business sense, it also makes great common sense as increased female participation delivers a range of diverse perspectives and a plethora of lived experience and ideas. Men and women are equally capable of developing truck driving skills and in 21st century Australia, no vocation should be viewed as

the realm of a specific gender. Professional truckies are born out of an individual’s willingness to develop and grow with the guidance and support of colleges and senior management. Companies are now actively listening, creating more flexible work environments as they develop a greater understanding of the challenges women face when combining work and family. The roadmap to accommodating these challenges has finally been taken out of the glovebox – with recruiters now taking on board the female perspective, implementing their recommendations and building workplaces where they feel safe, empowered and understood. The sun is beginning to come out from behind the clouds. Great progress is now being made, and the misogyny pipeline is gradually being stemmed, further strengthening the flow of female talent into the sector. There is now widespread agreeance that we will get there – if we all go together.


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It’s the way rules are applied that creates industry issues

gimes and the role they play. For much of the background for this article, I’m indebted to veteran writer Allan Whitting. About the only consistent thing you can say about heavy vehicle regulations around the world is that they all date from the post World War 2 era. The exponential growth in road traffic in the late 1940s and early ‘50s brought about the need for regulations. Most urban centres and

bridges were in existence long before trucks, so rules had to be put in place to make sure trucks could fit. The trucks you see vary from continent to continent because they are the product of their physical and regulatory environments. In the US, for example, legal axle weights are lower and bridge formula dimensions are greater than in Australia. Truck lengths are unregulated (some-

thing copied from overseas) so you’ll see semi-trailer rigs that are longer and lighter than both here and in Europe. Lengths were regulated after World War 2 so manufacturers who were keen to make every inch count built high-set bubblenose prime movers. Cabover engine prime movers became popular after the invention of the tilt cab. In Europe, regulations limiting semi-trailer and rigids towing a dog trailer to 16.5m and 18.75m respectively gave rise to trucks without bonnets which maximised capacity. The typical European combination of a single-drive cabover engine prime mover, pulling a 12m tri-axle trailer is because narrow streets demand much more manoeuvrability than elsewhere. Japan’s heavy reliance on sea freight means trucks are still vital but they are generally less likely to undertake linehaul or bulk freight tasks. Semi-trailer vehicles are the

That is always very difficult, as we have so many wonderful applicants vying for these scholarships. We have some other exciting announcements to be made in the coming weeks, which have been some time in the making, and I cannot wait to share them with you. We will also be announcing any changes to our board at the AGM on November 13. All members are invited to attend and notices of how to join the meeting have been emailed. We have our Wodonga, Melbourne, Perth, and Wollongong EOY functions this month. Wodonga will be

a dinner on November 22 (sponsored by Ron Finemore Transport), Melbourne is on November 23 (sponsored by NTI), with Perth rounding out the week on November 24 (sponsored by Interlink Insurance Brokers). I will be presenting at the 23rd World Congress on Safety and Health at Work in Sydney on November 28, before heading to Wollongong to attend the EOY dinner sponsored by Penske. I then hope to spend a few days at home before heading to Brisbane for our EOY Breakfast (sponsored by MBM Insurance Services and

the NHVR) before flying to Sydney for their EOY dinner (sponsored by AEI Insurance Broking Group) and then to Dubbo for the final EOY event (sponsored by Regional Insurances Services Pty Ltd). Not only will I be able to relax and enjoy the final event of the year, but I will be able to see my family and friends. We already have several speakers locked in for our Living the Dream Conference 2024 and have signed up returning sponsors NTI, Volvo, PACCAR, Cummins and the NHVR to get the ball rolling. We are planning a great confer-


THE heavy vehicle sector is a place where rules are not made to be broken. Regulations govern almost everything a heavy vehicle operator does and, generally, that’s how it has to be. It’s the way that the rules are sometimes applied - without regard to individual circumstances - that creates issues. Regulatory regimes are also the reason we have the types of trucks we do in Australia - and it’s a similar story around the world. The recent news that NSW, Victoria and South Australia are trialling changes to weight laws to accommodate heavy-duty electric trucks started me thinking about these regulatory re-

Law changes will help encourage EV uptake.

exception and not the rule on Japanese roads. Rigids and single drive prime movers with tandem or tri-axle trailers are the go. High torque prime movers were almost non-existent for a time. Post-war, British-made trucks ruled the roost in Aussie roads. It was a patriotic choice, of course, but many were not suited to our long, dry and dusty roads. Cue the take up of German and American-made vehicles, with Japanese trucks entering the market in the 1960s as they became a strong trading partner. The spaghetti bowl of state regulations dictated what types of trucks Australians drove. Conflicting mass limits, differing axle requirements and confounding bridge formulae made coming up with a “best fit” configuration for interstate runs a vexing problem. Of course, we now have a national law that applies in most but not all jurisdictions.

Well-intentioned efforts to harmonise rules continue at glacial pace. In a practical sense, the latest changes to weight laws will minimise the need for operators to sacrifice payload capacity if they want electric trucks with better range – a choice which would require heavier batteries. The changes are designed to enable more operators invest in battery technology as the industry progressively moves towards the wider use of electric and other low emission vehicles. Eventually these and other changes in regulations should mean European-sized electric powered trucks could be manufactured in Australia for the first time. Is that a case of regulations driving change or the other way round? It doesn’t matter much if the outcome is an industry that’s sustainable and that benefits from the safety and efficiency gains that a new generation of heavy vehicles will bring.

ence bag to rival our “best conference bag ever” from 2022! Tickets are going on sale next week, once our intrepid vice chair, Coralie Chapman, returns from Tasmania where she is hosting our annual preTTA lunch and then representing TWAL at the Tasmanian Transport Association Gala Dinner as the guest of our wonderful sponsor, TWUSUPER. Keep watch on our social media for upcoming announcements and updates regarding the conference and other initiatives, programs, and awards. If you would like more information on sponsoring or part-

nering with Transport Women Australia Limited, please email au or phone 0417 422 319. I have been very busy with our membership of the National Rural Women’s Coalition and my place on their board. This is a very strategic partnership for TWAL and gives us many opportunities that we may not otherwise have available to us, and it also gives them access to our expertise. We are also members of the Australian Gender Equality Council and will be taking a more active interest in this organisation moving forward.

Driving the Difference scholarship recipients revealed WOMEN IN TRANSPORT JACQUELENE BROTHERTON Chair of Transport Women Australia

THE hard task of selecting the final recipients of the Driving the Difference scholarships has begun and they will be announced on November 16. While I have the pleasure of contacting the winners, I also have the task of disappointing those who are unsuccessful.


(03) 9357 7081


For advertising opportunities contact or call +61 410 334 371



Is the RSRT coming back? EXPERT ADVICE RYAN HOWISON Managing Director, DSE Transport

IN September 2023, the federal government introduced the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Bill 2023 into parliament. One the most relevant and important changes to the transport industry is the introduction of a road transport “expert panel” within the Fair Work Commission (FWC), which is Australia’s national workplace relations tribunal. The panel will have the power to set minimum standards for owner-drivers, including both “fair payment times” and also rates that they can charge, and hear cases of unfair terminations of contracts. Sound familiar? For those who remember, it sounds eerily like the old Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) that was abolished in 2016. For those who aren’t aware, let’s start with a bit of a history lesson.

What was the RSRT?

The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) was an Australian government agency that existed from 2012 to 2016. Its primary purpose was to oversee and regulate pay and working conditions for truck drivers in the road transport industry. It was created in an effort to address concerns about the safety of road transport in Australia, particularly in the heavy vehicle industry. In theory, it was probably a good idea. However, it was massively controversial and was seen by many as unfairly penalising owner-drivers.

Senator Sterle shows his support for a truckies’ protest in Canberra pushing for safer standards.

In 2016, the RSRT pass a pay order establishing national minimum rates and unpaid leave for contractor drivers. Many of these drivers were reportedly forced out of business as their rates were too expensive for their clients to pay. Many saw the 2016 pay order as discriminatory against owner-drivers and small family businesses, with the process overly legalistic. After much political controversy, the government abolished the RSRT.

What is the Fair Work Commission?

Some argue that the federal government’s new proposed changes in the closing loopholes bill is an attempt to bring the RSRT back through the FWC. The FWC is an Australian government agency responsible for regulating workplace relations and labour matters

in Australia. The FWC is responsible for establishing and modifying modern awards, facilitates and regulates the process of collective bargaining and plays a crucial role in resolving workplace disputes through conciliation and arbitration.

How is the proposed change applicable to truck drivers?

The new change will give the FWC the power to make binding road transport minimum standards orders and non-binding road transport minimum standards guidelines for the road transport industry. These orders must specify the road transport businesses and contractors they apply to. Parties covered by the orders must comply. Orders or guidelines can deal with things like payment

terms, deductions, working time, record-keeping, insurance, cost recovery and more. There are, however, certain things that can’t be included in an order or a guideline. These include terms relating to overtime rates, rostering or matters mainly of a commercial nature that don’t not affect the terms and conditions of “regulated workers”. The commission also has to take into account the commercial realities of the industry when making these orders.

Is this an attempt to bring back the failed RSRT?

The government’s rhetoric suggests no. Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke stressed that the expert panel would be guided by an industry advisory group of making minimum

standards (the Road Transport Advisory Group). He says he’s brought owner-driver groups and unions together, saying that there is a “broad consensus” that we need minimum standards to “protect lives and ensure a sustainable and viable trucking industry”. This very newspaper reported in June that the board members of the National Road Freighters Association said it was “ground breaking for the industry to be so united”. Burke also told parliament that the new laws create a “failsafe process”, which allows the minister to apply to suspend an order’s operation. But others take a more negative view. Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Andrew McKellar,

a former CEO of the Australian Trucking Association, said the new closing loophole bill “[hands] over” control of our supply chains to the FWC, and said the government was “effectively reviving the failed RSRT”. Before Labor won the election, Labor Senator Glenn Sterle stressed the need for a new kind of RSRT. He said, “We got it wrong the first time, we’re not going to get it wrong the second time because the industry will be at the table”. There will inevitably be differences between the RSRT and the FWC’s expert panel. It would be foolish for the government to replicate the same mistakes made in the past. So, will “Labor’s second time” strike the right balance? Only time will tell.

18-19 SEPTEMBER 2024 Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Will you be a part of the supply chain of the future? FLEETS OF THE FUTURE

MEGATRANS 2024 Overview







Don't miss out, secure a prime position MEGATRANS is Australia’s largest integrated conference and exhibition dedicated to the logistics industry. MEGATRANS is an interactive expo, reserved for companies offering advanced technology technologies and services, grouped by their contributions to the sustainable supply chain.





Sad day for all in transport








Fill the grid so every column, every row and 3x3 box contains the digits 1 to 9.



1 Name a scurf that forms on the scalp (8) 2 What is a quality of being true (6) 3 To refresh physically, is to do what (8) 4 What is a musical composition (4) 5 What do we call those persons who give blood, etc (6) 6 Who is granted a lease (6) 12 What are non-SI units of heat measurements (8) 13 To be depressed, is to be what (8) 15 Name the largest river in the world (6) 16 What is a cure-all (6) 17 Name an instrument for use in attack or defence (6) 20 What is hard and continuous work (4)


positives aspects or those issues about which I am most 8 passionate and have a chance of making a contribution to 9 change. I began writing column when I was returned as Trans10 port Women Australia Limited chair in 11 12November 2017. THIS article is the ending of In the interim, TWAL has an era for the transport indus- had many successes and try with the demise of this achievements. magazine the restrucIt has expanded 14 15 under 16 17 the relature and rationalisation of tionship with Girl Guides AusNews Corp. tralia 18 and been involved with It is a sad day for all of us in several successful projects with the industry as Big Rigs magathem, the Victorian Snoozefest 19 20 zine has been a part of our lives in April 2018, the “Great Bag for almost 30 years. Migration” for the Interna21 For some, their entire ca- tional Jamboree in Sydney in reers so far. October 2018 and other inter22 It will leave huge gap as the actions that are expanding the editors and staff have support- knowledge of the transport ined the industry, provided fair dustry.23 and rational debate and given We launched the Women everyone a fair say in industry Driving Transport Careers indoings to all, as well as stories, itiative with our partners Wopictures and news of our peo- donga TAFE and Volvo Group ple, our trucks and our unsung EASY at the 2018 TWAL Creating heroes. Connections conference. Our lives will be the poorer This initiative has been in for its demise; being a colum- hiatus during the COVID-19 nist for Big Rigs for the past pandemic but all partners are year and half has allowed me excited to move forward to exto fulfil yet another childhood pand the program as soon as dream, to write, and it has possible. given me great pleasure and I We held a well attended hope it has at least been en- and exciting conference in joyed by some. May 2018 and we have plans in While so many are focused place with the date saved and on the negatives of the indus- venue booked for our Driving try, I have tried to focus on the the Difference 2021 conference


1 What do we call one who drives livestock to market (6) 7 Which person works for others (8) 8 Name a very powerful acid (6) 9 What is an answer or reply (8) 10 To steal cattle, is to do what (6) 11 To have approached someone, is to have done what (8) 14 Name another term for goodbye (8) 18 Name a US-British film actor, Merle ... (6) 19 What is one of the supports of a†stair rail (8) 21 Which animal is known as an antelope (6) 22 Name a place of residence (8) 23 What might we call twilight (6)




Across: 1 Drover, 7 Employee, 8 Nitric, 9 Response, 10 Rustle, 11 Accosted, 14 Farewell, 18 Oberon, 19 Banister, 21 Impala, 22 Domicile, 23 Sunset. Down: 1 Dandruff, 2 Verity, 3 Recreate, 4 Opus, 5 Donors, 6 Lessee, 12 Calories, 13 Downcast, 15 Amazon, 16 Elixir, 17 Weapon, 20 Toil.


CELEBRATING ACHIEVEMENTS: Jacquelene Brotherton (far right) enjoys a night of celebration at a Transport Women Limited event with (from left) Rachel Hesse, Paul Fleiszig and Coralie Chapman. Picture: Contributed

in Melbourne. 1 2 In November 2019 we celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the organisation (TWAL) with 9 gala dinner at 10 a fabulous The Windsor Melbourne where we also presented our first four winners 12 of the Driving the Difference scholarships with our amazing sponsor, Daimler Truck and Bus Asia Pacific. We also presented the inaugural Trish Pickering Mem-


orial 3 Award, 4 sponsored by the 5 wonderful Wes Pickering. This was awarded for longterm outstanding contribution by a female to the road transport industry, the inaugural winner was Pam McMillan the longest serving director and chair of Transport Women Australia Limited. This is an award and 14annual15 the recipient of the 2020 Trish Pickering Memorial Award

will 6 be announced later 7 8 this year at an event still to be determined. We have also launched our 11 Initiatives Breakfast Learning Series with several partners so far, including NTI, MOVE BANK 13and rt health. In early 2020 the Creating Connections Mentoring program was finally ready to commence with both mentors and mentees signing up to the pro-


Across gram. 1 I would Hiddenlike obstacle to thank the fantastic 5 Factsteam givenat Big Rigs newspaper for their incredible 10 Summit support and wish them on11 Obtain going success. 12I hope Foreign that I get the opportunity to continue to work with 13 United some of them and so work to14 Dance wards making the trucking in16 Soft colour dustry a better appreciated, 18 aPass and saferaway place for our peo21 Weapon ple. 23 Headwear 24 Ingrained dirt 26 Lyric poem 27 Small nail 28 Precious stones reminder to all Big 29A final Augury

Fighting to end the inequality: Big Rigs18 and TWU played their parts 19 20 HARD


losing their contracts and the ability to support their families. It appears the government does not care. 24 25 There are unsafe vehicles, dodgy licences, poor payment times, wage and superannuation theft – just a few of the 27 many things we have called for to be stopped. A reminder to governments 29 and the transport industry clients: the industry that has kept Australia moving during the pandemic is facing an uphill battle. industry as dry as they can. Employer groups should be They want operators to meet their unrealistic dead- standing alongside transport lines and take on more freight workers to unite for a safer and for less or they face the risk of fairer industry.


PITTSWORTH PHONE (07) 4693 1088 Fax (07) 4693 1545 email: V1 - IBRE01Z01MA




policy that should be keeping safe one of the most dangerous 21 22 industries in Australia. To quote one truck driver turned Australian senator, 23 “a death at work Glenn Sterle, or on the road should not be the price of doing business”. The TWU 26 puts it to governments that we must stop the inequality that exists between truck drivers and clients. 28must be paid proper Drivers rates, owner-drivers must be able to trust they will be paid properly for the work they do and on time. Families depend on this. Many of the ongoing problems that occur are down to the big clients squeezing our

Across: 1 Snag, 5 Data, 10 Apex, 11 Get, 12 Alien, 13 One, 14 Tango, 16 Pastel, 18 Elapse, 21 Rifle, 23 Hat, 24 Grime, 26 Ode, 27 Brad, 28 Gems, 29 Omen. Down: 2 Nails, 3 Ape, 4 Genteel, 6 Agog, 7 Tenors, 8 Ate, 9 Rasp, 15 Allegro, 17 Abrade, 19 Pride, 20 Ever, 22 Item, 23 Hog, 25 Ram.

THIS is the end of an era, the last TWU column in the trusted transport industry publication Big Rigs. Over the years the TWU and Big Rigs have played their parts in the role of keeping the top end of town accountable and doing our bit to look out for the rights of the little guy. It’s still about the voice that speaks out for the truck driver,

the owner and the employee. It’s been the voice that calls out for fair pay for the work you do, for safety in the drivers’ cab and on the road, the voice that seeks to relieve the pressure on the driver pushed by clients’ incessant cries for increased productivity for the same rates and conditions. It is obvious we still have a long way to go – we have been through countless road, freight and transport ministers and nothing changes. Truck drivers are still dying at work. It’s a pretty safe bet to say this is due to the lack of strong government policy in place,

Rigs readers: now is the time to unite, now is the time to ensure Down in this industry. equality we can stand on 2 Together Fasteners common ground working to 3 Monkey ensure the government contin4 toWell-bred ues support transport work6 and Eagerly ers the excited industry they support. 7 Singers TWU will continue to 8 The Consumed voice the needs of transport 9 Coarse workers to file the employers, 15 In rapid tempo their industry bodies(mus) and the clients. 17 Scrape off standards mean job 19Better Company of lions security and ultimately a safer 20 fairer At allindustry times for all. and 22WeArticle can lift the standards we need together – our lives de23 Pig pend it. sheep 25 on Male

More Trailer For Your Money



School leaver’s program cements future career path


DUE to having a mild intellectual disability, Estelle Synaphet joined Nadrasca in 2014 as part of its school leaver’s program, My Life My Future. She has since progressed to be a leader within the organisation’s warehousing team, responsible for all transport bookings, including pick-ups and deliveries. Nadrasca is a disability support organisation based in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, supporting over 300 people in achieving their personal and professional goals. As an equal employment opportunity employer, Nadrasca has been proudly supporting Australians with disabilities in their employment since 1975. Currently, Nadrasca employs over 100 Australians with a disability, in job roles ranging from warehouse management, production, printing, office support, account management, electronics, labour trades, plus more. For Synaphet, 28, Nadrasca has helped to cement a rewarding career path, in a role she enjoys and thrives in. After entering the school

Estelle Synaphet secured a full-time role at Nadrasca after completing its school leaver’s program, My Life My Future.

leaver’s program to undertake work experience, Estelle soon progressed into a permanent full-time role at Nadrasca. In 2019, she was presented with the Parliament of Victoria Community Achievers Award. Operations manager at Nadrasca, Sandra Dimitrievs-

ki, explained, “In the past 1218 months, we’ve streamlined our warehouse operation and during this time, Estelle has played an integral role in leading and supporting our warehouse teams to ensure the service provided to our customers is efficient and to

a high standard. “Nadrasca owns a Hino 500 truck and a van, which is used for local deliveries and pick-ups. When required by our customers, Estelle will manage the transport booking process with third-party service providers.” Synaphet says although she was nervous when she started at Nadrasca, through her experience and the wonderful team, it has greatly boosted her confidence and brought her out of her comfort zone. “I like working at Nadrasca because most of my friends from high school are working here and I feel safe and supported while working here – and it is also close to home. Nadrasca has helped me a lot with my confidence and self-esteem,” she said. Among her key roles, Synaphet is responsible for the picking and packing of key Nadrasca customer online orders. On a typical day, she spends one to two hours in the receiving department, where she will check freight and receipt stock. Synaphet is responsible for the booking of all freight and creating relevant dispatch

paperwork, including delivery dockets and consignment notes for the warehouse; along with pallet reconciliation, stock and order enquiries, weekly stock takes and running monthly team ‘toolbox meetings’. Synaphet is being recognised for her unwavering dedication and endeavour at Nadrasca and within the wider transport community.

Transport Women Australia Limited (TWAL) recently presented Estelle with a membership and a bag of merchandise to assist with this recognition. “We look forward to a long relationship with Nadrasca,” added TWAL chair Jacquelene Brotherton, “and to following the long and successful career of Estelle Synaphet with our support and encouragement.”

Synaphet in the Hino with the company’s main truck driver Peter.

HC and MC Driver Opportunities TOMAGO The Role Our Toll Mining Business unit currently have numerous vacancies and are currently recruiting for permanent MC Drivers or HC Drivers willing to upgrade to their MC Licence. Average OTE is $150K per annum. These local positions are available at the following sites - Kurri Kurri, Tomago or Liddell. Benefits: • Permanent position with an industry leader • Roster pattern that promotes work / life balance • Above award payrates + 15% superannuation • Well maintained equipment with work shop onsite • Support for DG Licensing and UHL provided • All training provided with site Driver Trainer based onsite • 5 weeks A/L (for Shift workers only) Skills & Experience • Minimum of HC license but MC preferred • Roadranger Gearbox Experience- essential

• Current Dangerous Goods Licence - preferred but not essential • Unsupervised Handling Licence (UHL) or be willing to obtain • Basic Fatigue Management- desirable • A dedication to safety proven through your clean driving record • A reliable and professional work ethic • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal) with the ability to accurately complete paperwork and liaise with stakeholders Working at Toll At Toll, we’re proud to be a leading integrated logistics provider in the Asia Pacific region. And we know our success is due to the quality and skill of our talented people - quite simply, our people are our most valuable asset. We work hard to create a workplace that supports our people’s careers and that is a safe, respectful and inclusive place to work.

• • •

$150K average OTE Variety of rosters Permanent

If you’re interested in this role, please call Lindsee, Amy or Peta at Toll People on 02 4037 1500 or email

Toll embraces and celebrates a variety of cultures. We continue to build a business that reflects the values of equality, built on the knowledge and understanding that everyone is welcome including the First Nations Peoples, and those of all ages, genders, and abilities. Women are actively encouraged to apply. All applicants must be entitled to work in Australia and be prepared to undergo a criminal history check, pre-employment medical and/ or drug & alcohol testing as required.



Truckie’s path to success

At just 24 years of age, this go-getting young livestock truckie is enjoying life on the road as she transports cattle across the country.


GROWING up on a farm in Briagolong, Victoria, Melissa Ryan began driving horse trucks when she turned 18. These days, you’ll find her behind the wheel of a 2022 Kenworth T909, pulling B-doubles and road trains loaded with cattle. She’s on the road for up to four weeks at a time, transporting between farms, abattoirs and feedlots. “It’s all interstate. I

go anywhere from Queensland to Victoria to South Australia. I haven’t been to Western Australia – this is one of my goals along with the Northern Territory,” she said. “Four weeks is the longest I’ve been away so far – and that was only a few weeks ago. I went to Burra in South Australia, Roma in Queensland, then onto Victoria and NSW. But normally I’m away for two weeks at a time. It just turns into one big week really, you

Melissa Ryan (second from right) with her mother Tracey Ryan, David Ryan from major sponsor PSC Griffiths Goodall and her father Paul Ryan.

don’t think about the days because they go past pretty quickly.” Based in Gippsland in Victoria’s south-east, Melissa works for Transedel Livestock Carriers, together with her father Paul Ryan. “My dad drove for the boss Ian Einsiedel too, for about 15 years and is in the workshop there now,” Melissa said. “I started off in a Mitsubishi horse truck, transporting my family’s horses to competitions. My current boss wouldn’t stop asking me to drive for him, so that’s how I got into it.” Having grown up on a dairy farm, Melissa was no stranger to cattle. Her first job was at the local saleyards, receiving cattle from transporters and putting them through the scales on sale day. “Getting to work with animals, there’s always something different – I’ve always loved animals,” she said. Prior to the current T909, which she’s been driving since it was delivered brand new earlier this year, she was in an older T909. “The new truck is good, it pulls better than the older one,” she added. “When the cows are really big, like over 800kg each,


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I’d typically carry about 42 of them, but if they’re a bit smaller it can be up to 60. It just depends how big they are. The biggest cow I’ve ever moved weighed 1.1 tonne!” Transedel operates a fleet of around 25 trucks. Melissa started with the business in early 2020, first with a truck and dog, then she went on to a semi and now tows anything up to a triple road train. She says the role has her going to new places all the time, seeing different things, meeting different people and making new friends. Her hard work and dedication saw her recently presented with the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria (LRTAV) Young Driver of the Year award. She came out on top out of a pool of nine nominees. “It was a little bit of a shock to win the award. I wasn’t really expecting it,” Melissa said. “Thank you to my boss for nominating me and to my parents for being there, and to all the people who have helped me along the way. “Thanks also to the LRTAV and their sponsors PSC Griffiths Goodall Insurance

Second generation truckie Melissa Ryan transports cattle between farms, abattoirs and feedlots.

Brokers for promoting young drivers in the livestock transport industry.” For those considering a career in livestock transport, her advice is simple, “Give it a go, everyone is always willing to help you and show you how

to do things the right way. Everyone is usually really friendly too. “There may not be as many females out here on the road, but we are here and if you’re tempted, then come and join us!”



More women encouraged to join logistics team

IT’S no secret that truck driving is a male-dominated industry, but companies like Visy are taking steps to encourage more women to join its workforce. Visy’s 2023 Female Driver Program saw seven women without any prior experience in the transport industry put through their paces across eight weeks of onboarding and training. All participants now have heavy rigid licences and have already hit the roads, serving customers across Melbourne. “Visy is encouraging more

women to join our logistics team to serve our customers and build a fulfilling career,” said Rita Scriba, Visy Logistics’ state manager for Victoria. “Our training program is opening the door for more women to become truck drivers. We’re equipping our new staff with the skills required to hit the road from day one. “Our comprehensive driver training combined an accredited course with hands-on, real-life experience—fuelled by our new drivers’ passion for the road!”

As part of the Visy Female Driver Program, which was based at the company’s training centre in Shepparton, participants completed a theory component through Wodonga TAFE. Visy also conducted handson training, including real-life driving experience with an accredited driver trainer at the Driver Education Centre of Australia training facilities in Shepperton. Ongoing support will be provided over the next 12 months, with an opportunity

to upgrade to a MC licence upon completion. Visy, who also ran the Female Driver Program in 2021, said that they plan to make it a “core component” of their future driver acquisition. They are currently recruiting heavy rigid, and heavy and multi combination drivers in metropolitan areas across Australia, as well as multi combination linehaul drivers in Victoria and NSW. You can search and apply for all the current roles on the website

Jade Weil was one of seven participants in the 2023 Visy program.

IN a bid to help address driver shortages across the industry and enhance driver skills, Centurion has launched a new driver development program. “The Driver Development Program we are launching exists for two reasons: to address the shortage of skilled drivers across the transport and logistics sector and to help build the skills of those in the industry to ensure they are operating trucks and road trains safely,” said CEO of Centuri-

on Transport, Justin Cardaci. The program will help further the training of those already in its driving team and provide opportunities for existing employees who aspire to transition into driving roles. Though it’s hoped the program can be utilised beyond Centurion’s needs too. Cardaci added, “We want to deliver best-in-class training for the road freight operators outside these gates, through industry-relevant, on-the-job train-

ing and development.” Nationwide Training will deliver the accredited Certificate III in driving operations, while Eureka 4WD Training will play a crucial role in the licensing component as part of the driver development program. Centurion Transport has collaborated with Driver Risk Management for their Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set and Workforce Australia for sourcing new

employee candidates. Recent data from online job platform Seek indicates around 20,000 unfilled truck driving positions across Australia, highlighting substantial demand for proficient, welltrained, and highly skilled drivers within the road freight sector. “As a business that’s here for the long haul, we take seriously our role in ensuring every driver behind the wheel of a Centurion truck can leave

this depot – or any of our other facilities around the country – knowing that they have received the best possible training and on-the-job experience we can offer them,” said Cardaci. “It is important to me personally that each of our drivers completes their journey and returns to their families safely.” Minister Assisting the Minister for Transport, David Michael MLA, commented: “Driving any kind of heavy

Centurion launches driver program to address shortages

Easter Group Pty Ltd 73 Formation St, Wacol Easter Group, located in Wacol, provides time sensitive road transporting solutions to many companies throughout Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria. . We are a family owned business, operating since 1976. We currently have the following positions available:

OPERATIONS ALLOCATORS (Brisbane based only)

You will be required to work on a rotating roster including Days-Nights-Weekends Previous Operations experience preferred.


(Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide Based) Come and work for us as we are committed to: • Training and further education • Your safety • Maintaining an impressive Fleet On offer are permanent full time and roster positions including paid leave entitlements and public holidays. Drivers will need to be available to be scheduled for work falling across the 7 days of the week. The successful Applicant will: • Hold a current MC licence (minimum two years) • Have knowledge of the HVNL and Load Restraint • Be professional • Be reliable

To apply for the Operations/Driver positions please contact Operations Manager or by emailing your resume to


To apply for Mechanic positions please forward your resume to Workshop Manager via email to

vehicle carries with it an enormous responsibility in terms of safety, and good training is integral to keeping our roads safe, keeping road users safe and keeping the industry safe. “Centurion Transport is to be saluted for developing its own approach to addressing the shortage of skilled drivers across the transport and logistics sector, and I’m pleased to see that the Centurion Driver Development Program has safety at its centre.”


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