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Australian Transport News - - Truck Reviews - WORDS STEVE BROOKS

A self-con­fessed In­ter­na­tional ‘tragic’, it was prob­a­bly short odds that Tas­ma­nia’s John Treloar would be first in Aus­tralia to buy a new ProS­tar. Even so, he’s also a re­al­ist who knows the brand’s long-term fu­ture here hinges as much on the re­solve and com­mit­ment of both In­ter­na­tional and Iveco as it does on ProS­tar’s per­for­mance

T he way John Treloar sees it, there’s no struc­tural or me­chan­i­cal rea­son why In­ter­na­tional ProS­tar shouldn’t suc­ceed in Aus­tralia. None at all! It is, as he suc­cinctly puts it: “Sim­ply a strong, prac­ti­cal work­horse. The same things that made S-line such a good truck are all there in this truck, too.”

In fact, with­out putting too fine a point on it, Cum­mins-pow­ered S-lines are the rea­son Treloar not only ranks among the top tier of In­ter­na­tional ‘trag­ics’, but also the rea­son why the prospect of a ProS­tar with a 15-litre Cum­mins en­gine lit the fires of in­ter­est like a flamethrower on fuel.

The story goes like this: Treloar is man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Treloar Trans­port – a busy truck­ing, civil construction and quar­ry­ing com­pany based at Sh­effield in north­ern Tas­ma­nia, nes­tled be­neath the stark, im­pos­ing stature of Mt Roland.

The com­pany’s roots date back to the mid-’50s, with his fa­ther, Cliff, haul­ing fuel in drums be­fore ven­tur­ing into log­ging in the 1970s, and ul­ti­mately mov­ing into civil construction and quar­ry­ing op­er­a­tions as op­por­tu­ni­ties emerged.

These days, a big chunk of the com­pany’s work­load is in the construction and main­te­nance of forestry haulage roads, in­vari­ably in steep and dif­fi­cult ter­rain. More on that later!

Any­way, it’s a busi­ness that to­day op­er­ates a size­able in­ven­tory of about 60 pieces of construction and earth­mov­ing equip­ment, ac­com­pa­nied by what Treloar de­scribes as “a dozen main­stream trucks – mainly tip­per and dog but also a cou­ple of prime movers for dif­fer­ent jobs like haul­ing ma­chin­ery.”

All but two of the ‘main­stream’ trucks carry the In­ter­na­tional brand – from five Ea­gle 9900s, to a cou­ple of Transtars, a pair of seem­ingly age­less S-lines, and now a sin­gle ProS­tar.

The only ex­cep­tions to the In­ter­na­tional in­dul­gence are two Iveco Pow­er­stars but, for rea­sons that in­clude is­sues with fit and fin­ish of the cab and oc­ca­sional elec­tri­cal glitches, Treloar says it’s un­likely there will be any more. Be­sides, he’s not obliv­i­ous to spec­u­la­tion that Pow­er­star may soon be a thing of the past for Iveco, with the com­pany ap­par­ently putting its con­ven­tional hopes in ProS­tar while its own Stralis range con­tin­ues to con­test a bur­geon­ing heavy-duty cab-over class.

IN­TER­NA­TIONAL CON­VERT

Any­way, tak­ing a few steps back, Treloar con­cedes that sev­eral brands of truck have oc­cu­pied the com­pany’s evo­lu­tion over the decades. “Some bet­ter than oth­ers,” he says with a smirk.

Treloar is quick to con­firm that the pur­chase of a sec­ond-hand In­ter­na­tional S-line with a Cum­mins 350 Big Cam en­gine in 1984 was the foun­da­tion of a re­gard that has en­dured and strength­ened for well over 30 years. That orig­i­nal S-line, Treloar ex­plained, had al­ready clocked close to 500,000 kilo­me­tres as a log­ging prime mover by the time it joined the Treloar op­er­a­tion, where it was duly con­verted to a tip­per haul­ing a pig trailer, and con­tin­ued to pro­vide faith­ful ser­vice for the next half-mil­lion kilo­me­tres.

Yet it wasn’t just the fun­da­men­tal in­tegrity of the truck that won his ad­mi­ra­tion. Af­ter about four years in the Treloar busi­ness, the 14-litre Big Cam 350 was ready for a re­build and, with a price tag of just $1,500 for the en­tire parts kit, he re­alised the eco­nom­ics of the S-line and Cum­mins com­bi­na­tion were as ap­peal­ing as the dura­bil­ity.

“As far as en­gines go, that sealed the fu­ture with Cum­mins, for sure,” he re­marks. “And for me, that’s the thing that re­ally stands out – the abil­ity of the truck and en­gine to be re­built for rel­a­tively low cost.”

Top: In­ter­na­tional ‘tragic’. John Treloar at home in the shadow of Mt Roland, with two trea­sured pick-ups of the past, a 1950 In­ter­na­tional AR110 model and a D1100 from 1977

Above: Across the ages. For John Treloar, it all started with an S-line (left), then came the 9900 Ea­gle and now, In­ter­na­tional ProS­tar

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