White Supremacy: Road Boss
New life for Bill Power’s Road Boss
BILL Power is the principal of Powers Transport, an operation run out of the Powers family home town of Kilkivan, about 200km north and slightly west of Brisbane.
Back in the day, the Power’s operation was built around a White Road Boss and, in the late 1970s, many considered the Road Boss to be the king of the road.
It was powered by 440hp small cam Cummins NTC (grey motor) when many trucks were running with half that power rating.
Times, as they do, change. The White Motor Company stopped building trucks when the corporation shut its doors in 1980. The American company, which had been manufacturing since 1900, acquired the truck builder Autocar in 1951 and distributed Freightliner trucks and built trucks under the White, Autocar and Western Star brands.
In 1980, White Motor Company was declared insolvent and Volvo acquired the assets of the company and, manufacturing independently out of Canada, Western Star continued with trucks came to Australia in the early 1980s.
Powers Transport grew, trucks were changed and traded in as the business moved with the times.
The trusty old Road Boss went the way of old trucks, sold, traded in or just plugging on in a fleet while newer models came on board to meet the needs of a transport operation.
Fast forward a generation into the second decade of the 21st century with Bill Power’s sons now run the Kilkivan operation and a rusted out Road Boss comes back into Bill’s life.
He decides this old truck, the one that helped the family business get on its feet, deserved a second life.
The truck was in a sad state. Bill had a long association with ReCar so he brought the White Road Boss to Brisbane.
ReCar Brisbane branch manager Tony McDonald takes up the story.
“I think Bill had the idea to rebuild the old truck at home, he started to pull it to pieces and decided the better option was to get ReCar to do the job,” Tony told Big Rigs.
For Tony, the journey has been long and frustrating but when the Big Rigs crew sat in his office to listen to the story of the White Road Boss, the rebuilding of the truck was a matter of great pride to the Kiwi ex-pat.
“Looking at the plates, the Road Boss is a 1978 build,” Tony said.
“I believe it was used on single trailer work carting wet hides in those early years.”
This explains the high degree of rust in the old girl that the ReCar team had to cut and replace.
“Bill left the truck with us and said just work on it when you can, probably his biggest mistake because it has taken four years,” Tony said.
It took some years just to sort original White spare parts, with a new source
❝ Bill left the truck with us and said just work on it when you can, probably his biggest mistake...
GOOD LOOKING: The completed Road Boss, a work of mechanical art destined for an easier life.
The White Road Boss ‘back in the day’, the 1978 build truck hauled wet hides in the early days.