White Supremacy: Road Boss

New life for Bill Power’s Road Boss

Big Rigs - - OPERATOR PROFILE -

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...

PHO­TOS: BIG RIGS

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.

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