After tasting the Kenworth,
Specced-up trucks have ‘the works’
“THEY’VE been called hamburger Kenworths as they come with the works,” Graeme grins.
“There’s a big bed in there now as standard and an Ecowind cooler. You need that to get a good sleep. They gave us 26m but they made the trailers longer and the trucks shorter. You just can’t get a good sleep in one of those narrow beds – you’re like a chook on a rotisserie turning over all night.”
That’s how Graeme Nicholson describes his cabover Kenworths.
And they do come with ‘the works’. He runs a spec that features a big cab, a big bed and an Ecowind cooler, as well as a fridge, cupboards, all the usual radio and phone set-ups and sometimes even a TV. Then there’s a 600 Cummins and an 18-speed overdrive Road Ranger combination to make it all go.
❝with I’m happy our group and am proud of what we do. It’s a lifestyle. — Graeme Nicholson
“It’s all about respect for our drivers and the work they do, as they’ll be living in their trucks for five or six days of the week. And I don’t mind having good-looking trucks out there with our name on them either,” Graeme said.
“It’s one truck – one driver here, so any scratches and dings are down to one person.
“But more importantly, it gives our drivers a real sense of pride in what they drive and imparts a sense of ownership too. They are the face of our business out there on the road.”
It’s a formula that works, as many of the drivers have been with the company for close to a decade or more.
“One of our drivers who recently retired wore out four trucks working here,” he said.
“And another has just stepped into his fourth new truck.”
Graeme Nicholson and wife Meredith Page own and operate Nicholson and Page Interstate Haulage out of Maclean on the New South Wales north coast. It’s not a big operation, at present there are just seven trucks – four are cabover Kenworths and there are two SARs and a 409.
“We also have two ‘painted’ subbies whom we keep loaded all the time too,” Graeme said.
“You don’t get on the big field playing with the big boys as you get knocked about. We stay out the back playing on the old cow paddock, and with the group of people that we work with, we do a good job.
“I’m happy with our group and am proud of what we do. It’s a lifestyle.
“We work in with quite a number of subbies and other smaller companies and we’ve all known each other for 20 years or more.
“We all work at keeping our own little game going and we all try and help keep each other’s trucks loaded.
“There’s a lot of knowledge in that little group but as the older blokes retire, that is all being lost to the industry.”
There’s a lot of knowledge and experience in Graeme’s 35 years on the road too – 30 of which have been in his
SENSATIONAL: A Kenworth with the works specced up for east coast running in this neat Maclean-based operation.
A rare scene, a big chunk of the fleet at home.
Graeme Nicholson is proud that his drivers are long term.