Af­ter tast­ing the Ken­worth,

Specced-up trucks have ‘the works’

Big Rigs - - NEWS -

“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

PHO­TOS: GRAEME NI­CHOL­SON

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.

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