Owner’s never looked back
“My first interstate truck was a 290hp Kenworth. It was big then and it was all ropes and gates and hand loading and tarps. Sadly, that’s a lost art in many ways now. The first truck I owned was a Ford LTS Louisville with a 365 Cummins in it. It came with a bit of work and we just built from that,” Graeme said.
But now it’s all Kenworths, with 600hp Cummins and 18-speeds, pulling B-double curtainsider Krueger mezzanine decks at up about 60 tonnes.
All the Kenworths are well maintained using the services of neighbouring Irons Auto Repairs, which is owned and operated by Gary Irons, who Graeme went through school with.
“The trucks go over the pits every year as I’m not a big fan of the maintenance management scheme,” Graeme said.
It’s all respect for our drivers and the work they do.
— Graeme Nicholson
“I’m happy if they find a problem, it’s only happened once in about 20 years, but I want to know if there’s an issue with one of our vehicles.
“If anything at all needs doing, we get it done straight away because that little thing if left will develop into something bigger that is going to let you down somewhere out on the road, and I end up getting a phone call at 2am in the morning saying something is broken.
“There’s a lot at stake out there on the road, but I know our trucks are as well maintained as the best of them.”
Nicholson and Page mostly run the east coast to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, sometimes Adelaide, sometimes Cairns. But the majority of their work is east coast, with regular runs hauling general and foodstuffs.
“It takes a lot of organising and a lot of work, but I like to make sure that they all get away early.”
It was after 9am on a Monday when Big Rigs talked to Graeme Nicholson.
“They are all out of Sydney now,” he said.
“That way they have maximum time to, say, get to Brisbane or Melbourne that night. They’ll go straight to bed and then unload in the morning.”
Each truck runs about 200,000-250,000km a year and at around the one million kilometre or five-year mark, each is replaced. Kenworth number 30, another big cab K200, has recently joined the fleet.
A lot needs to change in the industry, Graeme says, and he knows not everyone agrees with his views.
But with eight million kilometres or so on the road, he certainly speaks from experience.
ALL ABOARD: The seven-truck fleet is all Kenworth, four are cabovers, two SARs and a 409.
Nicholson and Page Interstate Haulage rigs at home.
Nicholson and Page mostly runs the east coast.