Aussies pull together hauling
We ride with the hay runners
IT’S mid-morning the eve of Australia day and the temperature is climbing, dust and a mix of hay surround a convoy of trucks lined up in southern New South Wales as they are loaded for the Burrumbuttock Hay Run.
A pure act of Aussie mateship this, the 13th run, is charged with the task of delivering donations of hay and feed to drought-stricken farmers, with the 2018 run heading to Cunnamulla in southwest Queensland.
Under the cloudless sky and slowly intensifying sun, Burrumbuttock’s Geoffro Amarant is operating a JCB telehandler, deftly picking up large square bales of straw and loading them, with the yard a flurry of activity as trucks are shifted and straps thrown and tightened.
Matt Reeve is doing his first hay run and has come down from Sydney in his Mercedes Benz and flat-top trailer to take part and pulls his truck out to strap down, with the final truck to be loaded pulling into his place.
Within 20 minutes the job is done and a mini-convoy of five trucks is assembled in the paddock, including Geoffro’s Kenworth T401, and BHR organiser Brendan Farrell’s Kenworth T600, which will be driven to Cunnamulla by Jessica Edwards, better known to all and sundry as Jillaroo Jess.
All the other trucks except Geoffro’s head out to the meet up with the rest of the convoy at Darlington Point, whilst Geoffro loads the telehandler and another tractor on his quad float which will be pulled by his Kenworth T909.
With the late afternoon arrival of driver Paul Betts who will steer the T401, the two Amarant Trucking vehicles head off into the twilight, pulling into Darlington Point around 10pm and the overnight stop at the golf club.
Pre-dawn on Australia Day and the parking area is a hive of activity as trucks are prepared to head out the gates and onto the Kidman Way for the 816 kilometre trip to Cunnamulla.
Almost every vehicle is adorned with an Australian flag, green and gold banner and in some cases an inflatable boxing kangaroo has been affixed to the bullbar or tailgate - a magnificent sight.
Walking around it is a truck-spotter’s delight, with trucks varying from current model Western Stars, Freightliners and Mercedes Benz through to older classic International Transtars, W-Model
An impressive array of trucks lined up on arrival at the Cunnamulla Showgrounds.
AUSSIE PRIDE: Heading out to deliver to a property outside Cunnamulla.
LOADING: David Vile throws a strap while Matt Reeve looks on.
WORK: Unloading in the heat at Cunnamulla.