Supporting the cause
Four drivers from Toll Mining Services in Helidon – Ed Cantoni, Ian ‘Speedy’ Horner, Lachlan O’Brien and Rod Czislowski – joined the eastbound convoy, driving a couple of near new Freightliner Coronados and a four-year-old Western Star.
“I’ve lost a couple of mates myself in the past, a couple of drivers,” Ed explains. “But that’s what it’s all about; we’re here to support the cause. As they say, without trucks Australia stops.”
This was the second Lights On The Hill for Ed with Toll Mining, although he’s participated when driving for other companies in previous years.
Ian, the Western Star’s regular driver, was also taking part in his second convoy for Toll. The ’Star, with just under a million kilometres on the clock, was distinctive from the other Toll Mining trucks in that it bore the colours of its previous owner, Mitchell Helidon, which had bought out Helidon Carrying Company (HCC) five years earlier.
Ian says he’s been driving for 27 years, including 15 years with HCC, and another five with Mitchell. Nowadays his runs in the Western Star take him up to Mt Isa, Katherine, the Pilbara, Newman and other mine sites.
“We’ve only got three of these Western Stars in our yard and eventually they will go and another and the new Freightliners will come in,” he says. “But I still like the Mitchell colours … they look good.”
Toll Mining drivers, from left, Ed Cantoni, Ian ‘Speedy’ Horner, Lachlan O’Brien and Rod Czislowski.