Live­stock leg­end

As far as Ge­of­fro McKane is con­cerned, haul­ing live­stock is the way to go, es­pe­cially when it’s in a Ken­worth Leg­end 950, write Peter and Di Sch­lenk

Deals on Wheels - - Contents -

Ge­of­fro McKane hauls live­stock in style in a Leg­end 950

Like many Aus­tralian truck driv­ers, Ge­of­fro McKane grew up around trucks, which even­tu­ally led him to a ca­reer in the road trans­port in­dus­try.

“My fa­ther (Ross McKane) and the whole fam­ily were all truck driv­ers. I went with dad when­ever I had hol­i­days or could es­cape from school,” he smiles. “I also did two-up with him for a time.”

Ge­of­fro re­mem­bers trav­el­ling with his fa­ther in LTN Fords and SAR rigs, ba­sic trucks com­pared to the 2015 Ken­worth Leg­end 950 he drives to­day for O’Sullivan’s Trans­port.

The Leg­end 950 is one of three trucks in Paul O’Sullivan’s fleet, based in Rochester, cen­tral Vic­to­ria. The other two are a cou­ple of equally well-pre­sented Ken­worths: a T900 and T908.

Un­der the Leg­end’s bon­net is a Cum­mins Euro 5 en­gine cou­pled to an 18-speed Road­ranger ’box, all rid­ing on Air­glide rear sus­pen­sion.

“It’s very nice to drive, sits on the road well and tows the B-dou­ble with ease,” Ge­of­fro says, adding, “The Cum­mins goes re­ally well; I haven’t had any drama with it.”

In­creas­ing the Ken­worth’s com­fort level is an Aero II 50-inch bunk.

“It’s a great sleeper and I love the in­te­rior of the whole truck,” said Ge­of­fro. “The dash and the lay­out are easy to use and look af­ter. There’s a TV in the sleeper and a bar fridge.

“I leave home on Mon­day and get home on Fri­day night, so it’s my home away from home.”

HEY, GOOD LOOK­ING

Keep­ing the 950 look­ing good is a big job, al­though it’s made eas­ier thanks to O’Sullivan’s Trans­port fit­ting stain­less steel wraps to the tanks, chroming the bat­tery boxes and fit­ting su­per chrome rims.

“It all makes a big dif­fer­ence to the clean­ing, but it still takes up to four hours to wash it. With chrome, you just need to wipe it off,” Ge­of­fro ex­plains.

He says his dad taught him much of what he needed to know to be­come a top op­er­a­tor, in­clud­ing the fact that if you look af­ter the ma­chin­ery it will take care of you.

Ge­of­fro’s first job was with Shana­hans Live­stock Trans­port, which proved to be a pos­i­tive start­ing point for his driv­ing ca­reer.

“Dom (Shana­han) put a num­ber of young blokes through a 12-month TAFE course,” he re­lates. “It was a great course that had good lec­tur­ers and teach­ers, and cul­mi­nated in me ob­tain­ing my B-dou­ble li­cence.”

Ge­of­fro en­joys haul­ing live­stock and the walkon walk-off na­ture of the freight.

“It has its good days and bad, as it de­pends on the stock, but when you get a truck as flash as this, I can see my­self in this one for a long time. With this com­pany, I am re­ally en­joy­ing every as­pect of the job,” he says.

Ge­of­fro, how­ever, is well aware of the in­dus­try’s dan­ger­ous side, which hit home af­ter his good mate Wayne ‘Marto’ Martin was killed in a headon ac­ci­dent in 2016, four days af­ter he at­tended the Oak­lands Truck Show. Adding to that is the fact Marto’s sis­ter Ker­rie is Ge­of­fro’s wife.

At this year’s Oak­lands show, held in March, Ge­of­fro brought the 950 which dis­played a large ban­ner on the rear of the sleeper com­mem­o­rat­ing Marto.

“Marto lived for trucks and that was where he was his hap­pi­est,” he says. “I am proud to call Marto a mate.”

I am re­ally en­joy­ing every as­pect of the job

As far as freight goes, Ge­of­fro McKane prefers haul­ing live­stock

Above: O’Sullivan’s Trans­port’s Ken­worth Leg­end 950

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