2018 Casino Truck Show
The 2018 Casino Truck Show surpassed the town’s previous annual truck events by a long way, attracting trucks from across the nation.
The larger-than-expected number of trucks
rolling up for this year’s North Coast Petroleum Casino Truck Show on August 4 caught organisers off guard. Generally averaging around the 150 to 160 mark in the past few years, the
2018 Casino Truck Show easily beat those figures, attracting more than 200 entries.
This was the seventh running of the truck show, which is modelled to some degree on the highly successful annual Casino Beef Week, which
has been running for 36 years. Stuart George, Beef Week committee president, also heads up the team for the truck show. He explains that around eight years ago when the committee was considering adding another event to Casino’s
calendar, the idea surfaced along the lines of replacing cattle with trucks.
However, George says the first couple of truck shows were held at an exhibition ground, but
with Beef Week taking place in the town’s centre, it made sense to move onto the streets also. In that regard, it’s similar to Victoria’s Alexandra Truck Show.
One difference, however, is the Westlawn Truck Parade which runs from the town’s industrial area to the east, following the spectator-lined route into Casino’s main streets.
“I drove the parade route just before the trucks and the amount of people along the road was unbelievable,” George says. “Then obviously they
all wander into town and have a look and it all goes from there.”
Naturally there was much local industry participation from around the northern
New South Wales regions. But there was
representation from further afield, including big numbers driving down from south-east Queensland and Glenn ‘Yogi’ Kendall making the trip across from Western Australia.
Deals on Wheels caught up with a number of drivers, wiping the last remnants of grime from their rigs before the convoy began.
Long-time driver Des Bailey, who was driving a Scania R560 for Herb Blanchard Haulage out of Grafton, was making his first appearance in the Casino truck parade. He’s been with Blanchard for more than 20 years, and currently hauls steel from Wollongong to Sydney, Brisbane and Tamworth. Bailey is a previous winner of the NatRoad Professional Driver of the Year award. That was back in 2004. He backed that up when he took out the Australian Trucking Association’s National Professional Driver of the Year award the following year.
“This is a good one this one,” he says of the Casino event. “I’ve been over heaps of times but never bought the truck.”
Bailey was planning to stick around until the
close of festivities. “It’s not too bad, only an hour’s run.”
Andrew Lawson, another “local”, entered two trucks in the show – an Argosy and an Iveco ACCO agitator. He is a director of Total Precast Systems, based in Coraki which is just down the hill from Casino on the way to Woodburn.
“We spiffed it up eight weeks ago,” Lawson says of his 13-year-old Argosy. “I love ’em. I reckon they’re the best trucks on the road.”
Like Des Bailey, Lawson has previously come to the Casino Truck Show just to have a look. “But we decided to bling this one up for the show this year.”
Brett Hogbin was another of the Grafton contingent at the show, driving a Grafton Heavy Towing Cat-powered 1999 Mack Titan. Hogbin says the Titan originally did road-train work. “It was built about 12 years ago into a tow truck.” Grafton Heavy Towing is owned by Sam Campbell who also owns a wrecking yard. The
company is the recommended National Transport Insurance contractor around the northern rivers city. “We’re also NRMA, RMS and police contractors,” he explains.
Hogbin has supported the Casino Truck Show for many years, and was keen to have the
Titan looking smart for the parade. “I always like to make my truck look nice and clean for presentation of the company,” he says.
We decided to bling this one up for the show.
James Ulrick, accompanied by his nephew Liam Saunders, was one of a number of drivers to make the trip south from across the Queensland border. The banner on the front of the McKenzie Bulk Haulage Kenworth T409 SAR paid tribute
to Anthony (Ant) O’Neill, Ulrick’s godfather, who passed away in April 2017. The banner was originally made up for last year’s Lights On The Hill Memorial Convoy.
“He was from this area originally, so we put her on,” Ulrick explains. “He died of bowel cancer last year. He was stubborn and wouldn’t do anything about it. If he didn’t ignore it he would have been right.”
Ulrick has been behind the wheel of the 2011 SAR for around four months.
“It was an ex-EBT (Erb Bros Transport) from Chinchilla, so we just put our scroll work and a bit of other stuff on it,” he continues. “We haven’t finished it yet, still doing little things here and there.”
With family living in the area, Ulrick was in no hurry to return to Brisbane after the show. “I might have a couple of lemonades later on,” he laughs.
Shortly before 10am the signal came for the convoy to start rolling and it made its way along the Bruxner Highway to Centre Street and up through Canterbury and Walker Streets where roads were closed to all vehicles – except trucks that is!
However, there was another vehicle exemption in the form of the Showtime FMX Freestyle
Moto X Team, arguably the longest running of its type in Australia. The bikes had the large crowd enthralled on three separate displays during
the day. Further along Walker Street local band Occarock pumped out plenty of Oz Rock classics.
For SRV Road Freight Services, based in Ormeau just south of Brisbane, it was a successful show. The transport company was presented with two awards – Best Fleet and Rig of the Show for its Kenworth Legend T950.
SRV then promptly donated the winning Rig of the Show prize of $1,000 to the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners.
According to Stuart George, next year’s show will again take place on the first Saturday in August. If you have yet to take your rig to the Casino Truck Show, mark down August 3 on your calendar.
Des Bailey, a former National Professional Driver of the Year, drove up from Grafton in a Blanchard Haulage Scania
Brett Hogbin with Grafton Heavy Towing’s ’99 Mack Titan
Andrew Lawson from Total Precast Systems had two trucks in the parade, including a 13-year old Freightliner Argosy
Volunteer Steph Serone with her husband Chris, who drives for North Coast Petroleum, the event’s major sponsor. Steph spent the day helping co-organiser Darren Goodwin with a video shoot of the event
James Ulrick with his nephew Liam Saunders. They arrived in a McKenzie Bulk Haulage Kenworth T409 SAR from Ormeau in Queensland
Gavin Ruska found a parking spot in Walker St, Grafton following the parade. Gavin, manager of Knight’s Heavy Towing, drove a Kenworth T609 down from Brisbane
The Causley Transport crew rolled up from Chatsworth Island in the Clarence River in a Kenworth T909. From left, Jason Causley, Mark Causley and partner Brooke Seccombe with the couple’s daughters Jade and Layla
The team from M&S Freighters and KT Haulage. From left, Les Gilkinson, Katrina Masters, Tom Seccombe, Mitch McGuire, Sarah McGuire, Brooke Hordern and Billy Hordern
Owen Weir drove a Nicholson & Page Transport Kenworth K200 in the Casino Truck Show parade, after spending half the previous night polishing it up. The K200 was one of eight trucks representing the company
Classic Macks: Andrew Corbet and son Chay brought an imported left hand-drive 1926 Mack AC down from Gympie, on the back of an original Mack Super-Liner
Above: SRV Road Freight Services’ Kenworth Legend T950 won the award for Truck Of The Show. Photo courtesy of Casino Truck Show and DAT Photography
The convoy makes its way along Johnston Street to the town centre
Andrew Corbet’s old Mack Super-Liner waits its turn to join the parade. The Super-Liner later picked up the award for Best Mural, a tribute to his grandfather Jack Corbet
For Tony Graham Road Freight’s MAN, it was a quick trip up from South Lismore