A 480hp 2010 FH Volvo with 1.25 million kilometres on the clock is ideally suited to Allen Martin’s job of carrying pools and caravans on the long run between Perth and Melbourne, Peter and Di Schlenk write
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ALLEN MARTIN was having a forced rest break in Port Augusta when Owner//Driver caught up with him. Allen drives a 2010 FH Volvo for Aqua Technologies.
As Allen explained, he doesn’t just do the standard east-west trip from Perth. Each trip usually takes 13-15 days.
“We take swimming pools over to Melbourne, unload down in Seaford, and then I take some stock up to Sydney,” he says.
“I will then return to Melbourne to load up with caravans or whatever we have for the return leg to Perth, where I live.”
The Volvo Allen drives is one of the bigger trucks pulling a tag trailer. It’s an ex-Cochrane’s unit that was set up to run express freight up to the Pilbara region from Perth. The truck has a 480hp engine coupled with a 12-speed automatic box and it does the job easily in Allen’s opinion.
“The truck is ideally suited to this work. With 2000 litres of fuel, I don’t have to worry about stopping all the time,” he says.
“I can get easily from Perth to Port Augusta without a stop for re-fuelling. The truck has 1.25 million kilometres on the clock so it has well and truly been run in.”
Allen adds that he owns an almost identical unit, the difference being that his truck is a 1994 model and is parked at home.
“I’ve been an owner- driver since 2004 – that is almost 12 years. I’ve been with Aqua for about two years, but today there isn’t enough money in it to warrant running my own truck,” he says.
“Aqua has its own freight, so it is a whole lot easier as you don’t have to chase freight from Perth. I know what I am doing and where I am going.
“Everything would be a whole lot easier if the caravan dealers in the west realised that the laws have changed and we are back to two caravans per load. We used to be able to carry three and that reduction has cost of lot of money.”
The law changes have affected Allen and other caravan carriers. The WA government won’t recognise the trailers as tag trailers, instead classing them as pig trailers.
“Mike Oliver from Cara-Haul had his permit for 30 years and they just struck it with a pen and said no. This is our argument over time.
“What they are saying is that we should set