TRUCK DEALS

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

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