Set in CE­MENT

Mark Golder fol­lowed his father in the ce­ment haulage in­dus­try, mov­ing from driver to owner- driver. Peter and Di Sch­lenk catch up with Bris­bane-based Mark in Tam­worth

Owner Driver - - News -

OWNER-DRIVER Mark Golder was in­tro­duced to the ce­ment haulage game by his father John Golder. Based in Bris­bane and driv­ing a 2011 model Mack Su­per­Liner, Mark subbies for a ma­jor ce­ment com­pany, his runs tak­ing him up to far north Queens­land and south as far as Can­berra.

Mark was un­load­ing in Tam­worth when Owner// Driver caught up with him.

It’s a noisy op­er­a­tion as the blower on the tanker pushes the pow­der out of the tanker and into the silo.

It’s a 40-minute job with Mark chang­ing com­part­ments, and knock­ing the bar­rel with a rub­ber mal­let to loosen any ce­ment that re­mains stuck to the sides.

“My father, John, had trucks and worked for Pi­oneer for years, op­er­at­ing ce­ment mix­ers,” he ex­plains. “He had a cou­ple of Ac­cos and then Louisvilles.

“He has passed on, but that’s where it all started. I drove his trucks for a while and just went on from there.”

Mark has spent 25 years be­hind the wheel, the last 10 in his own truck.

“We can go to any de­pot and be based there for any­thing up to four weeks,” he con­tin­ues. “I’ve been down at the New­cas­tle de­pot for two weeks and will re­turn at the end of the week. It de­pends on the work.

“If the work is down here, they will load us down here for two to three weeks.”

Mark says at one stage he was work­ing out of the Cairns de­pot for three months.

“I don’t mind north Queens­land. I have been right up to Cook­town, out to Norm­ing­ton and over to Hamil­ton Is­land a few times on the barge,” he says.

“We get to see a bit of the coun­try­side and get paid for it.”

Be­fore his Tam­worth run, Mark did a load out to the cop­per mine at Co­bar.

“The coun­try­side is nice out there and very green. You go through Nyn­gan and the cause­way.”

Af­ter Tam­worth, he’s back to New­cas­tle to take a load down to the power sta­tion at Bayswa­ter.

Mark likes haul­ing ce­ment be­cause he says it’s rel­a­tively clean work, with OH&S laws en­sur­ing that no dust es­capes the sys­tem and it is quick to load and easy to un­load. He has now been a sub­bie with the ce­ment com­pany for nine years and is happy with the ar­range­ment.

“It is a very good com­pany to work for and they look af­ter me.”

Mark’s Su­per-Liner has a 600hp Cum­mins EGR en­gine and 18-speed Road­ranger gear­box, clock­ing up over one mil­lion kilo­me­tres.

It’s a work­ing truck but, like a lot of his fel­low subbies, he keeps his rig look­ing the goods, en­ter­ing in events such as Lights on the Hill and the Sylvia’s Gap run.

Mark’s first truck was ac­tu­ally a Ken­worth, but Mark is happy with the ‘Bull­dog’.

“It is a good truck. The Cum­mins had a re­build at 500,000km but that was when the rig was un­der war­ranty. It has been good ever since,” he says.

Mark says the Mack has a good cab on it, a good ride and steer­ing in ad­di­tion to a good turn­ing cir­cle.

With the rough roads around New South Wales, he also adds that the Mack rides and han­dles well.

“The roads around here are very or­di­nary, es­pe­cially the se­condary ones. They just patch them up, that’s all they do,” he says. “I would rather the north Queens­land roads my­self.”

Mark says his next truck will most likely be an­other Mack.

“I don’t mind the new bunks on them ei­ther; they look re­ally good,” he re­marks, but he’ll be look­ing for one with an MP en­gine, plus an au­to­mated gear­box.

“Peo­ple who drive au­to­mat­ics don’t go back to any­thing else,” Mark smiles.

Mark’s 2011 Su­per-Liner has an 18-speed Road­ranger, but he says his next truck will be an auto

Mark Golder has been haul­ing ce­ment for 25 years

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