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 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