25 years as an owner-driver has convinced Tony Nesci that country runs are the way to go
TONY NESCI lives at Taylors Hill, 25 kilometres northwest of Melbourne’s CBD.
And he has spent 25 years trucking on the city’s busy roads. But he prefers country driving, and he’s always managed to supplement his city work with runs to regional Victoria and interstate. That’s why he loves carting freight for Amart.
“It’s a bit of a mix of local and country,” Tony says.
Trading as Nescorp, Tony is an owner-driver who carts palletised flat-pack furniture from Amart’s Somerton warehouse to suburban stores including Dandenong and Nunawading. He also delivers to regional stores at Ballarat, Geelong and Shepparton.
“They’re a very good company to work for,” Tony says of Amart. “You pretty much run your own race, within reason. You need to get your stuff delivered, but you can have a break and grab a coffee. I can just do things at my own pace.”
After all these years, Tony still loves driving: “I just enjoy the freedom that it gives me.”
He was driving a 2006 Scania R500 when he started with Amart in 2013. It was soon obvious he didn’t need a 90-tonne B-double-rated truck to cart flat-packs.
“It was just too much truck for the work that I was doing.”
So he has downsized to a 360hp 1990 Scania 113H.
It is older and less powerful than the R500, but Tony swears it is the right horse for the course.
“The 113 is a bit more old-school. It doesn’t have cruise control and it’s a manual. It’s fine because you actually feel like you’re doing something,” he says.
Tony says driving the automatic R500 to Ballarat or Shepparton could be boring “when you’re just turning the steering wheel”.
Before he put the 113 on the road, Tony spent three months giving it a thorough mechanical overhaul and some cosmetic attention.
“I like a little bit of bling, so I like to polish up the tanks and the wheels and put a few Christmas lights on.
“I generally smarten up the appearance and get it looking very presentable and clean and neat.”
Now it is reliable and he is proud to be seen driving it.
Tony also owns a 2004 Scania R114. “They’re both single-axle prime movers and they’re perfectly suited for the job that I’m doing.”
He prefers driving the 113 but his employees both prefer the automatic 114.
Damion Nisi drives full-time for Nescorp, and Junior Eramiha is an “ever-reliable” casual back-up driver.
Tony has been buying second-hand Scanias for more than 20 years, but his first truck was an old twinsteer Leyland. He bought it in 1993 when he began carting containers for Secon Carriers (now Secon Freight Logistics).
“They’re a family company and they were great people to work with.
“It was just too much truck for the work that I was doing”
“If they weren’t, I wouldn’t have been there for that long.”
He was with them for 17 years. When work was quiet, Secon was happy for him to find other freight. Tony saw this as a chance to get out of Melbourne.
“I’ve done a couple of trips over to Perth. I’ve done a fair bit of interstate,” he says.
He took on extra local work as well. From about 1998 Tony was one of many drivers Sims Metal called on when they needed bulk ships filled with scrap metal.
Tony had owned two Leylands and a 1418 Benz before he paid $12,000 for his first Scania in the late 1990s. He drove the LKT141 for two years and then gave it a total refurbishment. He sold it a few years later for almost three times what he originally paid for it.
“With a second-hand truck, there are always going to be repairs,” Tony says.
His father was an interstate owner-driver and fortunately Tony gained some mechanical knowledge before buying a truck of his own.
He is confident carrying out minor repairs, welding and oxy cutting.
His second Scania was a T143, which he customised.
“It was gleaming. Polished tanks. Polished wheels. It had a lot of lights on it.”
In 2004 he stepped up to a 530hp 2001 R144. This was followed by the R500 which he kept for nine years.
After leaving Secon Tony pulled a tipper for three years, including 12 months carting asphalt for the Peninsula Freeway.
The R500 was great for asphalt but “too much” for the light flat-packs he carts for Amart, which is why he downsized to the 113 he drives today.
“Being a single axle, [the 113] is half the registration. It’s a 6-cylinder so it’s more fuel efficient. And, because I knew the mechanical history of this truck, I had no doubt it would be perfect for this job.”
Sentiment influenced Tony’s decision to buy the 113.
“I didn’t want it going on the scrapheap because the 3 Series was probably one of the best that Scania made,” he says. Tony recently bought a 1997 Scania T143.
“I’m just going to take my time and I’ll do a ground-up restoration on it,” he says. “It’ll be virtually like a show pony but my intention is to enjoy it as well.”
Tony looks forward to seeing the city in the rear view mirror of the 143 when he takes flat-packs out to Ballarat or Shepparton. “It’s not going to sit in the shed.”
When he bought his first Leyland, Tony knew long hours and hard work were required to succeed as an ownerdriver. He believes his wife’s role as a mother of four was even harder.
“Maria’s been the backbone of everything,” he says.
Now that their children are older, Maria has taken over Tony’s bookkeeping. And with help from Damion and Junior, Tony’s life is much easier than it was in the early years of the business.
“It put food on the table for us, kept the roof over our heads and put the kids through school. I suppose luck plays a big part in things – and hard work and sacrifice. And here we are, 25 years later. We’re still going.”
“I didn’t want it going on the scrapheap”
The Scania 113 is perfect for Tony Nesci’s Amart job, and the Amart job is perfect for Tony
The Scania R500 was perfect for tippers but too powerful for the light freight Tony carts today
second 1994, Tony’s Pictured in Mercedes- Benz 1418 truck was a in Secon colours
The Scania LKT141
Tony Nesci behind the wheel. Driving is still what he loves most about his job
for Nescorp has worked Junior Eramiha the 114. Tony and prefers for four years Reliable’ calls him ‘Mr
The Scania 113 before Tony stripped it down for its restoration