LOY­ALTY RE­WARDED AT OAK­LANDS

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The small NSW Rive­rina town boasts abun­dant com­mu­nity spirit and a thriv­ing truck­ing in­dus­try

Oak­lands is a small town in the Rive­rina, New South Wales, with lots of trucks and abun­dant com­mu­nity spirit. Ta­mara Whitsed at­tended the 10th Oak­lands Truck Show

RAIN TOOK SOME of the shine off Oak­lands Truck Show’s 10th an­niver­sary on March 24 and 25 but there were plenty of great ma­chines among the 75 trucks at­tend­ing. Barry and Kobey Dick­son took out both Truck of the Show and Peo­ple’s Choice for their restora­tion of a 1993 Ken­worth T900. “We spe­cialise in do­ing top re­furbs – high­end work,” says Barry, who op­er­ates Dicko’s Restora­tions in Co­bram. He has al­ways wanted to re­store a T900 “a bit flasher than nor­mal”. Barry bought the truck in 2016 and has made plenty of “very soft sub­tle changes” and a few “ex­treme lit­tle taste­ful mod­i­fi­ca­tions”.

“I wanted to keep it all as orig­i­nal as I pos­si­bly could but I wanted to make it look pretty flash.”

Barry re­placed the top of the orig­i­nal low-line sleeper with the top of an Aero 1 high rise sleeper, and lifted the bunk to squeeze a slide-out fridge un­der­neath it. The Tas­ma­nian oak pol­ished tim­ber floor un­doubt­edly caught the judges’ eye. Barry worked on the restora­tion most week­ends for about 16 months. The Oak­lands Truck Show was the re­stored Ken­worth’s first out­ing.

LIGHT DIS­PLAY

Run­ner-up in the Truck of the Show com­pe­ti­tion was Bal­lerini’s Trans­port’s 2016 Ken­worth K200. The truck also

won Best Truck in the 0-3 Years di­vi­sion and the Lights on the Hill com­pe­ti­tion.

Josef Bal­lerini is pretty sure the 22 bul­let lights across his roof helped him win the Lights on the Hill tro­phy. Based in Co­bram, Josef carts gen­eral freight and bricks be­tween Co­bram and Mel­bourne.

“Oak­lands is al­ways a good show, es­pe­cially this year with the 10th an­niver­sary,” Josef says. “It’s al­ways good to catch up with ev­ery­one and ad­mire ev­ery­one else’s trucks.”

The truck light com­pe­ti­tion, Lights on the Hill, took place in per­fect weather on Satur­day night when truck­ies en­joyed a bar­be­cue and live mu­sic by Benn Gunn.

Peter and Michelle Martin do­nated the Lights on the Hill tro­phy in mem­ory of their son Wayne ‘Marto’ Martin, who died in a truck col­li­sion a few days after at­tend­ing the

2016 Oak­lands Truck Show. Wayne was a val­ued driver at Daw­son Haulage, and sev­eral of his work­mates shined up their trucks for the show. They were proud to take home the Best Fleet award.

A DECADE OF SHOWS

To mark the event’s 10th an­niver­sary, spe­cial pre­sen­ta­tions were made to recog­nise the con­tri­bu­tion and loy­alty of Ted Brooks from Brooks Trans­port and Stor­age; An­drew Day from Days Freight Lines; Peter Day from Days Lo­gis­tics; Frank Gat­tuso and sev­eral driv­ers from Gat­tuso Trans­port & Pack­ag­ing; Robert Sum­mons of Sum­mons Trans­port; Roly Gear, for­merly from CMV; and Dave Sheridan of Sheridan Trans­port.

Dave Sheridan, who has been in­volved in the event since its in­cep­tion, was also in­ducted to the Oak­lands Truck Show Hon­our Board.

Pre­vi­ous in­ductees of the Hon­our Board have been John Sum­mons, Ted Day, An­gelo Va­lente, Wally and Norma Hayes, Pat Day, Wally Day and Jack Good.

“I wanted to keep it all as orig­i­nal as I pos­si­bly could.”

Dave was in­volved in the very first Oak­lands Truck Show 10 years ago. “Be­fore the truck show started, we used to have camel races,” Dave re­calls. But in a com­mu­nity like Oak­lands, a truck show makes more sense.

He es­ti­mates about 70 trucks op­er­ate out of Oak­lands, which has a pop­u­la­tion of about 240 peo­ple and is about 100km from Albury in the Rive­rina, New South Wales.

“We call it a truck­ing town. If you thought of all the kilo­me­tres that’s done in a week out of Oak­lands – it’s huge! It’s the back­bone of the town, and that’s where the truck show ex­tends from.”

The lo­cal Li­ons Club founded the event, and the truck show is now or­gan­ised by a hard-work­ing lo­cal com­mit­tee.

“This is the first one in 10 years that we’ve had the rain,” Dave says. “That damp­ened it down a bit.”

Trucks dom­i­nated, but cars, utes and mo­tor­bikes also vied for tro­phies. Planned at­trac­tions in­cluded mo­tor­bike per­for­mances, a new footrace, a pet show, rocker cover races, a jump­ing cas­tle and face paint­ing.

Some events could not be com­pleted be­cause of the weather. Re­gard­less, truck­ies and lo­cals shel­ter­ing un­der the can­teen ve­ran­dah en­joyed the so­cial out­ing.

For in­for­ma­tion about the 2019 Oak­lands Truck Show, visit oak­land­struck­show.com.au or like the Oak­lands Truck Show Face­book page.

“We call it a truck­ing town. If you thought of all the kilo­me­tres that’s done in a week out of Oak­lands – it’s huge!”

Top: About 75 trucks braved the rain to cel­e­brate the 10th an­niver­sary of the Oak­lands Truck Show Above: It’s not un­usual to paint the names of your chil­dren and grand­chil­dren on your truck. But Wayne ‘Matey’ Hep­pell even painted the name of his...

Left: Barry Dick­son won Truck of the Show with this re­stored 1993 Ken­worth T900. He also won the Peo­ple’s Choice tro­phy

Bot­tom: Shane Mitchell, Nick Blade, Luke Braba and Justin Twyford won Best Fleet for Daw­son Haulage

Top: Bel­lerini’s Trans­port’s 2016 Ken­worth K200 carts gen­eral freight be­tween Co­bram and Mel­bourne and took home three tro­phies – Lights on the Hill, Run­ner Up Truck of the Show, and Best Truck 0-3 Years

Be­low: Pat Day with his re­stored 1955 Ford F600. He drove a sim­i­lar truck in the 1950s

Right: Run­nymede Truck­ing Com­pany’s 2009 Ken­worth T908 won Best Cus­tomised Truck and Best Truck 4-9 Years

Above: Ro­rato Bros Ken­worth T909 Left: Donny Maclean’s re­stored 1979 Ken­worth K123 Op­po­site top L to R: Li­eschke had a cou­ple of Ken­worths on show; A Ken­worth from the Green­freight fleet Op­po­site bot­tom: Killen Truck­ing Co pol­ished up five Ken­worths...

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