LOYALTY REWARDED AT OAKLANDS
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.
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...