Big rigs rule Reserve roost
A mass of monster trucks mushroomed across Palmerston North’s Railway Land Reserve on Sunday in aid of the Child Cancer Foundation.
Held every two years, the Professionals Big Rigs Day has Manawatu¯ truckies turn up in droves to take eager families on $2 rides around the central city, with the money going to the nongovernment funded charity.
Involving 105 volunteer drivers and their highly polished rigs, the day incorporated static truck, Defence Force and cycle safety displays, Lions Club food stalls and quickfire raffles, an auction, and the appearance of a Royal New Zealand Air Force helicopter.
The NH90 military chopper held particular appeal, according to organiser Greg Wenman.
‘‘That was a real crowdpleaser. People never normally get to see a helicopter landing and taking off close-up like that.’’
Wenman said there had been a steady stream of families queuing for the trucks throughout the sixhour event.
‘‘This year Scafit, the scaffolding people, designed ramps to help people up onto the trucks. In the past we’ve used stacks of pallets, so that was something new.’’
Due to new government regulations, the organising committee had to put a huge effort into health, safety and traffic management plans.
‘‘We’re hoping that, unless the regulations change, we can use that as a template for future Big Rig events.’’
He said they were also in the process of setting up a charitable trust to ensure funds would continue to be administered locally.
While the provisional total of around $40,000 was down on the almost $50,000 raised in 2016, Wenman said two years ago the auction had been donated several sought-after items, which boosted the sum.
‘‘We won’t know the grand total for a couple of weeks yet, but everyone did such a great job.’’
Tracey Torok, mother of Child Cancer Foundation ambassador Addie Torok, 7, said her daughter enjoyed honking the horn as she travelled with her dad, Rob, in one of the rigs as part of the convoy.
‘‘We had immense fun, and the weather was so good, too.
‘‘The joy on the faces of the kids - especially those going through treatment - that’s exactly what it’s all about,’’ Torok said.
Jack Bodley, 5, in front of Central House Movers’ 2017 Kenworth T 409SAR.