Big Rigs - - FRONT PAGE - Kate Dodd kate.dodd@bi­grigs.com.au

“THE cheeky bug­gers said we had to go to Western Truck Group to pick up some spare parts... not to pick up a new truck!”

Third-gen­er­a­tion truckie and proud dad Stan Bail­lie couldn’t be­lieve his eyes when sons Kent and Todd showed him the new­est truck in Kent’s fleet – a brand new Mack Superliner ded­i­cated to him.

“I was re­ally sur­prised by the boys when they re­vealed the new truck to me. I knew Kent had one on or­der but I didn’t know that it was ded­i­cated to me,” he said.

Kent re­cently took own­er­ship of Mt Isa Car­ri­ers and to cel­e­brate his dad’s 70th birth­day and ac­knowl­edge his 53 years in the truck­ing in­dus­try, he ded­i­cated the truck to him.

Stan said it was a very spe­cial mo­ment to see the per­son­alised plates with his nick­name (Butch) and date of birth on them.

Keep­ing with the Mt Isa Car­ri­ers tra­di­tion of nam­ing prime movers after songs, the Superliner was named Lone­some No 1, after Stan’s favourite song by Don Gib­son.

An­other high­light of the truck was “Butch’s Pride”, painted on the back, which son Todd said brought “a mas­sive smile” to his fa­ther’s face.

Stan said his grand­fa­ther An­drew Bail­lie was a gen­eral car­rier around Millmer­ran in Queens­land with a bul­lock team and dray and the fam­ily had been in­volved in the trans­port in­dus­try since then.

His two el­dest sons, Troy and Kent, fol­lowed him into the in­dus­try, while his other chil­dren, Todd and Katie, pur­sued other ca­reers.

“I don’t blame them for not want­ing to be in truck­ing, it’s a hard life and tough on your health,” Stan said.

“And if Kent’s son Wy­att is any in­di­ca­tion, he’ll be the fifth gen­er­a­tion to be in trucks – although it’ll prob­a­bly be a very dif­fer­ent in­dus­try by then.”

Kent took own­er­ship of the Mt Isa busi­ness a lit­tle more than a month ago and Stan couldn’t be prouder as ever since Kent was a child he’d shown a huge in­ter­est in trucks.

“He has learned heaps over the years and has done ev­ery job there is to do in trans­port, from spare parts to driv­ing the triple road trains,” he said.

“He’s not just some of­fice bloke who hasn’t done the hard yards but is very hands on. He’s got a great busi­ness head on him and I reckon he’ll take it in new di­rec­tions.”

Kent, who trea­sures his child­hood mem­o­ries of load­ing up trucks after school and do­ing pa­per­work while he was still in pri­mary school, started work­ing with Mt Isa Car­ri­ers’ orig­i­nal owner Gra­hame Porter about 12 years ago.

Gra­hame, who knew Kent’s fa­ther very well, asked him to come on board and help out after he had a heart at­tack.

Since then, Kent has helped the busi­ness go from strength to strength.

When Gra­hame made the de­ci­sion to re­tire, Kent knew he wanted to buy the busi­ness to see it con­tinue to flour­ish.

“He started it in 1965 with one truck. When I came to him he had four trucks and to­day we have 21 all up,” Kent said.

Kent said he had worked closely with the Na­tional Heavy Ve­hi­cle Reg­u­la­tor in the past to de­velop new stan­dards for the in­dus­try, putting to rest the ar­gu­ment that “small busi­nesses can’t com­pete be­cause of the (large) cost of main­tain­ing com­pli­ance is­sues and other things”.

“We cer­tainly can


LONE­SOME NO. 1: Stan Bail­lie was thrilled his son Kent named his new Mack Superliner after his favourite song to cel­e­brate his le­gacy.

Todd (left) and Kent Bail­lie with the new truck.

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