Rusty’s Old In­ter

Den­nis ‘Rusty’ Rad­burn’s 1974 D1910 In­ter­na­tional has sen­ti­men­tal sig­nif­i­cance

Deals on Wheels - - Con­tents -

Den­nis Rad­burn has been a truckie all his life. Be­fore him, his late fa­ther Rus­sell was a truckie from the age of 17. In turn, third­gen­er­a­tion Rad­burn truckie Damien now runs Ker­den Haulage from its base at Nowra on the NSW south coast.

Span­ning the three gen­er­a­tions is this love­ly­look­ing old D1910 In­ter­na­tional which, be­lieve it or not, was a high­way hero in its day. Den­nis and Rus­sell used to run sim­i­lar old In­ters, but this one was re­cently re­stored af­ter be­ing bought from a bloke at Coffs Har­bour on the NSW north coast.

The emo­tional tie comes in with the per­son­alised rego plate – RR 2157 – which be­longed to Rus­sell Rad­burn, the first ‘Rusty’ in the Rad­burn lin­eage. Rus­sell was a sin­gle-truck owner-driver his en­tire ca­reer.


The 1974 D1910 was re­stored in Ker­den Haulage’s own work­shop af­ter be­ing stripped back to the chas­sis rails. It boasts a 392 In­ter­na­tional V8 en­gine, which equates to

6.4 litres. Power was about 190hp (140kW) with torque of about 300ft-lb (407Nm).

That’s not much to be pulling a bo­gey trailer by cur­rent stan­dards, but the sin­gle-drive clas­sic is only rated to 24 tonnes GCM (gross com­bi­na­tion mass) any­way.

Not that the In­ter pulls its Load­mas­ter trailer much. The com­bi­na­tion has been to the Pen­rith Work­ing Truck Show, the Syd­ney Clas­sic and An­tique Truck Show, and the Claren­don Clas­sic.

Rusty is gear­ing up for next year’s Haulin’ the Hume along the old Hume High­way be­tween Syd­ney and Yass.

The prime mover does a lit­tle bit of yard work if nec­es­sary, but Rusty avoids even that.

“I don’t want to get it dirty,” he de­clares.

There’s a lot of other gear in the Ker­den fleet, which boasts 30 prime movers – mostly Ken­worths, in­clud­ing a new T950 ‘Leg­end’ – and 54 trail­ers in a wide va­ri­ety of types since the com­pany di­ver­si­fied from brick cartage.

Rusty started the com­pany with a sin­gle truck in 1992 along­side his wife Kerry – hence the name ‘Ker­den’. The cou­ple have been to­gether since they were 14 years old.

Ker­den does ev­ery­thing: from in­ter­state line­haul with de­pots in Syd­ney, Mel­bourne, Bris­bane

and Ade­laide; to lo­cal work around the south coast and south­ern table­lands. Trail­ers in­clude taut­lin­ers, flat-tops and high-cube tip­pers.


These days Rusty over­sees the work­shop, which has five me­chan­ics. He and his fa­ther had a cou­ple of cousins to the D1910, in­clud­ing one pow­ered by a Perkins diesel putting out only 125hp (91kW).

“I can still re­mem­ber sit­ting up driv­ing the bloomin’ old things,” Rusty says.

“They were very slow.”

But the old Perkins mo­tors were re­li­able. My own fa­ther used to say it was some­times a hare and tor­toise sit­u­a­tion, with V8 petrolpow­ered In­ters get­ting there much quicker but some­times not at all.

Rusty agrees, and adds that the old Perkins ac­tu­ally had a bit more torque for the hills. They also used less fuel, of course, but fuel prices weren’t such a big con­sid­er­a­tion back then.

Rusty reck­ons the old petrol In­ters were so thirsty that own­ers would chain a cou­ple of 44-gal­lon drums to the chas­sis for ex­tra ca­pac­ity. That also helped make them highly dan­ger­ous.

“If you had an ac­ci­dent you had to get out quick,” Rusty adds.

His ‘new’ D1910 was al­ready con­verted from petrol to LPG, so he’s con­tin­ued to run it on gas. It’s got a five-speed Fuller box with a two-speed diff.

Colin McKen­zies’s book, In­ter to Iveco – an

Aus­tralian Truck Story, says this of the Aus­tralian D Se­ries from 1971 to the end of pro­duc­tion in 1977: “With cus­tomer in­ter­est shift­ing from bon­neted ve­hi­cles, the up­graded D se­ries was an­other ‘re­fresh’ ac­tion to main­tain a pro­jected small level of sales that would still be prof­itable.”


Rusty re­cently turned 64 and still works ev­ery day ex­cept Sun­day.

“Ev­ery­one says what a hard in­dus­try it is, but I think if you put in the hard yards you get the re­turn out of it,” he says. “It’s a 24/7 thing, you never get away from it.”

Kerry has also al­ways worked in the busi­ness, and has truck and fork­lift li­censes to prove it. “I’ve never whinged about any of it,” she adds. Damien’s wife Stephanie is fol­low­ing suit in help­ing her hus­band run the busi­ness. And now there could be a fourth-gen­er­a­tion Rad­burn truckie in the mak­ing.

“Our grand­daugh­ter Imo­gen sits up with Damien,” Kerry says. “She loves it.”

1. Den­nis ‘Rusty’ Rad­burn 2. Clean old V83. Sim­ple in­te­rior4. Match­ing Load­mas­ter trailer

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