rounded out a big year in truck events for 2017, and the elbow grease came out for the sparkling displays of eye-catching gear.
Truck show rounds out big year in events
This year’s Adtrans-sponsored Rotary Castlemaine Truck Show saw a big increase in the number of trucks on display, with 200 on site despite Victoria’s unpredictable weather.
The 2017 event was held on the last weekend in November at Campbell’s Creek Recreation Reserve, with trucks rolling up as early as Friday night and the numbers increasing markedly on Saturday. Sunday, however, was the big day with a convoy rolling through Castlemaine, the town’s streets lined with waving crowds. The auction was held during the afternoon, and then under sunny skies the winners were announced and trophies presented.
On Sunday, the Rig of the Show award went to Paul Richards and his Kenworth W925 SAR, while Lindsay Binder drove Kenny Easter’s stunning Volvo FH16, which won the Best Custom trophy. Saturday’s Rig of the Day went to Cornwill Transport’s Kenworth T408, and Gattuso Transport won a couple of awards, including Best Fleet.
As usual, the Kenworth brand dominated the show, most of which were standouts. Graham Arthurton, who has been with JJ Leech of
Castlemaine for around 17 years, drove one of the company’s near-new Kenworth K200s down from Bendigo.
Over the years, Graham says he’s driven Transtars, Freightliners, Western Stars and, prior to the K200, a Kenworth K104.
“It’s a great truck, beautiful and comfortable,” Graham enthuses. “I drove old cab-overs, K123, and they have come a long way.”
Jye Savage rolled up in a Kenworth T950, which belongs to Lincoln Trucking at Wallan.
The T950 was had a tipper on for the show, Jye explaining that the Kenworth is fitted with an interchangeable body.
He says with the truck being a mud carter, he had his work cut out cleaning it up for the Castlemaine show. “It takes a lot of time but it is a classic truck,” he smiles.
In a previous life, the Kenworth was a Tasmanian log truck and still maintains the original paint scheme. It also has a C15 Cat under the bonnet.
“She is not your average Cat,” Jye says. “It’s done 1.3 million kilometres and is still an unreal truck to drive.”
SARS ON SHOW
Another Kenworth still in the colours of its previous owner was Scott and Tracey Martin’s SAR. The couple live in the small NSW town of
The Rock, just down the road from Wagga Wagga, where Scott works as an auto electrician.
Neville Storey of N & J Storey Transport and Storage, Ulladulla, was the Kenworth’s previous owner, although Scott says it’s had a few homes before that.
The SAR has an 8V92 Detroit up front, 13-speed gearbox, torsion-bar suspension, 10 studs on the steer and spiders on the drive.
“It’s just like it was when it came out of the factory,” Scott smiles. “It’s great and we love it.”
Mick Eldred was another to roll up in an SAR, a near-new customised T409. Mick drove up from Geelong where he trades as Micktrans, pulling a bitumen tanker.
The SAR is fitted with Kenworth’s 50-inch sleeper and six fuel tanks, in addition to a Maloney steer quarter guard with the battery boxes mounted in the chassis. The fuel tanks are wrapped and the rims are chromed, so all Mick has to polish is the bumper.
The colour is similar to that of a new Toyota HiLux. “We just played around with the colours and then Justin Klos did the scroll and signwriting on it,” Mick says.
Although the bonneted Kenworths outnumbered the cab-overs, Waldie Transport driver Laura Annett was making sure her rig was looking its best, especially as Castlemaine was her first truck show.
Previously behind the wheel of a truck and dog, Laura now pulls a fridge van with the Kenworth, mainly carting fresh eggs. “Waldie’s are great to work for,” Laura says. “I’m their first female truck driver and they look after me.”
A former local, Byron Guzzardi lives over the border at Corowa, but that didn’t stop him from attending the show. Now driving a Kenworth
T909 for Atkins of Rutherglen, the event was an opportunity for him to catch up with family and friends, as well as show off the truck.
Byron is kept busy running general up and down the east coast pulling tautliners and has been behind the wheel for 15 years.
BHC Heavy Haulage also had a T909 at Castlemaine, with Ben Grose bringing it down from Bendigo.
“We had a bit of time up our sleeves so we gave it a bit of a tidy up and of course it rained on the way down from Bendigo,” Ben says. “However, it was a great opportunity to give it a good clean.”
David McCluskey’s T650 Kenworth had travelled a few more kilometres over its lifetime than most of the other rigs at the show. However, despite being 18 years old, the T650 looked like it had just come from the showroom floor.
David is part of a family business started by his father Kevin, who still drives today.
There are four trucks in the Kyabram-based fleet. As well as the T650, there’s a Ford LTL, a Kenworth T600 and a T409 SAR.
“We came along today to have a weekend away together and look at some great trucks and catch up with friends,” says David, who also brought along his wife Michelle and daughter Brooke alongside the T650. “Brooke was one when we bought the T650 and now she is up above the bullbar.”
Unlike Kenworth, Peterbilt is not part of Paccar’s Australian stable, although there are always a few at truck shows such as Castlemaine. Foure Mile Trucking, based at nearby Newstead, had a nice blue Peterbilt on show. Hayley Leech, daughter of company owner Malcolm Leech, was happy to show off the family’s company, wearing one of its signature tops.
“I absolutely love trucks, I adore them,” Hayley enthuses. “At the moment I’m still in school studying automotive and am about to undertake a diesel mechanic apprenticeship and later will get my licence. We pretty much come every year and this is the pride and joy.”
Not to be outdone, James Thames brought along
three Peterbilts, with a little help from drivers
Jason Davison and Jason ‘Junior’ Foo. James bought the Peterbilts through Truckworks in Adelaide, and says they’re the ultimate drivers’ truck.
“They are lighter and so well built and I want to be different from everyone else,” James says. “They are better than a Kenworth even.”
Jason Davidson only picked his Pete up on the Monday before the Castlemaine show. Afterwards it was on its way to work pulling a cement tanker.
“It doesn’t get much better to come up and show them off,” Jason says. “It’s a great weekend.”
Jason Foo was in his Peterbilt a month before the show, and he was keen to drive one.
“If it wasn’t going to happen in Australia, I was going to America. But this is great; James is a great boss with unbelievable gear,” Jason says. “It’s a dream come true.”
Truck events such as Castlemaine are also an opportunity for equipment and ancillary suppliers to promote their wares, as was the case with Maddison Lawrence, who was at the show to support her FlexiShield Victorian distributors, Veronica and Adrian Sayers.
“Flexishield is a plastic film, a paint protection film that is a cross between a window tint and a vinyl wrap,” Maddison explains. “It’s designed to stop stone chips and scratches. It is clear, exceptionally clear, and actually makes your paint look a lot shinier.”
For Maddison, KS Easter’s FH16 Volvo was the ideal example to show off the FlexiShield product. “We are attracting a lot of more attention now that people are trusting the product,” she says. “This is one of the best truck shows in Australia so it is the place to be.”
1. Graham Arthurton drove a near-new Kenworth K200 for J J Leech of Castlemaine 2. James Thames (centre) and his drivers Jason Davison (left) and Jason Foo brought a trio of Peterbilts to the show
3. Gabby Hunt (left), Maddison Lawrence (centre) and Veronica Sayers promoted the FlexiShield product
4. Jye Savage drove a Kenworth T950 on behalf of Wallan-based Lincoln Trucking 3
5. Scott and Tracey Martin drove an ex-N & J Storey Transport Kenworth SAR 6. Hayley Leech represented Foure Mile Trucking, which her father Malcolm Leech operates
7. Mick Eldred showed off his customised Kenworth T409 SAR
8. Fergus McDougall with a National Australian Pipelines Mack 8
9. Laura Annett made sure the Waldie Transport Kenworth was spotless
10. Byron Guzzardi drove a Kenworth T909 to Castlemaine for Atkins of Rutherglen
11. Darren Chamberlin (left) and Jake Howard rolled up in a Shalyn’s Transport 2016
12. Ben Grose brought BHC Heavy Haulage’s Kenworth T909 along for the weekend 11
13. David McCluskey with his wife Michelle, daughter Brooke and the McCluskey family’s Kenworth T650
14. Cal Gregory and Savannah Methuen with a Dawson’s Haulage Kenworth T909
15. Paul Richards’ Kenworth W925 SAR (left) was voted Rig Of The Show on Sunday 16. K S Easter’s well-travelled Volvo FH16 takes part in the Sunday convoy. The Volvo was voted Best Custom Truck at the show 16