2018 Casino Truck Show

The 2018 Casino Truck Show sur­passed the town’s pre­vi­ous an­nual truck events by a long way, at­tract­ing trucks from across the na­tion.

Deals on Wheels - - CONTENTS - Greg Bush re­ports

The larger-than-ex­pected num­ber of trucks

rolling up for this year’s North Coast Pe­tro­leum Casino Truck Show on Au­gust 4 caught or­gan­is­ers off guard. Gen­er­ally av­er­ag­ing around the 150 to 160 mark in the past few years, the

2018 Casino Truck Show eas­ily beat those fig­ures, at­tract­ing more than 200 en­tries.

This was the sev­enth run­ning of the truck show, which is mod­elled to some de­gree on the highly suc­cess­ful an­nual Casino Beef Week, which

has been run­ning for 36 years. Stu­art Ge­orge, Beef Week com­mit­tee pres­i­dent, also heads up the team for the truck show. He ex­plains that around eight years ago when the com­mit­tee was con­sid­er­ing adding an­other event to Casino’s

cal­en­dar, the idea sur­faced along the lines of re­plac­ing cat­tle with trucks.

How­ever, Ge­orge says the first cou­ple of truck shows were held at an ex­hi­bi­tion ground, but

with Beef Week tak­ing place in the town’s cen­tre, it made sense to move onto the streets also. In that re­gard, it’s sim­i­lar to Vic­to­ria’s Alexan­dra Truck Show.

One dif­fer­ence, how­ever, is the West­lawn Truck Pa­rade which runs from the town’s in­dus­trial area to the east, fol­low­ing the spec­ta­tor-lined route into Casino’s main streets.

“I drove the pa­rade route just be­fore the trucks and the amount of peo­ple along the road was un­be­liev­able,” Ge­orge says. “Then ob­vi­ously they

all wan­der into town and have a look and it all goes from there.”

Nat­u­rally there was much lo­cal in­dus­try par­tic­i­pa­tion from around the north­ern

New South Wales re­gions. But there was

rep­re­sen­ta­tion from fur­ther afield, in­clud­ing big num­bers driv­ing down from south-east Queens­land and Glenn ‘Yogi’ Ken­dall mak­ing the trip across from Western Aus­tralia.

Deals on Wheels caught up with a num­ber of driv­ers, wip­ing the last rem­nants of grime from their rigs be­fore the con­voy be­gan.


Long-time driver Des Bai­ley, who was driv­ing a Sca­nia R560 for Herb Blan­chard Haulage out of Grafton, was mak­ing his first ap­pear­ance in the Casino truck pa­rade. He’s been with Blan­chard for more than 20 years, and cur­rently hauls steel from Wol­lon­gong to Syd­ney, Bris­bane and Tam­worth. Bai­ley is a pre­vi­ous win­ner of the NatRoad Pro­fes­sional Driver of the Year award. That was back in 2004. He backed that up when he took out the Aus­tralian Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion’s Na­tional Pro­fes­sional Driver of the Year award the fol­low­ing year.

“This is a good one this one,” he says of the Casino event. “I’ve been over heaps of times but never bought the truck.”

Bai­ley was plan­ning to stick around un­til the

close of fes­tiv­i­ties. “It’s not too bad, only an hour’s run.”

An­drew Law­son, an­other “lo­cal”, en­tered two trucks in the show – an Ar­gosy and an Iveco ACCO ag­i­ta­tor. He is a direc­tor of To­tal Pre­cast Sys­tems, based in Co­raki which is just down the hill from Casino on the way to Wood­burn.

“We spiffed it up eight weeks ago,” Law­son says of his 13-year-old Ar­gosy. “I love ’em. I reckon they’re the best trucks on the road.”

Like Des Bai­ley, Law­son has pre­vi­ously come to the Casino Truck Show just to have a look. “But we de­cided to bling this one up for the show this year.”

Brett Hog­bin was an­other of the Grafton con­tin­gent at the show, driv­ing a Grafton Heavy Tow­ing Cat-pow­ered 1999 Mack Ti­tan. Hog­bin says the Ti­tan orig­i­nally did road-train work. “It was built about 12 years ago into a tow truck.” Grafton Heavy Tow­ing is owned by Sam Camp­bell who also owns a wreck­ing yard. The

com­pany is the rec­om­mended Na­tional Trans­port In­sur­ance con­trac­tor around the north­ern rivers city. “We’re also NRMA, RMS and po­lice con­trac­tors,” he ex­plains.

Hog­bin has sup­ported the Casino Truck Show for many years, and was keen to have the

Ti­tan look­ing smart for the pa­rade. “I al­ways like to make my truck look nice and clean for pre­sen­ta­tion of the com­pany,” he says.

We de­cided to bling this one up for the show.


James Ul­rick, ac­com­pa­nied by his nephew Liam Saun­ders, was one of a num­ber of driv­ers to make the trip south from across the Queens­land bor­der. The ban­ner on the front of the McKen­zie Bulk Haulage Ken­worth T409 SAR paid trib­ute

to An­thony (Ant) O’Neill, Ul­rick’s god­fa­ther, who passed away in April 2017. The ban­ner was orig­i­nally made up for last year’s Lights On The Hill Me­mo­rial Con­voy.

“He was from this area orig­i­nally, so we put her on,” Ul­rick ex­plains. “He died of bowel cancer last year. He was stub­born and wouldn’t do any­thing about it. If he didn’t ig­nore it he would have been right.”

Ul­rick has been be­hind the wheel of the 2011 SAR for around four months.

“It was an ex-EBT (Erb Bros Trans­port) from Chin­chilla, so we just put our scroll work and a bit of other stuff on it,” he con­tin­ues. “We haven’t fin­ished it yet, still do­ing lit­tle things here and there.”

With fam­ily liv­ing in the area, Ul­rick was in no hurry to re­turn to Bris­bane af­ter the show. “I might have a cou­ple of lemon­ades later on,” he laughs.

Shortly be­fore 10am the sig­nal came for the con­voy to start rolling and it made its way along the Bruxner High­way to Cen­tre Street and up through Can­ter­bury and Walker Streets where roads were closed to all ve­hi­cles – ex­cept trucks that is!

How­ever, there was an­other ve­hi­cle ex­emp­tion in the form of the Show­time FMX Freestyle

Moto X Team, ar­guably the long­est run­ning of its type in Aus­tralia. The bikes had the large crowd en­thralled on three sep­a­rate dis­plays dur­ing

the day. Fur­ther along Walker Street lo­cal band Oc­carock pumped out plenty of Oz Rock clas­sics.

For SRV Road Freight Ser­vices, based in Ormeau just south of Bris­bane, it was a suc­cess­ful show. The trans­port com­pany was pre­sented with two awards – Best Fleet and Rig of the Show for its Ken­worth Le­gend T950.

SRV then promptly do­nated the win­ning Rig of the Show prize of $1,000 to the Bur­rum­but­tock Hay Run­ners.

Ac­cord­ing to Stu­art Ge­orge, next year’s show will again take place on the first Sat­ur­day in Au­gust. If you have yet to take your rig to the Casino Truck Show, mark down Au­gust 3 on your cal­en­dar.

Des Bai­ley, a for­mer Na­tional Pro­fes­sional Driver of the Year, drove up from Grafton in a Blan­chard Haulage Sca­nia

Brett Hog­bin with Grafton Heavy Tow­ing’s ’99 Mack Ti­tan

An­drew Law­son from To­tal Pre­cast Sys­tems had two trucks in the pa­rade, in­clud­ing a 13-year old Freight­liner Ar­gosy

Vol­un­teer Steph Serone with her hus­band Chris, who drives for North Coast Pe­tro­leum, the event’s ma­jor spon­sor. Steph spent the day help­ing co-or­gan­iser Dar­ren Good­win with a video shoot of the event

James Ul­rick with his nephew Liam Saun­ders. They ar­rived in a McKen­zie Bulk Haulage Ken­worth T409 SAR from Ormeau in Queens­land

Gavin Ruska found a park­ing spot in Walker St, Grafton fol­low­ing the pa­rade. Gavin, man­ager of Knight’s Heavy Tow­ing, drove a Ken­worth T609 down from Bris­bane

The Caus­ley Trans­port crew rolled up from Chatsworth Is­land in the Clarence River in a Ken­worth T909. From left, Ja­son Caus­ley, Mark Caus­ley and part­ner Brooke Sec­combe with the cou­ple’s daugh­ters Jade and Layla

The team from M&S Freighters and KT Haulage. From left, Les Gilkin­son, Ka­t­rina Masters, Tom Sec­combe, Mitch McGuire, Sarah McGuire, Brooke Hordern and Billy Hordern

Owen Weir drove a Ni­chol­son & Page Trans­port Ken­worth K200 in the Casino Truck Show pa­rade, af­ter spend­ing half the pre­vi­ous night pol­ish­ing it up. The K200 was one of eight trucks rep­re­sent­ing the com­pany

Clas­sic Macks: An­drew Cor­bet and son Chay brought an im­ported left hand-drive 1926 Mack AC down from Gympie, on the back of an orig­i­nal Mack Su­per-Liner

Above: SRV Road Freight Ser­vices’ Ken­worth Le­gend T950 won the award for Truck Of The Show. Photo cour­tesy of Casino Truck Show and DAT Pho­tog­ra­phy

The con­voy makes its way along John­ston Street to the town cen­tre

An­drew Cor­bet’s old Mack Su­per-Liner waits its turn to join the pa­rade. The Su­per-Liner later picked up the award for Best Mu­ral, a trib­ute to his grand­fa­ther Jack Cor­bet

For Tony Gra­ham Road Freight’s MAN, it was a quick trip up from South Lis­more

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