An­drew ‘Dicko’ Dick­ins en­joys driv­ing a Ken­worth T950 Leg­end, but he’s a leg­end in his own right af­ter sac­ri­fic­ing his beard for char­ity.

Owner Driver - - OWNER // DRIVER - Peter and Di Sch­lenk write

AN­DREW DICK­INS, or ‘Dicko’ as he is known in the in­dus­try, ar­rived at the Oak­lands Truck Show in March this year driv­ing a Daw­son’s Haulage 2016 Ken­worth T950 Leg­end. When he stepped out of the rig he was sport­ing his sig­na­ture fiery red beard.

How­ever, by the show’s end the beard was gone. Dicko had sac­ri­ficed his fa­cial hair for the char­ity fundrais­ing Leukaemia Foun­da­tion’s Great­est Shave. Dicko is a sin­gle bloke with no chil­dren but loves his three nieces and kids in gen­eral.

“I hate see­ing lit­tle kids sick, es­pe­cially with things like can­cer,” he says. “It’s not like they have even had a bit of a go at life yet.”

Brid­get Ma­hony, who works in the Daw­son’s Haulage of­fice, came up with the idea, think­ing that Dicko’s beard would be the ideal sac­ri­fice.

“Last year she said I should do the shave for a cure,” he re­calls. “I replied that if she or­gan­ised it I would do it.

“Un­for­tu­nately things hap­pened and we got busy and we missed out.”

Brid­get made the of­fer again in March this year, and Dicko again agreed. This time it was on.

Dicko is big on do­nat­ing to any kind of chil­dren’s char­ity, so when this op­por­tu­nity came up he had no hes­i­ta­tion. Af­ter all, he says, it’s only hair.

“I had the choice of whether to lose my hair or not; some of those poor bug­gers don’t.”

Brid­get or­gan­ised the fundrais­ing for the shave, rais­ing an im­pres­sive tally of $4500.

“Now I can shower in half the time,” Dicko laughs.

“And sham­poo costs have gone through the floor.”

The week­end of the truck show also co­in­cided with Dicko’s birth­day, but it was more about tak­ing a break and so­cial­is­ing with the work­mates he rarely gets to see. His runs in the Ken­worth take him any­where and ev­ery­where, mostly away from the cap­i­tal cities.

“I en­joy be­ing out in the bush and

pre­fer the long-dis­tance runs over the Syd­ney-Mel­bourne work,” he adds.

The Ken­worth T950 Leg­end, a stand­out in the Daw­son’s fleet, is well suited to long-haul work. While the other trucks are white with green bands, Dicko’s rig is black and gold.

“The fi­nal colours were a sur­prise to ev­ery­one,” he says. “The boss has gone to a fair bit of trou­ble with the truck – like the Aero One roof.”

The tanks have been wrapped and the air clean­ers chromed and ex­tra lights have been fit­ted.

“I love it. It re­ally is a beau­ti­ful ma­chine to drive.

“Be­ing a bit of a unique thing, I get a lot of pride out of driv­ing it. It’s as good as it looks.”

Dicko gets to see a fair bit of the coun­try, cov­er­ing all of Aus­tralia car­ry­ing pretty much ev­ery­thing that will fit on a flat top.

He says 99 per cent of his work is with flat-top trail­ers and then most with road trains.

“I pre­fer the flat-top work. It’s what I have al­ways done – chains, ropes and tarps.”

Due to the large amount of time away, Dicko mostly cooks for him­self on the road.

“If you are do­ing over­size with daylight travel re­stric­tions and that sort of thing, we cook a fair bit but you have to pull your fin­ger out and keep it go­ing.

“It de­pends on lots of things as to what and where you eat.”

Dicko says the down­side in trav­el­ling all over Aus­tralia is adapt­ing to the dif­fer­ent rules in each state.

“You re­ally have to try and be on top of your game and do the right thing all of the time, no mat­ter where you are,” he says. “With our over­size stuff, it does get very con­fus­ing.

“I en­joy trav­el­ling in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory and WA, I just like to be left alone and in those two states ev­ery­thing seems to be eas­ier.

“Peo­ple have a lot more idea of what trucks do and how they be­have on the road. I’m much more com­fort­able there.”

Dicko has been with Daw­son’s for six years now and says he en­joys the com­pany and the work.

“It’s a good job and Gaz [Graeme Daw­son] is a great boss.

“He’s a hands-on type of bloke. He had his own trucks at a fairly young age and he also drove for a few other peo­ple.

“I get on well with him and he’s been good to me.”

Dicko comes from a fam­ily farm­ing back­ground and from a young age truck driv­ing was all he ever thought about.

He was more in­ter­ested in look­ing at the ve­hi­cles go­ing past the school rather than lis­ten­ing to what the teacher was talk­ing about.

“I re­mem­ber driv­ing around in an old Maple Leaf Chevy truck when I was seven or eight,” he ex­plains. “On the farm I was my Dad’s shadow.”

Af­ter leav­ing school at 15, Dicko worked in feed mills in Cowra, NSW, but he had his li­cence by his late teens and hit the road.

His first paid driv­ing job was be­hind the wheel of a Ken­worth SAR for a bloke named Bobby Lewis. This was fol­lowed by a stint in an eight-wheeler UD for Mark

Bolt and he pro­gressed from there. At Daw­son’s, Dicko was be­hind the wheel of a cab-over Ken­worth, then a T659 that he drove for three and a half years be­fore the T950 Leg­end came along.

The Ken­worth hauls tim­ber up and down the east coast

Af­ter: Dicko shaved his beard for char­ity

Be­fore: An­drew ‘Dicko’ Dick­ins’ trade­mark beard with his

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