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MJ Freighters’ 2012 Ken­worth T909 is one of eight prime movers in the com­pany’s fleet. MJ Freighters is a fam­ily-run busi­ness, op­er­at­ing out of Bracken Ridge in Bris­bane’s north. Driven by ex­pe­ri­enced Trevor Carter, the T909 runs out of Bris­bane twice a day, five days a week, haul­ing scrap from Toowoomba in a cou­ple of Te­fco trail­ers. It’s a smart look­ing rig, decked out in Sims Metal blue. Un­der the Ken­worth’s bon­net is a 600hp Cum­mins en­gine, hooked up to an 18-speed Road­ranger gear­box. The Cum­mins’ emis­sions re­duc­tion is achieved through ex­haust gas re­cir­cu­la­tion (EGR) with a diesel par­tic­u­late filer (DPF).


Nick Radford’s 1990 Mack Valueliner had al­ready done the hard yards be­fore he bought it. The Mack had pre­vi­ously hauled road trains for Peth­er­ick Trans­port, later do­ing triple work from Ade­laide to Moomba in South Aus­tralia. Nick, a self-con­fessed Mack fan, set about restor­ing the Valueliner, swap­ping the burnt out 500hp with a 16-litre 400hp V8. It has an 18-speed Road­ranger ’box and a 42-inch bunk. “Be­cause of the dou­ble-skinned chas­sis rails there was a bit of rust around the rear of the chas­sis,” Nick says. “It needed a bit of love and a bit of tidy­ing up.” As well as fit­ting a new in­te­rior, Nick says the two fuel tanks were re-en­gi­neered and the front bar was sand­blasted and painted.


Mick Smith al­ways wanted a bon­neted Ken­worth for his Milin Trans­port fleet, but due to lo­gis­tics they didn’t fit the bill – un­til the ar­rival of the T610. The ver­sa­til­ity of the T610 of­fered the flex­i­bil­ity he needed to haul sin­gle, B-dou­bles, ex­tend­ables and road trains. Mick worked with the team at B&K Lines & Signs in the Bris­bane sub­urb of Darra to give the truck a dif­fer­ent look, the blue base colour in­flu­enced by the orig­i­nal T610 demos. In ad­di­tion, per­son­alised pieces were added to the rear vents and door sills, thanks to Rock­lea Truck Elec­tri­cal. “They are chalk and cheese to ev­ery­thing Ken­worth’s ever built,” Mick ex­plains of the T610s. “They are more of a car in­side.”


Bet­ter known as ‘Heart­breaker’, Tony and Tracey Lake’s 1986 Ken­worth SAR is a reg­u­lar on the Aus­tralian truck show cir­cuit. The SAR started life in Tu­mut, NSW and has clocked up more than three mil­lion kilo­me­tres in over 30 years on the road. Tony bought the truck sev­eral years ago when it was semi-re­tired, do­ing farm du­ties around Shep­par­ton. He re­placed the orig­i­nal Sil­ver 406 en­gine with an 8v92 475 Detroit, and re­moved the fac­tory high-rise sleeper, re­plac­ing it with the 50-inch low roof. How­ever, it was Tony’s mum Dot and her love of the orig­i­nal ‘blonde bomb­shell’ Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe that in­spired the amaz­ing art­work, as well as the ‘Heart­breaker’ moniker.


This stun­ning Western Star 4800, with the nick­name ‘Phat Cat’, is more than just a show truck; it’s the cul­mi­na­tion of a long and fruit­ful ca­reer in the in­dus­try. Lau­rie bought the Western Star at an auc­tion in 2009, and put it straight to work, although it’s had its fair share of mishaps since then. After one such in­ci­dent, he had to re­build the Cat C15 en­gine, later adding a big cam giv­ing it a whop­ping 727hp at the wheels. Adding to the bling is the mir­ror fin­ish stain­less, while Lau­rie says Phat Cat now has so many lights he’s stopped count­ing. The Star can be seen haul­ing cars, trucks and ma­chin­ery all around Queens­land.


Tekno Autosports’ 2013 Western Star 4800 is much more than a race car trans­porter; it’s a mo­bile head­quar­ters with B-dou­ble trail­ers con­tain­ing 36 tyres and wheels, data and teleme­try boxes, drinks and team sup­plies, pit equip­ment, clean­ing equip­ment and a mo­bile work­shop. Plus there’s the Su­per­car and enough spare parts to re­build the Su­per­car. Michael ‘Mick’ Shor­tus is the Western Star’s lucky driver and while the truck isn’t over the top with bling, it’s glossy paint job and sub­tle ex­tras such as air in­takes, vi­sor, solid front bar add up to an im­pres­sive pack­age. It clocks up an av­er­age of 45,000 to 50,000km per year, but once fully loaded for a race week­end, the unit is up on its weights.


Tas­ma­nia’s John Treloar is an In­ter­na­tional ‘tragic’, so when the In­ter­na­tional ProStar was first ear­marked for ar­rival in Aus­tralia, John was first in the queue. To mark the oc­ca­sion, ‘First ProStar’ is em­bla­zoned across the top of the bon­net. Cou­pled to a three-axle dog trailer, John’s ProStar has al­ready clocked up more than 30,000km. Orig­i­nally it came with a 550hp Cum­mins X15 en­gine and 1,850ft-lb of torque, but once it hit the 20,000km mark John had it pumped up to 600hp and 2,050ft-lb of torque. John’s long-time driver An­thony ‘Franky’ Frankcombe is im­pressed with the ProStar’s 18-speed Ea­ton ’box, the gauge lay­out, the prac­ti­cal­ity of switches and con­trol func­tions, and the ride qual­ity.


The South­ern Cross Su­per-Liner se­ries was an­nounced in 2012, built to cel­e­brate Mack’s 50 years in Aus­tralia. When Ja­son Boardman heard about the spe­cial re­lease, he knew he just had to have one. Ja­son re­quested for it to be de­liv­ered on May 29, 2013, the first an­niver­sary of his fa­ther Len­nie’s pass­ing. In fact, the lim­ited edi­tion Su­per-Liner was bought as a trib­ute to his fa­ther. In ad­di­tion, Ja­son’s mum Wendy Boardman re­quested a mu­ral of her late hus­band for the cab’s rear wall, which was com­pleted by Bel Air Truck Spray­paint­ing in Bris­bane. The Mack is now five years old and has clocked up over half a mil­lion kilo­me­tres, but still looks stun­ning as it hauls sand and gravel.


David Mor­gan, of DJ & KA Mor­gan Trans­port in Townsville, bought his new Western Star 4900 to re­place a worn-out Mack Ti­tan. The Western Star, nick­named ‘Wan­der­ing Star’, has its own dis­tinct full colour scheme in con­trast to the two-tone ap­pear­ance of Mor­gan Trans­port’s other rigs. Chris Moore is the lucky driver of the stun­ning Star, which has a 605hp Cum­mins X15 un­der the bon­net, hooked up to an 18-speed ’box. Other items worth men­tion­ing are the Mer­i­tor diffs with a 4.56 ra­tio, Ne­way ADZ air bag sus­pen­sion and a 48-inch sleeper. It’s rated at 140 tonne and runs out of Townsville to all points west with three trail­ers hang­ing off the back.


Fa­ther and son Rod­ney and Kent Bat­tle have a large mixed fleet within their com­pany Nor­trans, whose claim to fames in­clude op­er­at­ing the first re­frig­er­ated B-dou­ble com­bi­na­tion in Queens­land back in 1987. Ken­worths, Freight­lin­ers and Western Stars make up the Nor­trans fleet nowa­days, but ar­guably the stand­out is their 2011 Western Star 4864. Pow­ered by a Detroit Diesel 15, the 4864 has more than one mil­lion kilo­me­tres on the clock. It’s 106-tonne rated and does a va­ri­ety of work, from pre-cast con­crete prod­ucts to over­sized bridge beams. In road train for­mat, it also hauls bulk gas to Dar­win. Kent Bat­tle bought the Western Star sec­ond hand in Mel­bourne a cou­ple of years ago and says he’s been work­ing it hard ever since.


Justin Clein, who op­er­ates Clein Group, is an avid Mack fan. Justin has a par­tic­u­lar lik­ing for his 2013 Mack Ti­tan, which is pow­ered by a MP10 685hp en­gine. It has Mack’s MILX rear spring sus­pen­sion, Mack’s MP10 en­gine, mDrive trans­mis­sion, 5:41 diffs and is rated at 185 tonne GCM. In­side are ISRI seats, two UHFs, Icepack, fans in the bunk, a TV and DVD player, two fridges, and a Ken­worth stereo sys­tem. Out­side is K-Hitch turntable, BF Goodrich su­per sin­gles and a King bull bar. Justin sent the Ti­tan to PJ’s Cus­tom Paint Spray Paint­ing for the ex­te­rior be­fore putting it to work in heavy haulage where it usu­ally tows a 4x8 plat­form. So far it has clocked up 460,000 kilo­me­tres.


With a de­gree in agri­cul­tural sci­ence and ac­count­ing, along with a ca­reer in bank­ing, Ken Begg re­turned to his favourite vo­ca­tion – truck driv­ing. When his pre­vi­ous truck reached 1.2 mil­lion kilo­me­tres, he re­warded him­self with the pur­chase of a Euro 6-com­pli­ant 2017 Sca­nia R730. The big V8 comes with an au­to­mated man­ual trans­mis­sion (AMT), as well as Knorr Bremse EBS/ABS brak­ing and sta­bil­ity roll-over sys­tem. It boasts a pay­load up to 65 tonnes, thanks to Gra­ham Lusty Trailer’s large ca­pac­ity cus­tom tip­pers and dolly. It’s the per­fect set-up for Ken as he hauls stock­feed between Mil­dura and Dalby. But it’s the stun­ning paint­work, thanks to ve­hi­cle makeover spe­cial­ist Mikutta in Ade­laide, which makes the Sca­nia stand out from the crowd.

Photo by War­ren Aitken

Photo by Matt Wood

Photo by War­ren Aitken

Photo by Peter Sch­lenk

Photo by War­ren Aitken

Photo by War­ren Aitken

Photo by War­ren Aitken

Photo by War­ren Aitken

Photo by War­ren Aitken

Photo by War­ren Aitken

Photo by Char­lie Suri­ano

Photo by Steve Brooks

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