THE CONTENDERS – VOTE NOW
MJ FREIGHTERS’ 2012 KENWORTH T909
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
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’S 2017 KENWORTH T610
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.”
TONY LAKE’S 1986 KENWORTH SAR
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.
LAURIE WILLIAMS’ 2006 WESTERN STAR 4800
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
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.
JOHN TRELOAR’S 2017 INTERNATIONAL PROSTAR
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.
JASON BOARDMAN’S 2013 MACK SOUTHERN CROSS SUPER-LINER
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’S 2018 WESTERN STAR 4900
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.
RODNEY AND KENT BATTLE’S 2011 WESTERN STAR 4864
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’S 2013 MACK TITAN
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.
KEN BEGG’S 2017 SCANIA R730
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.