New truck for hay char­ity

Road train do­nated for char­ity

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - WEATHER | INSIDE - James Gra­ham James.Gra­[email protected]­grigs.com.au

IT PUTS a smile on our face when we hear tire­less truckie Bren­dan ‘Bumpa’ Far­rell sound­ing happy be­hind the wheel.

He’s early into a 1700km haul north from Echuca to Mut­taburra when the Ru­ral Weekly’s sis­ter pa­per Big Rigs gets him on the mo­bile and Aus­tralia’s most fa­mous hay run­ner is still pinch­ing him­self in dis­be­lief at his new-found com­fort lev­els.

Thanks to a call made by Big Rigs to Freight­liner, Bren­dan now has the sum­mer use of a Freight­liner Coron­ado 122 Road Train, cour­tesy of dealer SelecTrucks.

“Bren­dan has been help­ing Aussie farm­ers in a truly self­less man­ner for years,” Freight­liner Aus­tralia di­rec­tor Steve Downes said.

“When Big Rigs told us that he was hav­ing truck trou­ble, it was a no-brainer to help him out with a Freight­liner for a few months. We know the Coron­ado is tough enough to do this im­por­tant work and are glad that Bren­dan loves it.”

When you have as many balls in the air as Bren­dan, a gen­er­ous ges­ture like this can make a phe­nom­e­nal dif­fer­ence on mul­ti­ple lev­els.

Com­fort, for one, has got­ten an in­stant boost since he got the keys to the Coron­ado.

With the air-con­di­tion­ing on the blink in his trusty old ’95 T600 Ken­worth and ’94 In­ter­na­tional Transtar and funds too tight to fix them, “you freeze your arse off in the win­ter time and sweat your arse off in the sum­mer”.

“It’s bloody beau­ti­ful – it’s a nice-look­ing truck, a lot more com­fort­able and a real plea­sure to drive,” Mr Far­rell said.

“I’m do­ing 6500-7000km a week in a good week and you’ve re­ally got to have your rest breaks prop­erly and these things are built for that.

“I love old trucks, don’t get me wrong, but you fight ’em all day.

“I’ll drive my old T600 for 10 hours straight and I’ll know I’ve done my 10 hours, whereas I’ll drive this one for 10 hours and I’ll think I’ve done about six.”

The Coron­ado is al­low­ing Bren­dan in­valu­able time to get his T600 and Transtar into the shop for some much-needed main­te­nance, ahead of the next Bur­rum­but­tock Hay Run on Aus­tralia Day.

To the sur­prise of many, Bren­dan or­gan­ises the mas­sive Jan­uary con­voy around a full-time job haul­ing loads the length and breadth of the eastern states.

After Mut­taburra, he’s back down to Echuca to reload then off again to En­ngo­nia, NSW, be­fore cart­ing an­other two pay­ing loads of hay to Bourke, again out of Echuca.

Weather per­mit­ting, by the time you read this Bren­dan will also be knee-deep play­ing Santa in the Coron­ado on his first out­back Christ­mas toy run.

“I’m just work­ing out the last stages now of where to go in out­back NSW and Queens­land to make sure all the out­back kids get that thrill of giv­ing and a cou­ple of toys from Santa,” he said.

Then it’s on to the Big One, co-or­di­nat­ing up to 300 truck­ies car­ry­ing up to 10,000 big bales into Quilpie, Queens­land, and sur­rounds for the 15th Bur­rum­but­tock run on Jan­uary 26.

With the help of faith­ful PA Belinda Bur­ley co-or­di­nat­ing the mas­sive con­voy and lo­gis­tics of it, Bren­dan and his army of de­voted driv­ers are hop­ing to reach up to 700 farm­ers. While thrilled with the up­take of truck­ies pitch­ing in to help, he said he’d al­ways wel­come more.

“The more the mer­rier,” he said.

“Each truck driver gets $2000 in fuel and that’s it. It’s not a pay­ing ex­er­cise, I call it the thrill of giv­ing.”

Bren­dan says many fac­tors go into how he chooses which area to tar­get, in­clud­ing talk­ing to cock­ies in dif­fer­ent parts of NSW and Queens­land.

“I usu­ally go for a drive as well, take the dog in the ute and we’ll go out for a cou­ple of days,” he said.

“And I have known that Quilpie and Thar­go­min­dah have been dry for a while and they’ve also been for­got­ten about as well.

“Ev­ery­one thinks the drought went from Dubbo to Tam­worth.”

❝ It’s a nice-look­ing truck, a lot more com­fort­able and a real plea­sure to drive. — Bren­dan ‘Bumpa’ Far­rell

PHOTO: COVEN­TRY STU­DIOS

NEW WHEELS: Thanks to the Ru­ral Weekly’s sis­ter pa­per, Bren­dan ‘Bumpa’ Far­rell, is rid­ing in style in a new truck.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

The Bur­rum­but­tock Hay Run will be on the road again in Jan­uary next year.

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