In Pictures: 2016 Koroit Truck and Bike Show

The annual Koroit Truck and Bike Show continues to grow from strength to strength. Peter and Di Schlenk checked out the charity fundraising event on January 23


The Koroit Truck and Bike Show, now celebrating its fifth year, is only around 10km from Warrnambool in western Victoria.

With its timber and farming industries, transport and trucks play a vital role in the local community.

Shirl McCosker is the face and voice of the show, which is now in its fifth year.

He was more than pleased with this year’s turn of 160 trucks, of which 136 entered the show ‘n shine competition.

In addition, 42 Harley-Davidson motorbikes and 45 vintage cars were on display, plus a model truck show, and rides and entertainment for the children.

A truckie tug-of-war was held in the afternoon with teams pulling a DAF.

The team representing Koroit’s Commercial Hotel won out in the end.

There was also the truckie 50m sprint, which Daniel Kelly proved triumphant, while Charlie Edeny won the junior sprint.

This year more than 3500 people attended the show, enabling the committee to donate $2000 to its chosen charity, beyondblue.

Shirl says he’s appreciative of all who helped out, especially major sponsor Matthew’s Petroleum.

The Rig of the Day trophy went to PJ Annett who took home around $3500 in cash and prizes.


Living the lifestyle

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Dave Clark, this year driving a 2004 Kenworth T650, was attending his third Koroit truck show.

The T650 belongs to earthmoving company Mibus Brothers of Portland.

A second Mibus Kenworth, a near-new T909 driven by Mark Showler, was also on show.

“It’s a family business that employs 60 people,” Dave says. “They’re a great mob to work for.”

Dave has been with Mibus for three years and was looking forward to a great day, although rain on the trip over to Koroit took the shine off the truck’s appearance.

To date, the T650 has clocked up almost 900,000km.

“We stood it down for a week over Christmas and I pulled the tanks, straps and wheels off and gave it a good buff up,” he explains.

Dave believes the Koroit show is a credit to the organisers, and is getting bigger each year. Plus he was keen to show the Kenworth off, even though it was his day off.

“Truck driving is a passion, not a job,” he says. “It’s a lifestyle for sure.”


Old timer

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Murray Langford’s 1969 V12 Kenworth is well known at truck shows and always attracts a lot of interest, especially around South Australia.

It was originally bought by Quarry Industries in the eastern Adelaide suburb of Stonyfell.

“It towed a 5×8 float and a two-axle dolly that was hydraulically driven, so it was quite an engineering feat,” Murray says, adding that it was a very big truck for its time.

The Kenworth’s original purchase price was $54,000. Murray recalls buying a house around the same time for $13,000.

“That gives you an idea of how expensive it was,” he explains. “It had four owners before I got it, and the last bloke tried to run Adelaide-Perth doing 80km/h.”

He has owned the truck since 2004, and keeps it loaded on most trips.

“I like driving it, and people appreciate seeing it,” Murray says.


Adelaide towies

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Adelaide’s The Truck Factory brought over two tow trucks — a Western Star and a Peterbilt — for the show, and both were in eye-catching sparkling condition.

Mark is the owner of the business and says although it was a long trip, he’s familiar with the area through business contacts.

“We do a fair bit of work down in the south-east, plus we like to put a bit back into the community, so we thought we’d like to come down and show support for the truck show,” Mark says.


Cat power

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Brad Walker and his wife Lisa made the Koroit Truck Show a mini holiday, arriving from Melbourne on the Friday and staying with friends in nearby Warrnambool for the weekend.

It was also an opportunity to show off their pre-loved 550hp Cat Truck.

“I bought the Cat second hand from Perth,” Brad says.

“We were looking for a brand new truck but settled on this.”

After flying over to Perth to pick it up and driving home, he made a trip to Kyzer Kustom at Shepparton, adding more than a touch of bling.

“We fitted the flairs, offsets, got the bar made, stacks, lots of chrome, wrapped the tanks and it looks the part now,” Brad smiles.


A good cause

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Ben Cust from Warrnambool brought his 10-year-old Kenworth T404 to Koroit.

Ben bought the Kenny a couple of years ago and runs it throughout western Victoria and Melbourne, carting quarry products for Hansons and a local concreting company in Geelong.

“It has nearly one million kilometres on it but it does the job and has been a good truck.

“I try to keep it looking pretty tidy but it’s quite difficult doing quarry work.”

Ben, who was also at last year’s show, was still busy working the day beforehand.

“A mate runs the show so I come to support him and beyondblue,” he says.


Catching up

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Wayne Weathers, who drives a Western Star for Eccles Scrap Metal, was back in Koroit for his second show.

Wayne also brought along his son Jack, and as well as catching up with a few mates, the show was a good excuse to give the versatile Star a tidy up.

“We pull a tipper, drop deck or stock crate,” Wayne says.

“The boss has a couple of farms so I get plenty of variety, including running scrap metal to Melbourne.”


Gem of the show

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It was a short trip to Koroit for Peter Tabbe; he’s based at Southern Cross, just two kilometres down the road.

Peter operates 14 trucks, boosting the show’s truck numbers as well as promoting his own business.

“It’s a good show and a chance to get among the community and catch up with people,” he says.

“Plus it’s good for our guys to talk ownership and to talk with people, to take pride in what they do as tradesmen.”

Peter’s company, the Gem Group, specialises in providing elevated work platforms for tree removal, traffic and power services.

“It’s our first year and I’m sure we’ll be back at the show,” he says.


Show ’n shine

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We caught up with Ross Saltry at Koroit, who was polishing a flashy Kenworth T409, owned by Lachie Wake from Hamilton.

“We do a bit of everything from carting hay to dairy farms, to steel to Adelaide, it’s a real variety,” Ross explains.

Despite his 30 years on the road, Ross says he is still passionate about good looking gear.

“I get a vision and see how it’s going to look it’s finished it, then I just go to work,” he says.

“Lachie is pretty pedantic and spent a lot of money finishing it off the way it looks today.

“It makes our job a little easier.

“It did need a bit of a spruce up, so we just had to make it shine.”


PBS tipper

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Despite being 15 years old, Terang-based Grass Growers Vic’s Mack Trident was looking the goods at the Koroit Show.

Michael Smith, who drove the Trident, says it became part of the Grass Growers’ fleet late last year.

“We go through about 9,000 tonne of fertiliser, so the Trident was bought to cart it from Portland and Geelong,” Michael explains.

“It pulls a four-axle quad tipper on PBS allowing us to carry 40 tonne of product.”

Michael says to make life easier there are cameras in the tipper bins, and a camera under the ring feeder to help with hooking up the trailer.

“They are very safety conscious; the less I hop out of the cab the better.”

Michael, who was making his first trip to the Koroit show, says the Mack is a good drive … smooth even when empty.

“It has a 12 speed auto with the MP8, which is a good match up,” he says.


Golden oldie

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Truck shows, especially in rural areas, almost always have a smattering of vintage vehicles, and this year’s Koroit show was no exception.

For Peter Doolan, it was the chance to show off Ray Scot’s 1976 Autocar.

“It was originally number five in the Ascot Haulage fleet in the Territory,” Peter explains.

“All it’s ever done is road train work and does about 80kms flat out, but it’s as rough as guts.

“It has a six rod under the back and is shocking.”

Peter says Ray Scott had the whole truck disassembled down to two chassis rails and rebuilt again over a two and a half year period. 



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