Audience amazed at parade of rigs at Alexandra Truck Show

Alexandra

Starting the day with a nippy breeze and gloomy front, the winding road through the Yarra Ranges had us at Deals on Wheels questioning what was in store for us.

With fog and drizzles of rain blurring our vision, we emerged on the other side to the sight of trucks and people lining up for kilometres.

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Parking spots were rarer than a lotto win, but the smell of a good ol’ sausage sizzle let us know we were in the right place.

The 27th edition of the Alexandra Truck Ute & Rod Show kicked off at 4:30am, as stallholders and vehicles were expertly guided into place by a hardy bunch of volunteers and professionals.

Shopkeepers and cafés threw open their doors early too, prepped and ready to service the 18,000 attendees making their way through the town with coffee and food galore.

“We don’t allow food trucks, so local community groups run the food stalls,” organiser Andrew Embling says.

“Economy wise, for our little town, it’s fantastic what it does. It helps those little shops for the next six to eight weeks for the quiet times over winter.

Stunning blue Kenworth

And boy did they deliver. The roast beef and gravy roll we got our hands on was a highlight of the day, managing to warm us up as we made the rounds.

The centre of town was a melting pot of transport fanatics, with hundreds of trucks and vehicles coming to show off.

“We registered about 320 trucks, 45 utes and 15 rods,” Andrew says.

“There were trucks coming in after registrations. We stopped registrations at around 8.30am in the morning.

Attendees were shoulder to shoulder moving through Grant St, the trucks down the middle serving as a guiding light.

There was something for everyone on the truck side from classic Kenworth’s and Mack’s to slick looking Volvo’s and old Internationals.

“There were some pretty schmick trucks here,” Andrew says.

It wasn’t hard to feel overwhelmed, with even the tallest of men seeming small amongst some of the beasts entered.

“People have come from everywhere. There were people there from South Australia – Riverina, New South Wales area,” he says.

“A lot of people out of Gippsland.  

“I reckon we had more people out of Melbourne than we normally do.”

Music and laughter boomed around the town, with the main stage hosting live music from Melbourne musician Brooke Taylor and her band The Poison Spitting Gin Queens, offering folk, blues and country style songs from her growing list of albums.

Multi-award-winning country musician Paul Costa took to the stage as well, his renditions of old classics and his own catalogue bringing people onto their feet.

The sound of music surrounded the whole town

The tunes were only interrupted for the charity auction, selling off chopping boards, Kenworth memorabilia and more.

“The auction raised around $19.5k,” Andrew says.

“This year we are supporting our scouting group going to the Jamboree in Maryborough. We’ve guaranteed them at least five thousand, but we hope to be able to give them some more.

“There’s a few other smaller charities that we keep giving to as well – some of that will go back into the mental health program we’ve got going too.”

Families and kids were well looked after throughout the day, with a kid’s corner of showbags, rides and show games proving to keep even the most unsettled children entertained.

Axe men and women toughed it out for prizes of up to $500 in what’s usually the last competition of the woodchop season.

The crowd continued growing, with hundreds making their way over to Rotary Park to see the best in action.

Alexandra
Woodchopping drew a big crowd

Anticipation was high as the day drew closer to the end, with transport and enthusiast judges eyeing up each rig throughout the day.

As was expected, competition was fierce this time around, with every entry vying to take home one of the coveted trophies.

Damien Reed and his stunning 2022 Kenworth T909 ultimately claimed the top spot, taking home Truck of the Show.

This International Transtar stood out

In close second saw Andrew James from Jamesys Transport and his 2023 Mack Superliner, also pinching the Under 12 months spot.

SRV Road Freight claimed Best Fleet with its display of immaculate Kenworth’s while Dylan Slater took home Best Kenworth for his 1995 Kenworth T600.

It was a rough battle for Best Mack, with Cameron Calleja ultimately coming out on top with his beautiful 1976 Mack R Model.

Attendees voted Trai Hildebrand from A Plus Towing and his 2023 Scania R620 XT the People’s Choice winner while Raymond Bedggood’s unique Peterbilt took home Best of the Rest.

Alexandra
Winning Scania

List of winners:

  • Best Fleet – SRV Road Freight (Aaron Reid)
  • Best Log Truck- Stuart Moloney (Moloney Logging) – 2022 Kenworth T909
  • Best Specialised – Modern Towing & Salvage – 2022 Kenworth 610
  • Best Volvo – Vince Tropeano (SVT Logistics) – 2024 Volvo FH540
  • Best Western Star – Joel Leech (FourMile) – 1994 Western Sstar 4964F Heritage
  • Best Peterbilt – Matt Garcie (Freestones) – 1993 Peterbilt 379
  • Best Mack – Cameron Calleja – 1976 Mack R Model
  • Best Kenworth – Dylan Slater – 1995 Kenworth T600
  • Best of the Rest – Raymond Bedggood – Peterbilt
  • Best Tilt Tray – Blake Berwick-Griggs – 2014 Kenworth T359
  • Best Tray Truck – Ben Williams – 2021 Scania G450
  • Best Tipper – P&E Humphrey Haulage – 2023 Kenworth T909
  • Best Vintage – Aaron Smith – 1996 Kenworth K100G
  • Under 12 Months – Andrew James (Jamesys Transport) – 2023 Mack Superliner
  • Runner Up – Andrew James (Jamesys Transport) – 2023 Mack Superliner
  • People’s Choice – Trai Hildebrand (A Plus Towing) – 2023 Scania R620 XT
  • Truck of the Show – Damien Reed – 2022 Kenworth T909

As the spectacular day came to an end, people approached the Deals on Wheels stand to share their thoughts on the event, one couple even accidentally stumbling across the show.

“We had no idea this show was even on but isn’t it just amazing!”

“It’s great to see so many people and trucks out and about in such a small town like Alexandra.”

Perhaps the most entertaining part of the day was gathering around the roads to watch as the trucks rolled back out.

Black soot and horns littered the air as they ushered their way home, making sure to show off one final time.

Plans are already well underway for the 28th year of the Alexandra show, with whispers that it will be even better and bigger.

Andrew hopes that next year he may finally be able to sneak away and take in the sights.

“I don’t leave the stage – in the 27 years I’ve been here I’ve never even seen the woodchop!” 

For more photos from the 2024 Alexandra Truck, Ute & Rod Show watch out for the July edition of Deals on Wheels magazine.

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