In Pictures: 2015 Penrith Working Truck Show

By: Greg Bush


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Davtrans Kenworth T401 won the Best Working Truck award. Photo: Brent Harrison. Davtrans Kenworth T401 won the Best Working Truck award. Photo: Brent Harrison. Davtrans Kenworth T401 won the Best Working Truck award. Photo: Brent Harrison.
Muscat Trailers was voted the Best Trade Display stand. Photo: Brent Harrison. Muscat Trailers was voted the Best Trade Display stand. Photo: Brent Harrison. Muscat Trailers was voted the Best Trade Display stand. Photo: Brent Harrison.
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GRS Towing, who won the Best Specialised (2012-2015) award, brought The Hulk along. Photo: Brent Harrison. GRS Towing, who won the Best Specialised (2012-2015) award, brought The Hulk along. Photo: Brent Harrison. GRS Towing, who won the Best Specialised (2012-2015) award, brought The Hulk along. Photo: Brent Harrison.
NRT’s 2011 Kenworth rig was voted Best Pantech Trailer up to 2011. Photo: Brent Harrison. NRT’s 2011 Kenworth rig was voted Best Pantech Trailer up to 2011. Photo: Brent Harrison. NRT’s 2011 Kenworth rig was voted Best Pantech Trailer up to 2011. Photo: Brent Harrison.
Mohan Freight won the Best Volvo award. Photo: Brent Harrison. Mohan Freight won the Best Volvo award. Photo: Brent Harrison. Mohan Freight won the Best Volvo award. Photo: Brent Harrison.
Jason Mew, who drives for Pay Specialised Transport, hopes to bring an Isuzu 525 to Penrith next year. Jason Mew, who drives for Pay Specialised Transport, hopes to bring an Isuzu 525 to Penrith next year. Jason Mew, who drives for Pay Specialised Transport, hopes to bring an Isuzu 525 to Penrith next year.
Mezztrans’ K200 was voted the Best Prime Mover (2007-2011). Mezztrans’ K200 was voted the Best Prime Mover (2007-2011). Mezztrans’ K200 was voted the Best Prime Mover (2007-2011).
Justin Duke Haulage’s T909 won the Best Intrastate Rigid (2012-2015) trophy. Justin Duke Haulage’s T909 won the Best Intrastate Rigid (2012-2015) trophy. Justin Duke Haulage’s T909 won the Best Intrastate Rigid (2012-2015) trophy.
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Nathalie, left, and Katie promoted Kemps Creek Liquor Master, who stocked the show’s bar. Nathalie, left, and Katie promoted Kemps Creek Liquor Master, who stocked the show’s bar. Nathalie, left, and Katie promoted Kemps Creek Liquor Master, who stocked the show’s bar.
Potbury Haulage’s car carrying 2007 Kenworth was the People’s Choice winner. Potbury Haulage’s car carrying 2007 Kenworth was the People’s Choice winner. Potbury Haulage’s car carrying 2007 Kenworth was the People’s Choice winner.
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Lisa Henderson helped out CrossChem’s Tim McGrath, left, and director Tom Macens in promoting AdBlue. Lisa Henderson helped out CrossChem’s Tim McGrath, left, and director Tom Macens in promoting AdBlue. Lisa Henderson helped out CrossChem’s Tim McGrath, left, and director Tom Macens in promoting AdBlue.
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The Strut Promotions girls, left to right, Coralie, Ainsley, Lara and Rebecca were at Penrith for SNR Logistics. The Strut Promotions girls, left to right, Coralie, Ainsley, Lara and Rebecca were at Penrith for SNR Logistics. The Strut Promotions girls, left to right, Coralie, Ainsley, Lara and Rebecca were at Penrith for SNR Logistics.
Megatilt Heavy Haulage’s Volvo won the Best Modern Art and Signwriting trophy. Megatilt Heavy Haulage’s Volvo won the Best Modern Art and Signwriting trophy. Megatilt Heavy Haulage’s Volvo won the Best Modern Art and Signwriting trophy.
Lisa Lloyd and Jason Burton drove down from Newcastle in a National Heavy Towing Kenworth T909. Lisa Lloyd and Jason Burton drove down from Newcastle in a National Heavy Towing Kenworth T909. Lisa Lloyd and Jason Burton drove down from Newcastle in a National Heavy Towing Kenworth T909.

From its humble beginnings, the Penrith Working Truck Show has evolved into the premier road transport event in the Sydney region. Greg Bush reports from this year’s exceptional show.

 

There is no disputing that the Penrith Working Truck Show is the largest static trucking event in the greater Sydney metropolitan area.

While corporate-style road transport events have come and gone, the Penrith Working Truck Show keeps on keeping on.

This year’s show, held on Sunday, March 29, was the 28th running of the popular family-focused event. The welcome sunny skies added to the atmosphere, making it another outstanding occasion.

The show is held in the grounds of Penrith’s Museum of Fire, with some trucks arriving two days before to snare a prime position.

It’s a big call for operators and drivers to take their rigs off the road for two to three days, sacrificing work time to showcase their pride and joy.

Unlike other community truck shows, the organisers of the Penrith Working Truck Show are happy for trailers to be among the displays.

"We don’t exclude bringing in trailers," Museum of Fire CEO Mark White OAM says.

"Some of the trailers are tricky and well done up, and blokes love them as much as their trucks.

"But most learn quickly that bringing a trailer is an extra burden."

Mark compares organising and setting up the show as akin to a painting, more so when the trucks arrive and need to be squeezed into the grounds.

"It’s a bit like a living canvas; every year we repaint it to whatever turns up," he says.

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Mark remarks that the smallest trucks always turn up first "because they’re the easiest to clean", with the B-doubles generally arriving last.

"You’d really like the B-doubles to come in first, but luck plays a part in it, and the ability to adapt quickly, given the site we have and the restrictions on room.

"And being three-dimensional in height, it’s different than a lot of other shows," Mark says.

"The heavy lifts and the cranes here this year added to the three-dimensional lift, and there seem to be a big run of modern art trucks, with spray painting and everything, from Iron Man to Spiderman to the Hulk.

"It was a bit of a kids’ alley with some of the special graphics that were on the trucks; it all adds a different dimension," Mark continues.

"People say the show can be the same, but a lot of the time you’re relying on the different displays and the different trucks to change the aspect of the show as well."

"We try so the show has a ‘wow’ factor about it, and people will talk about it and come back. I think it ticked all those boxes."

Children were well catered for throughout the day, with 20 free amusement rides, face painting and free balloons.

On the music side, the Working Truck Show boasted the live talents of leading country rock duo McAlister Kemp, hard rocking band The Wolfe Brothers, brother and sister duo Kaylens Rain, and Toyota Star Maker winner Jared Porter.

In previous years, the audience has been left unprotected from the elements.

Not so in 2015, with a large temporary canopy offering shade, and shelter in case of rain.

At $30 per adult admission, Mark says it’s the best-priced family day in town, with the funds going to maintaining the Museum of Fire, which itself is a registered charity.

"The value is there in the music alone, and then you throw in the rides and the face painting," he states.

"A lot of truck drivers bring their families, and the kids have such a wow of a day.

"Generationally, a lot of people who came here as kids are now running the companies," Mark says.

As well as the trucking industry, both local and from further afield, the success of the show is reliant on the generosity of volunteers.

In addition, local truck dealerships and ancillary businesses are present in large numbers. In fact, almost all truck manufacturers are represented at Penrith.

"I don’t think anyone could claim to have the support that we have through dealerships," Mark says.

"Every new truck dealer supports us in one way or another, and that’s pretty hard in this day and age.

"Brisbane is obviously the number one trade show, but we’re not trying to be a trade show.

"We’re trying to be a bit of everything."

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Mark credits the truck owners for their ingenuity in presenting fresh ideas for the show each year. He says some will contact him months before the date, offering ideas on displays.

"Some of them are just ad hoc; a bloke will come in with a crane and he’ll say ‘can I put the jinker on… can I lift it up’, and I say ‘go for your life, as long as it’s legally and morally okay’.

"People forget that a lot of these truck drivers are highly professional and highly skilled," Mark says.

"They often can pull something together at the drop of a hat. Some of them are incredible."

Mark’s perception of those involved in the truck industry is a far cry from the general public, and the mainstream media. He cites the similarities to the rural fire brigade drivers, and the truck drivers.

"We tend to treat all truck drivers a bit like a shark attack — ‘stay away from them or you might get injured’.

"People live in fear of them, but they’re extremely creative.

"They’re technicians, particularly the guys in the recovery and lifting side of it.

"I will say one thing, financial and community support is huge from the transport industry."

A walk around the Museum of Fire grounds, with the trucks neatly placed, and owners and drivers catching up with mates, as well as doing business deals, shows the industry in a positive light.

"The era of roughneck truckies is gone," Mark says.

"You’re talking about a professional industry that is highly policed, more than most other industries, and the guys deserve the respect and admiration.

"They’re true professionals in every sense of the word," Mark says.

"The show puts everyone in a good light, it presents the museum well, and it presents the industry well."

The 2016 Penrith Working Truck Show will take place on Sunday, March 20.  

 

 

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Rebuilt SAR

Robert Nasser has owned his 2006 Kenworth T404 SAR for three years, but it took a rebuild for the truck last year, plus the urging of some his mates, to make his first appearance at the Penrith Working Truck Show.

Robert says the truck had "nothing on it" when he first bought it.

"Every couple of weeks, whenever we’ve got a spare day, we just put into it," he adds.

Robert also owns a Volvo, which runs local, regional and some interstate. The Kenworth runs Sydney to Canberra each night.

Robert says he first took the T404 to Wales Truck Repairs to do a couple of bits and pieces on it.

"While I was there I told them just to tear it down.

"I’ve done the lights, put new stacks on, and did the airbrushing … it just hasn’t stopped.

"All American Custom Chrome did all my guards and my light bar on the front, and Advanced Airbrush did the artwork on the back."

Being a first-timer, Robert was impressed with the show. He’ll be back next year, this time with both trucks.

 

 

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Bound for Alice

It was fitting that owner-driver John Ross picked up one of the ‘Excellence Awards’ with his 1987 Kenworth W900 at this year’s Penrith Working Truck Show.

A veteran of the industry, John was born in 1937 and is still on the road at age 78.

Under the name of Fargo Transport Services, John subcontracts to Downer, hauling bitumen around New South Wales. He’s been on the road for around 62 years.

"I pass my medical every year," he adds.

John laughs when he says it’s lack of money that keeps him going.

"In my early days there was no such thing as super, and then when it did come around, I kept spending money on this," he says, pointing to the W900.

"I’ve had it about 10 years, and it keeps going.

"If anything comes up, I do it straight away so it doesn’t become a big problem."

John says he’s attended most of the Penrith Working Truck Shows since day one. However, he’s looking forward to the Alice Springs Hall of Fame Reunion in August.

"I booked a cabin up there two years ago, because it’s peak time and all the tourists are moving through the joint in August and September."

 

 

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Back on home soil

Lee Moulds owns six trucks, but it was his bright yellow and black 1995 Kenworth T900 that he showed off at Penrith this year.

What made it better was that his rig picked up the award for Best Tray Top Trailer.

"Yeah, they’re all Kenworths. One Cummins, one Detroit, the rest are Cats," he grins.

"I like the old girls better.

"The T900 was interstate when I bought it, but we’ve just thrown a heap of money at it and a heap of time, and I want to throw a heap more money at it but I don’t have any," he laughs.

Originally from the Penrith area, Lee is now based in Brisbane. He’s been to a few Working Truck Shows previously, but says at first he had no intention of attending this year’s event.

"My brother talked me into it. I was loading on Friday in Sydney and he said ‘why don’t you come to this one?’ and I thought ‘yeah, righto, catch up with everyone’. And here we are.

"I’ve got a real nice trailer at home," he says. "If I had been planning for it, I would have brought it, but this one here has come up all right anyway."

Lee runs his trucks under the name of Moulds Trucking, although both he and his wife Nicole’s name are clearly labelled on the side of the Kenworth.

"Nicole’s a schoolteacher, she has nothing to do with the trucks," he grins. "She just lets me buy them."

 

 

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Silver lining

Bill White has spent around 25 years behind the wheel, although his latest job, driving for Kingsfield Excavation and Haulage Contractors, began in October 2014.

Bill, who rolled up in one of Kingsfield’s brand new Freightliner Coronados, says it was the company’s work on Sydney’s North West Rail Link that lured him across.

"We’ve got 10 of these silver Coronados," Bill says.

"I’ve driven a lot of trucks in my time, done a lot of miles, pretty much like everybody else around here, and I find this one is the most comfortable one.

"It’s a very quiet truck inside; you can actually hear yourself think," he says.

This was Bill’s first time at the Penrith Working Truck Show, and it was Kingsfield boss Steve Rhind’s second appearance.

"I’ve lived in Windsor most of my life and having these shows brings a lot of people in from around the area, as well as outside the area," Bill says.

"It’s a top turnout today; I think it’s great."

The stunning silver and blue paintwork on the Coronados impressed the judges, as one of Kingsfield’s fleet took out the Best Freightliner award at the show.

 

 

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Clean as…

Rod Neal’s Kenworth T909 had only completed four loads when he put it on show at Penrith.

Rod, who subcontracts for Fulton Hogan carting bitumen, also brought along his gleaming trailer, which he bought from Homewood Trailers in Brisbane.

"I was up all night, polishing and washing it; I put a bit of effort into this one," Rod explains, adding that he received help from his son Brendan.

Rod has been subcontracting to Fulton Hogan for 20 years, with his previous truck being a 2005 Kenworth T604.

"It had 1.5 million on it, not long in this day and age, but I moved on," he says.

Rod entered the T604 in the Penrith show for a couple of years, but says work commitments led him to missing the last couple of years.

However, with his brand new T909, it was an easy decision to make a return visit this year.

 

Sydney Classic and Antique Truck Show

In addition to the annual Penrith Working Truck Show, the Museum of Fire also hosts the annual Sydney Classic and Antique Truck Show.

This year will see the fifth running of the event, which will be held on Sunday, May 31.

As the name suggests, there will be displays of classic trucks, buses, fire engines and vehicles of yesteryear from across the country.

In addition, the show will feature non-stop live entertainment, free amusement rides for the kids plus many other attractions.

For more information, visit www.museumoffire.com.au or contact the Museum of Fire on 02 4731 3000.

 

 

Ross Transport drivers Michael Odds (left) and Josh Ulbrich.

Up from the Illawarra

Penrith -Working -Truck -Show ,-Trade Trucks 25Ross Transport is heavily involved each year in the i98FM Camp Quality Convoy, so it was no surprise to see a few representatives from the company making the 45-minute trip from the Illawarra region to Penrith for this year’s Working Trucking Show.

Among the Ross Transport drivers were Michael Odds and Josh Ulbrich, both regulars in the i98FM Convoy. For Michael, who drove a four-year-old Western Star, it was his third time at the Working Truck Show, while Josh was a Penrith newbie.

Ross had a mixed bag of trucks on show, including a Freightliner Coronado 114 and a brand new Mack, the latter taking out the award for Best Interstate Rigid 2012-2015.

Both Michael and Josh were highly impressed with the show in general, and particularly the camaraderie.

"It’s good to see there’s a good range of trucks, and not only local blokes, but blokes who have come interstate," Josh says.

"Everyone’s willing to talk about different tricks of the trade."

Michael adds "Instead of just talking on the radio, you get to meet the people."

 

2015 Penrith Working Truck Show winners

Best Mack: Larson Earthmoving, 2009 Mack tipper

Best Mercedes-Benz: James Miller Transport, 2012 Benz curtain sider

Best Freightliner: Kingsfield, 2014 Freightliner tipper

Best Hino: Pay Specialized Transport, 2007 Hino pantech

Best International: Shane Cassidy, 1979 International prime mover

Best Isuzu: Ross Freight, 2014 Isuzu tray top

Best Kenworth: Anthony Lattore, 2013 Kenworth prime mover

Best Fuso/Mitsubishi: Pressfreight, 2014 Mitsubishi tray top

Best UD: Pettrans, 2008 UD prime mover

Best Peterbilt: Trout River Australia 1985 Peterbilt prime mover

Best Volvo: Mohan Freight, 1991 Volvo prime mover

Best Western Star: JR & DI Dunn, 2011 Western Star curtain sider

Best DAF: Megatilt Heavy Haulage, 2009 DAF tilt tray

Best Cat: Mulgoa Quarries, 2010 Cat tipper

Best Tanker Rigid: Raygal, 2007 Volvo tanker

Best Pantech Rigid: Red Lea Chickens, 2003 Hino

Best Curtain Sided Rigid 2012-2015: Greenway Turf Supplies, 2014 Kenworth tautliner

Best Curtain Sided Rigid up to 2010: Greenway Turf Supplies, 2000 Isuzu curtain sider

Best Tray Top Rigid 2012-2015: Pressfreight Distribution, 2014 Isuzu

Best Tray Top Rigid up to 2011: Metropolitan Towing, 2011 Hino tilt tray

Best Tipper Rigid 2012-2015: Raygal, 2012 Kenworth tipper

Best Tipper Rigid up to 2011: PJT Excavations, 2005 Kenworth tipper

Best Intrastate Rigid 2012-2015: Justin Duke Haulage, 2014 Kenworth

Best Intrastate Rigid up to 2011: Nigel V Verney, 2003 Kenworth

Best Interstate Rigid 2012-2015: Ross Transport, 2015 Mack

Best Interstate Rigid up to 2010: Lawrence Equipment, 1994 Kenworth

Best Tilt Tray 2012-2015: Metropolitan Towing, UD

Best Tilt Tray up to 2011: Davtrans: 2007 Kenworth

Best Heavy Tow Truck: National Tilt Tray Service, 2013 Kenworth

Best Concrete Agitator: Boral Logistics, 2014 Mack

Best Prime Mover 2012-2015: Justin Dukes Haulage, 2014 Kenworth

Best Prime Mover 2007-2011: Mezztrans, 2011 Kenworth K200

Best Prime Mover up to 2006: Australian Native Landscape, 1998 Peterbilt

Best Tanker Trailer painted: SNR Logistics, 2006 Kenworth

Best Tanker Trailer unpainted: Layanda Transport, 2013 Kenworth

Best Pantech Trailer 2012-2015: Cassidy Trucking, 2011 Kenworth

Best Pantech Trailer up to 2011: NRT, 2011 Kenworth Pantech

Best Curtain Sided Vehicle Trailer 2011-2014: SNR Logistics, 2006 Kenworth prime mover

Best Curtain Sided Vehicle Trailer up to 2011: JD Transport, 2009 Kenworth

Best Tray Top Trailer: Moulds Trucking, 1995 Kenworth

Best Tipper Trailer 2012-2015: MENC, 2014 Kenworth

Tipper Trailer up to 2011: Jeffsann Plant Hire, 2010 Mack

Tipper Dog/Pig Combination 2012-2015: Jeffsann, 2014 Mack tipper

Best Tipper Dog/Pig Combo up to 2010: Grimtrans, 2007 Kenworth tipper

Best Intrastate Trailer 2012-2015: Layanda Transport, 2013 Kenworth tanker

Best Intrastate Trailer up to 2011: Lawrence Transport, 1994 Kenworth

Best Interstate Trailer 2011-2014: L & L Moulds, 2013 Kenworth

Best Intrastate Trailer up to 2011: Ballinger Transport, 2013 Kenworth

Best B-train 2012-2015: Nigel W Verney Transport, 2012 Kenworth

Best B-train up to 2011: Lawrence Transport, 1994 Kenworth

Best Prime Mover & Low Loader: McDonald Freightways, 2006 Kenworth

Best Rigid Truck & Float: Mulgoa Excavations, Kenworth 2008 tipper

Best Old Working 1991-2000: Premier Plant Hire, 1997 Western Star tipper

Best Old Working 1981-1990: Mario Deguara, 1989 Ford prime mover

Best Old Working up to 1980: Mulgoa Excavations, 1978 Kenworth

Best Old Non-Working 2 tonne & under: Grimtrans, 1941 Ford flat top

Best Old Non-Working over 2 tonne: Michael Cassels, 1969 Mack prime mover

Best Specialised 2012-2015: GRS Towing, 2012 Kenworth tow truck

Best Specialised up to 2011: Trout River Australia, 1985 Peterbilt

Best Business Ute or 1 Tonner: Camsons, 2004 Toyota Ute

Best Crane: Debner Cranes, 2013 Terrex Crane

Best Total Rebuild: Raygal, 1993 Kenworth prime mover

Trevor Cuthell Memorial Trophy Volunteer: Richard Power

Best Traditional Paint & Signwriting: Ballinger Transport

Best Modern Art Paint & Signwriting: Megatilt Heavy Haulage, Volvo 2014 Prime Mover

Best Chrome: ANJ Transport, 2014 Western Star

Best Tipper Fleet 3-5 trucks: Mulgoa Excavations

Best Fleet 3- 5 trucks: Dawsons Removals

Best Small Fleet 3-5 trucks: Cassidy Trucking

 

Excellence Awards

Winston Haulage, 2013 DAF Tautliner

Thompson Bros Transport, 2014 Volvo prime mover

TJT Brancato, 2008 Kenworth prime mover

Fargo Transport, 1987 Kenworth prime mover

McDonald Freightways, 2006 Kenworth prime mover

Egan Transport, 2001 Kenworth prime mover

Blue Dog Haulage, 2008 Kenworth prime mover

Best Display – Trade: Muscat Trailers

Best Display – Transport: GRS Towing

 

Champions

People’s Choice: Potbury Haulage, 2007 Kenworth Car Carrier

Best Owner-Driver: Muscat Haulage, 2008 Kenworth Flat Top

Best Custom Super Truck: Ballinger Transport, 2009 Kenworth Prime Mover

Best Working Truck Of Show: Davtrans, 2007 Kenworth T401 

 

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