In Pictures: Albury Convoy for Kids

By: Tamara Whitsed


Lead truck, Churchill Transport’s 2015 Kenworth 909; followed by Truck of the Show, Dawson’s Haulage’s 2013 Kenworth 909. Lead truck, Churchill Transport’s 2015 Kenworth 909; followed by Truck of the Show, Dawson’s Haulage’s 2013 Kenworth 909. Lead truck, Churchill Transport’s 2015 Kenworth 909; followed by Truck of the Show, Dawson’s Haulage’s 2013 Kenworth 909.
Dawson’s Haulage’s 2013 Kenworth 909 was judged Truck of the Show. It was driven by Paul ‘Bassett’ Booth. Dawson’s Haulage’s 2013 Kenworth 909 was judged Truck of the Show. It was driven by Paul ‘Bassett’ Booth. Dawson’s Haulage’s 2013 Kenworth 909 was judged Truck of the Show. It was driven by Paul ‘Bassett’ Booth.
Travelling from Wodonga to Albury. Travelling from Wodonga to Albury. Travelling from Wodonga to Albury.
Greenfreight had nine trucks in the convoy. Greenfreight had nine trucks in the convoy. Greenfreight had nine trucks in the convoy.
Griffin, Ross, Milthorpe and Whiteley trucks. Griffin, Ross, Milthorpe and Whiteley trucks. Griffin, Ross, Milthorpe and Whiteley trucks.
Border Express was represented by five company trucks and nine subcontractors’ trucks. Border Express was represented by five company trucks and nine subcontractors’ trucks. Border Express was represented by five company trucks and nine subcontractors’ trucks.
Albury Convoy for Kids TT7 Albury Convoy for Kids TT7
CMV provided a new Mack Trident for the day — it was used to give children rides during the show. CMV provided a new Mack Trident for the day — it was used to give children rides during the show. CMV provided a new Mack Trident for the day — it was used to give children rides during the show.
An old Finemores Haulage International with a new Ron Finemore Transport Kenworth. An old Finemores Haulage International with a new Ron Finemore Transport Kenworth. An old Finemores Haulage International with a new Ron Finemore Transport Kenworth.
The Team BOC Freightliner. The Team BOC Freightliner. The Team BOC Freightliner.
Menz Kenworths in Albury. Menz Kenworths in Albury. Menz Kenworths in Albury.
The Greenfreight crew. The Greenfreight crew. The Greenfreight crew.
Ron Duncan travelled from Wollongong in the 2015 Mack Super-Liner he drives for Ross Transport. Ron designed the custom-made bulldog grill. Ron Duncan travelled from Wollongong in the 2015 Mack Super-Liner he drives for Ross Transport. Ron designed the custom-made bulldog grill. Ron Duncan travelled from Wollongong in the 2015 Mack Super-Liner he drives for Ross Transport. Ron designed the custom-made bulldog grill.
Hume Transport drivers — the company had 18 trucks in the convoy. Hume Transport drivers — the company had 18 trucks in the convoy. Hume Transport drivers — the company had 18 trucks in the convoy.
Terry Newey has driven for Hume Transport for 24 years. He drove a 2011 Freightliner Coronado in the convoy. Terry Newey has driven for Hume Transport for 24 years. He drove a 2011 Freightliner Coronado in the convoy. Terry Newey has driven for Hume Transport for 24 years. He drove a 2011 Freightliner Coronado in the convoy.
Andrew Iezzi and his son Xavier, seven, with the Western Star Andrew drives for Hume Transport. Andrew Iezzi and his son Xavier, seven, with the Western Star Andrew drives for Hume Transport. Andrew Iezzi and his son Xavier, seven, with the Western Star Andrew drives for Hume Transport.
Trevor Gray carts general freight in Scott Menz’s 1988 Kenworth T650. Trevor Gray carts general freight in Scott Menz’s 1988 Kenworth T650. Trevor Gray carts general freight in Scott Menz’s 1988 Kenworth T650.
Enjoying the family day are James and Bianca Stewart of Albury with eight of their nine children and a nephew. James drives this 2008 Kenworth K108 for Queensland-based KJETS. Enjoying the family day are James and Bianca Stewart of Albury with eight of their nine children and a nephew. James drives this 2008 Kenworth K108 for Queensland-based KJETS. Enjoying the family day are James and Bianca Stewart of Albury with eight of their nine children and a nephew. James drives this 2008 Kenworth K108 for Queensland-based KJETS.
Churchill Transport was awarded Most Impressive Fleet. Churchill Transport was awarded Most Impressive Fleet. Churchill Transport was awarded Most Impressive Fleet.
A crowd watches Derek Boyer pull Dawson’s Kenworth. A crowd watches Derek Boyer pull Dawson’s Kenworth. A crowd watches Derek Boyer pull Dawson’s Kenworth.
Volunteer John Oswald organised the truck show. Volunteer John Oswald organised the truck show. Volunteer John Oswald organised the truck show.
McGrory’s Transport. McGrory’s Transport. McGrory’s Transport.

Albury’s second Convoy for Kids attracted 140 trucks and raised funds for needy regional families. Tamara Whitsed enjoyed the family fun day

 

The Albury Convoy for Kids on October 4 made truckies feel proud to be truckies. Proudest of all was John Oswald, the humble coordinator of the truck convoy.

"I’m proud to be involved in the transport industry and to have the opportunity to help out the way we can," says John, who volunteers for Country Hope which organised the charity fundraiser.

"We’re raising money to help children that are very needy. And at the same time we’re helping other families to go out and enjoy themselves at a reasonable cost."

It was John’s suggestion which prompted Country Hope to organise their successful inaugural convoy in 2014.

He believes the family atmosphere has contributed to the popularity of the event.

Truck drivers are often away from their families because of the nature of their work, but the Albury Convoy was an opportunity for them to have a fun day with their partners and children.

The first convoy attracted 86 trucks and John hoped 100 would take part this year. But word spread further than he anticipated and the event drew 140 trucks from as far away as Wollongong and Dubbo.

They assembled at the BP truckstop at the Logic Centre in Barnawartha North, Victoria.

Celebrity strongman Derek Boyer started the convoy by pulling the lead truck, Churchill Transport’s 2015 Kenworth 909.

Churchill won the privilege at auction, combining with RC Metalcraft to place the winning bid of $2,000.

From Barnawartha the 140 trucks travelled along the Hume Freeway to Wodonga.

They followed the old Hume Highway through Wodonga and crossed the Murray River on the Lincoln Causeway.

In Albury they travelled down Dean Street, stopping in the CBD so Derek could again prove his strength.

The trucks then returned to the old Hume Highway and followed each other to the Albury Showgrounds.

Most of the trucks were working vehicles, but there were also several restored classic trucks including Finemore Haulage’s 1966 AB180 International. Several trucks were manufactured in 2015.

Located where the Hume meets the Murray River, the Albury-Wodonga region is home to many drivers, owner-drivers and transport companies.

Regional fleets were well represented including Dawson’s Haulage, Churchill Transport, Hume Transport, Greenfreight, Ron Finemore Transport and McGrory’s Transport.

John has worked for Border Express for 18 years and was pleased to see five company trucks and nine subcontractor trucks in the convoy.

The fleet trucks stopped several times during the convoy to regroup, adding to the spectacle enjoyed by the hundreds who lined the streets of Albury and Wodonga.

 

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Impressive Fleet

Churchill Transport of Holbrook was awarded Most Impressive Fleet. The prize is a staff barbecue, with John volunteering to cook the meat.

"I’ll be going to their depot and I’ll cook up a barbecue lunch with them and their wives — and that way, once again, the whole family enjoys themselves," John says.

Judges chose Dawson’s Haulage’s 2013 Kenworth 909 as Truck of the Show.

Driven by Paul ‘Bassett’ Booth, the 909 towed the Country Hope trailer in the convoy.

The large crowd voted for the People’s Choice category which was won by Hume Transport’s 2014 Western Star 4800.

The Western Star stands out in the fleet because it is painted blue in celebration of the transport company’s 40th anniversary. Les Brown drives the truck between Melbourne and Sydney.

This year the truck show-and-shine took place on the Albury Showground’s centre arena where trucks were admired by the thousands who passed through the gates.

CMV Wodonga provided a new Mack Trident for the day and it was used to give children rides during the show.

Strongman Derek entertained the crowd by pulling a Dawson’s Kenworth.

Other activities included wood chopping, dancing, market stalls, helicopter rides and live country music.

Trucks were the main attraction, but a car and motorbike show was also a crowd pleaser.

Admission was free for children under 16, and the 140 trucks seemed to be outnumbered by prams.

 

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Family Day

James and Bianca Stewart attended with eight of their nine children. Aged from eight months up to 13 years, the kids gave the family fun day the thumbs up.

They enjoyed the rides, but James says they were just as excited about the trucks.

"They’re truck crazy, so that was enough for them," he says.

James drives a 2008 Kenworth K108 for KJETS and, with help from his family, polished it up for the convoy.

He is on the road five or six nights a week, and was glad to be able to attend the family-friendly event with Bianca and the children.

Andrew Iezzi and his son Xavier, seven, have attended both Albury Convoys and intend to continue the father-and-son tradition.

Andrew drives B-doubles for Hume Transport and drove a Western Star in the convoy.

John Oswald was grateful for support from local business.

"It’s amazing how these people put their hand in their pocket to help you out."

Last year’s convoy raised more than $10,000 and organiser Nikki Grae from Country Hope is confident this year’s tally will be even higher. Funds raised will be divided between Country Hope and Give Me 5 for Kids.

Nikki says the region’s trucking community should feel proud of their contribution to Country Hope and Give Me 5 for Kids.

"It’s important to get behind the charities that support our local sick kids and their families," she says.

"Our local trucking community has been amazing and the support they have shown us leading up to and at the event has been spectacular."

Country Hope has received positive feedback from the event and would like to hold a third convoy.

"But to achieve this we need help," Nikki says.

"We ran on a very small committee of around four people, and luckily had some volunteers on the day. We are looking for a committed team of people to run the event."

Details of the next convoy will be posted on the Convoy for Kids Facebook page.

 

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