Heading north in a Kenworth T409 SAR

By: Peter and Di Schlenk , Photography by: Peter and Di Schlenk


Peter Ward’s life to date has been trucks all the way. He chats about his working week on north Queensland roads and the comfortable Kenworth T409 SAR he drives

Heading north in a Kenworth T409 SAR
Peter Ward followed his father into the trucking industry.

 

One of the benefits of being a long-haul truck driver is the opportunity to travel the nation’s highways to some of the far-flung corners of the country that many office-bound Australians never get to.

That’s the way Peter Ward sees it as he hits the road in a Marano Fuels and Oils’ Kenworth T409 SAR.

Peter is a regular driving up to Cape York including Weipa, Batavia, Croydon and Karumba.

"It’s beautiful country up here," he exclaims. "I love it."

Marano Fuels and Oils is based in Miallo, about 8km outside Mossman, north of Cairns.

When Trade Trucks caught up with Peter he was about to head off to deliver fuel to a sugar cane transportation company.

Peter has been driving for Marano for around 18 months. Before that he was with BP in Cairns.

"I’ve been driving fuel tankers for a while but drove road trains for 15 years in the west," he explains.

"I ran quads in Kalgoorlie and IES triples up and down from Mt Garnet, but this is the best … it’s a great job."

Generally August is one of his busiest months. The approaching Queensland wet season means ensuring Marano’s customers tanks are full before many of the roads up north become impassable.

"We work five days a week and we’re flat out for all of them," he says.

 

Peter -Ward ,-Kenworth -T409,-SAR,-Marano -Fuels ,-Queensland ,-Owner Driver2

The T409 SAR ready to deliver fuel to a cane company.

 

Peter’s SAR isn’t any lightweight delivery truck. It has been purpose-built to handle the gruelling conditions while carrying 36,000 litres of fuel.

"It’s heavy duty because if you go to Cape York, the corrugations on the roads are ridiculous," he says.

"You’re in bottom ’box doing 15km per hour; you have to drive to the conditions."

Although Peter doesn’t get stuck on the roads too often, it has happened. He spends an average of three days a week away and, if he’s marooned, the bunk is comfortable. To make things easier, an Icepak has been fitted.

On most days, however, the amount of concentration needed to drive on the far north Queensland roads is draining, so when he eventually puts his head on the pillow, he’s out to it for eight hours.

"There are so many dips and gullies up north," he continues. "You slow down for everything and drive steadily.

"The Kenworth is built well and is strong but if you push it, things do break."

 

 

 

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