Ken Scott's can-do attitude

By: Peter and Di Schlenk


After nearly five decades on the road Ken Scott has a few regrets, although he’ll never go back to a manual ’box after being introduced to Mack’s 12-speed mDrive auto

Ken Scott's can-do attitude
Ken Scott is nearing 50 years on the road.

 

With 47 years of interstate truck driving under his belt, Ken Scott could be classed as one of the veterans of the highway.

Ken drives for Pross Haulage of Murray Bridge, South Australia, and his runs take him all over Australia.

"I get paid to see Australia and generally have two or three trailers swinging on the back," Ken says, following a trip from Adelaide to Cairns, down to Brisbane and across to Perth.

"I go anywhere and everywhere and I prefer that, except the eastern seaboard.

"I mainly do Queensland, the Northern Territory and over to the west, mostly with road trains."

There are four trucks in the Pross fleet – two T908 Kenworths, a Western Star and a two year-old Mack Super-Liner which Ken drives. 

Unfortunately, Ken’s last truck burnt to the ground, five kilometres out of Tennant Creek during Christmas 2015. That truck was 600hp Cat-powered Western Star.

"An electrical fault caused the fire," he recalls. "It went really well and, while the horses weren’t quite as strong, I’ve got 685 of them this time around."

 

Ken -Scott ,-Mack ,-Road -Train ,-OWD3

A fiery end to Ken’s previous drive, a Cat-powered Western Star.

 

With an automatic gearbox in his current rig, Ken says he's never going back to manual.

"It’s a 12 speed and I wouldn’t go back to a stick," he says.

"It should have happened years ago. I’d get lost with a manual gearbox now."

And Ken would know a bit about driving manual, having started as a 21 year old in 1969.

He joined the industry through friend, Doug ‘Slip’ Little, who not only talked him into driving but was instrumental in getting him his first driving job.

"I was 21 I think and my first interstate trip was from Adelaide to Darwin, up the middle on the dirt road," Ken recalls.

"It nearly broke my heart. I was out in the dirt and thinking ‘what the hell am I doing out here?’

"It certainly was an experience in 1969. The truck was an International C160 with a 160 Cummins engine and 5x2 gearbox. It was single drive, pulling a bogie axle trailer."

 

Ken -Scott ,-Mack ,-Road -Train ,-OWD2

Ken Scott and his Mack Super-Liner.

 

Over the journey he says he's made many friendships but believes the fellowship among drivers is not the same as it is now.

"There were good people and good mates," he says. "You would stop for a leak and have half a dozen trucks pulled up checking that you were alright.

"Now, if you’re broken down they will run over you.

"I think it was better back then, there wasn’t the pressure there is now.

"Admittedly, today you have to do the miles so the trucks have to be better. With limited driving hours, you have to make a mile when you can."

 

In brief

Name: Ken Scott

Company: Pross Haulage

Truck: 2013 Mack Super-Liner

Engine: 685 Mack

Transmission: 12 speed auto

Freight carried: General

Regular run: Top and western half of Australia

 

 

 

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