Rusty's old International

By: Steve Skinner


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Dennis ‘Rusty’ Radburn’s 1974 D1910 International has sentimental significance for the NSW south coast operator, writes Steve Skinner

 

Dennis Radburn has been a truckie all his life, and before him his late father Russell was a truckie from the age of 17. In turn third-generation Radburn truckie, Damien, now runs Kerden Haulage from its base at Nowra on the NSW south coast.

Spanning the three generations is this lovely looking old D1910 International, which believe it or not was a highway hero in its day.

Dennis and Russell used to run similar old Inters, but this one was recently restored after being bought from a bloke at Coffs Harbour on the NSW north coast.

The emotional tie comes in with the personalised rego plate – RR 2157 – which belonged to Russell Radburn, the first ‘Rusty’ in the Radburn lineage. Russell was a single-truck owner-driver all his career.

 

Labour of love

The 1974 D1910 was restored in Kerden Haulage’s own workshop, after being stripped back to the chassis rails.

It boasts a 392 International V8 engine, which equates to 6.4 litres capacity in metric lingo. Power in these old bangers was about 190hp (140kW) with torque of about 300ft-lb (407Nm).

That’s not much to be pulling a bogey trailer by current standards, but the single drive classic is only rated to 24 tonnes GCM (gross combination mass) anyway.

Not that the Inter pulls its Loadmaster trailer much. The combination has been to the Penrith Working Truck Show, the Sydney Classic and Antique Truck Show, and the Clarendon Classic. Rusty is gearing up for next year’s Haulin’ the Hume, along the old Hume Highway between Sydney and Yass.

The prime mover does a little bit of yard work if necessary, but Rusty avoids even that. "I don’t want to get it dirty," he declares.

There’s a lot of other gear in the Kerden fleet, which boasts 30 prime movers – mostly Kenworths, including a new T950 ‘Legend’ – and 54 trailers in a wide variety of types since the company diversified from specialising in brick cartage.

Rusty started the company with a single truck in 1992, with his wife Kerry – hence the name ‘Kerden’. The couple have been together since they were 14 years old.

Kerden does everything from interstate line-haul with depots in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, to local work around the south coast and southern tablelands. Trailers include tautliners, flat-tops and high-cube tippers.

 

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Partners in life and in trucking: Dennis and Kerry Radburn.

 

Rusty recently turned 64 and still works every day except Sunday.

"Everyone says what a hard industry it is, but I think if you put in the hard yards you get the return out of it," he says. "It’s a 24/7 thing, you never get away from it."

Wife Kerry has also always worked in the business, and has truck and forklift licenses to prove it. "I’ve never whinged about any of it," she adds.

Damien’s wife, Stephanie, is following suit in helping her husband run the business.

And now there could be a fourth-generation Radburn truckie in the making.

"Our granddaughter Imogen sits up with Damien," Kerry says. "She loves it."

 

IN BRIEF

NAME: Dennis ‘Rusty’ Radburn

COMPANY: Kerden Haulage

TRUCK: 1974 International D1910

ENGINE: International V8 392 (6.4 litre)

TRANSMISSION: 5-speed Fuller

REGULAR RUNS: Shows and yard horse

 

 

 

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