Polished performances at Bathurst 2022

Chancing a break in the rain organisers of the 2022 Dane Ballinger Memorial Truck Show pushed ahead with the popular event, attracting trucks, owners and drivers from all around the country

Inclement weather caused the number of pre-registrations for the 2022 Dane Ballinger Memorial Truck Show to be lower than the previous running of the event. The flip side of this was it made life a lot easier for chief parking officer Jamie Woods from Bondwoods Transport. Jamie spent most of the Friday, November 18 and the morning of November 19 marshalling trucks into the staging area.

With fewer entries it meant he had more space to position the trucks in photographically pleasing positions. I’m pretty sure staging the trucks so all of us ‘truckarazzi’ could get good photos wasn’t his main goal, but it was a happy by-product and was well appreciated.

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One of the great things about the Dane Ballinger Memorial Truck Show is something I just mentioned in the previous paragraph. While the show itself is on the Saturday, a large majority of the trucks get staged up in the showgrounds on the Friday afternoon and evening. There are several rationales for this.

I believe the main reason is to allow us truck enthusiasts more time to snap photos of some ultra-cool rigs, however the truth is it has a lot more to do with the Bathurst Outdoor Expo and Christmas Markets. That is the other event running concurrent to the truck show at the same venue.

McSweeney Transport rolled in on the Friday with their eye-opening fleet of custom Peterbilts

Although it doesn’t start until 10am on Saturday, there are people flocking to the showgrounds at ungodly hours of Saturday morning so many of the trucks enter the venue on Friday. This means there’s less congestion at the showground’s front gates and there is also less chance ‘Joe Public’ will do anything that offends the health and safety people.

The added bonus is the trucks get to park up and finish polishing on location. It also allows for a pretty cool Friday night lights show.

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Roll on Saturday and the official 2022 Dane Ballinger Memorial Truck Show. As mentioned, the numbers were down but the quality was damn hot and next level.

There were trucks from all over the place. Chief parking officer Jamie had come down from Brisbane with several of the Bondwoods Transport trucks. There was the always-stunning Winston Express fleet from Sydney, as well as some classic old trucks from both local and intrastate.

Lawrence Transport’s Daniel Vince putting the finishing touches to the outstanding T610 that he drives

As in previous years the support from local companies was just phenomenal. DA Campbell Transport were out in force with its stunning Kenworths with a special mention of the company’s DAF. You can never go past the Ballinger Kenworths either, while Oberon-based Mangan Logging had a fantastic display of hard-working loggers. Those trucks were a particular favourite with the kids.

While I have taken the time to mention a few of the bigger names I would like to ‘shout out’ to all the trucks there. Considering the atrocious weather leading up to the event and the difficulties faced in our industry at the moment, seeing so many people from big and small companies turn up was fantastic. I should say it wasn’t just ‘turning up’, it was turning up in stunningly prepared trucks.

Heath Painting, Doug Brimelow, Chris Watkins and Jono Anderson, all part of the Chris Watkins Furniture Removals Crew. The company picked up prizes for Longest Distance, Best Interstate up to 2018 and Best Western Star

We were extremely lucky with the weather; you could not have picked a better day for the show. There were trade stands galore where I was able to pick up more gear I didn’t know I needed. The very talented artist Brett Sullivan had made the journey up from Victoria and had his collection of shirts and prints for sale. Bruce Gunter and his Copy Southbound podcast team were there. But as popular as his podcast is, it now seems to be his restored Max Keogh Kenworth that is the main drawcard these days.

If you were fully stocked with shirts, logbook covers or truck embroidered cushions and you needed a change of pace, that’s where the Bathurst show shines. You simply walk out of the oval and into the Outdoor Expo and Christmas markets. Personally, I didn’t need any ornamental Christmas lampposts, nor any wooden chopping boards or leather dog collars. However, I did manage to pick up an amazing chef’s knife and some outstanding Jerkymite Jerky. True story, vegemite-flavoured Jerky.

The justified winner of this year show was this stunning Superliner from Freightlinx

All in all, this was my third Dane Ballinger Memorial Truck Show and I still put it as one of my must-see events. The hardest part of the whole day is waiting around until 2.30pm to hear the judges’ choices. The Best Kenworth is always the most difficult to judge in a land of immaculate Kenworths.

There are two major prizes, one of which is Sam’s Choice, the winning truck picked by the late Dane Ballinger’s eldest son Sam. For the 2022 show he chose the stunning Kenworth T909 from Haran Haulage.

The JDN Transport team: from left, Joseph Corte, Joe Grima, Sean Finnigan, Lachlann Lenz, Joe Corte and Candice Brown

The other top prize is of course the Dane Ballinger Memorial Prize for Truck of the Show. The 2022 trophy went to Freightlinx with their stunning 100-year anniversary Mack Super-Liner. The spectacular Super-Liner is a rolling tribute to our fallen servicemen and women and carries the number plate LESTWE. The Bathurst show was actually the first truck event the big Mack had been entered into, so it’s batting pretty well – one win out of one.


RELATED ARTICLE: A look back at the 2021 Bathurst Truck Show


Trophies and prizes aside, it was a fantastic day. Lots of shine, loads of smiles and more than a few dagwood dogs.

I shall wrap it up by blessing my lucky socks once again. Mother nature held off just long enough for all those stunning trucks to show off their shine and allowed everyone have a perfect day.

For more on the 2022 Dane Ballinger Memorial Truck Show at Bathurst, NSW, grab a copy of the January 2023 print edition of OwnerDriver.

Photography: Warren Aitken

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