Used Truck: Black Hill Transport's Scania R480

By: Peter and Di Schlenk

Despite having the initials ‘KW’, Kelvin Williams along with his wife Jenny, prefer the cabover style of their pride and joy — a Scania R480. Peter and Di Schlenk write

Kelvin and Jenny Williams operate a family transport company in the Black Hill region outside Newcastle in New South Wales. Appropriately enough, they called the business Black Hill Transport.

Kelvin’s family history in the area goes back four generations, providing services to a wide range of industries over the years.

Over many decades, the family has been involved with a range of rural and resource industries including timber, sheep, coal and farm produce. The dependence on transport has always been a key factor for the family over many years.

Having been born and bred at Black Hill, Kelvin has seen many changes, from farming with his grandfather and uncle to selling produce with his father at the Newcastle Markets.

In the ’70s, Kelvin’s father suffered an illness which required him to take a back seat and in turn start another phase of the family business — the sale and distribution of produce to wholesale and retail customers such as households, shops and restaurants.

"Sizzler restaurants became a major customer, however, in 1991 our transport arm was strengthened when we lost Sizzler restaurants due to change of management which almost destroyed us," Kelvin recalls.

"This made us focus more in the transport industry. Little did we know the Sizzler restaurant closed in our area shortly after this change. Having all your eggs all in one basket is not always a good way to go as we found out."

Over many years, the family has owned a number of truck brands. Currently it has a mix of Hinos, Isuzus, Fusos and Scanias.

The pride of the fleet is a Scania eight-wheeler 8x2 rigid, which he says is a delight to drive. It has a 480 XPI motor, which performs well, and is fitted with air-bags and disc brakes front to back and literally floats on the road.

The truck boasts a number of creature comforts such as leather, wood grain, CD, DVD, TV, weight scales, fridge, freezer, on-board camera, sleeping quarters and more. The truck also features stainless steel fittings and a lighting system supplied by MVM Auto Electrical, which has an outlet at nearby Beresfield as well as St Marys in Western Sydney.

The rig has also been enhanced by a major paint job by Race Art depicting a trick image of the Scania Griffin and highlighting the company’s association with Elf Racing fuels and oils. The mural depicts cogs ripping out from the side of the truck with oil in motion throughout a trick display of checker surrounding.

Now three-and-a-half-years-old, the Scania has taken part in the annual Newcastle Transport Awareness Day since its completion and attracted many comments.

The 480 was originally destined for Kelvin and Jenny’s son, Chad. However, Kelvin says the 22-year old has left the family business to join "the dark side - having the love of Kenworth trucks and driving B-doubles interstate regularly".

Since turning its focus to transport work in the early 1990s, Black Hill Transport has focused on servicing the Newcastle, Sydney and the Hunter Valley areas, where the company provides a same-day service when possible. The company now has depots in Sydney and Newcastle, which helps support both intrastate and interstate clients. Through a reliable network of associated companies, Black Hill Transport has also established depots in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane.

In addition, the company is planning new premises at Beresfield, which will include increased warehouse space as well as a sales and distribution point for Elf Racing products.

Black Hill Transport has had a close connection with the company for six to seven years, initially distributing its products throughout NSW for its Sydney-based importer. It later added the racing products range.

"Since our commencement things have changed a bit and now we are only involved with Elf Racing products, which [is] now based in Melbourne and imported by Race Fuel," Kelvin says.‘"We still use Total and Elf products also in our equipment from the smallest to the biggest. With our association with Race Fuel, they have also involved us in their successful engagement of fuel suppliers for the V8 Supercars and other prestigious events throughout Australia last year and in years to come.

"Maybe as the business grows further into the interstate freight, we might be able to get our little lost sheep back," Kelvin muses. "I don’t know what will happen about the Kenworth passion as I have no love for them. I have KW initials and that’s as far as it goes."

Kelvin and Jenny’s other son, Todd, has directed his talent to the building industry although he helps out in the business from time to time.

"Tegan, our only daughter, is in her third year as a diesel mechanic and has a passion to also acquire an auto electrical trade, which may commence next year," Kelvin says. "Despite growing up with trucks, Tegan never showed an interest until a truck show some five-six years ago in Brisbane which started her dream."

Ironically, she works for Scania in its Newcastle branch.

Tegan and Todd are both training for their truck licence, which will help further in the family business when possible. Kelvin has been a long-time listener of John Laws and supports his motto, ‘Keeping the Dream Alive’, which is emblazoned on his trucks. Kelvin’s dream is to help as many people as he can through his business achievements and also charity work.

"We have helped raise a lot of money for churches, Rotary, schools, community projects, sporting events and personal sponsorships with talented achievers. We hope that we can continue this way into the future," he says.

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