Used Truck: Howe Haulage's Mack Trident

By: Peter and Di Schlenk

Although tippers are known to get down and dirty, Howe Haulage’s Mack Trident is one of the cleanest rigs around Melbourne, thanks to Aaron Van Der Schoot’s meticulous maintenance. Peter and Di Schlenk write


Aaron Van Der Schoot is one truck driver who is generally sporting a big smile as he drives around Melbourne in Howe Haulage’s smart-looking Mack Trident and matching trailer.

Aaron can also be found at various Victorian truck shows with the rig presented in immaculate condition.

Earlier this year, Aaron attended the Tooradin Truck Show and Tractor Pull, along with his wife, Jessica and baby daughter, Annabelle.

He walked away from the show with the award for Best Tipper 3-8 years.

Before he seriously got into trucking, Aaron completed a diesel apprenticeship at the Hallam Truck Centre. That took four years and he stuck around for another year after that. The opportunity then came up for him to switch careers and employers, namely to Tony Howe at Howe Haulage.

"Tony has been a great boss and [has] taught me everything," Aaron says. "I had never done tipper work before but he showed me the ropes and has really looked after me."

Tony accompanied Aaron on his first day, completing a couple of loads before leaving him to go solo.

"I was happy with that but I recall being pretty slow and steady to start with," he says.

"I was cautious, I know how easily these things can fall over so I just worked with the other guys and everyone said that as long as I stayed on flat ground, watched myself and kept it straight, it would be all right. And it’s been all right."

Aaron now has nearly five years experience with tippers, doing demolition, carting rocks and rubble.

"We do pretty much any tipper work but specialise in demolition. It’s our main work and my Bis-Alloy tipper is perfect for the job, and Tony put guards on it to make it look better."

The Trident is an ex-Sargeant Transport truck from Ballarat and Aaron has been driving it for more than three years. The trailer is just over 12-months-old.

"The moment Sargeant got rid of it, we took it over and I fitted most of the stainless work. The boss wanted to paint it but I asked him not to, as I love the colour," Aaron grins.

"I am very proud of the rig, it’s what I have been taught in."

Aaron grew up with trucks, has always had a fondness towards them and it’s all he ever wanted to do.

His father, John Van Der Schoot, drove trucks and today six of John’s brothers are in the transport industry.

"We were all brought up around trucks," Aaron recalls. "I used to go to truck shows with dad, who was working for Frigmobile at the time.

"Going with Dad only encouraged me further; I was keener than ever. I knew that’s what I wanted to do."

Aaron says he received advice from a number of people, so he decided to get a trade behind him.

"I’m glad I did because being a diesel mechanic helps me work my way around everything and I know what to look for with any issues or problems."

However, the thought of interstate driving has never been an attraction for Aaron. With his wife and daughter at home, he prefers to be in his own bed every night. The exception is when he does road profiling at night.

"I like being home every night for them," he says.

"It isn’t the easiest work running around Melbourne, working on demolition sites, but it is great to get home and chill out every night."

The Melbourne traffic can be an issue but Aaron says he has become used to it. In his opinion, the traffic is the only downside to the job but it’s not enough to put him off. Fortunately, he is paid by the hour so he takes it as it comes.


There are 18 trucks in the Howe fleet, the majority being Mack Tridents.

There’s also a solitary Kenworth and a couple of Western Stars.

"Tony’s first R model has just been done up. It is up and running again and we will be taking it to the Sandown Historical Truck Show in November," Aaron says.

Aaron loves driving a good looking rig. One of the trucking lessons that his father taught him was to look after your gear.

"My old man said that your truck is a reflection on you. Hopefully everyone sees my truck and likes it."

Aaron’s rig is the only one in the fleet that is silver in colour. A real bonus is that anything Aaron has wanted to do to the truck, his boss has agreed to.

Another show on Tony’s calendar is Castlemaine, and he’s keen to return, especially as he knows his truck is well cared for.

"I hear that he gets phone calls from people that want to come and work for him because they see my truck,"

Aaron smiles. "They comment on how professional the rig looks; it’s like a moving billboard."

While Aaron served his apprenticeship around mostly Kenworth trucks, he’s more than happy to be behind the wheel of the Mack.

"I have found it very comfortable and haven’t had any dramas," he says.

"It’s a good truck to drive and the 470hp is more than adequate, especially when it’s empty some of the time."

"Being a highway-specced truck, it has a power divider but no cross locks.

I’ve got caught a couple of times and get pushed out and pulled out of a few tips."

There’s no issues when the truck is on show, however, and especially no need for a push or a pull.

"It’s great to be able to relax and catch up with other drivers and friends."

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