Used Truck: Adam's Kenworth T408 SAR


From farm trucks to hauling along the highways, Adam Lockett has been behind the wheel for most of his working life. And as Peter and Di Schlenk discover, he prefers his trucks clean and shiny.

Adam Lockett drives a smart Kenworth T408 SAR for Prezioso Transport of Morwell, only 150km south east of Melbourne. However, in Adam’s role, he is mostly away for five or six nights at a time.

Prezioso’s carry anything that can be blown out of a tank and Adam enjoys the variety.

"We cart cement, lime, salt, sand, clay dust; we even carry 7mm stones but that takes a bit of pushing out," he says.

"We cover most of the eastern seaboard plus a little bit in South Australia, but we’re regularly out in country Victoria and New South Wales. When the work is there, we sometimes base a couple of trucks in Queensland."

Adam has been with Prezioso for more than two years, making it close to the longest job he’s had. He says he usually likes to share himself around a bit.

"I don’t want anyone to miss out … that wouldn’t be fair," Adam laughs. All Adam has ever wanted to do is drive a truck. Living on a farm in Neerim, northern Victoria, he learnt to drive very early, driving trucks around the farm whenever he had the chance.

Adam applied for his truck licence the day he turned 20.

"With the exception of 12 months, I’ve been behind the wheel for 17 years now," Adam says.

Driving has taken Adam to every state in Australia with the exception of the Northern Territory. He’s done both express and general interstate, as well as local work and logging.

For a brief period, Adam owned his own log truck but couldn’t see the sense of a whole lot of work for little return. He got out of logging, stretched the T900 and fitted it with a sleeper and extra tanks.

"I had a local job lined up for it but that fell through and I ended up back on interstate which didn’t really turn me on anymore," he recalls.

"I sort of lost my way in the world, so I sold the truck — the biggest mistake I’ve ever made — and bought a big tree trimmer machine.

"I’d be sitting there having lunch seeing trucks go by and listening to the jakes and I knew I was doing the wrong job.

"Then the drought hit and farmers stopped spending money on extras like tree trimming. Things got pretty tight so I got out of that and went back to truck driving," he says.

"Some people drive trucks to make money and it doesn’t bother them what they drive. But I live and breathe trucks; it’s what I do."

DRIVING HOURS

While Adam knows his limitations, he says the new driving hours make safe driving difficult sometimes.

"We’re not stupid, we know when we’re tired and when we’re not," he says.

"Once after a weekend off, I left in the early hours of Monday morning but I was tired so I pulled over for an hour’s sleep because I knew I needed it.

"But according to my book I should’ve been right to go.

"The new rules are not very flexible. Sometimes you have a big week and come home Friday and the book says you should be tired. You’re not.

"It depends on the weather and what you have been doing.

"Right now it’s a matter of working with what we have but it’s not easy. I hear that the Western Australian system is more flexible and driver friendly."

Adam is very particular about the SAR’s appearance, which he has driven for the past 14 months.

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Prezioso’s original colour scheme was blue, and the evidence remained in a couple of Kenworths, including a T600, and a Volvo. After the first half dozen truck purchases, John Prezioso needed to add to his fleet in a hurry. The trouble was, they came in one colour — white.

Adam ended up driving the Kenworth after a former employee "pranged it and then he left".

"While it was getting rebuilt I learnt I was going to get it, so I approached John and we talked about painting it blue. He was pretty excited … a bit of a flashback."

All of Prezioso’s trucks are now scrolled and stand out on the road, but they’ve added a bit extra to the SAR. It has the drop visor, Klos old style guards behind the steer tyres and lots of stainless steel and lights.

"I am very passionate with all my trucks, even old trucks," Adam says.

"Years ago I ran out of points on my licence and had to work on the family farm, milking cows.

"My uncle had an old D Series Ford. I cleaned it up and painted the rims and wheel nuts. One of the neighbours saw the old banger tarted up and said to my uncle, ‘I see Adam’s home again’.

"If you have a passion for it, it’s what you do. Go the extra mile and do the job properly."

Kenworth SAR Size

Adam says his mates tend to stir him up about the SAR, saying it’s only a little truck. However, it beats them on the road, and is comfortable, easy to drive and has good visibility.

There’s a Cummins ISX under the bonnet set at 550hp (405kW), which is coupled to an 18-speed box.

"You can never have too much power," Adam laughs. "They should all have at least a 500hp (368kW) starter motor.

Adam says the 36-inch (91cm) integrated bunk is more than adequate. He’s not into the bigger bunks, and anyway, he says it’s just a place to carry more crap. All he needs is an area to stretch out to get comfortable.

"I carry enough bits and pieces," he says. "I do carry food because we get a lot of road jobs, carting product used in road construction and you might be sitting there all day.

"I have a little gas barbie under the bunk and I take a bit of tinned food and that sort of thing.

"I make my own breakfast — Coco Pops — the breakfast of champions," Adam laughs.

Adam loves nothing more than taking the SAR to truck shows and showing it off. Owner//Driver recently caught up with Adam doing a delivery in Traralgon. His sons, Connor and Harrison, had tagged along, and they’re both truck mad, especially Connor.

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"I’m trying to make him sick of it but I think I’m just fuelling the fire — he loves it," Adam smiles. "I have a daughter, Marnie, and baby, Indiana, at home with my gorgeous fiancée.

"They all love helping with the truck on weekends — maintenance and cleaning."

As well as the driving, Adam also enjoys tinkering with the truck when he’s at home.

"I’m always crawling over and under it keeping an eye on things," he says. "I get the best out of it when I’m driving so I like to know everything’s in order."

"John doesn’t mind spending a bit of money on the shiny stuff; he’s good like that," Adam says.

"He pretty much leaves me alone to look after the truck myself, and that suits me."

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