Peter Thompson’s Rock-Solid Peterbilt

By: Steve Skinner


Impressive sights: The Rock’s Peterbilt. Impressive sights: The Rock’s Peterbilt. Impressive sights: The Rock’s Peterbilt.
Peter, Pete and family with a familiar face in Canberra. Peter, Pete and family with a familiar face in Canberra. Peter, Pete and family with a familiar face in Canberra.
Peter Thompson Peterbilt Rock Solid OwnerDriver2 Peter Thompson Peterbilt Rock Solid OwnerDriver2
Thommo’s Express family affair: Peter, Jess, Carolyn, and Jordan. Thommo’s Express family affair: Peter, Jess, Carolyn, and Jordan. Thommo’s Express family affair: Peter, Jess, Carolyn, and Jordan.
The Pete is like a small apartment inside. The Pete is like a small apartment inside. The Pete is like a small apartment inside.
That’s a long bonnet. That’s a long bonnet. That’s a long bonnet.
Peter Thompson Peterbilt Rock Solid OwnerDriver6 Peter Thompson Peterbilt Rock Solid OwnerDriver6

Peter Thompson’s Peterbilt is an ideal fit for an owner-driver who has twice helped move AC/DC on tours around Australia from his home base at the aptly named ‘The Rock’

 

The locals call it the "lion of the plains", a stunning geological formation that rises up from the surrounding grazing and cropping country between Wagga Wagga and Albury in southern NSW.

The Rock Hill towers over the small town named after it, which caught global attention in 2014 when legendary Aussie rockers AC/DC launched their 15th studio album Rock or Bust there.

Peter Thompson’s fleet of five Thommo’s Express’ trucks is based at The Rock.

So it was appropriate that Thommo should enjoy the privilege of towing a trailer full of concert gear for AC/DC’s ‘Rock or Bust’ Australian tour behind his rugged-looking 379 Peterbilt.

"I loved it," says the AC/DC fan, who adds the transport was well organised. "I met some nice blokes there."

Peter is referring to the other tow operators, however he did meet the band members while helping transport them around Australia during an earlier tour in 1997.

"They’re short fellers," he recalls. "They only come up to your shoulders."

In April, Peter met another celebrity in the form of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and yarned with him for about 15 minutes.

Caught up in the minimum rates mess, Peter was part of the truck convoy in Canberra on the eve of the abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.

Peter, along with partner Carolyn and daughter Jess, found themselves plastered all over the national media, along with the Peterbilt of course.

The Rock

Three years ago the trucking tragic achieved a lifetime goal in owning this great looking Peterbilt, manufactured in the United States in 2000 and converted to right-hand drive in 2007 by Frank Christie of Melbourne.

The big Pete is nearly nine metres long, with a 6.6-metre wheelbase supporting a massive 63-inch bunk with fridge, TV and cabinets.

It’s got a 14-litre Cummins N14 engine putting out 525hp (386kW) and 1650lb-ft (2240Nm) of torque; a 10-speed box about to be replaced with an 18-speed; and 3.7 Spicer diffs.

Peter says the engine is "brilliant" on fuel and reckons the truck rides like an armchair.

"You don’t feel bumps," he says. "You have to remember where it’s rough and slow down for the sake of the truck."

As well as touring work, the Peterbilt pulls a float at times and helps out with single trailer general and express work.

 

 

 

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook