The Trucking World on Instagram

The Trucking World on Instagram

Here’s a quick look at the Trucking World on Instagram, with some great shots posted from around the country, by truckies and about truckies.

First up, there’s this stunning shot of balloons at sunrise in Casino, last weekend.

Casino #sunrise #balloons #hotairballoon #truckinglife #macktrucks

A post shared by Julie Duncan (@jduncanpics) on

This time it’s sunset, looks like it’s at Archerfield Truck Stop?

Yogi Kendall keeps popping up everywhere, this time it’s at the Casino Truck Show.

Yet another sunrise/sunset, this time in the outback delivering a load of hay on a triple road train.

Mystery Mack Truck

There is a Mystery Mack Truck on its way, to be unveiled in the US by the company on 13 September. Of course, these models will be for the US market only, but you can be sure the Mack organisation here in Australia will be there to see the unveiling and examining of the new trucks to see which items in the catalogue of innovations they will be able to introduce into the product built here in Australia. Read more

New Mack Launch, New Benz Unveiled, Diesel from the US and Show and Shine

This week on Diesel News we have a New Mack Launch, a New Benz Unveiled, Diesel from the US and Show and Shine on the agenda.

This video is one of a series of teasers being released by Mack in the US in the lead up to the revealing of the new range on 13 September. Of course, Australian Mack trucks are a different range. However, new features added into the US range will likely start appearing in the Macks here in Australia in time. Read more

Truck Sales Take Off, Flynn Liquidation, Isuzu Bullbars and Penske Expansion

The news in the world of trucks this week includes Truck Sales Taking Off, Flynn Liquidation, Isuzu Bullbars, Groeneveld Takeover and a Penske Expansion.

The latest sales figures released by the Truck Industry Council (TIC) suggest an optimistic trucking industry is starting to invest in more new trucks at the heavier end of the market. Although the light- and medium-duty markets have been relatively strong in recent years, the heavy-duty segment has been less dynamic. Read more

How to Buy a Truck

Around the time Mark Johnstone was first thinking about how to buy a truck, a local livestock operator in Surat, Queensland, wanted to get out of his business and move across to a sand and gravel operation on the coast. Mark took over the existing work, starting off with one double-deck trailer, soon to be joined by a second. Read more

Instagramming And Trucking

It would seem Instagramming and Trucking are a good mix. Here at Diesel News we like to see people in our industry making interesting images. Here we have big triples in the West, double tankers from Toll, cool matt paint job and classic Mack tanker. Read more

Around Australian Trucking With Instagram

Around Australian Trucking With Instagram

Diesel News has been looking around Australian Trucking with Instagram and found the truckies of Australia do know how to compose a good shot and show off their industry in the best light.

@micksammut I'm officially deaf #international #eagle #9900 #trainhorn

A post shared by lloyd (@mrtruckingcrazy) on

New FH13 540 to Towers Transport today #volvo #volvotruck

A post shared by Craig White (@bunks80) on

Old Dog, New Trick

It was an ‘old dog, new trick’ type situation when Queensland livestock operator Mark Johnstone was on a bit of an AMT learning curve with his latest truck. The prime mover the Surat-based business runs is a Mack Titan with a 685hp MP10 engine, driving through the M-drive automated manual transmission.

This is not the standard Titan model. Mark has had a 72-inch sleeper fitted to the truck, much bigger than the factory-fitted option. There’s 2,100 litres of painted fuel tanks on the chassis along with 260 litres of Adblue, but under the trailers there’s another 800 litres of fuel in the belly tanks. Read more

Outback Queensland Can Be Tough

Outback Queensland Can Be Tough

Handling any job in outback Queensland can be tough. Hauling cattle is one of the toughest. Mark Johnstone brings cattle out of the westernmost parts of Queensland and wouldn’t choose to do anything else. He told Diesel News about how he ended up in the livestock carting business.

 

Outback Queensland Can Be Tough

 

Directions to Mark’s yard are simple enough, ‘drive into Surat, keep driving straight down the main street and eventually you’ll end up in my yard’. Surat is a sleepy small settlement on the flat open outback of Queensland. The town lies 80 km south of Roma and 450 km west of Brisbane. It is an ideal jumping off point to cover cattle haulage between here and the far west of Queensland, up to 1200 km away.

 

Mark is full of stories about life on the road, still enjoying the life after 35 years as an owner driver. In fact, his association with the industry goes back even further. He goes by the nickname of Boulia, it is painted on the top of the prime mover. When he first started working for MacMillans Transport in Surat, sitting at smoko with the guys telling stories, he would always say, ‘when I was in Boulia’ and the name soon stuck.

 

“When I was nine years old, I was driving my first truck for Dad,” says Mark. “I loved them from an early age. Dad tried hard to dissuade me from buying my first truck but it didn’t work. I have thought about doing something else, you know, something where you’re home a bit more, but now, when I think about it, it’s all I know.

 

“When I first kicked off in trucks, I was pulling oil tankers. We carted crude oil from Moonie to Roma, there was a big refinery in Roma at the time. That contract got really big, we were running two trucks for CNW Drilling, it just blew out of the water, got bigger and bigger, they ended up with twelve trucks on the job, but I got out of it in the end.”

 

Outback Queensland Can Be Tough

 

The three and a half years on the tanker work were followed by eleven years hauling rigs around. This port of call was contracting for Neil Mansell in Toowoomba. The work involved moving rigs around the country from job site to job site.

 

“He was one of the best bosses I ever worked for,” says Mark. “He loves a challenge. We weren’t supposed to be pulling triples, but we did. No-one worried about you too much, in them days. All of the work was from Moonie to the west, it was a road train route but not for a triple.

 

Mark ended up having one of Mansell’s drivers driving his truck while he worked supervising the logistics of moving the rigs to and from sites.

 

Like all similar booms in work associated with the resources industry, there is bound to be a reduction in the amount of work going on, at some point. The rig moving business was no exception and Mark, understandably, felt vulnerable, as a single truck subcontractor.

 

As it happens, around this time a livestock operator in Surat wanted to get out of his business and move across to a sand and gravel operation on the coast. Mark took over the existing work, starting off with one double deck trailer, soon to be joined by a second.

The Trucking Twitterverse Unveiled

Growing Your Fleet

Once you start a transport business, and if it goes well, the big dilemma soon appears about growing your fleet. Operating from western Sydney, Barry Garousse and his partner Lisa run Garousse Refrigerated, a successful small fleet hauling an eclectic mix of freight.

Growing Your Fleet

As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Barry hadn’t deliberately planned to become a small fleet operator but as time progressed opportunities came up which enabled him to grow the business. For instance, once he had two semis working for Primo he decided to buy another trailer as a spare in case of a breakdown.

“I went to an auction with a plan to buy a trailer and walked away with two,” he grins. “Then I thought ‘what the hell am I going to do with the extra one’.”

He needn’t have worried though, not long after a call came from HNL, a refrigerated transport company that had taken over the IGA supermarket cartage contract at Silverwater. The upshot was Barry was contracted to supply two semis to do local and NSW country deliveries for IGA. This gave him the opportunity to realise what he describes as a highlight of his life, buying a brand new Kenworth T402.

“It was a real buzz to sit in the dealership with the salesman at the computer and actually design the truck that I wanted,” Barry enthuses. “You had the multiple questions: What air cleaners do you want?; What windscreen?; What interior?; How many gauges?; Do you want dual exhausts?; What chassis colour?; Do you want the flare kit?; What type of bull bar? 

“It’s such a good feeling when you actually get to choose and decide exactly how your truck comes off the production line. Going down to the factory at Bayswater to see how the Kenworths are put together was an amazing experience too. I took my brother-in-law and cousin so the three of us toured the factory and my cousin came with me in the new T402 when I drove it back to Sydney.”

The other truck he bought for the job was a new Isuzu Giga and while the work for IGA was consistent and formed an integral part of Garousse Refrigerated’s repertoire for some time, a massive jump in fuel prices post GFC rendered the job unviable.

“When I started there the price of fuel was $1.17 a litre and in a short period it went up to $1.80 which basically took away our profit margin for the work,” Barry explains. “So we had to make the difficult decision to sell the two trucks and downsize. HNL ended up buying the trucks and I still see the T402 running around today and think to myself ‘that’s my truck’.”

True to form, the downsizing didn’t last long as Barry soon spotted an opportunity to diversify into something completely different, bulk cement haulage.

“We ended up buying the Mack Super-Liner and started towing for Independent Cement in 2011. It was only nine months old with 90,000 km on the clock when we bought it – still like new. The trailer is a Kockums.”

Barry says the driver of the Mack, Bradley Kochel, who has been with him for five years, is one of the best drivers he’s employed. The truck is loaded out of Port Kembla and serves a variety of clients within NSW. It covers between 2500 and 3000 km weekly.

“Maximum payload with this work is critical so we have the truck on HML with the IAP which allows us to gross 46 tonnes on selected routes,” Barry adds.

In the meantime, Garousse Refrigerated continues to grow, working for new customers and picking up additional work opportunities, Barry says. “I love what I do and would not have it any other way.”