I first became an owner driver in 1974, trading as W& K Holloway, with a 1963 English cab Atkinson which had a 150HP 6LX Gardner and 10 speed Roadranger. We towed for Clive Brothers Livestock, Vaughans and Stawell Haulage. Later I bought 2 pantecs from Brown & Mitchell, originally to cart Colvan potato chips, but really mostly fruit and general out of South Australia.
The MAN was my brother’s. It was theoretically 210HP, had a 12 speed pogo stick ZF box, was very comfortable, but slow.
My next truck was an MAN too, bonneted, no sleeper, and sadly no photos. I replaced the engine – or Steve Bailey at Stawell did – with a second hand, 2 stroke 5 cylinder UD, 240HP and it went like smoke. After a 3 week tour with Split Enz in 1976, Mushroom Records implied I could do more tour work with a better truck and I traded the MAN in on a 1973 White 9000 single drive with a straight six GM671 and 15 speed Roadranger.
In 1977 on my first trip West, I met my future wife and began running Perth-Adelaide.
Family came along. I gradually settled down to office work, WA Manager for Allstates Freighters, moved to Melbourne as Manager for Brown & Mitchell, a few years at Fleetxpress ending as National Admin Manager, Car Carrying. Then years on my own writing transport and business software, until in 1996 I was asked to join the guys forming Capitol Freight Management. That lasted a couple of years before I returned to long distance driving and, soon after, to Perth.
In 2004 I started with Brambles as a road train cement tanker driver, an industry – with an excursion of a year or so into ammonium nitrate – I was to remain in, driving for Dickson, Kalari and Pilbara Cement, until the beginning of 2018.
I drove ‘Buffalo’ for seven years, from new, for Pilbara Cement, towing quads grossing 152 Tonne out of Perth to Nifty in the Great Sandy Desert, out past Marble Bar (The Heaviest, Longest, Run in the World).