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ATHS trucks into Echuca


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Big Rigs  /  September 14, 2016

Ring, ring, ring...


"Hiya Kermie, its Rossco. You coming up to Echuca?”

"Bet your whatsits! What's the weather like up there?”

"Cats and dogs. Predicted right through the weekend too. Place is like an ice rink. But she'll be right.”

And right is turned out to be.

By Friday arvo the rain had passed and stayed away for the duration of the show.

The 'ice rink' dried quickly in most places and was firm enough for trucks and pedestrians and most importantly, the dire weather predictions didn't deter over 150 intrepid ATHS members from turning up with the love of their lives - and in some cases their partners as well.

Des Walker from Nilma North has four trucks - all Diamond T's and brought his TNT liveried 630 to Echuca.

"I have all the good Diamonds - two 630's, a 531 and a 520 - the three best Diamonds they ever made. I am a fleet owner!”

Wife Julie is also happy with Desi's trucks. "He buys trucks, I travel.”

Rod Calleja from Bacchus Marsh turned up with a 1981 Mack Cruise Liner towing a 1971 McGrath trailer, both in mint condition.

Rod has owned the truck for two years and, as with his other 'toys' the restoration was done completely in-house.

"The truck used to belong to Paul Phillips from Cranbourne,” he said.

"It did market work. It's always been a local truck. I just like the look of it. It took a good six months to restore and is a beautiful truck to drive. Very comfortable, quiet and a pleasure to drive.”

Rod's stable also includes a Super Liner, a B-Model and a '71 Diamond Rio.

He is currently restoring an AB 184.

"It keeps the history of the industry alive. We enjoy it. We love talking to people and having a good time.”

Steve Braggs, better known as Braggsy has a new toy, a 1990 Freightliner FL112 with a 400 hp CAT below deck.

Has it still got 400 horses Braggsy?

"Four-hundred-and-twenty-five actually. She's ATAAC. That's Air To Air After Cooled to you, Kermie,” he said.

Steve got a call from someone who said, "Man, have I got a deal for you!”

The someone was Mick Anic from AdTrans who knew Steve was on the lookout for a big brother to share the love with his 1418 Benz, affectionately known as the Schnitzelburger.

"He offered me a deal I couldn't refuse. Probably taking the shine off the rest of his yard. The truck had been running around Melbourne for the last couple of years with no problems. She cruises at 100 clicks on 1400 revs so it's a very economical truck to operate, which suits my pension. It's a tidy truck.

"Now when I go out, I have to toss a coin as to which truck I'm going to take, or how much money I've got for juice. The old Schnitzelburger will live with me forever. It's the only truck I know will legitimately do 133 clicks through the Pilliga scrub.

"Both trucks are good gear to drive. The schnitzel Burger you have to work, with this you put it in top gear and go to sleep. There's nothing to do. It just bores along.

"I've called it Moonlight Gambler because I'm a great fan of Frankie Lane. Nothing to do with buying it from Mick on a dark night.”

Rick "Chocs” Hayman has also bought himself a new project in the form of a 1978 International Transtar 4300.

"This came from Western New South Wales. Old mate bought it down to the show for me here in Echuca, which saved me a run up there,” he said.

"The fella that owned it brought it in 1982 and ran it up until about 2008 which is a pretty good run! Mechanically it's reasonably good.”

The truck sports a 400 Cummins, 18 speed, 44's on Hendrickson two spring and pulled doubles with it, carting steel.

It needs a window up the top there. I think that's where the birds used to go in and out.

"It's got a decent bonnet on it. After the old cab-over I think I might put a flag at the front there so I don't touch park, although I've got the bar there should I need it.

"It'll be a tidy up rather than a ground up, a little bit of customising, just to turn it into mine. I think I'll put a bigger bunk on the back in the hope that I don't always sleep by myself. I'll also put a tribute on it to Warren Troy who owned it, Warren Troy was his name. He died earlier this year and we bought it off his young bloke. We will continue a tiny little bit of history for him.”

Know anyone to do the line work and scrolling?

"I don't know anyone who is any good, but there is someone who is half reasonable down at Teesdale. I think it's that Rick Hayman bloke.”

For what was predicted to be a wash out, Rossco Talbot and ATHS put on a ripper weekend, well attended by both trucks and the public.

Big Rigs will bring you some individual stories over the coming weeks.

Photo gallery - http://www.bigrigs.com.au/photos/photos-highlights-from-the-echuca-truck-show/44431/#/0


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