Bobbin' along

Check out these Bobbins Transport SAR Legend and K200 Kenworths at the recent KW Klassic, held at the Hawkesbury Showgrounds, Clarendon Australia.

This sharp fleet of silver and blue trucks are based out of Pambula on the far south coast of New South Wales.

Transporting general freight and refrigerated goods, they’re a common site hauling the Hume Highway between Sydney and Melbourne.

Truck show time!

The Historic Transport Museum Trust is a group of people dedicated to preserving transport history in the upper South Island. They hold a show each year and in early October I went out to Pigeon Valley, south of Nelson, to have a look at this year’s event.

When Dad and I arrived, the event was already in full swing and the grounds were full of trucks.

We made our way around the grounds and there was much to look at. Trucks of all different shapes and sizes, old and new, scrubbed clean and ready to be viewed.

Many local transport companies had put in an amazing effort to get their vehicles looking their best for the show.

Some trucks that really stood out to me were three stunning Kenworth Aerodynes, belonging to Austin Transport Services, that were polished to perfection.

Four heavy tow trucks were lined up down the back of the grounds. It was neat to be able to get up close to them and Dad explained how they recover trucks that get stuck or have broken down.

We also spotted a big red truck that looked quite old-fashioned. I asked Dad about it and discovered it was the first ever Hino to come to New Zealand, brought here from Japan, all the way back in 1960.

Later on in the day, we came to my favourite part of the show, the truck pull! Teams of three people from different transport companies competed to see who could pull a truck along a short road, in the fastest time.

I watched some epic pulls by teams from the local companies and organisations (even the New Zealand Army soldiers, who had brought their military truck to the show, joined in).

The winning team only took 17 seconds. As we made our way out of the grounds, I farewelled the awesome show. The Pigeon Valley Truck Show was not one to miss!

By the time you guys read this, the holiday season won’t be very far away. Have a good time with your friends and family. I plan to get out in a couple of trucks over the school holidays and I will tell you all about it next time.

Happy holidays,

Q & A with a Truckie

Blake puts on his interviewer hat and gets to know his truck driving Pop, Mark Close.

Q: What age did you start driving trucks?

A: 17, I’ve been driving for 39 years.

Q: What truck do you currently drive?

A: Freightliner Argosy.

Q: What do you currently cart?

A: Anything that goes in tipper trailers but mainly grain and fertiliser.

Q: What’s the worst load you’ve ever carted?

A: A load of wood without tipper trailers. It had to be hand loaded and unloaded.

Q: What type of trailers have you pulled?

A: Everything but livestock. Over the years I’ve pulled tippers, tankers, car carriers, flat tops and tautliners.

Q: Whats the best thing about being a truck driver?

A: Beating Kenworths with my Freightliner (he wishes, he knows I’m a Kenworth fan so he is just stirring me up!).

Q: What is the best thing you have carted?

A: Potatoes in the tipper because its a quick and easy load.

Q: What kind of training did you have to do to get your licence?

A: I had to go for a drive around town with a police officer. The day I got my licence I went on my first interstate trip.

Q: What’s the hardest thing about being a truck driver?

A: Having to anticipate what other drivers are going to do and dealing with caravans.

Q: What’s something most people don’t know about trucks?

A: It’s not like driving a car, they take a really long time to build up speed and a long time to stop.

Q: What is your favourite truck?

A: I had a 4800 series Western Star. That would have to be my favourite truck.

Catching up with Eden Haulage Ltd

The gold Eden Haulage trucks from Invercargill in the deep south with their bright graphics will be familiar to many Little Trucker Down Under readers. Milly McCauley catches up with owner Phil Collinson to find out more.

Who owns Eden Haulage?

Phil: Eden Haulage is owned by me, Phil Collinson and my family.

How long has Eden Haulage been in business?

Phil: Eden Haulage commenced in 2005 with one truck, it then expanded in 2008 into four trucks. The company progressively got bigger from 2012, by adding a truck each year.

Where do you have trucks based?

Phil: 12 of the 13 trucks run by Eden Haulage are based at the Invercargill depot, and one truck is based in Canterbury.

How many trucks does Eden Haulage operate?

Phil: Eden Haulage operates 13 trucks. Of those, 12 work every day and one older truck helps do any local jobs. Two trucks in the fleet are double shifted (when two drivers share one truck at different times of the day, allowing it to run for up to 24 hours a day).

What makes of trucks do you have and how many of each?

Phil: Eden Haulage has two Internationals, two DAFs, two Freightliner Argosys, six Kenworths and one small Nissan Diesel delivery truck.

How many people does Eden Haulage employ?

Phil: The company has 16 staff all together.

What type of loads do you cart?

Phil: A large part of the company’s work is fresh produce (vegetables and fruit). The remainder is cardboard packaging, seafood, groceries, timber and some general freight.

Where are the main areas you operate in around New Zealand?

Phil: Eden Haulage trucks operate mainly between Invercargill, Central Otago and Christchurch, however some of our trucks travel each week to Nelson, Blenheim, Tauranga and Auckland.

A pair of Kenworth Aerodynes travelling through Central Otago

What is your title at Eden Haulage and what are your responsibilities?

Phil: I am the director of Eden Haulage; I do everything from relief driving to dispatching. I try to do everything I can to support the business, from something as little as changing a light bulb, to meeting with customers to find out how we can assist them better.

Did you always think you would work in transport?

Phil: I always knew I would work in transport, all I dreamed of when I was young was to work for the rural transport company I happened to live next door to. The idea of a career in transport just made sense for me.

What’s your favourite thing about working in the industry?

Phil: The great people I meet.

What things would you like to see change for the transport industry over time?

Phil: I would like to see the industry be able to produce better money and better conditions to pass onto the people who drive the trucks.

Do you have a favourite truck in your fleet?

Phil: My favourite truck would be the C16 Caterpillar-powered Freightliner Argosy we bought secondhand in 2013. I thought it was a cool truck when its previous owners put it on the road.

What are the various positions in Eden Haulage?

Phil: We have an operations dispatcher, administration staff, metro deliverers/ loaders, relief drivers and a team of linehaul drivers.

What would be some advice you would give to any young people who want to start a career in transport?

Phil: I would advise anyone to listen to others, be a diligent worker and try to absorb all the information you can from people within the industry.

Can you tell me a fun or interesting fact about Eden Haulage?

Phil: Many of the trucks in the Eden Haulage fleet carry a Mr Potato Head picture and name on them, this theme is because of the large number of potatoes Eden Haulage carries.

This International Eagle was Eden Haulage’s first truck

Phil and Darryl Millar closing a curtain

Chocolate peanut butter smoothie

Smoothies are the perfect breakfast on the go or a yummy snack. Pour it into a drink bottle and it’s a great treat for the driver’s cab!


• 4 bananas
• 1/4 cup peanut butter
• 2 cups milk
• 2 teaspoons cacao powder or cocoa powder
• 1 cup ice
• 1 tablespoon honey


1) Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
2) Serve immediately.

The importance of vehicle maintenance

Making sure a truck is fit for the road is an important part of being a truck owner. Keeping up with vehicle maintenance is an important job for truck drivers and truck owners, and trucks are regularly put through inspections to make sure they are safe.

Keeping drivers and other people on the road safe is an important part of owning any vehicle - including heavy vehicles like trucks. Keeping a truck in good condition reduces the likelihood of accidents and keeps drivers safe. Safety inspections on trucks are carried out regularly and can include checks of:

• Airbags
• Tyres and wheel alignments
• Seatbelts
• Trailers
• Windscreens
• Headlights
• Brakes
• Fuel tanks
• Battery
• Exhaust
• Suspension
• Indicators


Popcorn cauliflower

A different take on popcorn chicken – this one uses yummy cauliflower, and is still crunchy and delicious!


• 1 cauliflower, cut into small florets
• 1 egg, lightly whisked
• 1 cup breadcrumbs
• 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan (optional)
• 1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)


1) Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2) Cook the cauliflower in a large saucepan of boiling water for 5 mins or until just tender. Drain well.
3) Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the egg.
4) Combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, and paprika in a large bowl. Add the cauliflower mixture and toss to combine.
5) Arrange the mixture in a single layer over the lined tray. Spray some oil (such as olive oil) over the cauliflower. Season with salt and pepper. Bake, turning occasionally, for 20 minutes or until cauliflower is golden brown and crisp.

Trucks on display

Gore in Southland is famous for its brown trout fishing – it’s a fact that Gore is the brown trout fishing capital of the world. But every Queen’s Birthday Weekend, the town’s next most famous thing comes to town – The Gore Truck Show.

This year saw the show swamped with around 130 trucks from as far afield as Christchurch. With 50 years of Mack Trucks being built in New Zealand, there were 38 of them on display and it was fitting that a Mack took out best in show with Nick Young from Southern Transport taking home the trophy with his very sharp Mack Anthem.

Lots of Macks for the crowd to admire

The show has been running since the late 1970s and has a very busy and committed committee with Rhonda Wilson at the helm running it, which ensures us that it will be around for a long time to come.

Yummy breakfast muffins

Nothing like a quick brekkie on the go when you need to jump in the truck and hit the road. Have a go at making a batch of these delicious banana muffins.

• 2 apples (grated, peeled)
• 150 grams butter
• 2 ripe bananas
• 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
• 2 eggs
• 2 teaspoons baking powder


1) Preheat the oven to 180°C (or 160°C fan-forced). Line a muffin tray with paper cases.
2) Put the grated apple and butter in a saucepan and cook for 5 minutes until nice and soft.
3) Peel the bananas, and mash them in a bowl. Put the cooked apple mixture in with the bananas, and then mix that with the flour, eggs and baking powder.
4) Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake for 20 minutes.
5) Allow to cool before serving.

The big T610 Kenworth

One rainy afternoon I jumped in the big T610 Kenworth with truck driver Matt from Steve Martin Contracting, and I was on my way to Nelson.

As we pulled away I could hardly tell that we had a load on – the truck boasted 600hp and we were carrying 30 tonnes of flour.

As we were leaving Christchurch, we didn’t know if we were going up the coastline or up the Lewis Pass, because the road could have been closed because of snow. But Matt made the call and we went up the Lewis Pass – the road hadn’t shut so that was good news!

Matt and Dustin carried 30 tonnes of flour on their trip

It was my first time in a T610 Kenworth. The truck does about 5500 kilometres a week. Steve Martin Contracting has four trucks. Matt said he has been truck driving for 22 years. It takes about one hour to unload and about 45 minutes to load the T610. Matt likes the truck’s power and it is a manual gearbox. Matt says he prefers black mud flaps over white mud flaps. My favourite thing about the truck was the cool green LED lights, which looked awesome at night.

Thanks Matt for taking me along for the ride, and to Steve Martin, his wife Robyn and the entire crew at Steve Martin Contracting.