Dawsons Down Under

Little Trucker Down Under’s Top Truck for this issue is truly trans-Tasman; it was built at Bayswater, near Melbourne and is owned by Dawsons Haulage of Baranduda in Victoria, and the driver, a Kiwi lad, began his driving career the North Island of New Zealand.

Dawsons Haulage runs a striking fleet of Kenworths, towing a variety of trailers from singles and B-Doubles to extendables (trailers that can lengthen out to 22 metres long) and road trains carrying freight all over Australia.

‘Olivia Rose’ is one of four C509 Kenworths in the Dawson fleet, however she is the only one painted in the striking metallic green colour – combine that with her polished tanks and bulbar, she’s certainly a standout out.

A 615 horsepower Cummins X15 engine and 18-speed Eaton Roadranger transmission propel the Kenworth, which can be seen anywhere from Victoria to the far reaches of Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia hauling freight.

Driver of ‘Olivia Rose’, Shane Mitchell, as a youngster spent hours riding around in trucks, learning the ropes and washing them before getting behind the wheel at the end of his schooling.

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

Serves: 3-4



• 2 cups dairy milk or alternative milk such as soy

• 6 tablespoons chocolate

• ¼ cup smooth peanut butter

• 4 tablespoons sugar

• 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1) Add milk, chocolate, peanut butter and sugar to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat.

2) Whisk constantly until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

3) Add cocoa powder and vanilla and whisk until completely combined and warm. Serve.


Hot Vanilla Milk

Serves: 3-4



3 cups dairy milk or alternative
milk such as soy

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Whisk milk and maple syrup together in a small saucepan.

Stir over low heat until the milk mixture begins to bubble.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.


Easy Peasy Chocolate Popcorn


• 12g popcorn

• 15g chocolate, melted


1) Put the popcorn on a baking tray and drizzle over the melted chocolate.

2) Put in the fridge to set for 5-10 mins, then get snacking!

Chocolate Cornflake Crackles


• 50g butter

• 100g chocolate, broken into chunks

• 3 tbsp golden syrup

• 100g cornflakes


1) Put the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a saucepan or microwavable bowl. Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in the saucepan over a low heat or briefly in the microwave. Allow to cool a little.

2) In a separate bowl, add the cornflakes. Pour the melted ingredients over cornflakes.

3) Stir the ingredients together gently using a wooden spoon. Spoon the mixture into 12 cupcake cases arranged on a muffin tray or baking sheet.

4) Put it in the fridge to set.

Easy rocky road


• 200g digestive biscuits

• 135g butter or margarine

• 200g chocolate

• 2-3 tbsp golden syrup

• 100g mini marshmallows or chopped up regular marshmallows


1) Grease and line an 18cm square brownie tin with baking paper.

2) Put the biscuits in a freezer bag and bash them up with a rolling pin until they’re broken.

3) In a large saucepan, melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup over a gentle heat stirring constantly until there are no lumps of chocolate, then remove from the heat. Leave to cool.

4) Take the biscuits, marshmallows and stir into the chocolate mixture until everything is completely covered.

5) Spoon the mixture into the lined baking tin, and spread it out to the corners. Chill for at least two hours.

6) Cut up into slices and enjoy.

A very special visit

Back in February, New Zealand was hit with some severe weather, including flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle, a tropical storm. Many parts of the country were affected, but especially the Hawke’s Bay, Coromandel, and Auckland in the North Island.

The significant weather events caused lots of damage to homes and businesses. One of the worst-hit areas in Auckland was in the west, Waitakere City, with lots of people unable to return to their homes around Muriwai, Bethells and Piha beaches, which got cut off from the rest of the city.

Trucks played a vital role in evacuations during the storms, moving debris and dirt from the roads and helping many families get to safety.

Some of the kids and teachers at nearby Waimauku School lost their homes and loved ones. As a special surprise, our friends at Burnett’s Transport & Earthmoving paid a special surprise visit to the school, with driver Mike van Ravenstein parking up the cool Kenworth in the playground! The kids got to climb inside and check out all the features – they even got to blast the airhorns!

Down the Coast

Hey Little Truckers, recently I joined Dad on a trip to the West Coast from Motueka to deliver some dolomite (a type of fertiliser used to keep the soil healthy) to a farm north of Westport.

We rolled out of Motueka shortly after 5am and headed down the Motueka Valley towards State Highway 6 at Kohatu in darkness.

As we crested the Hope Saddle, I was treated to a spectacular sun rise, which we managed to get a photograph of, out the rear-view mirror.

In Murchison, Dad topped the truck up with fuel and I was dispatched down the road to get us a hot drink each from the tea rooms.

When I arrived back a Centaland DAF CF was also at the service station, and we followed him south to O’Sullivans Bridge where the road to the West Coast begins.

The Buller River was at our side as we travelled through the Upper and Lower Buller Gorges towards Westport.

Hooking up the hydraulic line, which connects the trailer to the truck

Once through Westport, it was onto Waimangaroa (a small town about 16 kilometres north) where we turned down a side road just north of the town.

We met the farmer who was getting our load and he led us to his fertiliser bin where the trailer load was tipped off.

After unhooking the trailer, we took the truck load to a different bin a couple of kilometres further north of the first one.

When we returned to hook up the trailer, with Dad’s help I hooked up the air, electric and hydraulic lines making sure everything was connected properly before we drove off.

Reefton was our next stop, both bins were given a hose out to ensure they were clean before we pulled up alongside the loader.

Just over 38 tons of coal was loaded, we drove across the weighbridge to check the load weight was correct before having our half-hour break.

Once all the paperwork was sorted, we re-traced our steps back up the Upper Buller Gorge and onto Murchison, over the Hope Saddle and along the Motueka Valley to home.