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.

Big Kaitoa is efficient log tower

Plenty of power is the answer to getting logs out of the bush, and our Little Trucker Down Under Top Truck for Autumn 2023 certainly does not disappoint.

The big Scania V8 en- gine is popular with many drivers and operators across all areas of the transport industry, and this R730 that is driven by Steve Miles of Mamaku near Rotorua is no exception.

When Steve was ordering the new Scania for his employer Kaitoa Logging Ltd of Whakatane, he was looking for a truck that would have plenty of comfort on the rough bush roads, as well as ample amounts of horsepower and torque to get out of skid sites with a heavy load of logs on board, especially in the mud on rainy days.

So to tick the box on big horsepower and plenty of torque, Steve specified the Scania with the DC16 Euro-6 V8, this one delivering 730hp and 3500Nm of torque. Behind this is the 12-speed Opticruise automatic transmission, complete with 4100D retarder to assist with slowing the big Scania down on steep hills. Jumping into the cab you will find big comfy leather Scania V8 seats, as well as overnight air conditioning, microwave oven and fridge making trips away a breeze.

A real taste of Euro flare with an ‘Alucar’ headache rack protecting the big Scania cab.

Fitted to the chassis of the Scania to hold the logs in place there is Evans logging equipment and matching Evans 5-axle trailer, and when the sun goes down the entire combination is lit up with an impressive package of quality Hella LED marker lights.

Talking to Steve, we asked him, how did you get into trucks?

“Well, my Dad was a truckie and he would take me for rides on the weekends and school holidays so that got me hooked for sure,” he says.

“But it was funny at school though, my teachers would tell me off for looking out the windows instead of doing my school work! They would say things like ‘you will never get paid to look out a window’.

“Well, all I can say is, they got that one wrong! I get paid very well thanks for doing just that every day, looking out the window of my big Scania and loving every minute of it.”

‘Miles Ahead’– can definitely see for miles at night with its array of big ‘Hella’ spotties

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.

A cowbus from the Waikato

The Waikato region is well known for many things including the Chiefs rugby team, huge numbers of dairy cows…and it’s home to the Little Trucker Down Under Top Truck for Spring 2022.

This 2018 model Kenworth K200 Aerodyne is one of two trucks operated by Herring Haulage Limited of Morrinsville, right in the heart of the Waikato, working under the stunning blue, silver and bronze Nationwide Livestock Ltd colours.

Nationwide Livestock trucks are seen travelling all over New Zealand. The truck and its Jackson Enterprises five-axle trailer are fitted with matching Nationwide stock crates that allow them to carry two decks of cattle or up to four decks of sheep. Depending on the size of the animals, up to 600 sheep or 50 cows can be carried in a single load!

A Cummins X-15 engine produces 615 horsepower and gets the power to the rear wheels using an Eaton-Fuller transmission with 18 gears.

Many custom additions have been added to the Kenworth, ensuring it’s a real standout on the road. These include a painted diesel tank with nice line work on it, shiny stainless-steel air-intakes and a sun visor, plus a substantial polished aluminium bullbar, complete with the COWBUS personalised number plate.

If you see the big blue Kenworth cruise by, give the driver a wave – chances are, some cows are on board the coolest COWBUS around!

‘Nothing Fancy’... I don’t think so!

It’s big, it’s fancy, and it carries a special message.

For this issue we are in Australia for the Top Truck, in a town called Julia Creek situated between Cloncurry and Hugenden in outback Queensland. (Why not see if you can find Julia Creek on a map? Then you know exactly where this big truck comes from).

Julia Creek is home to Tim and Sheree Pratt Cattle Transport, a two-truck livestock hauling business owned by husband and wife team Tim and Sheree Pratt, with loads of extra enthu- siasm and support coming from their three children, Abbie, Sam, and Bronté. It’s a family affair!

You can tell the family has a great sense of humour because our poster truck, one of two Kenworth C509 model trucks they own, is called ‘Nothing Fancy’! That will be the day.

The big blue and white Kenworth runs a Cummins X15 motor producing 448kW (600hp), with an 18-speed manual Eaton Roadranger transmission behind it.

It needs all that power and all those gears, because hooked behind are three huge Haulmark cattle trailers.

The rear of the last Haulmark trailer with the hashtags directing people to the Dolly’s Dream movement.

The truck carts cattle all over outback Queensland and into the Northern Territory. To keep the 62 tyres – plus spares – rolling through the vast country, the Kenworth carries 2000 litres of fuel on the truck, plus an 800-litre tank of fuel on each trailer. This fuel can be pumped into the truck’s fuel tanks when it’s getting a little low. It also holds 300-litre of Diesel Emission Fuel (DEF), a liquid used to help the big diesel engine run nice and clean.

To make sure Tim gets the rest he needs out on the long runs, there’s a 60-inch sleep- er on the truck, fitted with an ICEPACK air conditioner. You can see this machine in the pictures, it’s the small square box behind the sleeper on the left-hand side. Its job is to keep the sleeper cool without the need to run the truck’s big Cummins engine. Handy!

On the back of the last trailer you can see the hashtags #speakevenifyour- voiceshakes, #dollysdream, and #doitfordolly. They are there because the Pratt family are supporters of Dolly’s Dream, a programme created by Kate and Tick Everett whose daughter Dolly took her own life as a result of bullying. The Everetts and supporting families like the Pratts, work to prevent bullying in all its forms, and encourage young people being bullied to speak-up.

What great people, what a great machine.