Outback Explosion

Always good to hear from the other side of the world even if it is a quickie. Ex HC Wilson’ Sunnis Martin Minshall is these days trucking about over in Australia. Ozzie trucks always look like they have done or could do a good days works, this one looks to have done a good few days work judging by the little bit of road dirt!!

This Kenworth does do a fairly impressive job. Marginally less hazardous in the wet season perhaps but even so carrying 52 tons of explosive emulsion is not for the faint hearted. This 2 trailer trip was Queensland – Northern Territory – Queensland. Thanks for pics Martin, looking forward to the next snippet.

South West England to South West Australia

You’re young, You’re truck mad, your dad’s truck mad, you drive a truck, your dad drives a truck, but you live in Taunton. Not exactly the home of UK trucking or indeed road train trucking, so what do you do??……. Yep that’s right, head off to warmer climbs where big trucks roam free across the endless expanse of dirt tracks, tarmac, desert, rainforest and what ever else is in between, you guessed it, Bristol sorry, sorry I meant Australia of course! If you want to see some big trucks and get to work with big trucks why not do as our man in Kangaroo country has done and sign up for a farming team in Oz. Young Jack Rigby is truck mad, having an owner driver for a dad, did Jack ever stand a chance of having a career doing anything else? No of course not, every Owner Drivers child wants to grow up like their dad don’t they???

Not scared of a gear stick like many new/young drivers are, or indeed hardwork, Jack has been hard at it with his team harvesting Australia’s crops and getting to ride and also drive some absolute beauties. As is the case these days in Oz, there seems to be a real mishmash of American type and European type trucks. Luckily for Jack he’s tried all of them and none better than the triple trailered Kenworth above. The beauty of this all is that Jack can utilise both his agricultural skills and truck driver skills all in one. Just listen to that engine grumble away, you can virtually feel the ground shaking as she picks up speed. Time to give Jack a pat on the back with those gear changes, as you may have noticed he’s not using a clutch pedal. As Jack is at an age of post gear lever trucks here in the UK it’s nice to see a young whipper snapper with such great skill. I think just one little missed gear is perfectly acceptable considering.

Lots of European trucks over in Oz these days. Traditionally big American trucks have always been most popular but these days it seems to be much more of an even split between American and European trucks. The team Jack is working with are clearly fans of European trucks as they have a good number of Volvo’s and some ageing Scania’s still in use. If I know Jack a little then he’ll be keen to try as many as he can and hopefully he’ll collect enough photos and tales of the Australian roads and farming that he’ll write some blogs himself when he is back in Blighty. Due to licensing the tidy Volvo below with a single trailer is one of Jacks regular seats.

My Best Truck of 2014

For me this is the best truck I have seen in 2014. It might not be the newest, it might not be most practical for most of Europe and it certainly won’t be everyones taste but for me, spot on.


If you live in the UK and haven’t been to one I strongly advise that you make 2015 your first trip to a European truck show, the standard of trucks is amazing. I can’t deny that the trucks here in the UK are getting better and better but the Europeans just seem to have it right, they all look good. To me the best trucks have always been out of reach of what I could afford or achieve and the T560 is no different. We all joke about winning the lottery but a Tcab would be very close to the top of my list. It’s blue, it’s got two sets of pipes, it’s got a subtle custom interior and enough lights to make it look good but not over the top. As with anything I would make a few subtle changes as I’d want to put my mark on it.


2014 has seen a big rise in the blogs popularity through all mediums, the Facebook page, twitter and the good old fashioned http://www.truckblog.co.uk website. I’m not going to link to any of those this time round as I’m sure you all could do with a break from the ruthless links and plugs for the blog. I have no idea where the blog will be in another 12 months, hopefully you’ll all still send me stuff, photos, info and the odd piece of trucking memorabilia to decorate TBHQ and I’ll keep bugging the TV companies in the vague hope they’ll see that we need Truckblog TV!

Hopefully I’ll be visiting, Truckfest Peterborough, Crowfield Truck Rally, Gathering of the Griffin, Retro Truck Show at Gaydon, more than likely (and hopefully) Truckstar Festival at Assen as my foreign trip, although I have heard on the grapevine that there is quite a convoy of English motors heading to the International Trucker & Country Show held at Interlaken, CH. I have always wanted to go James?? Finally if the offer is still there then I might just make it to Belfast too.

Anyway thank you for following and thank you for making the blog what it is, without your contributions I’m sure you’d all be bored silly of 143’s, MAN TGL LX’s and Mercedes-Benz photos! As we all do secretly say now and again Keep on Trucking!


Queen of the Outback


What an awesome looking rig! I think Australian trucks looks more imposing than the Americans, as in general the cabs sit higher due to the nature of some of the roads and tracks across the outback. This K’whopper is driven by a trucking mad woman called Clare. Last night I was Tweeting into the future and Clare was tweeting into the past. It was getting on for midnight Saturday night here in the UK but it was early Sunday morning down in Australia. I was lazing on the sofa watching the TV while @clarebear455 was trucking along some where 1200km north of Perth in Western Australia, the wonders of modern technology! Clare drives and polishes the gorgeous looking KW for her boss and who can blame her with such a fancy looking rig. The road train is powered by a 650hp Caterpilar power plant, pulling 3 articulated trailers, weighing in at approx 135,000kg and around 55 metres long, at this size Clare can still truck along at 100kph. Here in the UK it’s a different world entirely, max length is 18.75 metres on a drawbar (rigid truck with a trailer), 44,000kg on 6 axles, limited to 89kph. I know where I’d rather be, I’d happily swap 1000 cars on the M25 for 1000 kangaroos! If your on twitter follow Clare by searching for; @clarebear455

Self Tipping Task

Tasker - Bradford to Australia!!

It must be something that others drivers can only imagine, a trailer that you can truly tip yourself. Turn up where ever and just get on and tip, no waiting for a forklift, no waiting for loading bays or for the truck in front to move, just find your space an start unloading. This trailer is know as a recovery trailer in the business, although HC Wilson do utilise its capabilities to do specialised jobs, such as this. You have a specially built trailer that is destined for a customer in Australia and its not designed to run on UK roads and you don’t want it to run on UK roads you need some one who can load and deliver said trailer. Bring in a semi low loader trailer with a hydraulic fold neck and Robert is your mothers brother. As clearly displayed by HC Wilson’s top subbie MW Tasker (p.s. displayed on this occasion by a rather splendid R560 V8 Scania!).

Tasker - Bradford to Australia!!

1) Trailer dropped and after pressing the button the neck folds flat to the ground creating a very handy loading ramp.

Tasker - Bradford to Australia!!

2) Reverse tractor unit up the “loading ramp”. Adjust tractor unit front and rear suspension and hook up to the Ozzie tanker.

Tasker - Bradford to Australia!!

3) Drive carefully off the fold neck and Voila! Unloaded easily and with no sign of the usual loading bay jobs worth who is there just to make your day!!

Tasker - Bradford to Australia!!

Tasker - Bradford to Australia!!

As it goes I think the outfit looks pretty dam cool! I can see Tasker pulling this along the dusty highways and byways of Oz. The only bugger being its only one trailer, i’m not sure if there is a tow hitch to fit a 2nd trailer which would be more Taskers thing!

Ozzie Big Macks – by Huppo

A quick bit of Ozzie history. A few nicely restored Mack’s, bought to us by one of the blogs roving reporters from Australia, Joe Hupp;

Golden Oldies time - some special old Macks

This is a Mack B-61 (6 cylinder) – seen here dressed up in the fleet colours of Jeffsan Plant Hire of Agnes Banks, NSW, Australia…..”Misty Blue”, as she is known, is a very popular truck for truck photographers like myself.

Golden Oldies time - some special old Macks

Next is of a Mack B-615RS (V8) – this one belongs to a one eyed and very fastidious Mack-man, Fred Goldspring of Rutherford, NSW, Australia. Fred has done a marvellous job in restoring this truck and I am proud to say that I have met him – he has every receipt for the truck from the time the truck was first delivered through to restoration receipts and many more!

Golden Oldies time - some special old Macks

Finally an iconic truck in Australia….this is the legendary Mack SuperLiner MkII (depicted by the square headlights) – there’s only one truck even more legendary here than a standard SuperLiner and that is the BiCentennial SuperLiner! There were 16 BiCentennial SuperLiners built in 1988 to celebrate 200 years of Australia – the man who owned Room 500 has a few of them!

Ozzie Kenny’s from Huppo in Dubbo

I’m Going to have to get a new brass plaque for the desk in my shed, saying; “Blog Forwarder”. I have been hoping for a while that you lot would start contributing your own blog content. Really I hoped you’d do this just to add a different view to what is shown on here. Bear in mind obviously I want the blog to be trucks, trucks, trucks and also as it’s amazingly read worldwide, it’s best you contribute truck stuff from your own part of the globe as really I can only add what goes on here in GB. Leading on from this I now have another Ozzie guest writer, more the merrier I say! Over to your new writer;


Kenworth K200's from down under

Hi Ben,

Joe Hupp from Dubbo, NSW, Australia here with my first contributions to your wonderful blog – sorry I’ve been so slow in getting these to you. I have included two photos of the latest iteration of Kenworth Australia’s very popular K-Series cabover, the K200, and a photo of the truck that came before it, the K108.

The black K200 is owned by F1 Logistics out of Mildura, Victoria, Australia (formerly GTS Freight Management). I did not catch the name of the owner of the white K200 while the third photo is of the model that came immediately before the K200, the K108. The photo of the K108 (the red one – Ben) was at the open day at Inland Truck Centre, the Kenworth dealer in Dubbo. The K200’s were photographed alongside the Newell Highway, the main North-South transport route through the heart of NSW. The key difference between the K108 and the K200 is the height of the cab. The cab was raised to allow a bigger radiator (1850 square inches) and all the associated EGR and DPF equipment that goes with the enhnaced emissions control system on the Cummins engine.

Kenworth K200's from down under

Kenworth K200's from down under

Looking forward to contributing more of my photos to your wonderful blog… especially the vintage and classic trucks that opened Australia’s road transport industry up.



New Truckblog Stickers On The Move!!

Truck blog V2 Final.jpg

As some of you may well be aware, a few months back I asked you all who was interested in having a new Truckblog sticker and surprise surprise some of you were keen on a freebie…..tough time’s I know! Anyway, some how or another I have just 3 of the original 50 left and I have no idea where they have all gone, really I haven’t! What better way to show them off in all their glory (the stickers that is) than put a few, that I do know the where abouts of, up here on the blog as Truckblog on the move. I even have had a few photos sent through of the new sticker but I can’t find them, what a bummer!! Anyway lets get started and who best to get the ball rolling than top blog contributor Steve Marsh Express. This is the sticker in place on the little euro busting MAN TGL, along with the older long version blog sticker, if you look carefully that is!;

GB05 STE - New Sticker!!

TB on the move in Norrkoping Docks, Sweden.
Truckblog on the Move......

TB on the move in Innsbruck, Austria.
Truckblog on the move......

TB on the move in Maiori Salerno, Italy (a bit fuzzy driver!).
Truckblog on the move....

Next up we have Andy Blunsden. An owner driver from Bristol, known to many of you as Carrot (I think!). Andy has stuck one on the back of his trailer that he hauls all over Europe and also to the Middle East, although I don’t think the sticker has made it to the desert yet! Hopefully Andy will get some inspiration from Marshy’s efforts and send a pic or 2 of the sticker on the move, perhaps even in the dustier parts of the world!
Truckblog on The Move....

This is Andy’s DAF and trailer.
Andy Blunsden's DAF

Last up on this sticker update is Ceva Logistics Autralia’s top car transporting subbie, Julian Baker. This is probably the furthest away sticker that I know of. Julian is based near Melbourne in Oz and he and his little UD mini artic travel all over Oz carrying cars. Great pics;
Sticker evidence!! - Truckblog on the move in Oz!

Another terrrible sunset in Oz!….really makes the colours in the sticker stand out, very artistic!
Tintinara in the evening - Truckblog on the move in Oz!

In the next month or so I will be ordering some more stickers, so if you want to join the club, I will let you know when they are here and you can buy one for yourself, on the premise that you send a photo of the sticker some where on the move! Email me; ben@truckblog.co.uk If your sticker pics haven’t made it to this update, they may well make the next…..

Maiden Trip to Sydney

Maiden Trip to Sydney from Julian Baker

Remember our Ozzie reporter Julian Baker, based in Seymour, Victoria (down near Melbourne). Julian has now got his new UD mini artic on the road. It has taken a few weeks of converting a rigid chassis into a tractor unit and adding all the bits and bobs before finally getting the new motor on the road.

Maiden Trip to Sydney from Julian Baker

The first trip for the little beaut was a steady trip loaded up with a full load of 6 vehicles.

Load Point: Melbourne, Victoria, Oz.
Delivery Point: Sydney, New South Wales, Oz.
Distance: 870ish Kilometres

What more is there to do, but hit the road Jack! So off Julian went. Heading towards the home of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge Sydney is quite an impressive 1st destination in my book. In a new truck you want to get the first trip under your belt, so after 500km where better to stop than the The Dog on The Tuckerbox near Gundagai. Being a famous place for travellers to stop as its a statue tribute to all Pioneers, Julian could resist stopping on his way past. I dare say the food is pretty good too!

Maiden Trip to Sydney from Julian Baker

Maiden Trip to Sydney from Julian Baker

By all accounts it sounds the little UD has been well specced as it coped with the trip to Sydney with no problems. I asked Julian what he did after tipping in Sydney;

“I actually spent a week working locally in Sydney Ben. The ships carrying the cars no longer come in into Sydney Harbour, that stopped about 10 years ago. Instead they Dock at Port Kembla at Wollongong. Ceva Logistics (who Julian pulls for) has its own yard integrated into the Port Kembla wharf complex and we do direct deliveries from there of Mazda’s and Subaru’s, as well as general wharf cartage from the wharf itself to distributors of other product i.e. BMW’s. So I spent a week in Chateau UD and did local deliveries into Sydney from Wollongong.There is a nasty climb out of Wollongong, Mt Ousley (click HERE for a rough Map “B” is the climb, it’s worth looking on Street View to see just how steep it is!). It certainly tests any truck, let alone my little banger with 6 cars on. One load was BMW’s: an X5, X6, two X3s and two X1s. I would have been right up on my max GCM, back into second gear, but the heavier drive line in the little UD handled it no worries :-)) Headed back to Seymour on the Friday after a profitable and enjoyable week mate!!:-))”

Lets just hope the Little Banger as Julian calls it, has started as it means to carry on. Hard working, reliable and earning money!! Also can you beat this photo?? The new tractor unit parked and posing underneath Sydney Harbour bridge. As you can see the trailer has been dropped off, i’m guessing it’s not the kind of place you want to be taking a trailer of any size, come to think of it you might not be allowed to take your trailer in.

Maiden Trip to Sydney from Julian Baker

Do you want to share a maiden voyage in your new truck?? Email me; ben@truckblog.co.uk –  See if  you can get your new beast in an impressive location and send me a photo.

Alcoa 17.5 Inch Rims

How on earth I have missed this I have no idea! It’s only thanks to my G’day Mate Julian from Australia sending me the Alcoa April 2011 Newsletter I found out. When I went to the IAA Show in Hanover at the end of 2010, I found (and fell in love with!!) a little white MAN TGL which had fitted a set of 17.5 Alcoa wheels. I hunted and hunted about and asked in my best German and could not get any answers. Please read the following short snippet from Alcoa’s April Newsletter;

IAA HANOVER 27.09.2010 122

From April 2011 onwards, the MAN TGL series can be ordered with Alcoa forged aluminium wheels. The 17.5” x 6.75” hub piloted 6 studs on 245 mm bolt circle wheel is available at MAN in two finishes: Brushed and Dura-Bright®. MAN is the first truck OEM offering this new Alcoa wheel for trucks of 6-12 tons GVW. The wheel can also be fitted on the MB Atego, but is not yet available at Mercedes-Benz. Retrofitting can be arranged via the Alcoa distributors. For mounting the wheel on 6-12 tons trucks from other brands, please seek the advice of the Alcoa Sales Managers or contact us on info.wheels@alcoa.com.

IAA HANOVER 27.09.2010 014