Book Review – The Driver: Australia and New Zealand on the back of a truck by Alice Mabin

The Driver – Australia and New Zealand on the back of a truck by Alice Mabin

This isĀ  the latest book from Australia’s #1 Rural Lifestyle Photographer, Alice Mabin. The Driver: Australia and New Zealand on the back of a truck is the culmination of 18 months of hard work and dedication of both Alice and all the drivers and companies involved. The companies involved range from one truck operations such as Steve Grahame and Glenn “Yogi” Kendall (Kendall Trucking, Katanning, WA) to big companies such has Toll, Rod Pilon Transport of Dubbo, NSW, Followmont Transport and more. The reason behind this book is an accident Alice had in 2015 – a truck lost control on a wet road and hit her car, causing it to be a write-off. This caused Alice to think about writing a book about trucks – this is actually thee end result. And it’s going to go a long way to making people aware about trucks and their highly important role on Australia’s roads.

Eamonn and Julie Gavin from Gavin Transport
Amanda and Glenn (Yogi) Kendall and family – Kendall Trucking, Katanning, Western Australia
Rod Hannifey and the Truckright Industry Vehicle – Rod Pilon Transport, Dubbo, New South Wales

Rod Hannifey and the Truckright Industry Vehicle are featured for the vital job Rod does promoting road safety around trucks – this is also what Alice has set out to do with this book….. so it was natural that Rod would be featured!

Rod Hannifey’s Truckright Industry Vehicle at the 2014 Golden Oldies Truck Show

I personally have met Rod and he is a great bloke with a very important role to play in advocating road safety around trucks. Not a lot of peopleĀ  understand that trucks can legally take up both lanes at a roundabout or traffic lights!

Manildra Group Flour Milling, Manildra, New South Wales – featuring Express Engineering from Dubbo
R. Stephens Tasmanian Honey, Mole Creek, Tasmania

The Stephens family have been producing honey in Tasmania for many years. One of their lines is Leatherwood Honey – the north-west coast of Tasmania is the only place where the leatherwoods grow and they only flower for a month every year. So it’s vitally important that Ewan and his brothers get the bees up to the trees as quickly as possible as it’s a 600km round trip from their base in Mole Creek.

Fonterra Group – New Zealand

Fonterra Group is one of the biggest dairy co-operatives in Australia and New Zealand. Their trucks in NZ cover a awful lot of distance collecting the milk from all the dairies across the country.

Mainfreight – New Zealand

Mainfreight is a global logistics company with head office based in New Zealand. Their business is global parcel transport and freight on-forwarding across the world. They also have a business in Australia with depots across the country.

All in all, a bloody good book that profiles road transport in a positive light – I rate it 10/10….

Available from all good bookstores and newsagents (stockist list is on the website below) or from Alice direct:
Website: – if you order online, use the code TheDriver2016 and Alice will sign it for you!

I got mine through The Book Connection in Dubbo, NSW – you can ring them on 68823311 (02 68823311 outside NSW) and they will send it to you anywhere in Australia!

Magirus-Deutz Trucks – Part 1

Magirus-Deutz Semi Bus
Magirus-Deutz Jupiter trailer bus – photo thanks to Sean Denny

I am very lucky to be of German descent on my late father’s side – so I know a little bit about Magirus-Deutz trucks. Here’s a little bit of information in Part 1 of a 2 part blog series on the other big German truck manufacturer:

1. Magirus-Deutz’s logo is a M with a stylised shape of the spire of the Ulm Cathedral (as you can see in the photo above). Magirus-Deutz trucks were made in Ulm and this is a little bit of the city on the trucks

2. Nickolas Otto founded Deutz – Deutz was the biggest manufacturer of heavy duty air-cooled diesel engines. Although they made diesel engines, this wasn’t always the case! They also made artillery for the German Army during WWII

3. Conrad Dietrich Magirus founded Magirus – Magirus was (and still is) the world’s largest manufacturer of aerial fire-fighting appliances and fire trucks.

4. Magirus and Deutz merged to become Magirus-Deutz – Magirus supplied the cab, bonnet and chassis while Deutz supplied the engine. The gearbox and rear axle(s) came from ZF

5. Magirus and Deutz are still in business as separate businesses to this day!

Stay tuned for part 2 in late August/early September!

Upcoming Project – special feature on Joe’s Blog!

MAN TGX 26.540 XLX 6×4 – 1:14 scale R/C prime mover from Tamiya

This Tamiya MAN TGX 26.540 6×4 XLX 1:14 scale R/C truck is an upcoming project thanks to a wonderful friend of mine in Hawaii. He has built the 18.540 version (4×2 that he plans to convert to a 6×2 later) and this was surplus to his needs so he’s kindly offered it to me – I have dutifully accepted his offer and will be receiving it in a couple of weeks! I have a little bit of planning to do beforehand – I need to do a photo shoot of the 1:1 MAN F2000 26.506 which I plan on using to base my build of this around (as a tow truck registered prime mover) – I will also be videoing the build at various points during my time building it. Stay tuned to this blog for more as the build progresses and to see the finished product…

Haulin’ The Hume Highway 31 Road Run

Well – the dates have been set for the next Haulin’ The Hume Road Run. The dates are Saturday and Sunday, April 1 and 2, 2017.

Starting from Clarendon Showground near Windsor, the trucks then join the route from there to Yass along the old Hume Highway alignment which is mostly private property these days. I will be your roving HTH reporter as I will be there accompanying a mate of mine in his White Road Commander

White RC42 Road Commander 04642H – my ride for Haulin’ The Hume….

You can find out more by private messaging Bruce Gunter, the founder of HTH or visiting and joining the Haulin’ The Hume – Highway 31 Road Run Facebook group here: Haulin’ The Hume – Highway 31 Road Run

Entries are strictly limited to 300 trucks

1994 Western Star 5964 NEDKLY

I was very fortunate to be able to photograph this beautiful Ned Kelly themed 1994 Western Star 5964 prime mover (tractor unit) while I was in Tamworth, NSW, Australia recently. The truck is owned by Andrew “Scuzzy” McSweeney of ScuzzTrans Container Transport in Brisbane, Queensland and is used daily on the docks at the Port of Brisbane shifting containers on and off the wharf.

NEDKLY and Wickham Freight Lines’ special Jayne Denham trailer. Jayne is sponsored by both ScuzzTrans and Wickham Freight Lines
NEDKLY outside Tamworth Hyundai in Marius Street


Some of Ned’s mural work
Rear bar, lights, exhausts and mural

Time for Some Music Part 12: The BossHoss – Flaming Star

Time to profile The BossHoss – a country band from Germany. This is their song, Flaming Star – this was written by the boys as a promotional song for Mercedes-Benz Trucks and, in particular, their Actros model

Erebus Motorsport V8's Mercedes-Benz Actros 2660LS
Erebus Motorsport V8’s Mercedes-Benz Actros 2660LS
Mercedes-Benz Actros 2660LS - the biggest Actros made
Mercedes-Benz Actros 2660LS – the biggest Actros made

Here’s a little video showing off an Actros 1860 – video thanks to Erikas Curanovas via Mercedes-Benz Trucks – Trucks you can trust:

Truckright Industry Vehicle – a road safety initiative from Rod Hannifey and Rod Pilon

I’d like to profile the Truckright Industry Vehicle, a initiative of Rod Hannifey and Rod Pilon Transport, both of Dubbo, NSW, Australia. The aim of the TIV is to make other motorists aware of the trucks around them…. here are a few videos of the TIV:

TIV Video 1:

TIV Video 2:

TIV Video 3:

Preview of the TIV from Howard Shanks from Australian Roadtrains in Action:

Technology in the TIV is as follows:
1. Clean Euro V Cummins ISX engine
2. Eaton Ultrashift Plus Automated manual transmission
3. ABS, EBS, FUPS, Kenworth EBSS (incorporating ESP, ATC and ACB)
4. Road monitoring equipment (uses transducers on the truck’s rear airbag suspension to send data to a computer terminal in the cab which Rod can then have downloaded to send to relevant road authorities in the state/territory of travel)
5. Aerodynamic vortex generators (or AirTabs – improves fuel efficiency)
6. Groeneveld Automatic greaser
7. Tyre pressure monitoring system (incorporating temperature monitoring)
8. On-board load scales
9. Front and rear cameras
10. Fuel efficient Michelin multi-life tyres

The Truckright Industry Vehicle MkII - the brainchild of Rod Hannifey and Rod Pilon, both of Dubbo, NSW, Australia
The Truckright Industry Vehicle MkII – the brainchild of Rod Hannifey and Rod Pilon, both of Dubbo, NSW, Australia