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Truckie's challenges on the mountains
JOHN 'Cookie' Cook has faced a few challenges in his lifetime on the mountains.
The fifth generation East Gippslander remembers the most vivid of those as the enormous effort put in by locals to save Benambra in the horrific 2003 bushfires.
But there has also been the fight to continue alpine grazing, tackling the increasing wild dog population and his near 20-year campaign to get the Corryong Road sealed.
The cattleman also specialises in stock transport, via horseback and horsepower.
Leading up to the Mountain Calf Sales, John and his son Danny will cart in 15 to 20 truckloads each of cattle into the yards at Omeo and Benambra - a decent portion of each sale's yarding.
Their two-man fleet consists of single and double truck and trailer combinations; a "stand-in" business to Danny's 600-acre holding where they run cattle and sheep.
"I've been carting stock out of here all my life," John said.
"It's a side to the farming part. There's not enough in the cattle to keep going on them alone."
The High Country truckies know the tight corners and narrow roads of the alpine area intimately, and Mr Cook maintains the drive is only dangerous for inexperienced drivers that underestimate the corners.
"We all know the areas - it's mainly locals that do the driving - the companies get people from Bairnsdale that do it and they know us and we know them," he said.
"There's very few outside drivers that don't know us or don't know the people."
This year the pair will cart just over 100 of their own mixed-sex Hereford weaners Benambra saleyards.
"They're looking really good, the season up here was unbelievable last year," he said.
Sheep killed in Vic truck crash
A truck has flipped in central Victoria, killing 150 sheep.
The vehicle was travelling through Willow Grove, near Moe, when the driver lost control on a minor curve on Wednesday evening, a police spokeswoman told AAP.
The crash caused extensive damage to the cabin but the driver walked away with only minor injuries.
Around 100 sheep survived the crash and were placed in another carrier to resume their journey.
On the beat with VicRoads
VicRoads recently invited ATN to spend some time on the road in a heavy vehicle enforcement car.
ATN recently spent a couple of afternoons on patrol with VicRoads officers, and is pleased to report a considerable degree of mutual respect exists between authorities and truck drivers.
However, several interceptions of heavy vehicles revealed maintenance problems: oil and fuel leaks everywhere underneath; bald tyres; loose turntable bolts; worn bushes; faulty tail-lights; faulty door hinges; crappy seats etc.
All of the trucks and/or trailers involved had defect notices issued, and in most cases the vehicle was also ordered to undergo a complete roadworthy inspection. That would typically cost between $400 and $500 at one of the 270 or so accredited workshops in Victoria.
One case was a potentially fatal accident waiting to happen: an empty skel trailer had the chassis rails cracked right through on both sides, underneath the turntable. That employee driver was given 30 minutes to get the dangerous rig off the road.
Meanwhile, the skel’s prime mover had oil leaks, a faulty brake pedal, and a couple of tyres down to the wear indicator.
They were rated as minor defects because there was no imminent danger – but if it was wet and/or the truck was pulling a load, it might have been a different story.
Anthony Harris and Andrew Stroud are the two officers in a section of VicRoads targeting maintenance-challenged trucking companies. Both are qualified mechanics.
"You can tell whether a vehicle has been maintained or not," Stroud says.
"I can give a defect to someone and they will still shake my hand and say thanks for finding the stuff out, because they want to get home just as much as I want to."
There are three types of operation: random patrols like these, planned roadside blitzes, and inspections of truck depots when disturbing patterns emerge.
During the random patrols, Harris says the officers don’t just randomly pull up any truck. He says there is always a reason.
It might be tail-lights or indicators not working properly; slack adjusters not moving in unison on take-off at traffic lights; movement in coupling point on take-off; a quick check of a number plate in the mobile computer shows a defect hasn’t been cleared or the trailer is out of rego; or speeding or holding a phone or not wearing a seatbelt.
Excessive window tinting is another one.
"One driver himself said he couldn’t see out," Harris says.
Routine roadside checks include the lights, windscreen wipers and washers and moving the steering wheel to check rod ends, drag links, shockies and U-bolts.
Penske expands rental offering in Melbourne
Penske Truck Leasing has opened a new truck rental and leasing office in Melbourne.
“We have seen a positive response to our truck rental and leasing services since opening in August 2014,” commented Don Mikes, Senior Vice President of Truck Rental for Penske.
“This is our second office in Australia and we anticipate opening three additional locations over the next 12 months.”
The newly opened Melbourne location rents MAN TGS 540 and TGS 480 6x4 sleepers (B-double rated) as well as Western Star 5800 6x4 sleepers (B-double and road train rated).
New to its fleet offering at the Melbourne location are Freightliner Coronado 6x4 day cabs (B-double rated).
Driver remuneration remains front and centre for Frank Black
Owner-driver representative wants ATA to pledge its support for the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.
Truck driver Frank Black is planning to use his latest term as the Australian Trucking Association’s (ATA) owner-driver representative to secure fixed rates for owner-drivers.
Black recently won another two-year term as the owner-driver representative on the ATA’s council and he has told Owner//Driver reforming remuneration will remain his top priority until drivers receive what he says is a safe and sustainable rate.
The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) is currently involved in negotiations with industry representatives on driver remuneration and recently released a draft proposal that limited fixed rates to those in the general freight sector.
"It always has been my agenda and it will always be my agenda until we get this sorted out," Black says.
"There are many things wrong in this industry that needs attention, but if you try and attack all of them at once you’re not going to get a long way in a hurry. I believe you get the major issue and you work at that major issue until it’s resolved, hence my involvement with safe rates."
Black also wants the ATA to pledge its support for the RSRT. The association has in the past declined to take a position on the tribunal on the basis it goes against the ATA’s constitution.
Black says most people in the industry he speaks to support the RSRT and want changes to driver remuneration.
"The majority of the people, that’s what they want," he says.
"The feedback I get from owner-drivers and drivers – but especially owner-drivers – and small fleet operators as well is that they agree with the tribunal, they’re supportive of the tribunal and they would like to see the tribunal really get into it and be allowed to do its job," he says.
During his last term, Black pushed for greater owner-driver representation on the ATA council, which influences the ATA’s policies.
He put forward a proposal to have an owner-driver representative from each jurisdiction or sector, but he was told the council could not sustain that level of membership.
While Black says he does not have plans to bring up the matter again "in the near future", he still believes more owner-driver representation is required.
"I’m still of the opinion that is what it should be. There should be representatives from every state or different sectors on that council," Black says.
Narellan Rd near Campbelltown comes to standstill after truck overturns
AN OVERTURNED truck caused chaos on Narellan Rd, near Campbelltown, this morning.
Traffic was banked up for kilometres in both directions on the Camden-bound side of Narellan Rd near the entrance to the freeway.
The road was closed westbound and only one of two eastbound lanes was in operation as
authorities worked to clear the truck.
It is believed the driver was unhurt.
A Chronicle Facebook reader reported the truck driver had slammed on his brakes to avoid a vehicle that had merged in front of him.
One Campbelltown resident said it had taken her 50 minutes to travel the usual 15-minute trip from Harrington Park to Campbelltown.
Emergency services were using a crane in a bid to lift the truck upright.
Truckie jailed over $6 million fuel tax scam
A TRUCKIE who swindled almost $6 million from the tax office has been jailed for at least five years.
Martin Aithcison, 64, lived a life of luxury with his $5.8 million windfall, buying luxury cars, jetskis, a houseboat and property.
His portfolio included a Gold Coast getaway and a house in New Zealand.
But Aitchison’s world came crashing down around him after Australian Tax Office officials finally caught up with him.
Using his company Aitchison Heavy Haulage, Aitchison clamied millions of dollars in reimbursements for fuel.
He told tax officials the company had between 100 and 200 trucks on the road and that he bought fuel in bulk from Mobil.
In reality he was a sole operator with a single truck and trailer, and pumped his own fuel at local garages.
Between 2008 and 2013 Aitchison lodged 18 phoney Business Activity Statements claiming the reimbursements.
His first, for a relatively meagre $406,000, prompted tax officials to investigate the claim further.
Aitchison threw them off course with a pile of fake invoices and documents to support his claim.
On his second attempt Aitchison claimed, and was paid, almost $2.4 million in fuel refunds.
Again alarm bells rang at the ATO and Aitchison was asked to explain his case.
He did, and went on to make a third claim for just over $3 million that prompted a third succesful audit.
It was a fourth, and modest, claim for $600,000 that finally brought Aitchison unstuck.
A full audit was launched and his scheme was uncovered.
Liquidators have been able to recover just $2 million from Aitchison, whose family have been left broke.
The Victorian County Court heard today Aithcison was personally and financially stressed when he started his ATO scam.
He was struggling to make ends meet, and got greedy after his first claim was succesful.
Judge Meryl Sexton said Aitchison, who was now severely depressed, kept the scam from his wife and step-children, who believed he was simply doing well as a hard-working truckie.
She said the scam, a serious example of offending, kept $6 million from the government that could have been used to fund essential services.
Aitchison pleaded guilty to three counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception from the Commonwealth, and one count of attempting to do so.
Imposing a maximum sentence of eight years’ imprisonment, Judge Sexton said Aitchison was unlikely to reoffend.
She ordered he be released on a recognisance release order after five years.
Japan Post makes $6.5 billion bid to take over Toll
Japan Post has placed a bid to acquire Toll Holdings for $6.5 billion as part of its global expansion plan.
In a press release issued today, Toll said that Japan Post proposed to acquire the Australian logistics giant for $9.04 per share in cash, which would imply a market capitalisation of $6.5 billion and an enterprise value of just over $8 billion – including $1.53 billion of net debt.
Toll announced that under the proposal, it would be run as a division within Japan Post and retain the Toll name. Toll management would also remain in place, with CEO Brian Kruger reporting directly to Japan Post CEO Toru Takahashi.
Toll's Board of Directors has endorsed the deal in a meeting held yesterday after entering into a so-called Scheme Implementation Deed (SID).
Toll Chairman Ray Horsburgh said, “We are delighted to recommend to shareholders that Toll joins with Japan Post. Japan Post is one of the world’s leading postal and logistics companies and Toll is the largest independent logistics group in the Asia Pacific.
“Together, this will be a very powerful combination and one of the world’s top five logistics companies.”
The next step for Toll will be to appoint an independent expert to prepare a report on whether the offer is in the best interests of Toll shareholders or not. The report is expected to be available to shareholders by in mid-April.
Toll CEO Brian Kruger said he was optimistic that the report would vote in favour of the bid. “The proposed combination is a reflection of the strategic value of our business and our strong footprint throughout the Asia Pacific region.
“It will deliver great opportunities for our staff, customers and strategic partners. The great Toll culture built on safety and operational excellence will work well alongside Japan Post’s established values. I am delighted to have been invited to lead this powerful new division of Japan Post and look forward to working with the rest of the group.”
President and CEO of Japan Post, Toru Takahashi, agreed, “We believe the combination of Japan Post and Toll will be a transformational transaction for both our companies and we are very pleased we have been able to reach agreement. In partnership with Toll we are starting a new chapter of looking outward and becoming a leading global player.”
It is anticipated that Toll shareholders will have the opportunity to vote on the proposal, which represents a 49 per cent premium to Toll's closing price on Tuesday of $6.08, at a meeting to be held in May.
‘Owner driver’ Cooper is just 13
COOPER Wescombe, from Clarkefield, Victoria, is just 13 years old and, with a little help from grandpa, already owns his first truck - a 1979 Ford Louisville.
"Pa", as Cooper says when referring to grandad, worked for what was then Telecom, driving Mack, Freightliner and Kenworth. The trucking blood obviously rubbed off on Cooper.
"I drove my first car when I was about five. Pa used to lower the seat right down and as far forward as possible, and I could just reach the pedals. I got behind the wheel of my first truck when I was eight or nine. That was one of Pa's trucks - a Volvo N12. I just love them. There's nothing else I want to do. I want to drive trucks."
How did Cooper manage to own his first truck at the tender age of 13?
"My Pa loves me to bits and he said, 'Cooper, I'm going to buy you a truck, and when it breaks down, we will get rid of it'."
STARTING EARLY: Cooper Wescombe, just 13 years old, says there’s nothing he wants to do but drive trucks. Graham Harsant
"So we bought the Louisville from Rosco Talbot at Echuca. It has a 12-speed Road Ranger and is powered by a Cummins VT903. I look after it and it hasn't broken down, so I still have it. I love driving it, and can't wait to get my licence. I want to get my MC. Hopefully I'll be able to get dispensation to get into it early."
Cooper is the first to admit that school wasn't for him.
"I really struggled and was falling badly behind. The other kids picked up on this and treated me like crap. I got bashed up one time by 10 of them. That's when Pa said that he would home school me and I've not looked back."
Cooper adds that he got those 10 bullies back in the best Aussie tradition - one on one.
He leads me to his truck, which has a trailer attached with a Ford F100 sitting on it - both of which also belong to him. "The truck runs beautifully. We just have to clean it up a bit, put on a fresh coat of paint and rename it - CBKL Western Transport, Clarkefield."
CBKL stands for Cooper, Brock, Cain and Lindon, after his uncle, father and Pa respectively. Cooper's "ride" doesn't end with the Louisville. "I've got another Louisville back home - a tipper. I've also got an N12 Volvo, a Bedford, a Dodge, two F100s, a Morris Minor, an Austin A30, and a Suzi."
Cooper works on all this machinery with his Pa, learning the workings.
"My Pa does a lot for me. I don't know what I would do without him. I am so grateful to him."
Cooper's dad and uncle also drive trucks - six-tonne Isuzus.
"I'm going to teach them how to drive this," says Cooper, pointing to the Louisville.
"They don't know how to drive it."
At the moment, the Louisville is on club plates, but Cooper and Pa are considering putting it on full rego and running loads to Tarcutta.
Cooper's Pa is educating this young man and is also setting him up for the future in a profession he obviously loves.
I suspect young Cooper will do all right. A man's got to know his limitations, and young Cooper Wescombe is aware of his.
High marks at school are not a guarantee of a secure future - witness the university graduates who are working as baristas.
There are always alternatives in this world, and Cooper's Pa is giving this young man the right attitude to life and work, as well as a pathway to a future career doing something he truly loves.
Cooper is a lucky young man.
Cardwell tilt train crash 2008: Truckie on trial weeps on stand
AN EXPERIENCED truck driver has sobbed in court as he recounted a 2008 rail accident that killed two train drivers in far north Queensland.
Michael Joseph Nugent is on trial at the Innisfail District Court, south of Cairns, charged with dangerous driving causing the deaths of Richard Wetherell and Michael Smithers at a crossing south of Cardwell.
The Brisbane driver, 69, denies the charge, and testified today that warning lights at the crossing weren’t working. Nugent, who has driven trucks for more than 40 years but is now retired, broke down as he recounted the events of November 27, 2008.
He told the court he had been travelling about 95-100km/h in his B-double freight truck when he came around a right-hand bend and approached the level crossing on the Bruce Highway.
“There was no flashing lights at the railway crossing,” Nugent said.
“Then I got closer to the crossing and something attracted me to my left-hand vision.
“It was a train.
“I summed the situation up pretty quickly, and you look and you think that thing is moving and it ain’t stopping unless I stopped.”
Nugent said he slammed on the brakes but the heavy truck continued to lurch forward, so he then hit the throttle with little effect.
“Then there was an impact,” he said, sobbing.
“It’s been six years and I'm still emotional about it.”
Under cross-examination Nugent said he had probably driven for about 12 hours the day before the crash and hadn’t slept well the previous night.
Crown prosecutor Nigel Rees questioned why Nugent didn’t slow down as he approached the crossing, and suggested the truck driver didn’t see the flashing lights because he was distracted.
High on ice and behind the wheel of a 40-tonne truck: Shocking video of driver smoking methamphetamine and boasting of 'managing fatigue' before hitting the road
A worrying video has appeared online exposing a truck driver snorting drugs from behind the wheel of a heavy vehicle before taking to the road.
The shocking footage comes after it has emerged that one in 12 truckies are high on illicit substances when they are pulled over by Victorian police and many are rorting the system so they can drive for up to 16 hours a day.
One truck driver has filmed himself lighting up a pipe filled with Ice (methamphetamine) and taking to the Hume Highway in a new A Current Affair report.
And yep… Fatigue about to be managed. Get it into ya,' the driver says in the clip, where he documents how and when he takes the substances, telling viewers that he snorts the drug off his log book and also uses a pipe.
The horrifying part is that the trucker is behind a 40-tonne truck and is just about to embark on his 12 hour shift on the Hume Highway, which is an 807km road between Melbourne and Sydney.
The shocking footage comes after it has emerged that one in 12 truckies are high on illicit substances when they are pulled over by Victorian police and many are rorting the system so they can drive for up to 16 hours a day
However, Simon Green, a former employee of the same company where the 'lunatic truckie' works said drugs are rampant in the trucking industry.
Mr Green, who used to take part in recreational drug taking while he was a truck driver, now admits that it was dangerous and stupid but claims it is easy to get around the police and it is cheaper than you think.
When NSW police busted Mr Green for driving while under the influence of drugs, he lost his licence for a year and is now clean.
He said the general public would be stunned if they knew the extent to which illicit substances are used by truckies out on the road in their rigs.
'I'd say at least 10 per cent of the drivers out there are doing it right now,' Mr Green said.
However, speaking to the program, Inspector Bernie Rankin from The Victoria Police Transport and Investigation section said he has underestimated the figure, claiming one in 12 heavy vehicle drivers test positive for drugs when they are pulled over.
Mr Green said he knew his limits when it came to taking the drug, but Inspector Rankin claims that is 'absolute nonsense'
'A multitude of medical studies done throughout the world all reach the conclusion that ingesting these type of substances impacts critically on your ability to drive, observe what's going on around you and the ability to even control the vehicle you're in,' he said.
According to the law, heavy vehicle drivers are supposed to only drive for a maximum of 12 hours a day.
However, drivers have now worked out that they can manipulate their log books through a loophole and they can actually work a 16.25 hour day in 24 hours.
Speaking to the Herald Sun, Inspector Rankin said they are concerned that illicit drug taking is contributing to the amount of truck crashes on the road each year
'This manipulation of their work diary gives regulated heavy vehicle drivers the opportunity to drive in excess of their prescribed hours four times in a seven-day period and be non-prosecutable,' he said.
'There were 59 fatalities involving heavy vehicles in 2014 — a 90 per cent increase over the previous year,' Det-Insp Rankin said.
'It's important to note the truck drivers weren't at fault in all of these collisions, but we are concerned illicit drug use and fatigue are contributing to the increase.'
Geoff Paradise passes away
The Australian road transport industry lost one of its most popular and larger-than-life identities on February 17 following a road accident.
Popular road transport and motoring journalist Geoff Paradise passed away on February 17.
Geoff failed to recover from injuries suffered in a collision between his car and a bus at Matcham on the NSW Central Coast on February 11 after being airlifted by Westpac Helicopter Rescue to Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital.
Geoff was well known as a road transport magazine editor, including writing a regular column for Fairfax Media.
Back in 1981, Geoff founded Street Machine magazine out of the ashes of the infamous Van Wheels.
He got his start in the magazine business in 1970, when, as a 16-year-old apprentice spray painter, he wrote to Kevin Wolfe, the editor of Australian Hot Rodding Review, to complain about the quality of the pictures.
Wolfe wrote back: "If you think you can do better, do it yourself." Geoff promptly did just that and was paid $16 for his first feature. Within three years, he was the editor of the same mag.
He then moved to the United States and picked up a job as features editor at the most prestigious of all modified car mags, Hot Rod.
In October last year following a long, varied and successful career as a passenger car and commercial vehicles journalist and publisher, Geoff joined the Daimler Truck and Bus team as senior manager public affairs. In his role he managed the publicity for Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus, Freightliner Trucks and Fuso Truck and Bus.
"Geoff had an infectious passion for all things automotive and his loss will be significant to all of us in the industry and all who knew Geoff," says David McCarthy from Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific.
Geoff’s wife Jacqui and children Nick, Amy and Maddy were present at the time of his passing.
Outgoing VicRoads manager sees strong future for weigh-in-motion enforcement
Retiring VicRoads veteran says it’s only a "matter of time" before the mobile technology will stand up in court.
Darrell Gascoyne has seen a lot in three decades of policing the heavy vehicle industry.
He’s seen one truck ram another truck and then have the driver claim he was just helping push the other bloke up a hill, he’s been sprayed with toxic chemicals as he tried to stop a leaking tanker from reaching town and he has witnessed some "horrendous" speeds.
But Gascoyne says things have definitely improved in the trucking game.
"The industry has changed significantly for the better…a majority of the industry has cleaned up, and I think their attitude has cleaned up more too," says the VicRoads veteran.
Nevertheless he adds: "We will always have our top end, the recalcitrants, who will break the law no matter what."
And it’s those recalcitrants that take the greatest amount of effort.
"They’re the ones that we collect a lot of intelligence and information on and they’re the ones we will prosecute."
However Gascoyne says overall: "We’re not the enemy of the industry. We want to work with the industry, and we want the industry to work with us."
Darrell Gascoyne was speaking to ATN as VicRoads manager, state operations, with his bread and butter work overseeing commercial vehicle enforcement by uniformed officers.
It was just before he retired, after 29 years with VicRoads, both in regional areas and in Melbourne. That was the biggest chunk in 37 years of law enforcement, also with the Victorian Police and the Australian Federal police.
Darrell Gascoyne says improving technology will make it easier to nail the cowboys. He’s referring to what are called "weigh-in-motion" devices, combined with cameras.
"In my understanding that technology is moving very quickly…ultimately it would be like a speed camera," he says.
Weigh-in-motion has been around in Australia for 20 years.
In Victoria, it’s installed on key roads around Melbourne and on most highways, and as well as being a handy tool for road planning, it can instantaneously detect the type of vehicle; its overall mass and axle loads; and speed.
So combined with cameras on occasions, it can detect who is persistently running overloaded, for example – and at what times and where. But accuracy is not yet at the level where it will stand up in court.
"It’s not an enforcement tool. It’s an intelligence tool," Gascoyne says.
However he believes court-accepted accuracy is "only a matter of time and technology".
"If you look across Europe and the USA they call them virtual weighbridges … and they are very advanced with it," he says.
Already mobile VicRoads officers can park near a weigh-in-motion point, hook up to its information, then put suspiciously heavy trucks over mobile scales if need be. Or they can access the data after the fact.
Similar but slower-speed technology is used in the on ramps to fixed weighbridges in New South Wales. But NSW enforcement officers still have to put trucks over the fixed weighbridge to verify weights beyond doubt.
Grafton Truck Show cancelled due to 'lack of support'
KEEP THEM FLYING: Russ Holland, Tim Wright, Gai Bailey and Des Bailey at the handover of the donation at the Truckies Memorial Wall. PHOTO: LEIGH JENSEN
"DISAPPOINTING" is the word truckie and Grafton Truck Drivers' Social Club president Tim Wright has used to describe the cancellation of the Grafton Truck Show this year.
He put the decision down to a "lack of community support".
Mr Wright said there were about four loyal club members attending meetings and that wasn't enough to pull off a truck show.
At a meeting on Valentines Day (February 14) the social club decided to cancel this year's show which was to be held on the Queen's Birthday long weekend in June.
"I was disappointed," Mr Wright said of the decision.
He works for Daniel and Son Transport with his brother Simon has a long history with the club.
"I didn't want to do it. The club means a lot to me, my father [Rex] was a founding member. He died in a truck crash in 1988.
"It means a lot to me to keep it going."
This would have been the 38th year of the truck show and there's plans afoot to make the 40th a big bash.
It's not too late to save the event, however, if there's an outpouring of support for the show from the local committee it could be resurrected.
But that would mean at least a "dozen" people would have to sign up to help out with the truck show.
"A few will be disappointed, I hope this might give them a wake up call.
"If we get the support we'll get it going again."
People are needed to help marshal the trucks on the day, man the gate, set up stalls and more.
But it's not just a lack of people power that has dealt a blow to the truck show committee, the local council has decided not to sponsor the traffic control this year.
Last year the local council made up the $3000 shortfall for traffic control one of the conditions forced on the committee by the Roads and Maritime Service.
Mr Wright said the decision came from the perception that the truck show didn't bring a lot of people into the town.
Mr Wright said 90% of the money raised from the event went to charities like the Westpac Helicopter - which would miss out this year.
Winning rig is covered top to bottom in chrome eye candy
Winning Rig of the month image from Peter Annetts Photo Contributed
We had some great entries for our first monthly All Truck Parts Big Rig of the Month competition, and this Mack truck (pictured) owned by Peter Annetts was our first winning entry.
The judges loved all the shiny chrome, the details including the Tightlines name, bullbar and LED lights.
Mr Annetts is based in Tumut NSW near the snowy mountains and runs Tightlines with his wife Narelle, though he works at Carter Holt Harvey.
This truck is used in a single trailer application and driven by Peter's son Gordon and another driver Peter Quirk round the clock, carting pine chips to the Visy pulp and paper plant.
Peter's been around trucks for a lot of years and worked as engineering and environment manager for Carter Holt Harvey before buying trucks to do work carting for Visy. However he's now gone back to his old job and son Gordon has taken over the truck.
This is the fourth Mack he's owned and "by far the best" he told Big Rigs.
The MP10 is an automatic and "pretty much" as it came from the factory, except for the hydraulics Peter added to hook up a walking floor trailer.
Mr Annetts praised Wagga Motors where the truck was purchased, although Tightlines do a lot of the maintenance themselves it goes back to Wagga Motors for major works.
The All Truck Parts Big Rig of the Month competition will run until March 31. March's winner will be announced in edition 5 and drawn on March 4 (while we previously said March 5 - we've had to bring the date forward a day to make deadline). April's winner will feature in edition seven and be selected on March 31.