This is myself and my son Ben (second-generation truckie) and our little red Inter, affectionately known as Mabel.
She doesn’t have a KW badge up front, a Detroit under the bonnet or a double overdrive box, hell, she doesn’t even have air horns, but we love her and her trusty Perkins engine just the same.
After covering the Haulin’ the Hume (HTH) event in previous years for several trucking magazines, I decided this was our year to join in the fun, leaving the media cap and camera at home to experience the event from the driver’s seat, and what an experience it was!
Battling torrential rain near Goulburn, which saw many a more, well-appointed, modern vehicle with such luxuries as variable speed wipers and demisters, pulled over to the side of the road with hazard lights on, the old Bangers just soldiered on, because the freight has to get through, right?
In spite of the weather, the amount of well-wishers from the roadside, blew me away. No amount of rain was going to spoil their day.
Wide-eyed youngsters, enthusiastically pumping their little arms for a an air horns blast (we beeped dutifully) to more senior spectators, gently waving in support, with some no doubt, misty-eyed remembering miles long past.
Kudos to the event organisers and volunteers, whom,without which this event couldn’t happen, but don’t sell yourself short, YES, you, reading this.
You are the custodians of our transport history. The long nights in the shed, the recycle bin overflowing with beer cans ( because that’s the currency of “the mate”) and the busted knuckles. Without this dedication, HTH would also not exist.
To those still plying our trade, it is easy to feel unappreciated out here on the road, the feeling that you are nothing more than an inconvenience to everyone else on the road.
Stuff that I say, take those smiles and waves to work with you today (I have). As I drive along in my more modern truck, lacking in any character (albeit with alot more horsepower) I’m still smiling when remembering all that roadside enthusiasm.
So let’s call it ‘Take the smiles to work day’.
Tell the others! And if that doesn’t do it for you, remember, nobody writes songs about accountants.
For more pictures from Haulin’ the Hume 2023, grab your free April 14 print edition of Big Rigs, or download the free digital copy at bigrigs.com.au on the same day.