Going from strength to strength

ALREADY well known throughout Australia for its annual Ute Muster, the town of Deniliquin in the New South Wales Riverina is also becoming a popular destination for its annual Truck Show and Industry Expo. After a successful start-up event in 2015, this year’s event was held over September 9 and 10, with organisers delighted with the roll up of trucks along with the support from both the local area and wider transport industry. The weekend’s event got off to a formal start on the Friday night at the truck show dinner, with the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners’ Brendan Farrell presenting as guest speaker.

The dinner also saw the announcement of the first two inductees into the Deniliquin and District Transport Industry Wall of Fame. Local livestock operator David Griminsion, along with Alan and the late Kathleen Murphy were the first to be inducted to the wall which is being constructed in Deniliquin. Despite some wet weather in the lead up to Saturday’s event at Memorial Park, close to 2000 people came through the gates on show day to admire the lineup of over seventy trucks, some which had traveled from as far afield as Cranbourne South in Victoria and down from Sydney for the event.

With Deniliquin and the wider Riverina area reliant on road transport to support the agricultural and service industries, a number of local companies were represented at the show from within Deniliquin and outlying towns such as Finley, Berrigan and Hillston.

“We are a transport town, sometimes it goes a little bit unnoticed and recognised, but it’s an event like this that shows how many people we do have involved in the industry, or in a spin-off industry associated with transport, said Leesa Muir, who is on the organising committee for the event. A number of trucks received a last minute polish and touch-up on their arrival at the show before judging got under way at midday, with the high standard of trucks on show giving the judges some hard work, presenting awards across 12 categories. The trip up from Shepparton in Victoria proved to be a worthwhile one for Frank Gattuso Transport driver Matthew Clarke, who took out Truck of The Show honours with his 2010 Kenworth K108 Big Cab.

Matthew, who runs express overnight freight between Shepparton, Melbourne and Albury, was delighted with his success.

“To walk away with a prize is a bonus, to walk away with the Truck of the Show award was a total surprise – I didn’t realise I had won until my girlfriend Kim whacked me on the back and said ‘That’s You!’, he said.

“I would like to thank the organisers for a great show and a job well done-I look forward to returning next year . In other categories, John Kerr took home the award for Best Truck 26-39 years with his 1988 Mack Super-Liner whilst Clinton McKinnon took home the new for 2016, Muscles Gray Memorial Award for his 2006 Kenworth T904 Remberance tipper and dog trailer, which is a rolling tribute to Australia’s ANZAC heritage and armed forces. Along with the displays of trucks on site, the event also aims to showcase the transport industry as a whole, with 2016 also seeing an increase in trade exhibitors, with CMV from Wodonga and Graham Thomson Motors of Shepparton, along with IOR Petroleum and Royan’s Truck and Trailer Repairs to name a few all having a presence on site.

An auction of donated goods was also held with money raised going back into the planning and management of next year’s event. The Truck Show committee made a resolution to give back to the industry, with a $1 donation from each ticket sold at the gate being donated to the Trans-Help Foundation to assist in the work the organisation does for the health and wellbeing of transport industry employees. Plans are under way already for the 2017 event, which will be held on the second Saturday of September, and Ms Muir is confident the show is on the right course to become a key date on the transport calendar.

“It’s grown considerably, we got more trucks and industry-specific trade sites than last year and our dinner last night has doubled in size, she said.

“We are really impressed with the amount of people who made the effort to come and we are overwhelmed with the interest we have received, not just from our target area of the Southern Riverina – the event is growing and the word is getting out there. We’re going to have a ripper third year!

Deniliquin Truck Show Trophy winners:

Truck of the Show – Matthew Clarke, Tongala VIC. 2010 Kenworth K108. People’s Choice – Leo Kelly, Edenhope VIC. 1984 Kenworth W Model. Muscles Gray Memorial Award – Clinton McKinnon, Narellan NSW, 2006 Kenworth T904

Best Truck Under 3 years – Gray’s Transport, Finley NSW. 2016 Kenworth T950.

Best Truck 4-9 years – D&K Walker Transport, Kilmore VIC. 2010 Cat CT630. Best Truck 10 – 25 years – Clinton McKinnon, Narellan NSW, 2006 Kenworth T904

Best Truck 26 – 39 years – John Kerr, Bendigo VIC, 1988 Mack Superliner. Best Truck 40 years & Over – Neil Scott, Deniliquin NSW. 1936 Maple Leaf Tray body.

Best Rigid – Duane Kemp, Cranbourne North VIC. 2003 Kenworth T404ST.

Best Local Truck – Sam Armytage, Deniliquin NSW. 2011 Kenworth K200

Best Fleet – Frankling Transport, Koondrook VIC.

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