Ted Woodberry of Ted’s Forest Management has a new addition to the family in the form of a Kenworth T950.
One of our first interviews was with Ted Woodberry of Launceston, the managing director of Ted’s Forest Management and the very proud owner of a Kenworth T950, the latest truck to join his fleet that comprises a Mack Trident and a Kenworth T904.
The T950, modelled on the SAR with its high-mounted cab, is still missed by many operators, particularly those in the livestock and timber industries, for the additional vision gained by the driver over the sloping bonnet.
When PowerTorque caught up with Ted Woodberry, he was with his nephew Mathew Butt and his father Glen Woodberry, who joined in the conversation with some of his own recollections of the logging industry.
“I’m 52 now and I left school when I was 15. I’ve always been in the logging industry. Logging is in my blood,” said Ted.
“My grandfather used to cut sleepers for the railway years ago with a horse and cart. My father was a bushman and so were his brothers. It’s in the family.
“My nickname is Ted Bullpit, so when I was looking for a name for my company I just looked to see what was available, and that’s how it became Ted’s Forest Management,” he added.
Ted’s father, Glen, commented on his own involvement in the logging industry, adding some interesting perspectives when it comes to the modern tendency towards very high horsepower engines.
“When I was young I had a MAN with a 200 hp engine,” said Glen Woodberry.
“That was considered to be a massive engine at the time. My brothers had Macks and Kenworths, and when my brother Billy bought a 350 hp Mack he said you don’t need no bloody more in Tassie than a 350. The next truck he bought was a 600 hp,” added Glen.
Back in the 1990s when the T950 was launched, it was a Cummins N14 under the hood. The 14-litre produced 246 kW at 1,600 rpm and 1,831 Nm at 1,100 rpm. The transmission was by way of a Fuller RT 147108 ten-speed direct drive with twin counter-shaft.
These were the days when if you felt like an alternative to a red engine you could opt for a Detroit Series 60 with DDEC II or go for a yellow engine with a CAT 3406B ATAAC, plus transmission choices that stretched out to an 18-speed Roadranger or a 7-20-speed direct or overdrive Spicer gearbox.
“This is a truck that I actually wanted to buy when it came up for sale five years ago, but I missed out on it by one day,” said Ted Woodberry.
“It’s a truck that’s been spec’d from the start for logging, now featuring a 15.8-litre, 600 hp CAT C16 motor, 18-speed 22-series Roadranger transmission and 46-160s on AirGlide 200 suspension, and with a Jost ball-race turntable. I’d sooner have a Jost turntable than others. It has to have a Jost when I buy my trailers.
“One of my fleet actually caught fire overnight last Christmas while it was parked up. The first thing my driver knew was when he got out in the middle of the night and saw flames coming through the bonnet. We couldn’t save it.
“After the truck burnt to the ground I was going through some old documents and came across some photographs of the T950 I’d looked at five years earlier. On the off chance, I rang the owner to see whether he would be interested in selling it. He talked it over with his wife and said yes. The next day I was on my way to Brisbane with the money,” said Ted.
“I brought her home, put on some new scales and a slider and she went to work with me for the first time just a week before the Tassie show.
“I always liked the T950 and in particular I liked the original grey colourscheme. The previous owner had spent about $25,000 on the stainless steel, wrapping the fuel tanks and putting stainless on the side and on the rear, plus a hardwood floor, chrome strips and the back window louvre. Everything I liked on a truck had already been done,” said Ted.
At this year’s Tasmanian Truck Show held in Carrick, near Launceston, Ted’s T950 looked as though it had just come off the production line, despite being built in 2002. Another reason why the rig looked so spectacular was the brand-new set of Low Logger trailers bought specifically for the T950.
“Graeme Elphinstone builds a good product, so does Gary Kennedy at Kennedy Trailers in Victoria, and I have trailers from both manufacturers. I have eight trailers and one B-double combination.
“The big advantage with Elphinstone is that, with them being Tasmanian based, if I need anything it’s available on the shelf and its all interchangeable. I just shoot straight down and grab the part if I need it urgently,” said Ted.