In the days when it took weeks rather than days to get from Sydney or Melbourne to Perth, time moved at a more leisurely pace. Drivers were under a different pressure in those days to meet deadlines, often catching up alongside what passed for a road at the time to share a meal, or, if someone was having mechanical problems, lend a hand with the repair.
These days it’s all about time management, and about the only place drivers get a chance to take a deep breath and enjoy a yarn with mates is at one of the many regional truck shows, held in the aid of a local charity.
One of the oldest shows in Western Sydney is the annual Working Truck Show, held at the Penrith Museum of Fire. This year sees the Penrith event celebrating its 30th year, with expectations of attracting an average crowd of around 20,000 visitors, all keen to marvel at the immaculate trucks on display, plus of course to also enjoy the high quality of the entertainment and the top-line acts from the stars of country music.
If transport history takes your fancy, the Museum of Fire is itself well worthy of a visit should you be passing through. Fire appliances of all ages and types form part of the collection of memorabilia that illustrates the history of fighting fires with machines.
The organising committee at the Museum of Fire also have their work cut out as they organise other events, specifically in the trucking arena with the Sydney Classic and Antique Truck Show.
This year marked the seventh event with the opportunity for a trip down memory lane to revisit the transport from yesteryear as classic trucks, buses, fire appliances and other vehicles gathered for the day. Remember to add the dates for 2018 in your calendar.
Visitors to the Working Truck Show this year coped with the various extremes of weather that had brought more than expected downpours of rain that had left most of Sydney a little waterlogged in places.
Those with ‘Flying Duck’ ornaments on the front of their trucks would have felt right at home. Fortunately, the rain on Sunday limited itself to periodic showers, allowing patrons to weave their way throughout the displays of trucks and equipment without getting soaked, and with only the occasional need to seek refuge in an exhibitors’ gazebo or marquee for a short period.
Country music filled the humid air courtesy of Catherine Britt, Adam Harvey, Beccy Cole, Amber Lawrence and Kaylens Rain. The performances kept crowds entertained for hours adding to the laid-back atmosphere of the event, while the large marquee provided some relief from the showers before heading back out to enjoy all the show had to offer.
The kids didn’t seem to mind a bit of rain, embracing the rides and carnival atmosphere with gusto, and more than a puddle or two were stomped in by the littlies.
A wide and varied display of working trucks was on display, primed, polished and standing proudly, with many belying their true history, showing millions of kilometres of work on the odometer.
From heavy haulage Macks and Kenworth to the smaller Isuzu rigids trucks, all facets of the working truck platform were on show.
Major truck manufactures were also in attendance, showcasing their latest model range, including the new Kenworth 610 fitted with a Muscat Trailers tipping body, UD truck displays and the latest from the Daimler group with the Coronado and the Actros 2653, which is gaining more than a bit of attention within the industry.
Liz White, the museum’s administration manager, said, “While we were expecting the numbers to be down with all the wet weather, the periodic nature of the showers on Sunday saw 15,000 through the gate, which is a little better than we had expected”.
A big shout out to the sponsors of the event, who were:
Clancy’s Truck and Trailer Repairs
Bakers Transport Group
Cuthells Pastoral Pty Ltd
Fire and Rescue NSW
Gulf Western Oil
Lencrow Materials Handling
Nepean Transport Equipment
Uphire Equipment Specialists