The Penrith Working Truck Show struts its best – Words by Warren Caves, Images by Torque it Up.
The Penrith Working Truck Show, now in its 32nd year, continues to entice and encourage the trucking community with its exemplary display of vehicles from today and yesteryear. The annual event is an integral part of the Western Sydney trucking scene, providing a great day out with top-level entertainment for all ages − especially tiny, excited visitors who marvel at the exhibits, many of which were built before they came into this world.
Since the show’s origin back in 1988, generations of kids and grown-ups alike have been treated to an exceptionally well-presented array of working trucks, which spend their working week toiling in all manner of arduous working conditions from long-haul, highway work to civil construction sites.
To look at these trucks lined up majestically in uniform rows, with chrome and stainless steel reflecting the sun in every direction, it’s easy to forget these are true workhorses that just days earlier may well have been slopping about in a muddy quarry pit or dotted with the remnants of a bug-splattered western run.
What becomes quickly evident as you wander around the 200 or more trucks on display is the tangible connection between owners and their trucks. They are clearly more than just a rolling tin office. They become part of their life, an extension of themselves of which they take meticulous care (some even demanding you leave your thongs at the door) at every opportunity.
The 2019 show was, by all accounts, another great success, despite the ever-present make-or-break threat posed by the weather. Fortunately, the day was picture-perfect this year with brilliant sunshine throughout the day for families to take in the rides, stalls and entertainment – and, of course, to drool over the finest examples of working trucks from near and far.
A must-do on the truck show calendar, the Penrith display continues to attract quality entertainment acts and this year was no exception. Entertaining the crowds were The Wolfe Brothers, Adam Eckersley and Brooke McClymont, Christie Lamb, The Viper Creek Band and Brad Butcher. And, as an alternative to the music, the all-day free rides kept little ones wishing they hadn’t eaten that last fluffy stick of fairy floss.
Awards were presented in numerous categories and as testament to PowerTorque’s eye for a well-presented truck, Best Custom Super Truck was taken out by FAT 388 − the very classy PETERBILT owned by B&R Stevens, which was featured in the February issue of this magazine.
All funds raised from the Penrith Working Truck Show go to The Museum of Fire, a local charity that, through historical displays of firefighting equipment within the museum, educates visitors about fire safety and firefighting principles, whilst preserving the equipment and its history.
Organisers were justifiably pleased with the patronage this year, with figures expected to rival the show’s best-ever attendances. The event wasn’t without its challenges – a little rain on the preceding Saturday night saw volunteers braving the weather in raincoats to get everything ready in time, while the parking of some heavy vehicles had to be re-evaluated to look after the soggy ground.
The weekend of the 30-31 March was a full one for trucking enthusiasts, with the Penrith event coinciding with a Razorback Blockade 40th anniversary memorial gathering atop the famous mountain on the Friday. On Saturday, the historical trucks rolled down the Hume Highway for the ‘Haulin’ The Hume’ rally, followed by the Penrith event on Sunday.
Show organisers reported some regulars had experienced obvious logistical difficulties in attending both events, leading to suggestions it might be in the best interest of both if they were not held over the same weekend in future.
For truck enthusiasts, however, the weekend was full to the brim with nostalgia and quality trucks from all over. Whether it be a brand-new Kenworth 900 Legend, a roadwise Commer Knocker, or an Isuzu, all facets of road transport were out and about for a very busy weekend of truck appreciation.