Verging a near-religious conversion

IT MUST BE LOVE: Michael Bransgrove with his souped up Freightliner Argosy.
IT MUST BE LOVE: Michael Bransgrove with his souped up Freightliner Argosy.


WHAT do you do when you buy a brand new Freightliner Argosy? Well you change it of course!

Add a bit here, change a bit over there, add a light or 50 - and of course there has to be a touch up of the paintwork.

That is what Michael Bransgrove of Bransgrove Transport out of Traralgon, Vic did in late 2010 when he bought a run-out model.

Michael worked for his father's business, BransTrans, for 17 of the past 20 years. Dad's fleet of eight trucks includes a number of Freightliners but that was not Michael's sole reason for buying into the brand.

"They are a good product, mostly. I'd have not necessarily bought an Argosy, but they were running them out at the time and the price was too good to knock back.

"I must admit that I'm pretty happy with it.

"There's a ton of space in the cab and the foldout steps make life a lot easier," Michael said.

The price of admission into this Argosy meant that it came in any colour you liked, as long as it was white.

Michael's first job was to add some colour to the cab.

Much of the rest of the work was undertaken by Michael himself. The bumper, the visor, the wheel arches and mudguards were just some of the changes instigated at home.

"I thought the original wheel arches were just plain ugly so I made a few changes to make them fit better.

"I made up different wings at the back and lowered them down a bit to the fuel tank - they're a bit gappy in there.

"I also moved the tanks forward a bit. We did a lot of work to it.

"I made the aerofoil and brackets and put the 16 inch visor on at the same time that I fitted them. I had to pull the roof out to fit the aerofoil," Michael said.

The Argosy sports around 100 lights which would surely make it an attraction to the Queensland Highway Patrol, which seems to have a bent on fining added visibility.

Luckily for Michael, his days of interstate driving are behind him.

With a taut liner behind the rig, the Freightliner hauls general freight around Victoria and southern New South Wales.

Michael is a one truck operation towing the trailer for his father.

"I drove interstate for the first 17 years but with a wife and three kids it's good to be able to get home most nights," he said.

"The young fella is now at an age where he needs his dad around."

With a 110 inch cab and Detroit series 60 driving through 18 speeds, Michael's Argosy, with the moniker Unforgiven (the explanation for the name was not given but we'd like to think that it had nothing to do with Michael's wife when she realised how much he was spending on the truck), also has stainless deck plates, eight inch stacks, eight inch air intakes, stainless tank wraps and low mount mudguards.

"Whilst this is my business, it made sense to use colours that blended in with dad's trucks, given that I'm hauling loads for him," Michael said.

"It doesn't hurt to trade off dad's good name in the industry either."

Like most truckies, Michael loves his job.

Getting up in the morning and greeting Unforgiven with its personal touches makes the day ahead just that bit brighter.

Getting up in the morning and greeting Unforgiven with its personal touches makes the day ahead just that bit brighter.

Topics:  freightliner argosy, michael bransgrove

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