Owner-driver Kym Starkey and his partner Jo Lindsay, who used to drive dump trucks, have run the Little Topar Roadhouse in NSW, 80km east of Broken Hill for the past 22 months.
They took over when legendary husband and wife team, Colin and Barb Harvey, retired in 2018 after nearly 30 years of running the show.
The Little Topar Roadhouse is located on the Barrier Highway in western NSW and is between Broken Hill and Wilcannia and has become very popular with truckies.
One of the questions I ask the numerous drivers I have yarned to for Big Rigs over several years is “what is their favourite roadhouse?”
Many have nominated the Little Topar for various reasons such as friendly service, good meals at value prices and plenty of parking.
So, I phoned the Little Topar Roadhouse and spoke to Jo about what the attraction is for truckies.
“We try and make it such a homely place for them to stop and with Kym and myself having both been drivers we know what they want and expect,” Jo said.
Jo said the roadhouse was in the “middle of nowhere” and that every day numerous trucks pulled up there.
The night before 10 stock trucks, flat tops and other heavy vehicles had parked outside Little Topar.
“We sell 50,000 litres of diesel here weekly and Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are generally our busiest days. The trucks which pull up are from WA, SA, Queensland, NSW and even the Northern Territory,” Jo said.
Kym whose company is named KJ Starkey Transport has been an owner-operator for eight years and drives a Kenworth 909 which was purchased in 2010 in memory of Jo’s late dad Pat.
“Dad was from Wanaaring west of Bourke and he was a truck driver years ago and passed away in 2009,” Jo said.
Jo who drove a dump truck at a mine also worked in shearing sheds where she learnt to cook a variety of culinary delights.
Jo said all the meals were home cooked, so I asked which ones were ordered the most by truckies.
“They like the rissoles I make with vegies and schnitzels with salad and chips. During winter months we also have a roast on Sunday which they like. It is too hot to have it during summer,” she said.
Speaking of the weather, it had just started raining as I spoke to Jo.
“We get Big Rigs paper dropped off here and the truckies like it,” she said.
Recently Jo got a call from the John Laws Radio Show which broadcasts around Australia on weekday mornings.
“Somebody phoned them up and it was good talking to John Laws,” she said.
Another service much appreciated by truckies is that they can ring though an order to pick up when they arrive.
Even if it is beyond the 6.30am to 10pm opening hours and numerous regulars take advantage of the service.