All is perfect in old Penrith
THERE aren't many better ways to spend a Sunday than to visit a truck show.
The atmosphere, scented by the smell of carnival food, showing the trucking industry as real people who take pride in their work.
The Penrith Working Truck Show is one such event, with more than 30 years of bringing the trucking community together, along with some of the most magnificent rigs on Australian roads today.
With entrants coming from all over, as far as Queensland, the show has a reputation as one of the "must-visit” shows on the calendar.
After a rather rotten turn of weather last year, this year's show was blessed by blue skies all day.
With more than 200 trucks of all sizes parked up in the Museum of Fire grounds, the competition was fierce as an army of judges perused the rigs on show.
Final figures at time of print were 20,000 through the gate, with showgoers coming from all over the state to attend.
Putting on one of the best regular stands of the Penrith show, the Boral team members brought eight of their newest trucks, along with their restored Mack R600, to show their roots.
Big Rigs caught up with Rob Waghorn, one of Boral's operation managers, to find out what is so appealing about the gathering.
Rob told us: "This event is good for community, we let the kids climb up into the trucks, and the look on their faces while they are behind the wheel makes it all worth it”.
Parked up across the way, Wallace International rigs of all different brands gleam in the morning sun.
One of the drivers, Sam Hira, told us he enjoys the show as "you get to see all the guys showing their trucks off, and they put on a great display”.
One of the newest fleets on the road today, Lantrak took along five trucks from its 67-strong fleet, with a view to teach awareness, as well as promote the company.
With this year focusing on driver safety awareness, the Lantrak stand featured an interactive display to show kids and those not in the trucking industry the correct way to act when around trucks.
The show is not just for big fleets either, with smaller family firms like Cassidy Trucking bringing along their pride and joy, from an International T Line to a W model tribute T904, to an ex-Ruttley's K100G which "has only been upside down once”.
Dave Sammut of C&D Sammut brought along the latest addition to his fleet, a Kenworth K200.
Running with an old school theme for the rig, the flat roof cabover features eight-inch air horns and round roof marker lamps, and the look works.
Dave said it was a good chance to get out there and catch up with mates, to take time to stop and chat.
The Penrith Working Truck Show is a chance for vendors in the trucking industry to show off their wares, and one of the stalwarts supporters of the event is Clancy's Truck and Trailer.
Supporting the show since the beginning, we caught up with Sheila Clancy, the dealer principal of Clancy's, to get her view.
"I love everything about the show, it's set up so well, with something at the show for everyone,” she said.
"Rides for the kids, country music for the music fans, and trucks for the big kids. The Museum of Fire does a great job with the money raised on the day, putting it towards education and preservation.”
Renegade Products Australia, which launched at the show last year, was back again with a successful year behind them.
Renegade's Paul Hunt was happy to be involved with the show.
"We can keep in touch with current customers, and maybe make some more. Plus I get to see all the nice trucks that are out there, all in the one place.”
The driving force behind the show was Mark White, and his army of volunteers who have spent the past 31 years building the truck show up to the titanic event it is today.
After the dust had settled, we spoke with Mark to congratulate him and get his wrap-up on the event about which he cares so much.
"In this difficult time of heavy vehicle compliance, we are showcasing the best of the industry, and this year we have taken the show to another level,” he said.
"We have stands here showing the commitment by companies to focus on road safety. The logistics required to put on a show like ours are of titanic proportions, with planning taking place from six months before the show, and the trucks rolling in from Friday night onwards.
"It's a credit to the companies' operations managers that we can get all these trucks on site in an orderly fashion.
"One company I have to make mention of, for their fantastic contribution to our show, is Camson's. The company Chris and Mary Sultana started in 1952, which has grown to one of the biggest local fleets on the road. This year's show is dedicated to the memory of Chris Sultana, to the contributions he has made which have helped our show grow.”
The organisers of the Penrith Working Truck Show have gone above and beyond to produce the show.