RIGS ON SHOW: Plenty of shine on show at Deniliquin.
RIGS ON SHOW: Plenty of shine on show at Deniliquin.

All the highways lead to Deniliquin Truck Show

David Vile reports from Deniliquin:

THE annual Deniliquin Truck Show and Industry Expo has proven to be a happy hunting ground for Frank Gattuso Transport, with the company taking out the coveted Truck of the Show award for the second year in a row.

From modest beginnings in 2015, the event in the southern Riverina is becoming a focal point for presenting and showcasing the transport industry to the general public along with acknowledging and celebrating those who have achieved much in the transport industry.

The event began on the Friday night at the RSL, with the Deniliquin and District Transport Wall of Fame Induction Dinner with more than 220 people in attendance.

Three new names were selected from a field of nominees, all of whom have made a considerable contribution to transport in the Deniliquin area.

In 2017, Neil Scott, Allan Watson and the late Ludvik "Victa" Lumbar were selected and their names are now affixed to the timber wall at the North Deniliquin parking area.

With fine weather on the Saturday the trucks rolled in from as far afield as Sydney, Bendigo and Kerang.


Paul Eddy and
Paul Eddy and "Stax” the BJR Race Transporter came across from Albury.

The unfavourable weather earlier in the week was a factor, with numbers this year down a little on 2016, with 55 trucks registering for the show and shine.

With a diverse range of trucks on show presented to a high standard, the judges had a tough task in determining the overall winner along with a number of other categories.

Following on from 2016 success, where Frank Gattuso Transport took home the trophy with a Kenworth K108, in 2017 the company took out title with their Peterbilt379.

The Peterbilt also took out Best Truck 10-25 years while in other results Nichol Trading of Rochester took out Best Fleet, Neville and Margaret Campbell won Best Truck 40-plus years with their 1956 Ford F500 and Brendan Beale of Oaklands took home the "Muscles" Gray Memorial Award with his 2017 Kenworth T659.


Nichol Trading's Kenworth T659 rolls into Memorial Park.
Nichol Trading's Kenworth T659 rolls into Memorial Park.

Trade support in 2017 was again strong with Scania Campbellfield, CMV Albury Wodonga (Mack/Volvo/UD) and Graham Thompson Motors from Shepparton (Kenworth/DAF) all presenting new models on display.

Long-term supporters Purtill's Petroleum, Cummins and Royan's also had a strong presence, along with a number of ancillary suppliers such as Dunn's Engineering, Inter-Continental Spares and Roundabout Tyres.


Agtrade Machinery's immaculate Freightliner Argosy.
Agtrade Machinery's immaculate Freightliner Argosy.

The New South Wales Fire Brigades and Rural Fire Service showcased a range of emergency services vehicles while Team Army also made the trip to Deniliquin with its "Armygeddon" Land Rover 6x6 on display. Brad Jones Racing transporter drivers Paul Eddy and Rob Chattington took a break out from their preparations for the Sandown 500 to bring their Freightliner race transporters across from Albury, which drew a steady stream of visitors.

A memorial service at the Wall of Fame on the Sunday morning was the final event for the weekend which was well attended, and Truck Show president Leesa Muir is looking ahead to the 2018 event, scheduled for the second weekend in September.

"We can't wait for 2018, to bring a bigger and better show. We have already received sponsorship pledges from new companies and pre-booked attendance from our trade sites - all of this helps with planning and gives us more time to focus on securing more trade sites and sponsors. We are confident we are here for the long run and will become a must see event in the future," she concluded.


Geordy Gattuso standing proudly by his Peterbilt. An inspiring collection of heavy metal.
Geordy Gattuso standing proudly by his Peterbilt. An inspiring collection of heavy metal.

Graham Harsant reports from Deniliquin:

THE Deniliquin Truck Show is the get-together of the year and it's always great to catch up with friends old and new.

Neville Campbell from Cobram, had a multitude of choices regarding where to take his Ford F 500 this weekend, but Deniliquin won out.

He has had the F truck on the road for seven years and has taken it to more than 80 shows.

He started off driving Bosses, then Fords, Internationals and Leylands. Like many others of his era, he got behind the wheel before he even had his licence.

Neville's father, Colin, was the first driver for Murray Goulburn. Neville has a photo of him with the Thorneycroft.


Whitelock Transport's Jake
Whitelock Transport's Jake "Rattler" Howard and Dan Whitelock with Nick Gierisch.

Geordie Gattuso is 19 and the son of Frank, well known in the Shepparton area. Geordie is a third-year diesel mechanic for his father. "Another year to go and I'm looking forward to getting out on the road. Then I'll have to ease him out and take over," he said with a grin.


Nathan Adams with SRV's Limited Edition KW.
Nathan Adams with SRV's Limited Edition KW.

The Gattuso family is a great supporter of truck shows in the area, having been seen regularly at Castlemaine and as far afield as Koroit.

Nathan Adams drives for SRV road freight services based at Yatala, Queensland. We were impressed at the distance he travelled to get to Denni until he informed us he lived locally at Shepparton.

George Gerkens hails from Balranald. K and S.L Nelson emblazoned on the side of the truck is for Ken and Sylvia, who have a grain storage and cartage business in the town. "Ken actually owns it. I'm the lucky son-in-law," George said. "He also owns the red 90 here. We did the truck up together. I'm a diesel mechanic by trade but I've driven for Ken for some 30 years."


You could be excused for thinking it's KW capital.
You could be excused for thinking it's KW capital.

"Ken started out in 1974 with a KM Bedford identical to this. We chased everywhere the original and could not find it anywhere so we had to settle for a replica. We did this for 2015 for the Hall of Fame. We did 'Moonlight Gambler' for 2010. This is a first show the trucks of been to since Alice Springs, would have been that busy."

George is still on the road hauling livestock in a B-double out of Mildura.

"We go wherever he sends us. I was in Tibboborough last week, down to Wodonga, over to Murray Bridge, down to Melbourne - you wouldn't know where you are going. There's always another road."

There's a truck, then the wife, then the kids. Isn't that the way it goes?


Deniliquin Truck Show 2017 Winners

-Truck of the Show: Gattuso Transport 1996 Peterbilt 379

-Muscles Gray Memorial Award: Brendan Beale 2017 Kenworth T659

-Best Truck 0-3 Years: Mick Gray 2015 Kenworth T950

-Best Truck 4-9 Years: Nick Gierisch 2012Kenworth T909

-Best Truck 10-25 Years: Gattuso Transport 1996 Peterbilt 379

-Best Truck 26-39 Years: Daniel Whiteloch 1986 Kenworth W-Model

-Best Truck 40+ Years: Neville & Margaret Campbell 1956 Ford F500

-Best Local Truck: Caruso brothers Transport 2017 Kenworth T609

-Best Rigid: Attcall Civil Contractors 2006 Kenworth T904

-Best Fleet: Nichol Trading Rochester  

Big Rigs

Which road does Mick rate as rough?

Which road does Mick rate as rough?

What makes our drivers tick?

Aaron learned 'old skool' way

Aaron learned 'old skool' way

Exodas Transport driver looks up to grandfather

'We need it fixed right now'

'We need it fixed right now'

"The damage was so great that it was nowhere near enough”