IT MIGHT be Andrew McSweeny's first time in the Brisbane Convoy for Kids, but he is planning on making his first entrance grand - 50 grand, in fact.
His goal is to raise $50,000 and have his truck Ned Kelly, which has won people's choice awards at the Casino and Rosewood truck shows, the lead truck.
McSweeny admits he is a Ned Kelly fan, as his Western Star has been completely airbrushed with the theme.
"He's a bit of an outlaw, I just like him," McSweeny said.
"It's the underdog story - I'm a bit of an underdog."
He built up his Logan-based business ScuzzTrans Container Transport from one truck.
"Ned's a bit of an inspiration," McSweeny said.
Not only has the truck been painted in the theme, the dash incorporates switches made out of bullets and anything else that could have been changed like knobs and levers are now revolvers.
McSweeny said he never really had time for the convoy before, or thought he had a truck good enough.
But now his business has expanded he can spare about six of his fleet for the convoy.
"I'm starting to make time for things like this," he said.
He has until October 26 to raise the money: "It's doable."
His office staff have been busy on the phones trying to raise money and he has emailed, used Facebook, spoken to clients, friends of friends and anyone he can to donate money to the Convoy for Kids in the name of Ned Kelly.
More than 300 clients have already donated bits and pieces worth up to $12,000.
It's a big task and his goal is well above what last year's lead truck raised - $15,000.
"I want Ned to lead the charge. It's an awesome cause," McSweeny said.
He hopes to generate interest and more money for this year's major beneficiary, Riding for the Disabled.
See more about the convoy including the route and start times in What's On, page 63.
To help get Ned Kelly in the lead phone the ScuzzTrans office to find out how to donate on 07 3209 6962
Visit the Brisbane Convoy for Kids website or phone the office 07 3800 3230
BRISBANE Convoy for Kids president Craig O'Brien hopes more utes and motorbikes will take part in this year's convoy which has raised nearly $80,000 for charity since it's beginning. Last year 75 utes took part and nearly 300 trucks.
The convoy starts on Saturday, October 27 at 10am from Stradbroke St Heathwood and finishes 65km later at the Redcliffe Showgrounds.
Bikes, utes and then trucks will drive along Stradbroke St, up Stapylton Rd, onto the Logan Motorway and onto the Gateway Mwy and past the Brisbane Airport.
They then take the Deagon Deviation and the Houghton Hwy before heading through Redcliffe and turning up Victoria Ave and Recreation St to the showgrounds.
Waiting for them will be a day of entertainment, including music, children's stage shows, rides, food and drink, animal displays and more.
The Truck Pull is on again and all the shiny trucks, utes and bikes will be judged.
Mr O'Brien said there would be a 10-minute gap between the bikes, utes and trucks.
"Planning is going very well. But we still need a lot more sponsorship to keep costs down and trade stall holders," he told Big Rigs.
This is the third year of the convoy and again businesses have got on board to help raise money.
There were too many helpers to list but most of the hire costs had been covered. Mr O'Brien said donations of snags and water, for up to 100 volunteers helping on the day, would be appreciated as well as prizes for charity auctions.
This year's beneficiary is Riding for the Disabled.
In previous years Camp Quality has received nearly $68,000 thanks to the convoy, and other charities have also received money including TRUST and The Spot.
But Mr O'Brien said he wanted to spread the donations around and help more organisations.
"Twenty-two years ago we did that, when John Moran started it. We want to try and get back to those roots." To donate you can contact the convoy office on 0738003230 for a pledge form.
Cost: Vehicle entry is $55 and includes a convoy shirt. Event entry is $15 for a family or $10 for adults, $5 for children and pensioners.