The Regan clan - Ariah, Pauly, Willow, Harley and Maddi.
The Regan clan - Ariah, Pauly, Willow, Harley and Maddi.

Pauly reckons his truck is like being in the Taj Mahal

PAULY Regan drives a Kenworth T909 for Shanahan’s Livestock Transport.

Operating Australia wide, Shanahan’s has depots at Toowoomba and Barnawatha. and runs about 28 trucks.

Pauly’s truck is only about 10-months-old.

“You’re part of the family working for the company,” Pauly said.

“Dom (Shanahan) is a terrific bloke to work for. I’ve only been with them for seven months so I’m the new boy on the block there – me and the truck both.”

Prior to joining Shanahan’s, Pauly had his own truck but sold out in February.

“Coming from a livestock background, the best move I ever made was to go and drive for Dom,” he said.

“I’d just had enough of towing crates for everyone and anyone and it was getting harder and harder.

“I had a few downfalls. Honestly when I look at it now I wouldn’t go back and own my own.

“You have to have either one or a dozen. I don’t have the stress anymore. All the blokes I work with are brilliant as well.

“Shanahan’s roll their trucks over every four to five years and everything is really well maintained.

“The fleet is all Kenworth and they are all 908s or 909s. Plus there is Dom’s original truck which is a 601 with a standout livery. This truck is a Taj Mahal.”

Pauly reckons he’s been home more in the past seven months than he had previously in the last 32 years.

“I manage to get home most weekends these days,” he said.

And that is a good thing as his home comprises himself, his son Harley, Harley’s wife Maddi and two granddaughters, Ariah and Willow.

It is quickly obvious that this is a close-knit family.

Harley is 20 and has just obtained his heavy rigid licence.

“I grew up in trucks with Dad. It’s not as though I don’t know how to drive them – I just need the piece of paper,” he said.

“Twelve months on the HR then I will go straight to my B-double in September next year. You can jump HC if you go through driving school.

“I’m so looking forward to it. I go out on a road with Dad when I can.”

“He’s been driving since he was nine-years-old,” Pauly said. “So his B-double shouldn’t be a problem.”

One nice truck - and Pauly keeps it that way.
One nice truck - and Pauly keeps it that way.

At the moment Harley is doing agricultural contracting – spraying, spreading, mulching and bailing.

“This is the busy time of the year so I make the most of it to support the family,” he said.

“As soon as I get the B-doub licence it’ll be straight on the road. That’ll mean I’ll be gone for most of the week, but that’s pretty much the case now and Maddi and I are used to it. This is the thing I love.”

Harley is a fourth-generation driver, starting off with his great-grandfather who drove Dodges and Fords.

“A ’42 Ford was Grandpa’s first truck,” Pauly said.

“I grew up in a 900. We did general then. Then we got a T904 followed by a Western Star and now I’m an employee.”

“Dom is really laid-back as long as we look after our vehicles. He is happy for us to add lights or anything we want to personalise the truck.

“I think he works on the theory that the more you make it yours, the better you will look after it. It’s a philosophy that works.

“It’s so nice to work for someone who gives you ‘please and thank you’, and who you can sit and have a beer with at the end of the day. I’ve never had that in 32 years.

“I unloaded yesterday in the Snowy Mountains and old mate said that since Dom has been doing his work it’s been unreal with absolutely no dramas.

“That’s a good recommendation and makes it more important for us drivers to live up to our end of the bargain.

“In the livestock industry there are drivers and there are drovers and Dom is a driver.

“I’m actually asked if I would do something, rather than being told, so you’re always prepared to go the extra mile if need be.

“It works both ways with the family prepared to go the extra yard and look after machinery.”

When Pauly bought his first truck in 2005 he was in Truckin’ Life as The Driver of the Month in that mag’s Million Click Club. One of the parameters of being nominated was to be accident free.

“Three weeks after I was in that, I ran up the arse of another truck,” Pauly said.

“Shit happens.”

Shanahan's fleet.
Shanahan's fleet.

Like Pauly, Harley was pretty well raised in a truck.

“I grew up in a truck. There’s pictures of me on Dad’s lap in the Inverell Freighters’ 904 when they first got them, steering a road train and listening to Alan Jackson’s Drive,” Harley said.

“I was just tall enough to stand on his lap and press the repeat button on the stereo the whole way to Adelaide from Inverell.

“I would have been in nappies then. I grew up in the bunk, it was my world.”

So in 12 months’ time Harley will become the fourth generation to hop behind the wheel of a big banger.

We suspect that the fifth gen will possibly include the family’s first female entry into the world of trucking.

Big Rigs

Automotive skills still vital to Australia’s economy

Automotive skills still vital to Australia’s economy

The skills set of automotive industry workers set to be displaced by the departure...

Meet the 10 Driving Change Diversity program participants

Meet the 10 Driving Change Diversity program participants

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and Teletrac Navman have today announced...

Family owned and operated centre wins Dealer of the Year

Family owned and operated centre wins Dealer of the Year

Daimler Dealer of the Year win is bitter-sweet for Murwillumbah Truck Centre