SEE THE PHOTOS: Ten-Up to Oaklands
DESPITE the first significant wet weather for two months in the Riverina, the trucks still rolled in from far and wide for the running of the annual Oaklands Truck Show. .
With persistent rain keeping numbers down somewhat, more than 70 trucks turned out to take part in the weekend event, starting with the "Lights on the Hill” spectacle on Saturday, March 24.
With the small Oaklands community the home base for a number of transport operators, the event was well supported by trucks from the local region and from locations further afield including Wagga Wagga, Albury-Wodonga, Euroa, Shepparton and Cobram.
A number of fleet operators were also present displaying numerous trucks. They included Killen Trucking, J & A Beale, Shaun Walsh and Gattuso Transport and Packaging.
The truck show celebrated its 10th year. It started out as a small event and has grown into a major event on the truck show calendar.
Through the hard work of a dedicated committee the event has been beneficial in raising money for a range of community projects and assistance grants to young people in the Oaklands area.
The canteen and pavilion at the Recreation Reserve where the truck show is held each year were built with funds raised from the event.
One of the highlights of the show each year is the "Lights on the Hill” display where all of the trucks are lit up in the darkness with lights ablaze.
A perpetual trophy is awarded in memory of Dawson's Transport driver Wayne "Marto” Martin.
This year the trophy was taken out by Ballerini's Transport of Cobram with their Kenworth K200.
The Oaklands Truck Show honour roll acknowledges the contribution local individuals and families have made to the road transport industry throughout the Riverina with an annual induction.
David Sheridan became the latest inductee this year. He purchased an Austin truck in 1978 to cart grain around the area and over the following 40 years built up a transport business with wife Kate.
Today, with his son Mark actively involved in the operation, the Sheridan family run a small fleet of Kenworth trucks on livestock and grain haulage throughout the Riverina and further afield.
Walking around the trucks on show is like taking a trip through the evolution of transport in Australia over the last 70 or so years with trucks on display ranging from a 1950s Ford (owned by Day's of Oaklands) through to the "Butterbox” AACO Internationals of the 1960s, Atkinsons and Flintstone Macks of the 1970s through to the latest Kenworth T900 Legend released last year.
As such there was a wide scope of trucks available for judging across the various categories.
Most trucks were presented to a high standard despite the wet weather not helping keeping the shine on.
This year once again the Kenworth marque took out the major prize of Truck of the Show, with Barry and Kobey Dickson of Cobram taking home the trophy and $2000 prize with their immaculate 1993-model Kenworth T900.
The recently restored Kenworth, which has been refurbished from the chassis rails up, also took out the People's Choice Award (a feature on this truck will be in a future edition of Big Rigs).
Despite wet weather the show is still a firm favourite among many, with some truck drivers returning year after year to display their trucks and support the community.
It is the spirit and goodwill of those who give their time and effort to make gatherings such as the Oaklands Truck Show a success.