Readers of Big Rigs will be familiar with the photographic work of owner-driver Kev Cameron who has been a regular contributor to the ‘Readers Rigs’ pages of the paper, along the way also gathering plenty of mileage on various Facebook pages, with his 2003 Western Star generally front and centre of his images.
With another grain harvest on the horizon, there will again be plenty of opportunity for Cameron to hone his craft as he works through northern New South Wales, so it was timely to have a chat with the 34-year-old recently and put Cameron in front of, rather than behind, the camera for a change.
Cameron’s path of a career in transport was determined from a young age, with father and uncles all driving trucks, with Cameron’s father Geoff a familiar sight running a Kenworth K200 throughout the Riverina. On leaving school he began working around his local area of Cobram-Barooga on the Victorian-NSW border, with a steady progression up to his current situation.
After getting his truck licence, and doing a stint in earthmoving operating an excavator, he hit the road, first locally and then doing market runs, to Melbourne and Sydney.
“Running market was a good opportunity, I had a brand-new truck and trailers and did that for a couple of years, then I landed a job with Rendevskis for two years on linehaul running to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and then the opportunity came up to buy a truck, it was something I had always wanted to do so why not, I thought I would have a crack at it,” he said.
The truck in question was a Mack CH and three axle dog-tipper set which had a few troubles along the way and Cameron was on the hunt for a more versatile truck that could help build his business.
“The idea was to go into quarry work with the Mack but I picked up a few contacts via some mates and started carting a bit of gypsum with the three axle dog – I thought if I could upgrade to a truck that can do grain it would keep me working and that’s what happened,” he explained.
With the Western Star coming up for sale in Bathurst, he was soon on his way to check out the truck, which was complete with a quad dog trailer.
“This one popped up along with another one at Wagga at the same time so when I went and looked at them both, this was about $50,000 cheaper – was probably going to be a bit of a trial to see how things went so I went for the cheaper option and it was still a pretty good truck,” he explained.
Buying the truck complete with a quad-axle dog trailer the Western Star was soon put to work on grain harvest, with the remainder of the year taken up working on grain contracts south with fertiliser generally onboard for the return leg north.
Along the way Cameron has replaced the body on the back of the truck for a larger-capacity unit and up-sized the trailer to a tri-axle dog.
“They are Sloanebuilt out of Sydney, which I bought through the Ritchie Bros auctions. I was loading fertiliser across the road and checked them out and they have turned out to be a pretty good buy.
“I was going to upgrade to that set-up anyway. It came up at a reasonable price, all I had to do was send it to Melbourne to get the PBS signed off. Everything was pretty much good to go.”
For the work he does, he reckons the setup with a body truck and trailer is ideal in terms of being able to maximise his payload and its versatility as opposed to other truck and trailer combinations.
“A stag B-double is probably a better setup but in saying that this is a shorter overall combination. If you’re doing dairy farm work and that sort of thing you can get better into places with this – in terms of unloading I reckon these are miles better than a conventional B-double-I can load 42.5 tonne in Victoria.”
So, on to the photography which Cameron fits in around his work schedules and given the variety of places and landscapes he finds himself in as he travels around, has been one that many people have shared through both the pages of Big Rigs and online.
“You get up in the hills and there’s some pretty nice landscapes. I went up between Moree and Goondiwindi for the harvest season last year and I am heading back up there again this year,” he said.
“We are pretty lucky in a sense some places we go to are pretty cool, even for harvest the machinery and some of the gear they run I just enjoy taking pictures of. People like my truck photos and I think a lot of non-truck people seem to like them as well.”
Working varied hours, especially around sunrise and sunset have also allowed Cameron to take photos from an artistic perspective as trucks and machinery come to life at night or have the morning sun and shadows helping set off and enhance the image.
Having just purchased a new drone, Cameron is also looking at taking to the skies for some different photographic perspectives of the harvest season this year.
With a lifetime spent around transport in one form of another, he has also documented his journey through the camera lens, and no doubt the picture gallery will continue to evolve.
Needless to say, there will be plenty of content finding its way onto the Big Rigs media platforms in the future also, and it doesn’t seem that Cameron will be having a change of career or dropping his photographic tendencies any time soon.
“I’ve been the same since I was five-years-old, always happy to talk trucks, and everywhere I go I take photos, it’s something I have always done and I enjoy the opportunity.”