Impeccable truck replica makes perfect surprise gift

Crafted from wood and various other items, this 1.8 metre long replica Thurling Interstate Transport Freightliner Argosy and B-double combination has been 18 months in the making.

It was a heartfelt gift that Lisa Thurling organised for her husband Adam Thurling, who recently celebrated his 50th birthday as well as his 20th year in business. “The reason why I got the truck made was to celebrate the 20 years of moving onto a new era and 50 years of life as well. The model replicates everything, right down to all the smallest details,” said Lisa.

Based in Telegraph Point in NSW’s North Coast, Adam runs general freight into Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, from behind the wheel of his 2019 Freightliner Argosy.

Lisa wanted to surprise Adam to mark his 50th birthday and 20 years in business.

Lisa came up with the idea for the unique gift after seeing a photo on Facebook of a replica road train built by Melbourne-based truck driver John Lugg.

She approached the talented truckie with her idea. “It took a lot of persuasion to get John to consider making it as he saw it is a big challenge to carve the grille and the vents out. But he did it! He was hesitant at first because he said that if he was going to do it, he wanted to do it properly.”

The handcrafted masterpiece took Lugg around 18 months to complete.

“I chromed the wheels with a .6mm felt pen to help out as the paints were looking more like chrome bright. It took one hour to do each wheel,” added Lisa.

The shape of the grille made the build particularly tricky.

All the sign writing was completed by Kempsey Signs. “Brent did all the sign writing for all of our last three trucks, so it’s literally exactly the same, just in a smaller size. It’s the exact same writing all the scrolls are in the exact same spot as on my truck,” said Adam, adding that he was none the wiser about the gift, despite meeting Lugg in person.

“He even snuck into the depot to go and check out the grille and asked if he could take photos of my truck which I thought was odd at the time, but it all makes sense now,” Adam laughed.

The trailers are connected with suzi coils and there are switches in the toolboxes that turn on the hazards, park lights, headlights and all clearance lights. It operates on batteries, which have been cleverly loaded inside the trailers. “It’s a beautiful build and to see it in person is even better,” said Lisa, who enlisted the help of a two-up team to transport the model to its destination.

“A two-up team of friends, Tony and Lyn Haysom from Easter’s Transport, transported this beast from Sunshine to Kundabung, losing their front seat because this thing is so long. They were either in the driver’s seat or in the bunk because the passenger seat was lost to the truck, which was wearing a seatbelt too,” she said.

Lisa also had a miniature rest area sign made up too.

For over four months, Lisa had the trailers hidden under her desk and the prime mover tucked away in the wardrobe, out of sight.

Along with the incredible gift, Lisa also organised a surprise birthday party for her husband too. “I started planning the party two years ago because it’s so hard to get time off in this industry, so it allowed people to apply for leave. And the person making the truck needed at least a year and half to make the truck too.”

Adam received the gift during his surprise party last weekend, on Saturday June 25.

“I knew something was happening but I didn’t know what. A friend said he had booked a caravan for the party – and I said what party? It wasn’t until the Friday night when I came home in the truck and saw the marquees in the backyard,” said Adam.

“The photo don’t do it justice, it’s absolutely amazing. I’m getting a custom case built for it now too,” Adam added.

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