Truckie Profiles

Old International the perfect fit for veteran operator

An old International pulled up at a far north Queensland rest area and the driver, who looked like a genuine character, stepped out.

It was veteran owner-operator Laurie Seery who is based at Charters Towers.

“It is a 1998 International with 700,000km on the clock. I have had it for five years and it runs very well,” he said.

The International is powered by a 260hp Cummins motor and Seery said it still had the original engine. “But it has had a new gearbox,” he added.

It was at the Frances Creek rest area 10km south of Ingham that Big Rigs saw the then 70-year-old driver.

When he stopped, numerous people who were sitting nearby checked out the International which became the topic of conversation.

“I turn 71 on January 4 and drove my first truck when I was aged 18,” he said.

Seery’s business is called Farm Scrap and Industrial, and the trusty International takes him all over Queensland.

He carries truck and farm machinery, batteries, cans and even scrap cars which he picks up – he even pays for some.

“The old girl has been to Brisbane, out west to Cloncurry, north to Tully and lots of places in between. Today I have a bin for a mate at Ingham,” he said.

For many years Seery drove road trains to many parts of Australia including to Darwin and Perth.

The most unusual load he transported was a Cessna plane from Clermont to Townsville.

‘’I used to take all types of heavy machinery to lots of places,” he said.

The worst road Seery said he has ever travelled on is the Tanami Track near Alice Springs.

“The maximum speed I could do was 10km per hour on some sections,” he said.

But a close second according to Seery is the Gregory Development Road between Charters Towers and Clermont.

Seery said many more rest areas were required especially “out from Charters Towers”.

Like the Frances Creek one which has clean public toilets, tables and seats with plenty of shade.

His favourite stop offs are the Bowen Caltex and Andy’s Roadhouse just near Ingham.

“The owner Andy Barra is a friend of mine,” he said.

Seery is fit for his age and says he will continue what he is doing hopefully for years to come.

And he expects the International to also keep going for a long time.

“My mum lived until she was 101 so I will have years in front of me. But I don’t think I’ll be driving when I am that age,” he said with a laugh.

His New Year’s Resolution was to “make more money”.

I reckon that Seery and the International are two veterans who are good together. And after a long yarn, he is a character of the road transport industry.

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