Trucking industry out in droves in support of Townsville convoy

A record 245 trucks and 85 motorbikes participated in the Power 100 Townsville Convoy for the Cure on Sunday, May 28. Thousands lined the streets along their route to wave and cheer them on.

In return, the truckies honked their horns to acknowledge the overwhelming support of the Townsville community.

Daniel Shaw drives a Mack R600 for Townsville Mini Loads, which took out the most trucks’ award by a small fleet company.

The lead truck was State Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper’s community truck, which raised $5261.98.

Large fleet winner was Nortrans Townsville with $11,235.80 raised.

DF & DL Drain Transport Pty Ltd transport raised $7823.90.

Small fleet winner was Townsville Mini Loads with $3635.54 legends, whilst Ellsley Metal Recycling Metal Recycling also did well with $1996.10.

Crowd at Family Day.

Trucks and bikes gathered at the marshalling area along Brad Webb Drive and adjacent streets in the Bohle suburb from 8am.

They travelled a total of 19km during the convoy, which was the largest event in the North Queensland capital that day.

It was estimated that the convoy was at least 5km long.

Big Rigs was there and spoke to numerous drivers, their family members, mates and supporters.

Eleni Millios-Hullick, CEO of The Cure Stars Now, with her husband, Craig Hullick, at the marshalling area.

Convoy co-ordinator Todd Martin, who has been involved in the event since 2008, said he was overwhelmed by the response.

“It is just great the way the community has supported this for such a good cause,” Martin said.

Eleni Millios-Hullick, CEO of The Cure Stars Now, echoed those comments and was run off her feet organising the positions of the trucks.

Matt Caspanello was driving a Kenworth 108 for Drain Transport and was with his son Nate, aged seven, and daughter Amaya, 13.

“This is my first convoy and it is great,” Caspanello said.

Children at the finish line, high-fiving police officers.

Simon Stafford was driving a Mack and had Melody Stafford with him.

Three other Drain Transport drivers Aaron Sonter, Callum McMahon and Chris Pearce were looking forward to the convoy.

Rod Jackie from Ellsley Metal Recycling based in Ayr, 88km from Townsville, was there with partner Rose and were both happy to be involved in such a wonderful cause.

Rojo Civil had numerous trucks involved and owner Jarred Roggero was there with drivers Tim Miller, his partner Krystle Miller and their children Ruby, 11, and Jasper, 3.

Power company Ergon Energy has lots of trucks of various sizes and makes, and employee Kate Austin was there to support the drivers.

Carl Waldeck, who works for Pattel’s Heavy Haulage, was there with son Mason, aged three.

“This will be my third convoy,” Waldeck said.

Clynton Hawks had his son Dustin Hawks, aged 11 months, with him and the youngster looks set to follow the family tradition and become a truckie one day.

“I’ll be driving a DAF for Southern Steel,” Hawks said.

At 9am sharp, the police escorts and trucks left Brad Webb Drive and turned left into Ingham Road and headed across Blakey’s Crossing.

Radio station Power FM, which was a sponsor, provided live on-air crosses to inform spectators where the trucks were at.

At one stage there were so many trucks moving that police allowed waiting traffic to travel along Ingham Road amongst the convoy.

I even saw two tiny dogs with their heads out the passenger side window of a light rig.

The convoy turned right into Duckworth Street, and later cruised along Dalrymple Road, Thuringowa Drive and then on Riverway Drive, where thousands lined the roadside.

They were on seats, watching from footpaths and the back of 4WD vehicles, on verandahs, and even on the trailers of trucks.

I ended up in the convoy and saw just how many people were supporting the event.

There was men, women and children of most ages and they waved and yelled out support.

The convoy took about 90 minutes to reach an area the near the Ross River Dam where there was a ‘Family Fun Day’.

Thousands were there and many trucks parked nearby as people enjoyed a feed, cold drink and entertainment and genuine goodwill amongst drivers from many companies.

“It is mayhem here,” a busy Todd Martin told me.

One of the highlights there was a Kids Convoy Race, in which youngsters on small bikes raced along an obstacle course and around witches hats.

When they reached the finishing line, they received a high five from the police officers who were there.

Hundreds gathered around the sidelines to clap on the young daredevils.

At the family day, I spoke to Daniel Shaw who drives a Mack R600 for Townsville Mini Loads which took out the most trucks’ award by a small fleet company.

Shaw has been a long-time supporter of the convoy and with him were other workers Peta Shaw and Graham Ketchup who were all attired in ‘Caped Crusaders’ outfits.

That certainly added atmosphere to the proceedings.

“I really like being involved in this convoy,” he said.

Townsville-based heavy freight specialist Nortrans has been a generous and big supporter of the convoy for many years. I spoke to one of Nortrans’ managers, Kent Battle.

“We have 20 trucks this year and the oldest is a 1961 B Model,” Battle said.

It sure turned heads during the convoy and was a centre of attention when parked at the Family Day.

It was indeed an event to remember and a credit to all those who gave their time and money for kids with cancer.

Convoy for the Cure Townsville is a truck and motorcycle fundraiser that supports The Cure Starts Now Australia, a charity dedicated to finding new holistic cures in Australian paediatric cancer research. 

Find more photos of the event in the June 9 edition of Big Rigs

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