Careers & Training, Truck events

Old Mack a real crowd-pleaser at big army open day


An old Mack R series truck driven by trooper Billy Mills was the centre of attention at an Army Open Day in Townsville which was attended by more than 10,000 people.

Known as an RFI-TTF-A MK II Aviation Refuelling truck, it is 8 tonnes, has a turbo charged diesel engine and manual transmission.

It is a series RM6866RS, with an NSN of 661533721 and has 114,000km on the clock.

Its engine size is 11 litres, 212kW at 1800rpm and has a Mack Maxitorque TRL1078 five speed gearbox and a storage capacity of 14,890 litres. It was introduced into service during 2011.

Originally from Coff ’s Harbour in NSW, Mills is a member of the 5th Aviation Regiment based at Townsville.

“It is a great old truck and supplies fuel for a Chinook CH47 helicopter,” he told Big Rigs.

Nearby was the Chinook and there was a big queue waiting to see it up close.

The open day was held at the giant Lavarack Barracks, the biggest military base in Australia. Numerous trucks were also on display that day.

A Lavarack Barracks spokesman told Big Rigs that the role of the Mack R Series is to provide the Australian Defence Force (ADF) land forces with an 8-tonne cross-country and 10-tonne highway capacity vehicle capability.

“The vehicle’s carrying capacity can be increased using a towed eight-tonne dual axle trailer or 20-tonne quad axle trailer. The bulk fuel variant of the Mack truck is capable of carrying all fuel types and is designed for forward refuelling of air and ground assets,” the spokesman said.

Deliveries to the Australian Army went from 1982 to 1986.

“In 1988, a further 19 trucks were delivered, bringing the total to 925 of all variants,” he said.

Another big attraction on the day were the Liebherr crane trucks.

“A fleet of Liebherr LTM1060-3.1 cranes have been delivered under the Land 8120 Phase 1 contract Ventia has with the Australian Department of Defence. The first of the vehicles arrived from Germany in August 2022 and Ventia’s Support Services team have since worked closely with the Capability Acquisition & Sustainment Group (CASG) and equipment manufacturing partner Liebherr Australia to finalise the modifications to the crane to suit specific defence requirements,” the spokesman said.

The Liebherr LTM 1060-3.1 crane is one of 13 types of earthmoving and materials handling vehicles, with a total of 292 vehicles being delivered under the contract.

It is equipped with six-wheel drive offering off-road capability and has a rated lifting capacity of 60-tonne (48-tonne in defence configuration).

It offers industry leading technology, safety and lift analysis.

Whilst it was free entry to the open day, many gave donations which went to the Northern Queensland Legacy and Ronald McDonald House.

The open day is the local defence community’s way of saying thank you for the ongoing support from the Townsville community.

This event features a showcase of local defence unit capabilities with interactive displays, demonstrations and activities for the whole family.

There were food trucks and information stalls from a number of community groups including one providing information about careers in the military.


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