A giant chrome gnome isn’t what you’d usually expect to find on the back of a truck, but last week the nine-metre tall statue hit the road, as it was transported to its permanent home.
Dandenong Heavy Haulage (DHH) was tasked with moving the statue, which weighs about four tonne.
A crane was used to load the chrome gnome, so it could be transported from Frankston to the McClelland Sculpture Park.
The artwork, by Gregor Kregar, is actually called Reflective Lullaby but has become affectionally known as ‘Frankie’.
The gnome was originally commissioned for the Peninsula Link Freeway in Karingal, where it stood tall for four years. When that tenancy came to an end, the McClelland Sculpture Park loaned it to its most recent Frankston location, where it stayed for another four years.
But on Thursday, the giant gnome was loaded onto an Isuzu twin steer tilt tray ahead of its journey.
It was then transported from the corner of McMahons and Hastings Road in Frankston, to McClelland Sculpture Park in Langwarrin.
DHH transport manager Rodney Smith explained how the gnome was secured onto the truck, “What they did is they bolted the gnome down onto a concrete pad. Before we got onto site, they unbolted it and put a cradle support underneath so the gnome was held up off the tray,” he said.
Though this is the third time in eight years that Frankie has been trucked to a new location, it’s the first time DHH was involved.
Tony Ireson was part of the move, as the pilot driver. “I have to admit we were a little worried when we got the job,” he said. “But it was all well organised and that was the main thing – and there was a proper stand the gnome lays down on.”
Based in Victoria, DHH was started in 1998 and currently runs a fleet of 20 trucks, including 12 tilt trays and eight floats.
Ireson says about 90 per cent of their work is carting machinery. “I don’t reckon we’ll move anything weirder than this,” he joked. “Its comical value was good!
“We’ve transported a lot of other stuff that is a bit out there, but nothing quite as unusual as a nine-metre long garden gnome.”
Commenting on the move, McClelland Sculpture Park says that funding for the sculptures is donated by Southern Way. “After four years on public display, the commissions become part of McClelland’s permanent collection. The series will result in 14 commissions over a 25-year period to 2037.”