Features, Truckie Profiles

From bull rider to bull transporter

bull rider

Michael Carr may be just 155cm in height but he stands tall when it comes to his courteous nature and knowledge of the road transport industry.

Big Rigs saw the 52-year-old sitting in the driver’s seat of his Kenworth T909 triple road train at the tiny hamlet of Homestead which is beside the Flinders Highway.

It was in the early afternoon and the temperature was soaring in the mid-thirties and the sun was burning.

But Carr who works for Bill Matton Transport at Gracemere in central Queensland was delighted to have a yarn.

Gracemere is located 9km west of Rockhampton which is famous for being the beef capital of Australia.

“I am taking 86 head of cattle from Gracemere to Cloncurry out west. They are all big bulls,” he said.

Michael Carr, who works for Bill Matton Transport at Gracemere in central Queensland, was on his way to Long Gully.

A genuine country man who was born and bred in Winton, Carr had been travelling from home along the Gregory Development Road between Clermont and Charters Towers.

“It is a terrible road with lots of rough shoulders and is narrow at places. It requires great care when driving triples,” he said.

The road is also known as the Belyando Highway and Carr did say that a rest area along it at Cape River was good to stop at with toilets and a shaded area.

His hobbies include watching rodeo and it was with some irony that this gentleman of the highways and byways was transporting bulls.

“I used to be a bull rider at rodeo events,” he said.

Like most livestock transport drivers, Carr has to clean out the trailers after dropping off his cattle.

It is a dirty and smelly task as they have to hose away the droppings and urine left by the animals.

However, Carr wasn’t complaining in the least and just said it was part of the job.

Bill Matton Transport is owned by Bill and Christine Matton and is a community minded company that supports local events.

The company was started by Bill’s dad and has been going strong for decades.

“They are a great company to work for – and I have been a truckie for most of my working life,” Carr said.

During our chin wag I told Carr about the speed detection cameras just along the Flinders Highway at Torrens Creek and he said he sticks to the limit anyway.

Just before I left Carr he opened the door of the Kenworth and presented me with a Bill Matton Transport cap.

It was a pleasure to have met with Carr and have such a great conversation.

Then he drove off heading for the outback town known as Long Gully, which is 450km away.

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