Outback, Third generation, Truck driver, Truckie Profiles

‘It’s different every day’ for this third generation outback truckie

Driving a brand new Kenworth T659 with 110,000 litres of fuel behind him, this third-generation truckie says he’s enjoying the ride.

“My late grandfather Joe was a milkman and my father Garry has driven fuel tankers all his life as well – Dad has only just retired at the age of 65. I’m third generation, so I fell into this industry,” said Thomas Hill, 33, who’s been working with Emerald Carrying Company since mid 2023.

Prior to that he was lucky enough to work beside his father for nine years at Hills Tankers in NSW, also carting fuel.

From behind the wheel of a new Kenworth T659, Hill travels across the NT and into Queensland. Image: Thomas Hill

Hill is originally from NSW’s Hunter Valley but had a taste of life in Darwin years ago when he worked on cattle stations. “I wanted a change so decided to go back,” said Hill. “I love the lifestyle here. It’s so laid back and relaxed. You pull over on the side of the road and a random stranger will pull over to see if you’re okay. You don’t really get that now in the southern states.”

Working out of Emerald Carrying’s Darwin depot, Hill pulls triple fuel road trains, delivering to the mines. “I cover all across the top of the Territory and over into Queensland.

“It’s a really good company to work for. It’s still family owned and operated, so you’re not just a number here.”

When Hill first got his truck licence at the age of 18, he started out in horse transport, then truck and dogs, followed by general and livestock while on the cattle station. But he knew the fuel industry was where he wanted to be.

He hauls triple road trains, delivering fuel to the mines. Image: Thomas Hill

“Going on trips with my father when I was little, this was just something that always interested me. My father taught me a lot early on,” explained Hill.

“Before everything got so regulated I got to travel with dad on weekends. I was always out there with him helping to give the truck a wash. He did interstate. Roxby Downs in South Australia was the furthest I went with him – he used to go there regularly. I was about six years old the first time I went on that run. I think dad knew it was inevitable that I’d follow the same path – I would’ve ended up in this sooner or later.

“The fuel trucks were always clean and tidy, very professional and lots of people looked up to the industry.

“For me, the fuel industry was the pinnacle of where I wanted to be. I’ve worked with fuel tankers for about 10 years now.”

When Hill joined Emerald Carrying, he was driving a Western Star 6900, but a few months ago got handed the keys to the new Kenworth T659. He says it’s a great truck that’s very comfortable and has all the bells and whistles.

He joined Emerald Carrying Company last year and says it’s a great company to work for. Image: Thomas HIll

When asked what he loves most about the work, Hill responded, “Just the remoteness of it. And it’s something different every day. The sunrises and sunsets up here are a good perk too.

“You’ve got to enjoy your own company. And make sure you have all your podcasts downloaded before you go out of service!

“This will be me forever I think. I really do enjoy it. I just take every day as it comes. I love the bush, so I’ll keep doing this while I keep enjoying it.”

If you’re an outback truckie and want to be featured on our driver profile pages, email editor@bigrigs.com.au.

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