Fuelling a lifelong passion

Matthew ‘Truckie’ Drewitt began washing trucks for a local transport company when he was just 12 – and 24 years on, still rides his bike to the depot to help out every weekend.

Then every Monday and Tuesday, you’ll find him sitting by the Gwydir Highway – which links the Northern Rivers region of NSW at South Grafton to the town of Walgett – with his camera in hand, snapping photos of trucks as they pass through.

“I started doing that in 2018 when I got my brand new Canon Powershot camera,” he said. “I’m mates with a fair few blokes who drive past in their big trucks and they give me a wave and a toot. Some of them will pull up and have a chat sometimes too.”

Snapping photos of trucks by the Gwydir Highway. Image: Matthew Drewitt

Extending on his photography, Truckie launched his own Facebook page in 2022, called Inverell truck photos, where he shares his work.

Truckie, 35, got his nickname at school because of his passion for trucks. “And now it’s stuck,” he said, adding that he has a soft spot for the Kenworth brand.

“I’m a Kenworth man through and through. My favourite truck is the Kenworth T950. When I started washing trucks, the company had a T950 that they used as a road train. It was a really beautiful truck.”

While a disability prevents him from being able to drive a truck, Truckie has been surrounded by trucks for nearly his whole life.

“I was only three or four when I started getting interested in trucks. We lived on a farm on the Mid North Coast, so I’d see all the grain trucks coming past,” Truckie recalled.

He now has quite the extensive collection of truck photos. Image: Matthew Drewitt

“And my dad managed a pig farm. They had a truck there that was used to cart the pigs. It was a 1980 model Leyland Boxer. My grandfather worked there too and would take me out in the truck.

“When my family bought a property in Inverell in 1996, my dad bought that truck off them. We had the property for about 10 years, but when we sold it, the truck went with it.”

Truckie still lives in Inverell, a town situated on the Macintyre River in NSW. The trucking company he works at is around 4 kilometres away. “I’ve done that job since 2000 and I absolutely love it. You get to really know some of the drivers there too. Merv, the diesel mechanic started a long time before I did, so he’s been there a really long time.

“I used to do some work there during the week too but now it’s just on Saturdays and Sundays, as I do a few other things too. I also worked at a spare parts business from 2014 to 2022 – it was a pretty good job.”

Truckie says he’s a Kenworth man through and through. Image: Matthew Drewitt

Truckie also enjoys travelling the truck show circuit around NSW. He’s become a regular at truck shows in Casino, Grafton, Newcastle and Glen Innes – and recently had the chance to visit the Kenworth Klassic for the first time, which he said was absolutely awesome.

Truckie’s favourite event however is the Casino Truck Show, which he’s been attending since 2017. “When I went last year they had 620 trucks there but my camera went flat after about 260 photos,” he said.

But his biggest truck show highlight to date came at the 2019 Casino Truck Show, where he got to ride in the parade in SRV Road Freight’s Kenworth Legend 900 #100, named ‘100 Reasons Why’.

He got to travel in this SRV Road Freight Kenworth T900 Legend during the parade at the 2019 Casino Truck Show. Image: Matthew Drewitt

Over the years, Truckie has had the opportunity to hit the road many times, taking in the view from the passenger seat. “I’ve been to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and that was absolutely awesome. I haven’t had a chance to go out to South Australia yet though,” he said.

“I went out with one of my mates that used to work for a local trucking company. Travelling the Hume Highway was awesome!”

Truckie has a collection of diecast truck models. Image: Matthew Drewitt

Truckie’s home also has many telling signs of his love of trucks. Along with truck posters adorning walls all over the house, he also collects diecast model trucks. In his collection so far are a Kenworth K200 Big Cab, a North Queensland Heavy Haulage Kenworth T509, a Martin’s Stock Haulage Kenworth K100G, and a silver Kenworth T908.

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