Truckie Profiles

Outback truckie has had ‘workhorse’ Iveco for the past 19 years

A workhorse Iveco ML180 has been used by outback driver Peter Ashman for the past 19 years.

Peter, 63, owns Escombe Downs Station located near Corfield in outback Queensland, off the highway between Hughenden and Winton.

He uses his Iveco and dog trailer to cart cattle and hay.

I saw him parked up in Townsville recently and asked what load he had carried.

“I brought down 11 cattle for the Townsville Meatworks and have to pick up hay at Pentland along the Flinders Highway to take to my property,” he said.

“The Iveco has been a reliable truck and has 207,000km on the clock.”

Peter says his favourite stop when on the highway is at the Torrens Creek Hotel, which is popular with many truckies.

“I had some food there at the little café recently and it was good,” he added.

Peter also doesn’t mind a feed of KFC when in a town – in fact, I saw him leaving one of the Colonel’s stores just before we met.

But he also has a soft spot for the Middleton Hotel, which is near Boulia.

“That is where I met my beautiful wife Tammy 44 years ago,” he said with a smile.

Business has been good for this station owner and his trusty Iveco over the last 12 months.

“Before that, we had a drought for 12 years and after that we had rain – things are much better,” he said.

Peter rates the 200km highway between Hughenden and Winton as the worst he gets along.

And being a parochial north Queenslander he barracks for the Cowboys in the NRL.

Outside work, Peter loves riding adventure bikes and getting behind the wheel of V8 cars.

Despite its small population, the small hamlet of Corfield has many stations nearby.

Some years ago, the population was only seven people and yet the town had eight liquor licenses – for annual events such as the famous Corfield Races.

Peter said he stops in at the Corfield Hotel when it is open.

I found Peter to be a friendly and happy driver, like most other bush and outback people I encounter.

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