Supercar transporters get Townsville V8 fans revved up for big show

Experienced Dave Aldridge is one of 25 truck drivers who transport V8 Supercars around Australia and was happy to provide Big Rigs with an insight into what is carried in the trailers and how it all fits.

Dave works for the Melbourne-based Tickford Racing Team and had his flashy B-double Kenworth K220 parked at the marshalling area before the Townsville Transporters Parade on July 3.

The NTI Townsville 500 from July 5-7 is the biggest annual sporting event in North Queensland and has become a staple on the Australian sporting calendar since it began in 2009.

“Everything has to fit perfectly in the purpose-built race transporters,” Dave said.

“I have two Supercars which are driven by Cam Waters and Tom Randall. There are two spare engines, two axles, compatible sets of panels, nine sets of wheels, suspension parts, and 40 litres of engine oil and 20 litres for the transmissions.

“In total the truck and trailers are 26m in length and the engine is a X15 Cummins and it has an automatic gearbox.”

While Dave said that the truckies were not allowed to let anybody, other than staff, into the trailers which were empty then anyway, he was happy to let me snap pics of the cabin.

Dave Aldridge gave Big Rigs a peek inside the comfortable cabin. Image: Alf Wilson

“It is just like inside the normal Kenworth model with some added stainless steel. It is very comfortable and sometimes I use the sleeper box whilst away. It is not much different to a model used by general freight trucks,” he said.

Dave had travelled to Darwin for the event there and then returned to Melbourne before heading off to Townsville.

“It was cold when I left Melbourne around eight or nine degrees and is more than 25 here,” he said.

The 54-year-old Dave has worked for Tickford for 14 years and loves visiting Townsville.

Up front, the K220 is set up like any used by other freight companies. Image: Alf Wilson

Near Dave were two other drivers Wayne Cowper, who works for Shell V Power and steers a flashy MAN, and Dave Lewin, who is a long-time Red Bull driver of a Mercedes.

The trucks were also parked at the parade marshalling area on Webb Drive preparing for the noon start.

Nearby was Paul Eddy who drives a Mack Athem for Brad James based at Albury in NSW, near the Victorian border.

The bonnet was open, and Paul was doing some general cleaning of the windscreen and around the 535 Mack engine.

“I have been with the company for four years this time and had been with them for 10 years before that. I have also driven interstate in a Kenworth and Freightliner Argosy,” he said.

Paul Eddy was doing some general cleaning of the windscreen and around the 535 Mack engine. Image: Alf Wilson

At noon the trucks left Webb Drive with police escorts in front.

From there they travelled along Ingham Road then turned left into Percy Street, to Bundock Streer, Howitt Street, Warburton Street, Eyre Street, and then crossed the popular George Roberts Bridge near the CBD.

On Saunders Street they passed the huge Queensland Country Bank Stadium, home of the North Queensland Cowboys NRL rugby league team.

Then onto the Reid Park circuit precinct where they parked.

All along the route fans lined the streets and intersections and cheered on and waved at their favourite teams.

They sat on the back of 4WD vehicles, on chairs, some had umbrellas as shade from the heat, and others watched from their yards.

There was thousands of men, women and children.

The Townsville transporter parade is considered to be one of the best of the year. Image: Alf Wilson

In recognition, the drivers honked their horns.

In addition to the transporter parade, a dedicated Fan Zone was established at the Townsville sign in Central Park near Palmer Street.

“The Townsville transporter parade is one of the best of the year, it’s an honour to be a part of for all Supercars’ teams,” said Jason Routley, Supercars Logistics manager and lead truck driver in the parade.

“Every truckie looks forward to seeing fans old and new along the route to the circuit to really kick off our event celebrations.

“Some of the teams travel close to 2500km to get to Townsville each year and seeing fans lining the streets to welcome them to town is always a great way to cap off the trip and officially begin the NTI Townsville 500.”

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