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Josh’s tip-top tow trucks turn heads at Castlemaine

tow trucks

With Covid restrictions lifted after weeks of lockdowns in Victoria, some sense of normality returned to the community, and one of the most popular truck shows in the state was back on the calendar with a large contingent of trucks and visitors to the Castlemaine Rotary Truck Show.

Making up part of the late November parade from the town centre through to the truck show and family day at the Campbells Creek Reserve was Castlemaine local Josh Parsons, who had three of the family’s tow trucks on show in the late spring sunshine.

With three generations of family members in the business, the Parsons Motor and Body Shop has had a presence in Castlemaine since 1975, undertaking a full range of mechanical servicing, panel beating, repairs and spray-painting of cars and trucks.

With a total of six recovery trucks in the fleet, the Parsons’ pride-and-joy, a tri-axle 2015 Freightliner Coronado, was accompanied by a Kenworth T604 and one of the company’s four tilt-trays, an Iveco Stralis.

“The Freightliner has a Detroit, while there’s a Cat C15 in the Kenworth. We run an Ekebol wrecker on one and a Century on the other,” explained Parsons.

Both trucks are fitted out to handle the full range of truck towing and recovery work, with the Kenworth rated at around 98 tonnes, and with the tri-axle on the Freightliner it is rated to 130 tonnes.

The Parsons’ fleet is diverse allowing the company to tackle the full range of recovery jobs with the company working in co-operation with a number of other truck repairers and agencies.

“We have the four tilt trays for mechanical and smash recovery,  and we also have a float for recovery of trucks that might be burnt out and so forth,” he detailed.

“We did have three, but we cut back to two which has made it a bit easier. We had a Freightliner before building this one up, it would be nice to keep them all but there’s a lot of money tied up in them.”

With its relatively close proximity to Melbourne, and the larger centres of Bendigo and Ballarat, the tow fleet is put to work across a wide part of the state in all directions from home base.

“We do a fair bit around Bendigo, we go towards Melbourne for a lot of breakdowns, and we service up to Mildura and out Swan Hill way also…there’s usually enough for us to do. If it’s a bit quiet we will jump in one of the tilt trays and go and shift a few cars,” said Parsons.

As one of 15 staff in the business, Josh Parsons did his apprenticeship as a mechanic, doing his time firstly working in and then running the workshop for about a year and a half,  before taking on the job driving the Freightliner.

Needless to say, keeping the fleet well-presented goes with the role and all three Parsons’ trucks on show were turned out to a high standard, with both Josh Parsons and the Coronado previously tasting success at the 2018 event, taking out the Best Presented Tow Truck Award.

As is the case with a lot of towing vehicles the Parsons’ paint-scheme is a head turner, with the green-and white colours prominent across the fleet.

“The paint scheme was designed when getting the Kenworth done and the signwriter did an awesome job. The truck is 17 years old and looks like it has just been done, it’s still pretty spot-on. It’s all airbrushed and not just been done with stickers,” he said.

The show was a good opportunity for the community to again embrace the truck show which has been a mainstay of the Castlemaine Rotary Club for a number of years.

“We took the trucks in the parade this morning. It’s good now we are getting over Covid somewhat and we are able to get the truck back out and everyone around again, it’s a good atmosphere,” added Parsons.

For the time being, Parsons is happy behind the wheel of the Coronado ready to head off in a minute’s notice on another salvage job.

“It’s better than being stuck in the shed all the time, to get out and help out our customers and go where you have to go. You see a few things you don’t get to see every day, that’s the best part of the job.”

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