Originally from Tassie, outback truckie Joshua Bratt was lured to the west through his love of the big rigs – and the 33-year-old now calls Kalgoorlie home.
He works for Centurion Transport, carting all manner of loads into mine sites right across WA.
From behind the wheel of a 2009 Kenworth T908, he transports everything from machinery and reefers, to dangerous goods and oversize loads.
“I love it here – it’s where all the big toys are. The misses loves it in Kalgoorlie too, which is important, because she’s there more than me,” he said.
When we spoke with Bratt, he was temporarily stationed at Murrin Murrin, a remote nickel and cobalt mine, however he usually runs out of Centurion’s Kalgoorlie yard.
Bratt started driving trucks when he was 21 and quickly got the trucking bug. Eager to move up to the bigger rigs, he got his MC licence exactly 12 months later. “I went for my MC as soon as I could. They’re the biggest things on the road – it’s awesome,” he said.
He was initially lured to move out west after a holiday to Kalgoorlie to visit his mother. “I started seeing the big stuff moving around so I asked what was about and that’s how Kalgoorlie came up.”
He moved to Kalgoorlie in 2011 and found work as a heavy rigid driver for McMahon Burnett Transport, eventually working his way up to MC work.
In 2014, home was calling, so he temporarily moved back to Tassie, before returning to Kalgoorlie about a year ago.
“I applied for a job at Centurion on the Friday, left for Kalgoorlie on the Sunday and then started work a week later on the Monday – and I’m loving it. I like being out and about, and sleeping in the truck,” added Bratt.
“I like to be doing something different rather than doing the same thing all the time, and there’s opportunity to grow with Centurion too, because there is so much stuff that Centurion does.
“What I carry is always very mixed. I had a trailer come up which had road sign boards in one trailer and chemicals in the other trailer. It varies all the time depending on what the mine site has ordered.”
Though he loves his work, he says being away from family can be tough. “I have a five-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son. My daughter lives in Tassie with her mother so I don’t get to see as much of her as I’d like to. Then there’s my boy. Being away from him and my wife Claire is really hard. Both the kids love getting in the truck so they can pull the horn and press any buttons they can find,” he said.
As for roads, he has one in particular that he doesn’t fancy. “The Great Central Road is a shocking Road. You’re lucky to be able do 50km an hour. I also had to do a trip to Rawlinna, along Mount Monger Road, for a train derailment. The trip was about 250km and it took me the better part of eight hours to get there!”
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