This 24-year-old’s foray into trucking all started through a chat with a mate. “He said come and work for me, so he put me on,” recalled Mitch Levchenko.
Based in the mining town of Tom Price, in WA’s Pilbara region, he began working for MJK Logistics four years ago – starting out in a rigid, he eventually progressed into the bigger rigs. These days, he steers a 2010 Kenworth T658, pulling up to three trailers and carrying general freight and machinery to mine sites across the state.
With depots in Perth and Tom Price, MJK Logistics started with one truck back in 2005 and now runs a fleet of close to 30 trucks, servicing the state’s capital and the north-west.
“We go anywhere in WA but I mainly go out bush to the mine sites. The furthest I’ll usually go is into Perth which is around 1500 kilometres each way,” Levchenko said, adding that this was one of his favourite runs, though it only comes around sparingly.
When headed out that way, his favourite place to stop is at the Cue Roadhouse, which is about halfway between Perth and Tom Price. “It’s always a good feed there. I like to stop there on the longer runs. If they have their lasagna in the bain-marie, that’s great, but usually it’s a burger or a schnitty,” he added.
“I enjoy getting out there on the road. I do singles, doubles or triples and it’s all into mines. Sometimes I’ll carry machines but it’s mainly general.”
Among the roughest roads Levchenko gets to navigate is through the Great Sandy Desert. “It’s always a challenge out there because about 80 kilometres of the road is corrugated as shit and then there’s another 60 kilometres of it that’s sand. There are two exploration camps out there that we deliver to.
“The road is all speed limited to 60km/h but sometimes you have to crawl along. It depends on how bad the corrugation is. About three years ago, it was really shocking but they’ve had the graders out there, so it’s a lot better now than it used to be.”
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