Saturday, January 2, 2010

Kenworths at Camerons Transport

After working at Fleetways, John was looking around for another job and he called in at Camerons at Doncaster and talked to Ray Sinclair. The next day a telegram arrived 'Job available at Camerons, report at 8.00am tomorrrow'. They started him in the Depot loading chiller vans with fruit and doing local deliveries and pick-ups. Got told off by Ray Sinclair in the first five minutes for walking on the middle of the fruit boxes, not along the edges. Later the same week got told off by Jack Bateman for backing across the yard with the van door open.

Tubbs Hill, Old Hume Highway, southbound, about 1970. S-model, GM 6V71, 12 speed Spicer.
After two weeks he was offered a trip in an S-Model Kenworth, he took it for a trial run around the block a few times with one of the experienced drivers and got used to the 12-speed Spicer box. That night, he left at 8.00pm on the Yass Relay. John had to be there at 8.00 the next morning, when another driver took the truck to Sydney. He spent the next 12 hours at the Yass Motel and then left at 8.00pm to return to Melbourne. He did this for the next few months, with an occasional direct to Sydney. John worked on and off for Camerons for the next two and a half years, working from both Doncaster and Bayswater Depots. When the Company was split up he went to work for Sellwood Interstate Transport with Frank Sellwood and Frank D'Agostino.

Near Bookham, photograph taken about 1970. S-model, GM 6V71, 12 speed Spicer.

Conroy's Gap, near Yass, taken about 1970. GM 8V71, 15 speed Fuller Road ranger.
John acquired a taste for Kenworths and bought a tired old Kenworth (1964 K100, V671 GM, 12 speed Spicer), pictured below. After working around a few slow-paying jobs, then rolling the truck over at 4.30 one morning just north of Narrabri, then having the truck off the road for 16 weeks, money was tight so John rang Frank Davidson at Vaughans. Vaughans paid well and COD, which kept the wheels turning, until a financial low point was reached which was only resolved by selling the truck, walking way from the mess and going back to sea, to the Bass Strait oil field tugs.

The Kenworth at Beveridge.

Taken at Coonabarabran. John looked like he was King of the Road, but financially this Kenworth was a disaster. For his next truck, he went European, and got a 1418 LPS Benz.

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