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1  Members Section / General Truck talk / Re: Mick Travelos Transport info wanted on: August 29, 2011, 08:28:19 am
Hey guys....

....Any one of you lot have any pics of Micks trucks painted up in TNT colours ??

So far I've found ML40 and ML42 both KW W900's

Even if anyone can remember fleet numbers and make/model it would be much appreciated
2  Members Section / Welcome / Re: Hiya - New to this online community on: July 31, 2011, 08:46:12 am
Welcome Mr. Parker you can start by telling us a little about your self
3  Members Section / Members Photo Albums / Re: The next Jigga on: July 30, 2011, 01:10:21 pm
Alcoas  aye...............hmmmm.............reckon you'll get a Signature under those side access flaps Huh? might need a set of 6" pipes out the back too.................hehe

In reality It'll be great to see the Bedford done up rather than turned into another beatup farm truck.
4  Trucks by Make and Model / Sterling / Re: Sterling on: July 23, 2011, 08:39:10 am

5  Members Section / Members Photo Albums / Re: The next Jigga on: July 19, 2011, 08:53:26 am
I put a set of fan belts on a red one down here years ago and had to test run it...............heaven ........absolute heaven to hear and drive.

If it's gunna be done as good as the S2 she'll be a ripper.
6  Trucks by Make and Model / Mitsubishi Fuso / Re: Mitsubishi Fuso on: June 26, 2011, 09:36:52 am

7  Trucks by Make and Model / Mercedes Benz / Re: V series on: June 26, 2011, 09:30:03 am

8  Trucks by Make and Model / Mercedes Benz / Re: Atego on: June 26, 2011, 09:27:14 am

9  Trucks by Make and Model / Mercedes Benz / Re: axor on: June 26, 2011, 09:26:13 am

10  Trucks by Make and Model / M.A.N / Re: TGX on: June 26, 2011, 09:19:58 am

11  Trucks by Make and Model / Western Star / Re: Constellation cab on: June 18, 2011, 07:43:35 am

12  Trucks by Make and Model / Kenworth / T609 on: June 18, 2011, 06:02:38 am
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13  Trucks by Make and Model / Mack / Re: F model on: June 13, 2011, 10:19:30 am

14  Trucks by Make and Model / Leader / Re: A series on: June 13, 2011, 03:21:16 am

15  Trucks by Make and Model / Autocar / Cabover on: June 12, 2011, 08:44:05 am
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16  Trucks by Make and Model / Kenworth / Re: K200 on: June 11, 2011, 09:54:16 am

17  Members Section / Members Photo Albums / Re: My jigga on: June 08, 2011, 12:00:36 pm
DUDE!!!!!!! bloody amazing.......really is........hard to believe it's the same truck you started with.

I'm not really into the pimped rig look but that is one truck I could handle......just the right amount to make it your own.

You should be go have fun with it Wink Grin
18  Trucks by Make and Model / Western Star / Re: Constellation cab on: June 01, 2011, 11:24:08 am

19  Trucks by Make and Model / Volvo / Re: FH on: June 01, 2011, 10:48:39 am

20  Trucks by Make and Model / Volvo / Re: F10/12/16 on: May 31, 2011, 11:03:35 am

21  Trucks by Make and Model / Volvo / Re: FL7/10/12 on: May 31, 2011, 10:59:06 am

22  Trucks by Make and Model / Volvo / Re: FM7/9/12 on: May 31, 2011, 10:55:50 am

23  Trucks by Make and Model / Kenworth / Re: T604 on: May 29, 2011, 09:07:13 am

24  Trucks by Make and Model / Kenworth / Re: T404 SAR on: May 29, 2011, 04:30:57 am
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25  Trucks by Make and Model / Kenworth / Re: K104B on: May 28, 2011, 07:58:22 am
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26  Trucks by Make and Model / Ford / Re: LTL on: April 04, 2011, 09:58:39 am
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27  Trucks by Make and Model / Kenworth / Re: K100CR on: April 03, 2011, 08:22:30 am
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28  Trucks by Make and Model / Kenworth / Re: T350/T358/T359 on: April 03, 2011, 08:16:52 am
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29  Trucks by Make and Model / Kenworth / Re: T650/T658 on: April 03, 2011, 08:05:03 am
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30  Trucks by Make and Model / Kenworth / Re: T950 on: April 03, 2011, 07:55:50 am
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31  Trucks by Make and Model / Ford / Re: LTS on: April 03, 2011, 07:49:07 am
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32  Trucks by Make and Model / Western Star / Re: Heritage cab on: April 02, 2011, 12:30:53 pm
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33  Trucks by Make and Model / Western Star / Re: Constellation cab on: April 02, 2011, 12:23:22 pm
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34  Trucks by Make and Model / Mack / Re: Trident on: April 02, 2011, 11:51:18 am
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35  Trucks by Make and Model / Mack / Re: Superliner LT on: April 02, 2011, 11:35:54 am
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36  Trucks by Make and Model / Freightliner / Re: Argosy on: March 29, 2011, 10:26:06 am
Thank you to David for these

37  Scale Models / 1/25th scale / Re: old school boral ombo on: March 26, 2011, 06:49:13 am
Good ta see them all go to a good home...they may never look the same I'm sure they will all be of better use to you than sitting in my shed.
38  Trucks by Make and Model / Mack / Re: CH on: March 16, 2011, 03:48:18 am

39  Trucks by Make and Model / Mack / Re: Valueliner 6 cyl on: March 12, 2011, 05:11:25 am
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40  Members Section / Welcome / Re: G'Day on: February 24, 2011, 08:11:33 am
Welcome aboard Dan......even if I did have to throw you a life jacket......LOL......

Just remember one thing...........You can never have enough truck It would be great to see some of the combo's that you see everyday.
41  Members Section / Welcome / Re: Hello again on: February 19, 2011, 10:58:16 am
Welcome back Richard........we've all been a bit quiet around here lately but thats ok you can't rush these things.... Grin
42  Australian Trucking History / The Hinds family Collections / Pictures by Shaun Hinds on: December 03, 2010, 06:58:37 am
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43  Australian Trucking History / Ray's Stories / THE BORDER CROSSING.. will we make it? on: November 14, 2010, 08:17:52 am
What you are about to read is true, only the names have been changed to protect the innocent
.. like hell, my full name is Raymond Graham Gilleland and my Dad’s name was Reginald Edger Gilleland and they are real names of real people. What happened years ago did happen.. .yes was a long time ago but read on and have a laugh if you have ever been harassed by officious and bloody minded transport Inspectors like I was for years.
 About 50 years ago my parents decided to move from Sydney to tropical Queensland.
Dad and I decided the best way, was to buy a truck in Sydney, load everything on, migrate to Queensland and then sell the truck up there.
Looking around at what was available, which wasn’t much at the time, keeping in mind that we weren’t keeping the truck and would need to sell it at the best price when we were finished with it, we found a K5 International 5 ton flat top, ex army, with low miles and in good condition. It was still painted that flat dirty brown colour, khaki, but it would do us for what we needed. The price was right and so Dad purchased it.  He found it amusing he was now in the trucking game, sort of.
Well you should have seen us when we set out for Queensland; we looked like that movie with Henry Fonda “The Grapes of Wrath.”  That movie was about the farmers that had to leave their farms back in the 1930’s in Oklahoma for California, looking for a better life after their land turned into a dust bowl. In the movie they had G/dad sitting on a chair on top of the load on a rickety old truck. We looked nearly the same. We had the old outdoor setting which we nearly forgot roped on top of the tarpaulin covering the furniture. An old truck, covered in an old tarp, with an old outdoor table and chairs balancing on top of the load, but no G/pa on top.    Mum went by car.                                         It was just Dad; who had an artificial leg and me in the cabin of the old K5. Dad had lost his left leg to cancer years before. He never did like that spare leg and preferred his crutches.
At this time any truck carrying goods by road in the state of New South Wales further than 50 miles had to pay a tax for every mile of the journey. If going interstate then the tax was calculated to the border. This had to be paid before the journey and with stipulated dates. The permit had to be carried with the vehicle and would be checked numerous times on that journey by transport inspectors that patrolled the highways. This was because the state owned the railways and that meant they were losing revenue if goods went by road.  Half of the road tax was given to the state railways each year to help with the losses they managed to accumulate with their inefficient rail system.
Even Dad according to law had to apply for a permit to move his own goods more than 50 miles. The tax for that was not a large amount compared to general goods carted for profit.
 However I didn’t tell Dad this as I wanted him to be innocent of any wrong doing but I had in mind a chance to get back at these inspectors that had been giving me hell for years. The inspectors treated us like renegades or outlaws and we reacted to this by “giving as good as we got. “
Anyway dad hopped aboard with his crutches and we set off on a bright spring morning for the great trek to tropical Queensland 600 miles away. The border here we come.
It was late afternoon as I approached the little town of Karuah knowing that the inspectors usually waited on top of a hill near town that had a gravel area to pull off and where they could also weigh the trucks with portable scales if they thought it was overweight.
 Sure enough they were there two inspectors in a dark coloured 4 door, and as I climbed towards the top I saw one get out of the car with his grey dust coat on ready to wave me into the gravel area, a metal stop sign in his hand.
The metal stop sign was dramatically hoisted in the air and an arm waved us into the parking area.
“Son who’s the fellow in the dust coat, what does he want?”
That’s when I explained to dad quickly about the inspectors and of course he remembered all the stories I had told him of hard times they had given me.
“ Ignore him this is my truck and my goods and I will not let them interfere with my lawful business.”
I looked sideways at Dad who had a smile on his face, gave him a wink and a grin and said  “Delighted”
We both looked straight ahead ignoring the figure on the side of the road, changed up a gear and took off downhill. I couldn’t see down the passenger side of the truck as there was no mirror that side but looking into my side mirror all of sudden there was a cloud of dust in the air and their black four door bounced onto the road with the obvious intent of catching us. Now I thought, what’s coming is going to be the best part, I have wanted to do this for years.
Knowing they were overtaking me but with my hands on the wheel at 10 past10 as all new and good  drivers are taught and looking straight ahead, innocent like, I heard a voice yelling out...
“Pull over driver”
I kept looking straight ahead as if I hadn’t heard a thing. The car eased off and tucked in behind us they thinking I am about to pull over.  News for you pal this black duck just kept going.
Next thing up beside us again came the black four door “Pull over driver. I am a transport Inspector.”
This time I looked out and down towards the voice with a blank look on my face like the one my Dad used to say I had when I had done wrong as a kid. I just looked and then turned back to concentrate on my driving as something a driver would do if he was new at  driving a big truck.
The car accelerated and pulled in front of us slowing down slightly with a metal stop sign on the end of a grey arm waving vigorously above the roof of their car. The arm appeared to be quite agitated. I smiled at Dad who was also smiling then I quickly moved out and overtook this strange car with these strange people in it who seemed to be playing silly games.
Yep, up they come again the front passenger in his dust coat yelling and waving his sign...”.STOP!”.
This time with all the pent up fury and frustration of years of torment running 14 and 18 wheelers all over the country and being hounded by them day and night, I glanced down at this figure waving his stop sign and very clearly, very loudly, and very angrily yelled back at the top of my voice.
“GET STUFFED  ... get out of my way “ ( that felt so good) then like any good driver, turned my full attention to the road ahead concentrating on my driving. I think I saw his mouth drop open, I’m not real sure, but that was the impression, shock and horror.
I turned to Dad and said “Ok I’ll pull up on the road here just ahead to make it awkward for them.”
Now reader this happened over 50 years ago, there was very little traffic on the roads back then so there was no danger to anybody, there was just them and us out there on a deserted road.
I stopped the truck, left the motor running and climbed down onto the road and walked back to where they were behind us, half on and half off the road.
I was wearing scruffy old pants and shirt and Dad was in similar, old pants and shirt.
“Who the hell are you, yelling at me to pull over? You think you are the police or something. I’ve got a good mind to call into the next police station and report you for dangerous driving” was my first angry words to the two of them now walking towards me.
“We are transport Inspectors” was the reply from one of them.
“I don’t give a damn, you’re a menace on the roads. How dare you yell at me to stop. Who are you and what do you want? And make it quick.” I replied loudly and angrily.
I was wondering while this was going on, how long I could string it out. But I was determined to give it my best shot.
“We have to sight your permit.” Was their reply.
“What bloody permit, are you nuts or something? Anybody can see we are not carrying sheep or cattle if that’s what you think. You are not much good as an inspector if you can’t tell the difference between private people going about their business and livestock carriers.
“We are not livestock inspectors.” The second one replied.
“Well who the bloody hell are you and what the bloody hell do you want?”
“Where did you start your journey?” was next.
“Sydney... why.. what’s it to you?”....  We were well over a 100 miles from where we started.
“Where is your permit then to carry goods by road on a journey over 50 miles.”
“Your permit”
“No idea, what you are talking about. Permit... what the hell is a permit?”
“What load are you carrying?”
“You have to have a permit to carry furniture.”
“ Garbage,  who says?”
“The law says.”
“Rubbish... do you mean to tell me that because Dad and I are moving to Queensland we have to pay this bloody awful state money just to get out of it.... you’re dreaming?”
Just then Dad came around the front of our truck and down the road to where we were standing, swinging quickly and expertly on his crutches, with an angry look on his face.  I was proud of him.
“What’s going on son, who are these men, what do they want?” He was playing it to the hilt.
“We are transport inspectors” the second one loudly called out.
“So go and inspect some transport somewhere. My son and I have a long way to go and we haven’t got time to waste on you people.” Now my Dad was from the “old school” he could rip you to bits with the English language and you wouldn’t know what hit you.
“Well sir” No 1 Inspector said in a more a gentler tone “  a permit is needed to carry goods more than 50 miles on any one journey.”
“Well that’s fine “said Dad “Good to hear it. We are not carrying goods; we are carrying my furniture on my truck to Queensland where I will spend my retirement years. Now Ray, come son, we have a long way to go and you young man are wasting our valuable time.” With that Dad spun around on his crutches and we both headed back to the cabin of the old K5. I didn’t dare look around.  When I was back behind the wheel I looked in the small rear view mirror and there they were the two inspectors where we left them. There was an earnest discussion going on between the two of them with many a glance toward the cabin.   I engaged low gear and we took off slowly.
They followed us into the town of Karuah and I was sure they would get the police but no they pulled into the pub, probably needed a drink after the run in with us.
“How did we do” said my Dad, after a few miles with a smile all over his face.
“Great mate”  I replied laughing out loud. “Fantastic... you should have been a truck driver.”
There was one more road block to pass, the inspectors always  waited on top of Ballina hill and the next afternoon sure enough they stopped us. One of them in the middle of the road, with a stop sign and pointing to the parking area.  I didn’t pull off the road, sort of ambled up to him, leant out of the window and before the inspector could speak, I looked down and said..
“Are you another one of the Gestapo running around checking what everyone is doing in this state? We had a run in yesterday with one of you lot down near Karuah, they were happy to see the last of us. This is my dad’s truck with his furniture and he is migrating to Queensland out of this bloody awful state. I suggest you just stand aside, the border is three hours away and we intend to cross over tonight come what may.”  With that I slipped it into gear and moved off leaving him there in the middle of the road with a surprised look on his face with the stop sign, dangling down beside his leg. We watched the road behind for a time but no one chased us.
At last ....we crossed the border into Queensland a little after 8pm..all smiles.
My dad passed away many years ago.
 He enjoyed his retirement and I always had a chuckle thinking of that trip.
 He built his house, sold the truck for a small profit and over the years we both had a laugh thinking about that trip and adding little bits we could have said. Then it was good enough.
When I think of that trip and am drinking a beer.. ..The beer always tastes so much better.
Your buy!
Copyright Ray Gilleland  November 2010   from his new book.
44  Members Section / General Truck talk / Re: pic tally on: November 13, 2010, 05:10:24 am
I have made those pages so that only Admin can add to them  so that the pictures don't get lost in a whole bunch of replies etc. and so that the pictures them selves are all together. there are a few ways you can have your pics added in those pages  either e mail the photos to me or Danny or send me a link to your hpto bucket account, I don't need the password  as I can type out the proper code using the URL  for each photo or you can start your own post in the members section. The choice is yours.
45  Members Section / Welcome / Re: New member on: November 09, 2010, 08:04:59 am
G'Day mate  and welcome............lets see some pics of that awesome KW of yours.
46  Australian Trucking History / Ray's Stories / The Ringing of the Bell on: October 12, 2010, 09:54:21 am

     Les Harris was a big tall solid fellow; he sort of looked down from on high, if you know what I mean.  About forty years of age, a great sense of humour, always ready for a joke, ex navy and a good shot with a pistol.
  About 1958 soon after the new weighbridge operated by the Victorian Country Roads Board was opened at Seymour about 60 miles north from Melbourne, Les was wandering down the road from Sydney to Melbourne.  It was called the Hume Highway. Sounds impressive  doesn’t it but it was just a narrow sealed road that meandered from town to town that eventually reached Melbourne, nearly 600 miles away. Les had a legal load and stopped for a chat here and there checking what was going on down the road. That was the only way we knew what was around, talking to drivers coming the other way. No luxuries like telephones CB radio etc back then and that’s when Les heard about this new weighbridge and how it operated.
It was a cement block building with bullet proof glass windows and  heavy steel door located on about a quarter of an acre of land, well back from the road. It was intended to use all the area when putting a blitz on, shutting down the highway completely and directing all trucks in for search and inspection. It was a few miles north of the town of Seymour and if you were coming south it was at the bottom of a slight hill.
We learnt later that if we switched our headlights off and coasted down the hill we sometimes could slip past if they were busy with a few trucks in line being weighed.
 Stopping at Joes Service Station at Wodonga on the Victorian border and having a cup of coffee Les got talking to a driver that had just arrived from Melbourne and had been a candidate for the new weighbridge, and so the story unfolded.
  The driver was instructed to drive his truck onto the weighbridge, stopping first to weigh the front axle and then when the weighbridge operator rang a bell and only then the driver drove forward to stop with the drive axle to be weighed then the bell again to move on and stop with the trailer axle on the scales. If an axle was over no bell rang but the operator would walk around to the front of the truck and call the driver to come into the weighbridge office and view the scales and see how much he was overloaded on that axle while they booked him.
  Les wasn’t worried as he was legal this trip and there were no warrants out for his arrest at this time. He hadn’t been a bad boy for quite awhile.
The story you are reading about was nearly 60 years ago. The Australian state governments owned all the railways and had a monopoly of moving all freight long distance. All trucks were taxed on the weight of the truck and the load each and every mile. We objected to this; wanting to pay tax on the goods carried only. So there was war between us and them till we won free trade between the states 10 years later.
 Anyway back to the story.
Time and miles slipped away, the night’s darkness descended around him and nearer and nearer Les approached this new weapon that the enemy had added to the fight between us and them for the freedom of the roads. 
Sure enough as he approached Seymour he was advised by the blinking of headlights that trouble was waiting up ahead.
  One driver going the other way turned his lights out momentarily and pointed to his wheels as he flashed past.
 Les thanked him by turning his own lights off quickly twice and continued unafraid into the “Spider’s Web” up ahead.
  His main thoughts were maybe I can have a bit of fun.
  Sure enough as he approached the new weighbridge he saw the lights on in this new building, a wide area to pull over, with a couple of figures moving around inside the building.
 He was waved in to be weighed by a uniformed figure at the side of the road that he recognised.
Stopping a short distance on the approach to the weighbridge he leaned out of the window as Charley Sinclair the Sergeant of Police attached to the C.R.B. walked up to the cabin  and explained the procedure of weighing vehicles on this new weighbridge.
Now Charlie was an understanding guy, what you would call “a good copper” but he was still a policeman and on the “other side.” He was in charge of all arrest warrants, keeping a small filing cabinet in his car plus he had a good memory for faces and names. You never knew when Charlie was going to show up in his unmarked Ford as he wandered all over the state.
 “You are to place each axle on the weighing platform one at a time and when the operator is satisfied he will ring a bell and you the driver will move the next axle onto the bridge and so on and so on,  got it?  It’s a new system and how all new weighbridges will operate in the future so get use to it.
 As the instructions continued, Les leant out of the cabin looking down with the motor ticking over, a hand cupped around the ear, over acting a little, nodding here and there as Charley standing on the ground shouted up his instructions about this new system with the bell.
  When the bell was mentioned Les looked vaguely down at Charley,
“Bell ! what bell .. where’s the bell... I can’t see a bell anywhere?”
While he is asking this question Les is looking out past Charley’s shoulder around the wide cleared area as if looking for a school type of bell, on a wooden tower somewhere out in the darkness.  .
“ No, no, not out there, its on the outside wall  above the door of the building “ said Charley pointing to the weighbridge office on the other side of the truck.
“I won’t hear a “tinkly” bell in here, with all the noise this bastard makes”
“You’ll hear it driver, now move onto the bridge and remember follow instructions exactly by the bell.”
Les then drove on to the weighbridge not stopping for the front axle but continuing on to put the drive axle on to be weighed.
 Charley had walked back behind the trailer and up into the weighbridge office before he noticed that Les had the drive axle on the bridge and not the front axle.
With a sigh of exasperation he stormed out of the office and around to the front of the truck and stopping under Les’s driving window, looking up at Les with a frown on his face, but before he could say a word Les yells down at him;
“I told you I wouldn’t hear a bloody bell above this noise.”
“‘I haven’t rung the bell yet “ said Charley.
“Well what the hell’s wrong now” said Les.
“You haven’t put the front axle on first for me to weigh it. Then, I’ll ring the bell”
“But up the road they never bother with the front axle, it’s impossible to overload it on a Mercedes-Benz 315.” Les replied.
I know that” snapped Charley” but I want an overall, all up weight of the whole load”
“Oh…Ok Ok “said Les with a resigned look on his face.
With a swoosh of released air from the trailer brakes Les very slowly reversed back to put his front axle on the weigh bridge. At the same time he turned his radio on and up high in volume seeking a station amongst all the crackling noise it made. Radios were never very powerful back then. A station with music was very hard to find.
The bell rang.. ring ring ..Les ignored it, fiddling with the station knob on the radio. The bell  rang again.. ring ring.
Next minute Charley is waving his arms at Les through the passenger window .then in a fit of temper, running around the front of the truck past the headlights to the driver’s door again shouting out louder now.
“Didn’t you hear the bell?”
“Eh.” said Les “Hang on” as he turned the radio down.
“What did you say?”
“Turn your radio off and listen for the damn bell and when you hear it,  move on to the next axle. Alright? .. I haven’t got all night to waste with you.” yelled Charley, starting to lose it a little , if you know what I mean. Charlie knew there were trucks slipping past in the darkness out there on the road and he wanted to weigh as many as he could.
You see during all this time trucks had been going past both ways up and down the highway and you can bet your sweet life there were plenty of sighs of relief as some skittled past going like the hammers of hell, thanking their lucky stars it wasn’t them on this bloody new weighbridge. Monday nights were always busy nights for freight.
Les being well aware of what was going on around him was trying to ‘milk’ this opportunity for as long as he could without going just that too far; it was something that he was a past master at.
Charley turned and hurried back into the office and after a moment sure enough the bell clanged
“Ring ring…ring ring.. Les put it into gear and moved the truck up to put the drive axle, the original one he had put on the bridge the first time.
 A short wait and the bell went off again.“Ring ring… ring ring.
With a smile  of anticipation  Les moved the truck forward to put the trailer axles on the bridge.
.Then a  short time later.
“Ring ring…. Ring ring.”…silence… then.     Ring ring    Ring ring   and the bell kept  ringing away and being completely ignored by Les.
 Relaxed, elbows on the steering wheel and cupped hands holding his chin, just looking past the headlights out into the night, listening to that bell ringing its head off and half smiling to himself, there sat our Les.
While all this was going on, the odd truck or two was still hurrying past, a driver here and there also breathing a huge sigh of relief.
 The next second Charley is around again underneath the driving window jumping up and down, waving his arms 
“Didn’t you hear the bell?” he shouted angrily with a frown on his face. He was livid.
“Yeah I heard the bell… but I’ve got no more axles have I?” said Les, turning his head very slowly and just staring down at Charley, a slight twitch of the mouth and  a blank look on his face.
A few seconds went by each looking at the other.
 One looking down and the other looking up, not a word said. But, each one aware what it was all about... this mind game.
Suddenly Charlie looked back over his shoulder as another noisy truck rumbled past on the highway, he looked back at Les, then nodding and with a knowing look and half a smile he jerked his thumb over his shoulder..... “Get going driver.”
Once more a swoosh of trailer brakes, a slight crunch of gears and Les with a huge smile on his face trundled down off that new Weighbridge at Seymour.
Watching Charlie in the rear view mirror, hands on hips standing in front of that new building with the bell, the opposition’s latest weapon in the war of our running battle of the highways, Les smiled to himself, at the same time knowing he would be a marked man for a while.
And so the “great game” continued between “us” and the “enemy.”

My good friend Les passed away some years ago but his story is here for all those that enjoy that little victory over authority that sometimes comes our way.

Copy right 2009    Ray Gilleland    from his new book.

“The Life and Times of the Nullarbor Kid.”
47  Australian Trucking History / Ray's Stories / A Comet came to Earth on: October 12, 2010, 09:52:42 am

      About 1956 I left Mercury Transport and went to work for McNealy and Debney. They had a contract with Goodyear Tyres for delivery of new tyres to Melbourne from the Sydney factory. They operated  International 180’s and one British Leyland diesel all with 32 ft. semi trailers.
 Loading tyres one at a time by hand, took all day.  Car and truck sizes all mixed, usually between one and two thousand, stacking them row after row higher than the gate sides that were fitted to the trailers at that time. Each gate from the top centre rail was anchored to the tie rail on the opposite side tie rail with a double hitch like a big X to stop them bulging out. Then at the end of the day a couple of hours had to be spent tarping and roping down the high load. Twenty five to thirty ropes needed with triple sheep shank knots.  Even with the gate side it ended up a high, floppy load needing tying down as tightly and firmly as was possible.
Now old McNealy was a cunning old man he would send a new driver off on the run to Melbourne then wait 20 minutes to half an hour and follow him in his car.He knew how long it should take the driver to get to Razorback Mountain outside of Sydney, allowing for the traffic at that time of day or night. He would then expect to catch up with him before the mountain, all things being equal. If he caught up with the truck before or at the bottom of Razorback Mountain then the driver was a steady driver and that was acceptable. If he had to climb the mountain to catch the truck then that meant the driver was maybe a little fast and that could be a problem as a load of tyres was very unstable.He would remind the driver to be extra careful. Take it steady. Don’t rush just get it there.
McNealy would hand the driver some paper work that was left behind, so all looked ok.
I took one of the 180’s the first trip and was exactly where he hoped to find me, at the bottom of the mountain. It was usual to pull over a couple of times in the first 100 miles or so, to tighten all the ropes but once that was done they seldom  needed looking at again for the rest of the trip.
Because I had years of experience on diesel trucks, a few months later after the Leyland driver left, I was given  the Leyland  to drive as most of his drivers were not familiar with driving a diesel powered truck. They were only experienced with petrol motors, not familiar with a motor that had a governor fitted and no 2 speed button on the gear lever. 
Trips and months went by and one day out of the blue, time and events came together.
   It happened on a usual trip on a lonely stretch of road  on the way to Melbourne, I was roughly on time, nearing the Victorian border at about midday, cruising along, coming up to a bend in the road, not very sharp, just a gentle correction of the steering wheel needed when I noticed this car coming the other way, travelling very fast and seemed to be taking up too much of the road. In fact as we approached each other my heart started to race as he was heading straight for me on my side of the road making no attempt to take the bend. I quickly moved over a little more but he was still coming.
 I moved further to the edge kicking up the dirt on the side of the road but he was still coming straight for me and worse the road was raised a little and that worried me. Tyres were a high load, inclined to bounce around, not very stable. Within mini seconds it came time to either go down the bank for the bush to try and dodge him, or try and take the bend which automatically a driver tries to do. That is stay on the road. It was then at that second the car driver swerved sharply and shot down past me with about 12 inches to spare between us. How he missed the back trailer wheels beats me but he did and kept going.
Had the driver fallen asleep or what?  That was the least of my worries at this point.
The adrenalin was pumping and my eyes were probably as big as saucers.  The high edge of the road was crumbling away with me trying to gradually turn a little into the bend and stay on the road, hoping everything would stay upright. But I was just too far over, the drive wheels were digging in and slipping down the embankment. The whole load of tyres started to lean more and more. I could feel her going. I didn’t have time to panic, just held on and then there was a huge bang and the trailer turn table pin let go and the trailer parted company and tipped over on its side skidding to a halt off the road in the grass like a Wild West covered wagon chased by the Indians.
This caused the prime mover with me holding on like grim death to half flip up in the air and down again on her wheels and fish tail a little. The one and only huge gum tree that grew on the side of the road around there was suddenly directly in front of me. I was bouncing up and down hitting my head on the roof but managed to wrench the wheel in time, just enough to glance off the tree, skidded across the highway onto the grass on the opposite side of the road, and there we came to earth, foot jammed on the brake in a great cloud of dust The trailer was 30 feet back on the opposite side of the road showing her underside to the world.
Pulling a face and rubbing my elbow, as the dust settled I glanced over to her in a state of shock. This was a truck driver’s ever present nightmare.
 Through the cloud of dust I could see a couple of the trailer wheels in the air were still slowly spinning. The tarpaulin had ripped and there were tyres scattered everywhere all over the road, the grass, and some had crazily bounced even through the farmer’s fence and out into his paddock, hundreds of feet away. As I looked, the last one fell over in the paddock hidden in the grass.
I was seething with anger and feeling guilty at the same time, disappointed that I had not been able to keep her on the road and upright and wanting to murder that car driver if only I could find him.                                                     
  I took stock of myself flexing arms and legs, only had a sore elbow; it must have flicked against the inside of the door. I was ok physically but mentally I was gutted at what had happened. No No No.
 I slowly climbed down from the cab and inspected the damage. There was wood from the tree jammed into the wheel nuts of the front wheel where I luckily had glanced off the tree and a few bruises and buckles to the cabin... not too bad there.  Very.. lucky. I could have been killed by that stupid car driver. If I had hit the huge gum tree head on it would have been the end for me. I still have a few feet of  8mm movie film of that days disaster that I took of the tree, the damage to the cabin and the trailer on her side 50 odd years ago. I look at it sometimes and still wish I could find that car driver.
The prime mover was well off the road and the trailer was sort of sideways down the slight bank but would not interfere with traffic. The renegade car was well and truly gone; all I could see was the empty road disappearing over a slight rise into the trees. I didn’t even have time to see the driver, all I remembered was a blue Studebaker that missed me by a whisker... a big help.
It was a time back then after the Second World War that shortages were common and many commodities were unobtainable or on short supply, causing what was called a “black market.”  Meaning, people were willing to pay twice as much and even more for hard to find goods and not ask too many questions where the goods came from. This encouraged the “ungodly,” the criminal types to run rampant stealing and reselling anything that could make “black” money for them.  Tyre’s were near the top of the list. Some of these professional “black marketeers” were rough and tough. Even local people at accidents back them thought overturned trucks were free game for them to steal what they could get their hands on.
The tyres were a problem, I would have to gather them and stack them near the trailer away from the roadside. They were called “black gold” in those days, hard to get and easy to sell. These then would be good pickings if I couldn’t protect them... it was going to be a long night kid.
I trudged up the road and started to bowl tyres over to the back of the trailer from the road so that they couldn’t be seen from any motorist driving towards the bend and coming the other way the trailer was on a slight angle for them not to be seen too easily stacked close to the overturned trailer.
 When I finished I was in a lather of sweat. It took me about four hours to be satisfied that it was as good as could be. All the loose tyres were stacked in a heap where I could see them beside the trailer.
I gave some money to the one car driver that came along while I was stacking the tyres and asked him to ring the boss and tell him where I was and what had happened. As the day progressed some of the few cars on the road slowed down and had a sticky beak, no one bothered to ask was everything ok or how was the driver. Just looked briefly and drove on.
Toward late afternoon I laid out a refrigerator cover I kept in the cabin and laid it under the gum tree. It was like a sleeping bag all padded we used for slipping over the refrigerators to cart them without having to crate them. I slipped my .45 pistol inside and laid my 25.20 Winchester rifle on the top of the cover. I knew I was not going to have any sleep tonight. Gathered some sticks and bits of wood so I would have a fire going all night, near where I had made my camp and another down near the tyres about 30 feet away. It was early spring and still very cold at night. In fact I predicted there would be a frost in the morning and there was.
As the hours slipped by the couple of trucks on the road that afternoon pulled up to see if they could help, were thanked and continued on their way. Time dragged on. I knew it would be next morning before the boss would arrive. It was a 400 mile run from Sydney to where I had come to grief.
 With darkness came the cold.  I heaped the fires with more wood that I had collected during the afternoon and changed into warmer clothes and over the top pulled on a leather jacket.
About 8 pm a couple of cars cruised up slowly and quietly, I had that uneasy feeling they knew I was there and what had happened. A sort of feeling they were up to mischief if they could. I watched as the two cars gently stopped on the other side of the road and five or six figures climbed quietly out in the darkness.
Up to that time I had been lying down near the fire but as the doors of the cars clicked open and shut, I slowly stood up. The Winchester in my right hand, at the same time I leant back against the tree, and cradled the rifle in my left arm, a bit like a modern day Davey Crockett. I positioned myself against the tree so that I could see them, their cars  and the tyres without moving.
The group sauntered across the road into the fire light, all young and tough looking except one that was an older man.
“Had a bit of trouble” the older one asked. He was a tough looking character also.
“Nothing I can’t handle”, I replied as I worked the Winchester’s lever action with a flourish.
The young ones were more interested in eyeing the tyres. Two had moved over quite close bending down for a better look trying to read the sizes. But at the sound of the rifle being cocked they quickly straightened up and turned around to look back at me.
The whole group stood stock still staring at me, no one moved.
“The cops are patrolling the road” I announced loudly.
“Out this far?” the old guy asked with a surprised look on his face while eyeing me, up and down.
“Yeah they know I’m here” I replied.
He then looked directly at the Winchester and quickly turned on his heel ....calling out,
“Come on boys”. The rest followed him quickly back to the two cars out there in the darkness. They sort of huddled around talking briefly amongst themselves for a minute or two then the car doors opened and shut and they drove off quietly back they way they had come. I am sure they were up to no good, but who knows, they certainly didn’t offer any help, just took off into the night.
They may come back later was my next thought. Better stay awake. I let out a sigh and cleared the rifle.... Yeah ...a long night ahead.
The funny part was I hadn’t seen a policeman all day. I was just bluffing.
Very seldom did the Highway Patrol come out this far into the bush. They mostly, stayed around the town perimeters or just a few miles out.   
About 10pm I heard a motorbike coming from the direction of Albury the town down on the border I guessed it was the police. Somebody must have finally told them of the overturned truck out in the bush and I was right. With a roar a police bike skidded to a halt and a Highway Patrol Officer idled down to where i was sitting by the fire. They were called the Safety Bureau in those days, the ones on bikes. Helmets goggles etc. They rode Triumph Tiger 100’s, very fast, clock over 100 MPH.
This was the first chance I had to tell anybody what happened besides the call to the boss which I hoped the car driver had done.  He switched the bike off, pulled it up on the stand, and raised his goggles, peeled off his gloves, walked over to where I was now standing and said. “Bit cold isn’t it?” “Yeah” I replied. Looking casual and glancing down at the cover checking he couldn’t see the .45 pistol. He asked what happened, I told him, he nodded and then he immediately sat down on the cover by the fire and put his hands out  to warm them, and,  he had to sit exactly on the lump in the cover that was my .45 pistol, didn’t he?
“eh “ he said “ must be a rock” and moved his bum over a bit. I swallowed and didn’t say a word. He pointed to the Winchester leaning against the tree. “Had any problems?”
“Not really, a couple of car loads of young bucks pulled up a couple of hours ago and looked around. They eyed the tyres but went quietly when they saw the rifle.”
“Well you seem to have everything under control. It’s cold out here and I’m off home to bed”
With that he walked over, kick started the bike, adjusted his goggles and with a nod in my direction disappeared into the night.  Very helpful, was my next thought and there were no return visitors. Two trucks pulled up during the night the only traffic on the road, wished me well and hurried on. That was the sum total of any interest by anybody to my predicament on the Hume Highway that spring day and night back in 1956.The boss arrived next morning, we transhipped the load, arranged for the truck and trailer to be towed to Albury and be repaired. In all the 40 years on the road driving long distances from the 1940’s to the 1990’s it was trees that were my nemesis. It is 2009 now, writing about this and I have had a driving license for 62 years. I have never touched another vehicle or person while driving...just trees.
A couple of years earlier I had come to grief dodging cattle on the road one rainy night with no trailer brakes and had ended up in the trees, then this one bouncing off the big gum tree beside the road, and little did I know that years later my co driver in a Kenworth, all up weight over 35 ton, would lose it on a bend and we went bush at 50 miles an hour demolishing forest trees for 200 feet or more before he could get it under control and ended a few feet from a huge gum tree that could have killed us.     I was petrified just hanging on and looking .....It was then I decided... that’s it.... enough is enough.  Funny thing, I never had an affinity to wood. At school my woodwork teacher would throw my sample for end of year grading out the window telling me to take it to the drycleaners and get all the glue off so he could see what it was supposed to be; I  had packed my dovetail joints with glue to hold them in shape.   I was hopeless with wood.  Now with metal, give me a spanner... I’m great...can I help you... what do you want fixed?  By the way the model of the British Leyland truck I was driving that day was called... lol..a..” Comet.”

Copyright               Ray Gilleland              16th December 2009 
From his collection of memories for his new book. 
48  Australian Trucking History / The Hinds family Collections / Pictures by Kevin Hinds on: August 24, 2010, 07:30:56 am
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A very big thank you to the Hinds family for these pictures

AL160 International lazy axle

R190 International

R190 International  and Fordson cable loader

AL160 International and single axle semi tipper

AL160 and R190 International

R190 International

AB180 International

Early style ACCO powered by a 345 V8 petrol engine driving through a 5 speed main and 3 speed joey box

Early style ACCO

Later style ACCO with Semi tipper

ACCO-A 2150

1924 Mercedes Benz semi

2232 Mercedes Benz

Mercedes Benz 2232 with Kevin standing outside the Perth(Tasmania) roadhouse

Kevin once again

Later style ACCO twinsteer and early style(pre'72) F86 Volvo

Some of the loaders from days gone by


Fordson hydralic

Hough 30

49  Members Section / Members Photo Albums / Re: Mack Mans New Zealand Truck Pics on: July 10, 2010, 08:49:55 am
I'm not a huge fan of Argosy's ....but.... That is one mighty fine lookin truck.
50  Members Section / General Truck talk / Re: pic tally on: June 28, 2010, 10:03:59 am
Don't envy you one bit  for the count Danny  but  it is simply amazing how many pic's have been added.

Once again  a big thank's to all those who contribute  and we hope to see  much more in the near future.
51  Members Section / Members Photo Albums / Re: Mack Mans New Zealand Truck Pics on: June 21, 2010, 11:14:08 am
Great stuff bro  sure  have some good clean gear over there
52  Trucks by Make and Model / Atkinson / Atkinson Brochures on: June 11, 2010, 10:19:44 am
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53  Members Section / General Truck talk / Re: TMP update on: June 05, 2010, 07:24:07 am
Hi guys  I have also now added a whole new section for you to post pictures of trucks by their company so please check that there isn't already a thread about the company you wish to add.

Cheers  Werk
54  Members Section / Members Forum / Re: happy birthday werk! on: June 05, 2010, 07:11:05 am
Geez....i'm half way to my next one....LOL.........better late than never aye......LOL Cool
55  Members Section / General Truck talk / Re: Welcome to TMP on: June 05, 2010, 07:08:57 am
I have all Kinds of pictures ive taken here in the state's if you are wanting to add American Trucks to your site mate.

Glad u guys like the Fleet Idea, I could drive you guys crazy with the fleets id love to see lol

Well looks like I better get my backside into gear how do you think I should do it Huh

I think that I might have a main company area  then seperate it into countrys then you guy's can add the companies that you have.

and as far as putting US pics....hell  it's a truck pic site  so the more the merrier I reckon.
56  Scale Models / 1/25th scale / Re: LTL 9000-ready to roll on: May 29, 2010, 03:15:04 am
Add a sleeper and an exterior post chip bin  and Leigh Arnold would be proud.....bloody good job ol boy.

57  Australian Trucking History / The Raymond Gilleland Collection / Re: Ray's Book's for sale on: May 28, 2010, 09:33:13 am
OK guys n girls looks like Ray is having a sale. If you have read this months edition of Truckin' Life (June) you may have seen his advert. Price is down to $29.99 including as chips for the great reading you'll get out of it.....
58  Members Section / Members Forum / Re: happy birthday werk! on: May 08, 2010, 06:21:19 am
Thanks  ol mate........just about  to hit the turps......
 Roll Eyes Grin Wink
59  Members Section / Introductions / Re: Introducing your Admin staff on: April 24, 2010, 11:44:35 am
Welcome aboard Tony great to see another Tassie member. Can't wait to see your photos.

60  Trucks by Make and Model / International / Re: 7600 on: April 05, 2010, 12:15:45 am
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61  Trucks by Make and Model / White / 2000 on: April 04, 2010, 08:03:37 am
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62  Trucks by Make and Model / White / 3000 on: April 04, 2010, 07:58:33 am
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63  Trucks by Make and Model / White / 7000 on: April 04, 2010, 07:53:55 am
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64  Trucks by Make and Model / Mack / Re: R model on: April 03, 2010, 11:51:50 am
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65  Trucks by Make and Model / Mack / Re: B model on: April 03, 2010, 11:39:21 am
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66  Trucks by Make and Model / Mack / Re: B model on: April 03, 2010, 11:34:51 am
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67  Trucks by Make and Model / Peterbilt / Re: Cabover on: April 03, 2010, 10:50:00 am
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68  Trucks by Make and Model / R.F.W / R.F.W on: April 03, 2010, 10:37:01 am
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69  Trailers / Flat tops / Single axle on: April 03, 2010, 10:13:18 am
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70  Trucks by Make and Model / Western Star / Re: Constellation cab on: April 03, 2010, 09:17:57 am
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71  Trucks by Make and Model / Mack / AC on: April 03, 2010, 08:53:40 am
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72  Trucks by Make and Model / Mack / Re: Superliner on: April 03, 2010, 08:49:17 am
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73  Members Section / General Truck talk / TMP update on: April 03, 2010, 06:54:00 am
Hi everyone,
            Just letting you know,some of you may have already seen, That Danny and I have been a little bit busy this last few days updating almost every page we can. Some will not show up as recent posts  as we have added photos to existing post instead of replying, So have a ganda about and enjoy our latest update.

Cheers Danny and Darren
74  Trucks by Make and Model / Magirus-Deutz / Jupiter on: April 03, 2010, 06:22:48 am
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75  Trucks by Make and Model / International / Loadstar (F1800) on: April 03, 2010, 05:33:21 am
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76  Trucks by Make and Model / International / L series on: April 03, 2010, 04:58:38 am
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77  Trucks by Make and Model / International / 1930's D series on: April 03, 2010, 04:05:59 am
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78  Trucks by Make and Model / Ford / Re: LNT on: April 03, 2010, 02:49:13 am
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79  Trucks by Make and Model / Isuzu / Bonneted on: April 02, 2010, 12:19:09 pm
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80  Trucks by Make and Model / Isuzu / Re: F series on: April 02, 2010, 12:18:14 pm
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81  Trucks by Make and Model / Kenworth / Re: K100CR on: April 02, 2010, 12:13:13 pm
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82  Trucks by Make and Model / Kenworth / Re: T904/T908 on: April 02, 2010, 12:01:45 pm
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83  Trucks by Make and Model / Kenworth / Re: W900SAR on: April 02, 2010, 04:01:42 am
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84  Trucks by Make and Model / Kenworth / Re: W900AR on: April 02, 2010, 03:48:32 am
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85  Trucks by Make and Model / Leader / BWL-406 'Condor' on: April 02, 2010, 03:30:46 am
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86  Trucks by Make and Model / Diamond Reo / Diamond reo on: April 02, 2010, 02:44:43 am
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87  Trucks by Make and Model / E.R.F / ERF on: April 02, 2010, 02:04:31 am
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88  Members Section / Welcome / Re: UNKNOWN DODGE'S on: March 30, 2010, 07:32:59 am
Thank you very much Redstead...some of those older rig's....woops  sorry....Lorries........have me bugga'd sometimes.

Welcome to our site  and I hope you enjoy it

Cheers    Werkhorse
89  Members Section / Welcome / Re: hi from ireland on: March 02, 2010, 08:03:26 am
Hey Sean glad you like the place, both this site  and Tassie, How long ago were you here??  in a car or truck???
90  Members Section / Introductions / Re: Hello from the Netherlands on: January 23, 2010, 12:00:52 pm
Welcome Michel, Hope you fond  some inspiration  in the photos we have posted
91  Members Section / Introductions / Re: HAPPY NEW YEAR on: December 31, 2009, 09:26:16 am
I hope you've all  had a good Christmas  and a very good New year  Cool
92  Scale Models / 1/50th scale / Re: FODEN HALF CAB on: December 07, 2009, 09:06:14 am
That is  just amazing Grin
93  Members Section / Introductions / Re: Greetings from England on: December 06, 2009, 12:21:57 am
Welcome aboard Nick. It's great  to have  ome members from around the world. Fell free  to post  as much as you like as I will make  up a 1/50th section  for your models  if you would like.

Cheers  Werkhorse
94  Trucks by Make and Model / Autocar / AT series on: November 18, 2009, 08:56:04 am
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95  Trucks by Make and Model / Bedford / R/S series on: November 18, 2009, 08:44:10 am
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96  Trucks by Make and Model / Bedford / TA/TD on: November 18, 2009, 08:40:37 am
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97  Trucks by Make and Model / Brockway / Bonneted on: November 18, 2009, 08:37:48 am
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98  Trucks by Make and Model / Thornycroft / THORNYCROFT on: October 05, 2009, 10:29:55 am
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99  Members Section / Members Photo Albums / Re: Truck Photos From Joe Hupp (W924SAR) on: October 05, 2009, 07:02:44 am
good stuff Joe  glad you worked it out ol mate  Smiley
100  Members Section / Members Photo Albums / Re: Mullett471 Aussie pic's on: September 10, 2009, 11:00:02 am
Hey Mullet.... any chance  you could leave  all thoe pic's  in here  instead  of changing them???  be good  to see all of them  when ever we get a chance to drop in

Cheers  ol mate
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