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Trucking 1950's Australia 23 Nov 2021 23:23 #228561

  • overnite
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Lang, I know what you mean about remembering licence number and most of the rego numbers. When I worked for a subbie at Comet,I still remember them, (only 3 trucks) but can’t remember too many of the ghosts numbers when I started driving them, but I remember the first batch started with “RIS” South Aus rego.
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Trucking 1950's Australia 23 Nov 2021 23:40 #228562

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I used to drive two different cabs, part time, and called their numbers over the radio in attempting to win jobs so often that they are still imprinted on my brain 30+ years later!

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Trucking 1950's Australia 24 Nov 2021 07:32 #228567

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Paul FH

You are right about Victorian licences. All these years I have been remembering the wrong number! I put a 3 in front (maybe a slip from my Army number) It was 1747323. What navel gazing trivia to remember. I should take up train-spotting.
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Trucking 1950's Australia 24 Nov 2021 09:25 #228570

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Great read Lang,
I do know what you mean- when I got off the road doing interstate back in the mid 80's (and i only spent a few years on it anyway) I remember thinking "I'm not going to miss this at all". But funny enough, you DO miss it. I think it's always in you, just a little bit. Love it/hate it/love it/hate it. Even now, if I do some sort of job, I often can't wait to get home to get out of this bloody truck- then a few days later I want to go away again!
The old shitbox I used to steer was 18 hours pretty much to Sydney from Geelong, with a stop for tea somewhere. And Brisbane was about a 7 to 8 day round trip. Best time I ever did was leaving Geelong at 6 am, in to Coonabarabran at midnight. Stuffed, cold, stiff, then because it had no bunk, sleep on the road or on the back of the truck in a car. We certainly used to stuff around a bit, cos thats the way we operated. But gee, just sit there and steer the old girl, up hill, and down dale, down evey hill in angel gear because otherwise the old Gardner would over rev, and back through the range change for everything that even remotely resembled a rise in the road... Bloody trucks. And to think I miss it!
This is how stupid I am- Just to toture myself needlessly I took my old 1966 Kenworth (ex Hartridge!) to the Boort show a couple of years ago, had the dropdeck and another truck on the back to make the 871 work a bit, it's a bloody uncomfortable thing to drive with no legroom and no power steering- anyway I got home a few days later, that night and had this dream about being in the Kenworth loaded for Brisbane, and doing a few errands before leaving- and I woke up BLOODY DISAPPOINTED that I wasn't actually going!!!
How sick is that!!!!!
Somebody belt me with a pallet board please.
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Trucking 1950's Australia 24 Nov 2021 09:37 #228572

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And of course i remember my license number too.
Funny, dad never seemed to have trouble remembering his rego numbers, perhaps they seem to have a bit in common with each other....


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Trucking 1950's Australia 24 Nov 2021 09:40 #228573

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RI 3282 seems to have a recurring theme...
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Trucking 1950's Australia 24 Nov 2021 09:50 #228576

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I always thought those 1418 Mercedes were pretty classy machines, a cut above us average plodders. Having driven a restored one for quite a distance last year I think my Perkins Commer was a much nicer truck to drive both handling and performance (everything is relative) and particularly comfort. I only sold my last Commer a year ago so I am not relying on 50 year old memories.

The Kenworths that we were in awe of at the time (and you own) were another myth. My 1967 Caltex day-cab Kenworth I had a few years ago was fun to drive but the cook refused to go in it and from this distance in time they were totally unacceptable for driver comfort. I am sure there are many blokes our age with stuffed backs and hips directly related to sitting in Kenworths back in the day. A couple of rides in cabover Macks makes me think they were even worse.

The grass is always greener!
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Trucking 1950's Australia 24 Nov 2021 10:48 #228579

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I remember the first time I drove a Volvo G88........smooth ,quiet,unbelievable power,compared to the shitboxes I was used to.
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Trucking 1950's Australia 24 Nov 2021 15:50 #228588

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I always thought those 1418 Mercedes were pretty classy machines, a cut above us average plodders. Having driven a restored one for quite a distance last year I think my Perkins Commer was a much nicer truck to drive both handling and performance (everything is relative) and particularly comfort. I only sold my last Commer a year ago so I am not relying on 50 year old memories.

The Kenworths that we were in awe of at the time (and you own) were another myth. My 1967 Caltex day-cab Kenworth I had a few years ago was fun to drive but the cook refused to go in it and from this distance in time they were totally unacceptable for driver comfort. I am sure there are many blokes our age with stuffed backs and hips directly related to sitting in Kenworths back in the day. A couple of rides in cabover Macks makes me think they were even worse.

The grass is always greener!


Lang, did I understand right, you think your Commer Perkins had more power than a 1418 Mercedes? I must have had a bad Commer Perkins or a good 1418. When I got out of both Perkins and Knocker Commers and into a new 1418, I thought I was in Heaven.
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Trucking 1950's Australia 24 Nov 2021 16:00 #228589

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I think it was because a lot of Mercedes towed bogey trailers and the Commer was single axle that cancelled out the extra horsepower. Who knows?

Everything is subjective but some things are just facts. I sold my Kenworth and bought an eight wheeler F86 Volvo. For comfort like stepping out of a 1960's Landrover into a late model Range Rover. 6-71 GM and Volvo 6 had about the same power, both had great gearboxes (Road Ranger 13 speed and 8 speed all synchro) but that was the end of the comparison.

Lovely to look at but rough as guts!


Still good to look at but smooth as silk.

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