Penrith Working Truck Show

The 2009 Penrith Working Truck Show was a huge success. Photos by Greg Bush, music by <a href= target="_blank">Michael Fix</a>

The 2009 Penrith Working Truck Show was a huge success. Story and photos by Greg Bush, music by Michael Fix

Penrith’s Working Truck Show is one of the biggest events on the trucking calendar, and the 2009 event, held on April 5, was no exception. Held each year on the grounds of Penrith’s Museum of Fire, the Working Truck Show brings together truckies, their families and supporters of all things trucking.

The weather was perfect. The storm clouds disappeared two days prior, after a week of heavy downpours. According to Mark White, the Museum of Fire’s Executive Chairman, the break in the weather was a welcome relief.

"We’d been punished since the beginning of the week and on Thursday we couldn’t put trucks on the oval because of the softness of the surface," Mark says.

"But on Friday we were driving 62 tonne B-doubles on it. So how lucky is that. We had rollers running, and the oval drains extremely well being so close to the river. We knew it was going to come good."

For the kids, the day had a carnival-like atmosphere with free rides in abundance. At the entertainment stage, some of the biggest names in Australian country music, including Beccy Cole, Travis Collins, Dianna Corcoran and Amber Lawrence, performed for the capacity crowd.

As well as having a ­leisurely opportunity to wander around the trade stalls, many truck owners and drivers found the show an opportune time to catch up with old mates. Others swapped contact details and business cards, using the occasion to strengthen industry ties.

Trucks vying for trophies came from the Sydney metropolitan area, rural NSW and interstate as well.

"The longest distance travelled was from Frankston in Victoria. We had quite a number of Victorians up this year," Mark says.

One of the biggest surprises of the day came when a Boral Blue Circle Kenworth tanker was voted Truck of the Show. According to judges, the Boral truck was just a standout.

The competition, however, was friendly but competitive. Mark says the entire day was a resounding success.

"The whole thing was better laid out and a better presented show than we’d done before. We keep saying we can’t go up a notch, but we’re always finding something.

"A lot of it comes from the companies that put up displays, like Australian Native Landscapes. It’s a bit more than just parking trucks."

Mark believes the Working Truck Show’s success is because the event is different from the rest thanks to its old-time atmosphere. Another popular factor is that patrons are supporting a worthy cause — money raised goes towards the non-profit Museum of Fire.

"Firefighting and the fire museum are close to their hearts, and certainly after the Victorian fires," Mark explains.

"People forget that the NSW Fire Brigade is one of the largest transport companies in Australia. A lot of firemen are part-time truck drivers as well."

Easily one of the best and well-attended truck shows in Australia, the Working Truck Show keeps going from strength to strength. Roll on 2010.

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