Truck numbers soar in Canberra Convoy

By: Tamara Whitsed, Photography by: Tamara Whitsed

The truck industry’s generosity was on display during Canberra’s annual convoy for cancer patients.

The Elvin family – Abby, Vic, Gus, Craig, Dane, Zac and Leonie. They were proud the company’s bid for lead truck earned money for such a worthy cause.

Canberra’s Rise Above Cancer Convoy attracted 480 trucks and 200 motorbikes and raised $410,000 on April 8.

Truck drivers waved and sounded their horns to appreciative crowds which lined the route from Beard through Canberra to Exhibition Park (EPIC), Mitchell.

About 2000 people gathered at EPIC to admire the trucks and attend a fair which included carnival rides and a performance by Mental as Anything.

The money will be put to good use by Rise Above – Capital Region Cancer Relief. "We pay for chemotherapy, medications, food and fuel, electricity and gas and dietary supplements," says Rise Above’s Chief Executive Officer, Melissa Gardiner. "We have over 800 patients and we spend $600,000 a year on those patients.

"Without the trucking community there wouldn’t be a convoy. We wouldn’t raise that $400,000 and we wouldn’t be able to support as many people as we do."

General Manager of Elvin Group, Chris Rutledge, and his grandson Zac.

Bidding for the lead truck was a major part of the fundraising effort – Elvin Group bid a record $67,128.49 to be the first truck in the convoy.

Elvin’s General Manager, Chris Rutledge, led the trucks in a Kenworth 10-wheel agitator. He is grateful to the many people who helped him achieve his goal of leading the convoy in an Elvin truck: "I’ve always wanted the lead and we’ve always run second or third over the years. I thought I’d better get it before I retire."

The Elvin family kicked off Chris’s fund-raising effort with a donation of $25,000. His workmates, suppliers and other supporters also made generous donations.

Tony Day, operations manager for Tony Innaimo Transport, with some of the 17 Innaimo trucks lined up at EPIC.

Following Elvin’s Kenworth in the convoy were trucks owned by the other top bidders: Icon Water; PFD Food Services, Fyshwick; the Illawarra Convoy crew; TJS Transport; Innaimo Transport; DJ Homes; Gungahlin Concrete and Specialised Towing.

A large contribution from an anonymous donor helped reach the new $410,000 record.

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To stay up-to-date about the 2019 Rise Above Cancer Convoy, visit or like the Rise Above Cancer Convoy Facebook page.

See the full pictorial report in the May issue of Owner//Driver.

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