Last call for Crawlin the Hume

By: Greg Bush, Photography by: Tamara Whitsed


This year’s Crawlin’ the Hume will be the final running of the event

Last call for Crawlin the Hume
Flashback to 2016: Crawlin' the Hume makes its way through Chiltern

 

Organisers of Crawlin’ the Hume, which will take place on March 28, have announced that this year will be the biennial event’s last hurrah.

Crawlin’ the Hume, a parade of vintage and classic trucks, retraces the old highway from the Melbourne suburb of Campbellfield to Albury where a Saturday night dinner takes place at the Albury Race Club. It has been run every second year since the first event in 2012, alternating with the Sydney-based Haulin’ the Hume which is due to be held in 2021.

For 2020, the final Crawlin’ the Hume has been renamed the Roger ‘Slasha’ Marchetti Road Run in honour of the late co-organiser, who passed away in early 2019.

Organisers released a statement on the Crawlin’ the Hume Facebook page on January 22, stating that "the 2020 event is the 5th time it has been run and with the passing of Roger and dedicating this year’s event in his honour, the decision has been made that this will be the last one".

Robert French (left) and Roger Marchetti at the inaugural Crawlin’ the Hume in 2012.

However, Crawlin’ the Hume founder Robert French says it’s not only Roger’s passing that has led to his and co-organiser Trevor Davis’s decision to bring down the curtain on the event. He cites the immense pre-planning involved, as well as negative innuendo from some participants that led them to call time on Crawlin’ the Hume.

"We’ve done five and it’s time to retire," Robert says. "It’s a massive job for just a few of us; it’s bloody hard work and it takes a lot of your time.

"But you get accused of everything; it’s become a bit of joke.

"A lot of people like it and they give you a lot of praise, and I don’t care about that, but jeez there’s some knockers. And I think it’s really the knockers that have more to do [with the decision] than Roger’s death."

Robert, a former truck driver, has a drum recycling business which is son runs. But due to staff shortages he’s been forced to get back behind the wheel. He had a recent day off, driving to Albury to organise the Crawlin’ the Hume dinner and evening presentation at the Race Club.

Trevor is another with a demanding job, his 12-hour-a-day truck driving shift starting at 3am.

Both were planning on making the announcement on Crawlin’ the Hume’s closure at the event itself, but decided to bring it forward in a bid to attract a larger number of participants.

"I absolutely love Crawlin’ the Hume. I eat, drink and sleep it," Robert says.

"I learned a lot about myself by doing it five times, and I learnt a lot about people."

He says when he and Roger started the wheels rolling in 2012 they had no idea what they were doing.

"None of us were events’ organisers. We had no idea.

"The sad part about it is we’ve got it down pat now."

In 2018, more than 250 classic and vintage trucks took part. Being the final running of Crawlin’ The Hume, Robert is hoping numbers will be higher on March 28.

From Campbellfield, the convoy will pass through Wallan, Broadford, Tallarook, Seymour, Avenel, Locksley, Longwood, Euroa, Violet Town, Baddaginnie, Benalla, Glenrowan, Wangaratta, Chiltern, Barnawartha, Wodonga and Albury.

However, Robert says there will be a slight tweak at Violet Town.

"There’s a real bad turn there so we’re going to direct them down the main street."

As usual, trucks must be more than 25 years old, and the $50 registration fee includes a Crawlin’ the Hume pack containing a hat, stubby holder, keyring, drink bottle and pen. Entries close on February 29.

For more information and entry forms for this historic truck event go to the Crawlin The Hume 2020 Facebook page or phone Robert French on 0409 380 090 or Trevor Davis 0419 506 516.

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