Driving quads in the Pilbara

By: Peter Schlenk, Photography by: Peter Schlenk

Quad road trains are everywhere in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, just ask Kenworth C509 driver Hayden Perry

Driving quads in the Pilbara
Hayden Perry drives Bullbuck's Kenworth C509 around the Pilbara's mining region


Hayden Perry drives for Bullbuck, a long term Hedland operator. When he moved to Port Hedland in 2009, Bullbuck had around 12 trucks. Now the company runs 30 sets of quads.

"The town continues to grow, it has exploded up here a bit," Hayden says.

"Bullbucks are good to work for and it is all good gear, which is exactly what you need for this type of work."

In his home country of New Zealand, Hayden was in and around trucks since the age of 2, travelling with his uncles who operated logging trucks.

Hayden says he enjoys the work around Port Hedland and, while the runs out to the mines can sometimes be monotonous, the money is good, plus he gets to drive a Kenworth C509.

According to Hayden, the C509 is a brilliant truck, especially with its tri-drive axle configuration.

"Everyone talks about Kenworth being rough riding, but on the dirt the 509 would be unbeatable."

The Kenworth has a Cummins EGR under the bonnet which Hayden says handles the heat very well.

"The Cummins has good cooling," he says. "It gets to about 57 to 60 degrees along Marble Bar Road in the middle of summer and you never really slow down, except to save the tyres; that’s the thing that lets you down."

Getting stuck in the wet is one of the hazards of running out into the desert. A lot can change in the six hours it takes Hayden to travel to the mine.

"You can easily spend three or four days, or even a week, waiting for things to dry out before you get moving again. It’s the creeks and rivers you need to watch.

"You can got out in the dry and come back and water from as far away as Newman is running 1.5m deep."

Just as well the Kenworth C509 has a 50-inch sleeper and a fridge which Hayden keeps well stocked.

For more on Hayden Perry and the Kenworth C509, see the June issue of Owner//Driver magazine. Click here to secure your copy now. 

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