Learning from the best

By: Peter Schlenk

Mark Stephens had the ideal role model to emulate when starting out in the trucking industry.

Learning from the best
Mark Stephens drives a Kenworth C509 for heavy haulage outfit Lew Harris Transport.


Like many others working at road transport’s coalface, Mark Stephens caught the trucking bug from his father.

Mark, who gets around in a Kenworth C509 for heavy haulage outfit Lew Harris Transport in Queensland, spent part of his youth tagging along with his owner-driver father George.

When Mark left school at 15 to pursue a career in trucking it did not come as a surprise to his dad.

"He always said that I was born with a wheel in my hands," Mark says.

He thanks his father for teaching him the "old school" ways about the trucking industry.

George had firm rules, which included always promoting a positive image, driving well and not acting like a clown.

"It was vitally important to present yourself well," Mark recalls.

He has now spent more than 12 years working in heavy haulage and his travels have taken him around Australia.

But he hasn’t done it alone. Wife Ailie has driven the escort vehicle for the past decade.

"It works for us because we are good mates," Mark says.

"It’s a good lifestyle, always doing something different, carrying something different and going somewhere new."

Mark says the C509 is "user friendly" and has everything he would want in a truck, including power, comfort and ride.

Up front is a Cummins 600hp (447.4kW) exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) engine, bolted to an 18-speed box with a four auxiliary Spicer box and Sizu diffs riding on Kenworth six-rod suspension.

"It’s a beaut package but it could have a bigger bunk," Mark laughs.

Read the November edition of Owner//Driver for the full story on Mark Stephens. Click here to secure your copy now.

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