English expat at home in the Australian outback

By: Peter Schlenk, Photography by: Peter Schlenk


Ian Davies Martins Stock Haulage Englishman Ian Davies now calls Australia home. Ian Davies Martins Stock Haulage
Martins Stock Haulage Kenworth Apart from its first six months on the road, Ian Davies has driven the 18-month-old Kenworth since new. Martins Stock Haulage Kenworth
Martins Stock Haulage Kenworth2 The T659 regularly hauls B-triple trailers around outback Queensland. Martins Stock Haulage Kenworth2

Englishman Ian Davies has comfortably slotted into life in Australia with a Kenworth T659.

 

Hauling livestock is a familiar occupation for Englishman Ian Davies.

Just like his father Gwyn Davies, Ian drove livestock trucks back in his former homeland.

Ian had just completed an 11-hour drive with a B-triple load of cattle from Winton in Queensland’s north when he spoke to Owner//Driver at the Roma Saleyards.

It’s 13 years since Ian arrived in Australia from his hometown of Devon in south-west England and, although his mates have nicknamed him ‘Dicky from Devon’, he knows he is here to stay.

"I had always had a fascination for Australia and came to realise that there was no real future for me in England," Ian says.

"I just couldn’t see anything for the kids, so we came over in 2002."

Ian, wife Angela and children Brad, Jade and Zach live in Warwick.

Ian began work with Wickham Freight Lines in Warwick when he first arrived in Australia and then joined Martins Stock Haulage in 2008.

He now gets around in a 2013 model Kenworth T659.

With its 50-inch (127cm) bunk, Ian believes this set-up is about as good as it gets for stock transportation.

"It’s a good strong truck for the places we go to," he says.

Ian enjoys driving in the Australian outback among the bush and the dirt. The only other place he could compare it to is the dry and dusty Pamplona region in Spain.

Back in Europe, he drove a Renault which he says had a little parcel rack for a bunk, a world away from the one in the T659.

The Renault was a single drive 340hp (254kW) prime mover with a tri-axle trailer.

Ian regularly transported sheep to Germany, France and Belgium.

"I would love to be able to take this configuration to England and do a lap on the M25," Ian says, pointing to the T659.

"I don’t know how far I would get but people wouldn’t believe what they were seeing."

Ian takes a lot of pride in his rig. Apart from its first six months on the road, he has driven the 18-month-old Kenworth since new.

Hence, he’s fastidious about its appearance, often taking the B-double home to give it a good scrub.

"If they could only just design an automatic washing system, it would be good. That would solve all of my problems," he says.

Despite the grime, Ian says there’s nothing he’d rather do than cart livestock.

He’s ruled out a change to refrigerated goods, and tackling city streets and distribution centres.

"Cattle are much more sensible," Ian says.

"You can unload this in five minutes whereas you’d be five hours in some distribution centres. This will do me."

You can read Ian's full story in the May edition of Owner//Drivermagazine.

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