Trucking's In The Blood

By: Steve Skinner, Photography by: Steve Skinner


The Gladman family from Wagga Wagga lives and breathes trucks, but none more so than 7-year-old Brock Gladman.

Trucking's In The Blood
Trucking family: Chase, Teresa, Brett and Brock Gladman in front of their Kenworth T608 at the Riverina Truck Show.

 

If ever a young kid was destined to be a truckie, it has to be 7-year-old Brock Gladman.

In September last year Brock and his family – brother Chase, mum Teresa and dad Brett – enjoyed the sunshine and entertainment put on at the Riverina Truck Show on the shores of Lake Albert at Wagga, which is a major trucking hub for south-eastern Australia.

Brett parked his shiny big blue Kenworth T608 amongst the 200 or so trucks on display after the kids convoy.

'Gladdo' Gladman, 43, is an owner-driver and was just about to take his sons away for a week each during the school holidays.

Chase, 11, is a cars man and wants to be a racing car driver when he grows up. On trucks he happily referred us onto Brock.

"Ask him all the questions," grinned Chase, motioning towards his younger brother perched on the fuel tank of Brett’s T608 Kenworth.

But with an audio recorder going Brock turned out to be a man of few words on this occasion, except to say he knows "heaps" about trucks. His parents say he’s not so quiet on the road.

Apparently Brock is well known up and down the Newell Highway between Wagga and Brisbane and loves jumping on the CB to ask blokes how they are going, what they’ve got on the back and where they’re headed for this time.

He’s been mad about trucks since he was a toddler and since his first day of kindergarten has been regaling teachers and the other kids with tall stories from the highway. In the early days these were often imaginary adventures with his two-up driving buddy "Joe", and involved some colourful language.

Even before starting school, in the interview with the principal, Brock declared he’d have to miss the first couple of days because he and Joe had to take a load Brisbane.

"Brock just lives and breathes trucks," Brett says. "People say I was bad, but when they see him they just think, ‘you’re joking’."

As Brett’s mum Sandra 'Binky' Gladman attests, Brett indeed drove his parents and younger brother Adam mad about trucks from a very young age. That was because his dad Ray was a long-distance driver for many years with W & J Taylor Bulk Haulage and Fertiliser, at nearby The Rock.

Ray, better known as "Skeeter", was a gun cricketer and footballer despite missing most training sessions in his driving days because of being on the road during the week.

After working as a diesel mechanic for more than a decade at Royans in Wagga, Brett also went driving for Taylor’s for a year. He recently attended the 70th birthday bash at Taylor’s shed for a bloke who would have to be the most loyal truckie in Australia – Alan 'Snow' Mazzocchi.

Snow has been driving for Taylor’s for well over 50 years. His third generation boss is Chris "Porridge" Taylor; before that it was Ron "Diesel" Taylor; and originally it was founders Bill and Jean.

After Taylors Brett worked for 10 years for his mate at Simmos Express Freight based at nearby Collingullie, doing mostly overnight between Melbourne and Brisbane.

For the past six years he’s worked for himself, and has a permanent run from Brisbane to Wagga, with regular return freight.

Check out the full feature in the January 2016 issue of Owner//Driver.

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