Tom Mort breathes new life into International Eagle 9200

By: Tamara Whitsed


The transformation in progress. The transformation in progress. Photo supplied. The transformation in progress.
Tom and Kylie Mort with their children Mackenzie and Darcy at their Benalla workshop. Tom and Kylie Mort with their children, Mackenzie and Darcy, at their Benalla workshop. Photo: Tamara Whitsed. Tom and Kylie Mort with their children Mackenzie and Darcy at their Benalla workshop.
The Eagle was just a rolling chassis when Tom Mort bought it The motor and many parts had been removed The Eagle was just a rolling chassis when Tom Mort bought it The motor and many parts had been removed. The Eagle was just a rolling chassis when Tom Mort bought it The motor and many parts had been removed
Peter Heaney drives the Eagle full time Peter Heaney drives the Eagle full time. Peter Heaney drives the Eagle full time

Tom Mort’s International Eagle has been restored to its former glory.

 

Benalla truck driver Peter Heaney is thrilled to be driving Tom and Kylie Mort’s restored 2006 International Eagle 9200.

"It’s pretty much back to its original glory," says Peter, who drove the truck for its first owners eight years ago. He was so impressed with the restoration that he asked Tom for a job and now drives the Eagle interstate.

Tom, who operates TKM Diesel at Benalla, also has a history with the Eagle – he serviced it when it was new.

By the time Tom bought the truck in 2014, its motor had been removed, the bonnet was damaged and it had been stripped of minor parts. But he was confident he could bring the Eagle back to life.

He installed a second-hand Cummins Signature engine.

"We replaced internal panels and parts including window motors, switches, floor panels, the gearstick, steering wheel, air valves, UHF and stereo," Tom says.

A friend helped Tom straighten and paint the bonnet. A local sign writer gave it the finishing touches in its original style.

In mid-2015 Tom employed Peter to drive the truck full-time, hired a single trailer and sourced freight from loading agents.

Peter, who has 26 years trucking experience, drives the Eagle five days a week and usually sleeps in it every second night. He has driven the truck as far as Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane loaded with general freight.

Tom rarely gets to drive the Eagle. He has his hands full with his Benalla business, TKM Diesel. His workshop in Saleyards Road has a drive-through full-length B-double pit, wash bay and B-double turning area.

TKM Diesel services and repairs local trucks and sells spare parts. It also offers a 24-hour Hume Freeway mobile breakdown service between Wangaratta and Seymour. The business recently advertised a job vacancy for a diesel mechanic.

Tom and Kylie also own a 1993 International S-Line which is available for dry-hire.

 

You can read the full story in the March issue of Owner//Driver magazine.

 

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