Rapid Fire Haulage

By: Peter Schlenk, Photography by: Peter Schlenk

Rapid Haulage Brian Thompson Kenworth T908 Cummins Adelaide OWD Rapid Haulage Brian Thompson Kenworth T908 Cummins Adelaide OWD
Rapid Haulage Brian Thompson Kenworth T908 Cummins Adelaide OWD2 Rapid Haulage Brian Thompson Kenworth T908 Cummins Adelaide OWD2
Rapid Haulage Brian Thompson Kenworth T908 Cummins Adelaide OWD3 Rapid Haulage Brian Thompson Kenworth T908 Cummins Adelaide OWD3

Driving for Adelaide-based container hauler Rapid Haulage, Brian Thompson’s 2009 Kenworth T908 comes with distinctive flames


Rapid Haulage’s trucks have always been set apart by the flames on their bonnets. Loved by owner Keith Finch, the look has made the Adelaide-based company’s trucks very recognisable.

One of those, often seen in a road train configuration around Adelaide, is Brian Thompson’s Kenworth T908.

Owner//Driver had a chat with him as he was making his time slot to unload two containers of grain at Outer Harbour, in Adelaide’s north.

As with many places in Australia, local transport routes are being opened up to road trains and Rapid Haulage has a number of models to utilise them.

"I’ve been with Rapid for five years and it is a great company to be with," he says. "I’ve had this truck for a little while now and I can’t complain. It has been set up with a TV and a fridge."

"When they purchased the truck, the workshop went through it from end to end, rubbed it back and added the flames.

"It’s not a new truck, rather a 2009 model, but at the time of purchase had only 650,000kms [and] had been looked after very well."

Brian doesn’t have any problems driving a road train through Adelaide – he has to make allowances and keep enough distance in front – but he is looking forward to doing some country work.

While he says it’s a bit mundane running back and forth to the harbour, there is a bit of variety in his work life as he sometimes will hop out of the 908 to operate a side loader.

Whenever there is a train derailment, Brian will find himself going to Perth, Alice Springs or Melbourne.

"There is a fair amount of panic when there is a bad derailment as it all falls back on road transport," he says.

"Not long ago, before I had the 908, we were running up to Broken Hill daily. That was a good job. It would have been ideal with the 908."

With so much grain and export hay in South Australia, Rapid Haulage is heavily involved with loading and packing both products.

"There is no rail infrastructure in South Australia, so moving grain keeps us busy," he says.

"I have hydraulics on this truck but I try and keep that quiet as I don’t want to do any tipper work."

Rapid Haulage has grown to become one of South Australia’s largest logistics and container companies with more than 100 trucks involved in its various activities. Generally these trucks are adorned with blue flames.

In his younger days, Brian operated a crash repair shop on the Yorke Peninsula. Unfortunately, that business went under and he was approached to do some harvest work.

"The Peninsula is a top grain-growing area and in summer everyone wants drivers, so I went and got my license and did the harvest," he recalls.

"I didn’t mind the driving so after harvest, I got a job carting gravel for concrete. I did more harvests and then later moved to Adelaide.

"I couldn’t go back to being in a shed now, it would drive me crazy," he says with a chuckle.

Brian is very happy with his job. He says Keith Finch buys a lot of second-hand trucks but they are in very good condition.

"Keith goes right through them," Brian says. "If I encounter any issues or problems, I can go to the workshop and get it looked at. There isn’t ever an issue in getting it fixed."

The T908 has an EGR Cummins under the bonnet and its going well. It’s a very good truck to run containers around with, Brian thinks.

His Kenworth is even the first truck in the fleet to have some grey paint splashed on it.

"Keith likes good looking gear as I do too," he says.


In Brief:

Driver’s name: Brian Thompson

Company: Rapid Haulage

Truck: 2009 Kenworth T908

Engine: Cummins EGR

Transmission: 18-speed

Freight carried: Containers and general freight

Regular run: Adelaide and beyond




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