From East to West

By: Peter Schlenk, Photography by: Peter Schlenk


Allen has been driving for Aqua Technologies for around two years after almost 12 years as an owner-driver. Allen has been driving for Aqua Technologies for around two years after almost 12 years as an owner-driver. Allen has been driving for Aqua Technologies for around two years after almost 12 years as an owner-driver.
The 480hp 2010 FH Volvo has a fuel capacity of 2000 litres, making it ideal for the long run between Perth and Melbourne. The 480hp 2010 FH Volvo has a fuel capacity of 2000 litres, making it ideal for the long run between Perth and Melbourne. The 480hp 2010 FH Volvo has a fuel capacity of 2000 litres, making it ideal for the long run between Perth and Melbourne.

A 480hp 2010 FH Volvo is ideally suited to Allen Martin’s job of carrying pools and caravans on the long run between Perth and Melbourne.

 

Allen Martin was having a forced rest break in Port Augusta when Owner//Driver caught up with him. Allen drives a 2010 FH Volvo for Aqua Technologies.

As Allen explained, he doesn’t just do the standard east-west trip from Perth. Each trip usually takes 13-15 days.

"We take swimming pools over to Melbourne, unload down in Seaford, and then I take some stock up to Sydney. I will then return to Melbourne to load up with caravans or whatever we have for the return leg to Perth, where I live," he says.

The Volvo Allen drives is one of the bigger trucks pulling a tag trailer. It’s an ex-Cochrane’s unit that was set up to run express freight up to the Pilbara region from Perth. The truck has a 480hp engine coupled with a 12-speed automatic box and it does the job easily in Allen’s opinion.

"The truck is ideally suited to this work. With 2,000 litres of fuel, I don’t have to worry about stopping all the time," he says.

"I can get easily from Perth to Port Augusta without a stop for re-fuelling. The truck has 1.25 million kilometres on the clock so it has well and truly been run in."

Allen adds that he owns an almost identical unit, the difference being that his truck is a 1994 model and is parked at home.

"I’ve been an owner-driver since 2004 – that is almost 12 years. I’ve been with Aqua for about two years, but today there isn’t enough money in it to warrant running my own truck," he says.

"Aqua has its own freight, so it is a whole lot easier as you don’t have to chase freight from Perth. I know what I am doing and where I am going.

Allen got into driving when a mate needed a driver.

"I knew him but hadn’t seen him for many years. I met up with him and he was doing this sort of work and he introduced me to it. I took the work on and away we went. I ended up buying my own truck and seeing a lot of Australia," he recalls.

Allen used to do everything – running to Darwin and Brisbane; going across the top of the country.

"The highlight I suppose was doing 15 caravans out of Melbourne destined for Port Hedland with seven of those headed for Shark Bay. I had a good time up there," he says.

In the 1980s, Allen spent seven years in Kununurra, operating his own radiator shop and towing service. He built car trailers and speedway cars in addition to buying and selling cars.

"There were a lot of opportunities up there. We called it the last frontier back then. It was before it got all civilised when everyone came up from down south and ruined it," he says.

It has been quite a change from running across the top end to travelling the Hume.

"I use the Hume as the load is oversize, which means I can only run in daylight hours. I try to get unloaded and out again prior to 10 in the morning so I am back in Melbourne that night," Allen says.

See our full report on Allen in the December issue of Owner//DriverSubscribe here.

 

IN BRIEF

Driver’s name: Allen Martin

Company: Aqua Technologies

Truck: Volvo FH

Engine: 480hp

Transmission: 12-speed auto

Freight carried: Caravans, pools and boats

Regular run: Melbourne/Perth

 

 

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