Driving McPhersons Interstate Transport's Kenworth T610 SAR

By: Peter Schlenk, Photography by: Peter Schlenk

Brian Barnik was offered a job as the regular driver of a new Kenworth T610 SAR and jumped at the opportunity

Driving McPhersons Interstate Transport's Kenworth T610 SAR
McPhersons Interstate Transport's new Kenworth T610 SAR


McPhersons Interstate Transport, based at Myrtleford in Victoria’s high country, was one of the first to purchase a Kenworth T610 SAR, with driver Brian Barnik being the lucky recipient.

Brian jumped out of a Transtar to drive the 610 and really noticed the difference with the modern Kenworth.

"This engine feels like you are in a plane taking off and it has a nice note to it as well," Brian smiles. "I could really get used to driving this."

The SAR is kept busy doing Carter Holt Harvey work, carrying timber to the mainland capitals of Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne.

"No-one knows what it is," Brian says of the new Kenworth. "It doesn’t have many badges, just one Kenworth badge on the grille.

McPhersons Interstate Transport's Kenworth T610 hauls timber products for Carter Holt Harvey

The T610 SAR looks the goods in McPherson Interstate Transport’s colours and Brian takes a lot of pride in it, just as he does with his own Kenworth.

"I’ve got a 1978 Kenworth with an 8V92 Detroit in it and am restoring it slowly. It was originally a Goulburn based truck and is a very original old girl."

Brian is a Kenworth man through and through. He even has a Kenworth tattoo to back it up.

"The X15 Euro V Cummins sounds great and pulls very well. Alan [McPherson] has specced it up very heavily with the intention of doing some float work later."

The Barnik family: Brian Barnik with his wife Melissa and daughters Milena and Haylee

Brian has been in and around trucks for decades. Although his parents weren’t involved in the transport industry, they were friends of the Rouse family, leading him to start work John Rouse Transport yard before he even left school. There he would help wash and grease the trucks.

Back then John Rouse Transport had three trucks in its fleet, but now John’s son Kurt runs over a dozen.

It led to led Brian doing 15 years as a mechanic and 17 years driving.

"I just loved trucks. It’s a disease," he exclaims. "Once you are into them, you can’t get out of them."

By the time Brian was 19, he was looking for a change of scenery and headed for Queensland, landing a job working on Peterbilts.

"I enjoyed doing that. Peterbilts are a different class of truck but I got the itch to drive and started with Richers Transport in Maryborough.

"That was my first interstate job, running down to Sydney in a Mack Vision. That was my first banger and was followed by an Iveco Powerstar. I thought that was flash."

Brian's wife Melissa doesn’t have a truck licence, but enjoys going along for the ride, especially in the new Kenworth T610 SAR.

"She came with me to Sydney last week," Brian continues. "And there is plenty of room in the T610."

Read more on Brian Barnik and the Kenworth T610 SAR in the August 2017 edition of Owner//Driver magazine, on sale August 7.

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