Towing in the tropics

By: Tamara Whitsed

Cairns car carrier Alf Di Salvo says the government needs to spend more money on the "woeful" Bruce Highway

Towing in the tropics
Alf Di Salvo says his 2016 Scania G440 car carrier is the best truck he’s ever owned.


Alf Di Salvo loves car carrying because his clients are always happy.

"They’re happy when I’m picking up cars and they’re also happy when they receive them," says Alf who operates Alfies Towing in Cairns, Queensland.

A qualified mechanic, Alf built up a small fleet of tow trucks in the early 1980s but sold them to buy tip trucks in 1988.

"After I bought the second [tip truck] we had three months of constant rain up here [in Cairns]. In three months, the trucks worked six days."

He left the trucking industry for a while and had more success when he returned to establish Alfies Towing in 2006 with one Isuzu tow truck.

He was using it to cart cars, one at a time, for CEVA, and realised it would be easier to do this with a car carrier. So in about 2008 he bought a second-hand Isuzu three-car carrier, and he hasn’t looked back.

Unlike tippers, the tow trucks and car carriers can work in all weather. "They work rain, hail or shine."

The size of his fleet fluctuates with demand, but today he runs a 2016 Scania G440 as a seven-car carrier and an Isuzu 750 as a four-car carrier. He also has two Isuzu 600 tilt tray tow trucks.

The business employs three drivers and Alf spends plenty of time in the trucks himself. He is regularly in the driver’s seat of his favourite truck, the Scania, when it carts cars along the Bruce Highway between Cairns and Townsville.

Alf likes to take his breaks at the sea-side village of Cardwell. "Up here, we're not congested. Where I go there's no traffic jams or any of that sort of stuff."

He is not impressed with the condition of the highway. "The Bruce Highway is woeful. The government’s got to spend some money there." He says the road deteriorates in wet weather, "and bear in mind we get a lot of rain up here".

Read the full story in the February 2018 issue of Owner//Driver.

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