I do love a good day out in the sun, but I don’t need sandy beaches or margaritas. And I definitely don’t need surfboards and sunscreen. Nope, a good day out in the sun for me involves miles of chrome and the harmonious symphony created by hundreds of airhorns.
The best place to find a good day out in the sun this past October was nestled up in the Somerset region of Queensland in the small country town of Kilcoy where once again the streets were lined with truck nuts, ‘truckarazzi’ and what honestly looked like the entire Kilcoy community of nearly 2000 people.
Back in 2021, the Kilcoy Konvoy was actually one of the first events back on the truck show circuit after our COVID conundrum. It was welcomed back with a massive turnout, so I must admit I found it a bit confusing when I went to lock in some accommodation last year and found out the show had changed from a yearly fixture to a biennial event. It is fair to say that I am not the most patient of people. In fact, I wouldn’t even crack the top 100.
When it comes to waiting for truck show dates to roll around my patience is about as flexible as, well, me in yoga pants. Seeing as how much I had enjoyed the 2021 show I felt I had a right to throw my toys out of the cot.
Waiting another 365 days just seemed so torturous. But I did it, and the weekend after the 2023 Bathurst 1000 I found myself once again kicking my lovely partner out of bed at an ungodly o’clock, filling the fridge full of drinks, the camera bags full of memory cards and batteries, and heading northwest of Brisbane to catch this cool country show.
Turning the event into a biennial truck show didn’t do a thing to diminish the number of entrants though, with close to 200 trucks rocking up to the meeting point on the outskirts of town. The plan of attack saw all the trucks register and muster up at the eastern end of town. Then, at 10am in staggered groups, the convoy ran through the township, arriving at the Kilcoy Showgrounds on the opposite side of town.
When the show returned back in 2021 it was held in conjunction with the Kilcoy Rodeo, which as a photographer I loved. It meant I could go and trial some action photos as well. However, it did cause a few more traffic issues as the mammoth convoy tried to cross traffic and entire the showgrounds, along with those involved in the rodeo.
This year was the first time the event was run independently. Linsie Dawes and her team of committee members and volunteers did a fantastic job of running not just the traffic management and parking of nearly 200 trucks, but the whole show in general. While I am sure there were hiccups, from the outside of the show the convoy and the crowds seemed to run without a hitch.
It wasn’t just the convoy Linsie and her team had to stay on top of. There were competitions and events running all through the day. From the tarp tying contest to the truck stopping test, it was all action. There was plenty for the little truckers to do, with rides and activities available, the most popular of which was an actual ride in a truck. Kids had the opportunity to jump in the passenger seat of a big Kenworth and do a couple of laps inside the showgrounds.
There were plenty of stalls set up selling everything from customised truckie towels to antique signs. The local Brown & Hurley team were on hand to ensure you could restock your wardrobes with the latest in Kenworth fashions and I managed to bail up the Jax Wax legends themselves, Karen and Errol Weber, and made sure my cleaning and polishing supplies were met.
If I had one complaint it would be I didn’t find anywhere selling sunscreen. Yes, I realise it’s my responsibility, and I had plenty in the car. But in my defence, I was far too preoccupied perving on all the trucks to notice that the beautiful weather was turning me slightly redder than the local fire trucks which by chance also made an appearance at this year’s event.
Now that we’ve established how much fun the event was, it is only right we mention the quality of the gear that rocked up for the biennial event. Let’s put it this way, you could not pay me enough to judge the show. The quality of the trucks on display was phenomenal.
B&K Haulage, who any truck lover will know, rocked up with a fleet of impeccable Kenworths. I understand the primary use of stainless steel is to make kitchen utensils, but I am happy to eat with chopsticks or my hands in order to keep this company shining. There was enough bling on those trucks to ensure people were getting second-hand sunburn well after lights out. In fact, the team managed to drive away with the Best Kenworth award. No mean feat in that.
Another local company, Armesto’s Transport turned up and were showing off one of their new B-triple setups, as well as a brand-new Kenworth K220. Kilcoy-based Bechley’s Transport had a huge chunk of their fleet all scrubbed up and shining brightly for their hometown event – and the green and white team looked amazing.
There are so many I need to mention, so many stunning trucks. I do have to touch on Laurie Williams and his team from Anywhere Truck and Machinery Towing though. Now, normally no one really likes to see a tow truck, it’s like seeing a letter from the tax department or a sign that something has gone wrong. But not at Kilcoy, the big blue tow trucks out blued the stunning Kilcoy skies at this year’s event and understandably they took out the Best Large Fleet award.
As I mentioned previously, I could not be paid enough to judge a show with this level of trucks in it and full credit to the judges. Their choice of Rig of the Show was extremely well deserved, with the top award going to Kris Bridge who pilots a stunning T909 for Grafton-based G&D Richard Transport.
Once my sunburnt calmed down and I sat down to go through the hundreds of photos, it really did dawn on me that I have to wait another two years for this show’s return. If 2023 is anything to go by, it will be worth waiting for. Bring on 2025.