Clash of the Titans: Farewell to the Kenworth K200

By: Matt Wood, Photography by: Matt Wood


Colour and customisation gives the Kenworth K200 a new look Colour and customisation gives the Kenworth K200 a new look. Colour and customisation gives the Kenworth K200 a new look
From left Wayne Hawkes Matt Wood Jane Hawkes Kenworth salesman Ron Ludbrook and operations manager Dayne Ilse with the Woody Wagon From left: Wayne Hawkes, Matt Wood, Jane Hawkes, Kenworth salesman Ron Ludbrook and operations manager Dayne Ilse with the Woody Wagon. From left Wayne Hawkes Matt Wood Jane Hawkes Kenworth salesman Ron Ludbrook and operations manager Dayne Ilse with the Woody Wagon
The Kenworth K200 during its Clash of the Titans run earlier this year The Kenworth K200 during its Clash of the Titans run earlier this year. The Kenworth K200 during its Clash of the Titans run earlier this year
The Woody Wagon moniker lives on The Woody Wagon moniker lives on. The Woody Wagon moniker lives on

Matt Wood hands over the keys to the new owner of the K200 Woody Wagon.

 

It was always going to happen. I knew one day that I’d have to say good bye to the Woody Wagon, the custom Kenworth I put together for the Clash of Titans duel with Volvo.

As part of the Clash of the Titans gig, I’d followed the journey of the truck that had started out as an idea, an order and a spec sheet on Kenworth salesman Ron Ludbrook’s desk.

A diesel and chrome fuelled fantasy that I’d seen take shape in Kenworth’s Bayswater factory.

My name was on the side, it was my colour and I even got to clock up some highway kilometres behind the wheel. Along the way I’d gained a small insight into the Kenworth customer experience, but without the price tag.

The Woody Wagon now has a new home with Tailored Freight and its owner Wayne Hawkes.

Hawkes is better known for race horse training. He has however, had a long time interest in trucks. Wayne and his wife Jane own Tailored Freight, a small fleet of six trucks that specialise in getting fresh produce to market and distribution centres. Even though he hails from a horse racing background, the truck bug bit Hawkes early.

"From the age of 10 to 16 I used to work for Goldner’s Horse Transport in the school holidays," Hawkes says.

"I’d come on trips with the blokes from Adelaide to Melbourne, I’d go with him and help him on the trip."

Grand trucking plans were being laid, even back then.

"My brother was going to be a diesel mechanic and I was going to own the largest horse float company in Australia," he says.

 

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Hawkes admits he really takes a back seat in the running of the business. Operations manager Dayne Ilse handles the day to day running of the trucks, while Jane Hawkes keeps the office, finance and overall books of the company ticking over.

Some of Tailored Freight clients include Aldi, Woolworths and Coles. Dayne Ilse is quite a busy fellow. He juggles his duties as operations manager with running his own freight forwarding company.

Tailored Freight is known for its immaculate and highly accessorised gear so before it was delivered to its new home, my K200 was shipped off to well-known Lara based Klos Custom Trucks for some extra bling.

"I just like the way they do trucks," Ilse says.

While Tiger Mica may have been my preferred colour for a truck, Woody was also given some new powder blue war paint, the striking Tailored Freight fleet colour scheme. \

Ilse was initially keen to keep the truck in its original colour scheme as a one-off in the fleet, but Jane rightly intervened by pointing out that the sparkly burnt orange wouldn’t match the smartly presented company trailer sets.

The new-look K200 is a stunning prime mover. The detail that has been added to it is quite sensational. Right down to the custom grille bars and hand painted KW bug on front.

When I’d been ticking the order boxes I’d opted for sandstone trim inside but the Tailored Freight team changed the door trims to black to eliminate boot scuffing on the inside of the doors. 

Custom stainless was also added, including the obligatory bad boy sun visor to give the cab over a tough profile. Custom bullet clearance lights were also added to emphasise the retro feel of the look, and for good measure an imposing ‘dozer blade bar was added to the front.

Jane says the colour and the bling are a part of Tailored Freight’s branding.

 

The KENWORTH Australia K200 Woody Wagon that featured in our Clash of the Titans event now has a new home with Tailored...

Posted by Owner Driver on Wednesday, 30 September 2015

 

"The look of the truck completes the business model," she says.

"We wanted an image that said that we were a quality transport company for the fruit and veg market."

Ilse agrees the image works for the business.

"I get emails from customers all the time saying that our trucks look great," he says.

"It’s an image now and it definitely works. They stand out at the markets and it’s good for business."

The fleet mainly runs intrastate and regional, which involves quite a lot of city driving.

As a result the entire fleet runs automated transmissions, which Tailored Freight is adamant pays dividends in terms of maintenance and reliability.

The company trucks may not run huge distances but they do keep working seven days a week with rotating drivers.

After handing over the keys and admiring the Woody Wagon, which sat resplendent in its new clothes, it was time for me to leave.

The next time I saw my truck it would be rumbling down the highway with a B-double set of trailers behind it…and someone else behind the wheel.

You can read the full story in the October edition of Owner//Driver.

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