Feature, TOTM

Scania P320 voted OwnerDriver Truck of the Year

Tim McCarthy’s mighty Scania P320 emerged as the top pick among the majority of OwnerDriver readers to be named 2023 Eiffel Lubricants Truck of the Year.
Scania P320

The sun was not quite up when OwnerDriver caught up with McCarthy Trucking’s Tim McCarthy at BP Officer Outbound, on the side of the Princes Highway in Victoria, to hand deliver his Truck of the Year trophy for 2023.

Tim’s Scania P320 proved popular with OwnerDriver readers who voted it number one against a strong line up of trucks ranging from Rafe Cornwall’s Western Star 48X, to the McMahon’s Kenworth T909 and Norm Bransgrove’s Diamond Reo.

The 2023 Truck of the Month series was backed by the team at Eiffel Lubricants, and one lucky voter, Luke Keogh of Speewa, NSW took home 30 litres of Synthetic Engine Oil plus 30 litres of Mineral Gear Oil, valued at $1,011 ex GST.

Early morning delivery: Tim McCarthy was presented with his plaque at the BP truck stop in Officer, Victoria. Image: Geoff Crockett

For Tim, winning the Truck of the Year Award was certainly not expected.

“It’s a surprise, there were some great trucks this year,” he says.

“I’d like to thank those who voted for our truck. It’s been good to be a part of it.”

The truck, which Tim bought about two years ago, has caught the eyes of truck lovers and judges, most recently being named Best Rigid at the 2024 Tooradin Truck Show for the second year in a row. It’s also picked up wins at Castlemaine Truck Show (2022, 2023), Alexandra Truck Show (Best Euro), Beaufort (Best Euro) and Boort (Best Specialised Vehicle).

For Tim, whose truck was named Truck of the Month in October last year, the past five months have been full of highlights.

He and his wife Ebony celebrated the birth of their second child Laylah in October 2023 too, a younger sister for their two-year-old daughter Addison.

McCarthy Transport’s P320, a worthy Eiffel Lubricants Truck of the Year winner. Image: Warren Aitken

On the work front Tim has continued hauling rainwater tanks for a Swan Hill-based business – a job that takes him all around Victoria and interstate.

The next stop for Tim after we caught up with him was to deliver to a customer in Leongatha, before heading back for re-loading, then home to Bendigo, and out again for the rest of the week for trips to northern Victoria and South Australia.

Asked about his most memorable trip so far, Tim says his first-time taking tanks to Kangaroo Island stands out.

“It was different, having to go over on the boat, and seeing the island,” he says.

“It’s a great spot”.

Eiffel Lubricants representatives deliver the voter prize of mineral gear oil and synthetic engine oil to Prime Creative Media HQ in Melbourne. From left: Shoeb Mohammed, Prime Creative Media’s Trader Group sales director Asanka Gurusinha, Eiffel Lubricants’ director Sayeed Islam, and Mohammed Imaduddin. Image: Prime Creative Media

Tim, a qualified as a butcher, started a plumbing apprenticeship and ran his own car detailing business for a while before getting into his own trucking business. His life as an owner-driver is constantly evolving.

He says he has learned not to look into the business account randomly to see how things are going given the fluctuations that happen with the timing of payments coming in and expenses going out.

Rather, he’s found drawing a reasonable regular wage and trusting in strength of their business processes has enabled him to concentrate on providing quality deliveries for his clients.

The Scania P320 is always squeaky clean: Image: Warren Aitken

It’s helped too, that Tim has been able to draw on the experiences of his father and grandfather who both spent many years working in the transport industry, running their own trucks. His grandfather ran log trucks out of Leonards Hill in Victoria, and his father grew his business up to small fleet, after making a start many years ago delivering light freight between Bendigo and Ballarat in an old Isuzu.

As for what’s next for Tim McCarthy, he says he’ll try and make it to a few more truck shows this year, if time and work allows – to catch up with friends and see what other drivers put on show.

He’ll also be aiming to home at nights as much as possible to support his growing family.

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