Hino's Lone Ranger

By: Steve Skinner, Photography by: Steve Skinner


Kenny Boyd has spent nearly four decades driving solo around Australia in his trusty 1985 Hino FD Ranger

Hino's Lone Ranger
Kenny Boyd's 1985 Hino FD Ranger.

 

Kenny Boyd has got to be one of the most experienced truckies in Australia, and one of the biggest characters.

The former rodeo rider has been criss-crossing the continent for more than four decades, carting horses and all sorts of other stock including camels, cows, goats, pigs and sheep.

He travels "anywhere to anywhere" from his home base south of Perth.

"I wouldn’t do anything else. I love it," says Kenny, 74.

For nearly four decades Kenny’s regular workhorse has been his Hino FD Ranger, which he bought new in 1985.

He’s used the trusty truck for countless trips, but has always had a couple of other trucks too, which is why the Ranger has only done  565,000 kilometres. He didn’t run it at all for 18 months recently.

 

Limited Specs

Kenny knows the FD has got a 6 speed synchro gearbox and that it’s been a great truck: "It’s never let me down since the day I bought it." Of course that’s other than routine stuff like batteries, tyres, starter motors etc.

But Kenny doesn’t know what engine the Ranger has in it, other than it involves six cylinders: "I wouldn’t have a clue mate".

And he doesn’t know the horsepower: "I don’t take any notice of that."

But Kenny does know the medium duty FD will do 110km/h fully loaded. That’s slip-streaming a foot behind big trucks, cutting his fuel use in half.

Regular servicing

Just a couple of weeks ago Kenny finally sold the Hino, and bought a relatively "new" and bigger 2006 Fuso which holds 18 horses on its body.

Kenny says he was sad to see the old girl go. "It was a beauty. I loved it. It was part of my life," he says.

Kenny serviced the Hino himself every 10,000 kilometres and when he wasn’t slipstreaming, sat on 95 km/h "to be kind to it".

When he first drove east-west in 1968, three quarters of the trip was on dirt – including all of the Western Australian section.

Kenny says hauling livestock pays better than anything else "because it’s a more specialised form of cartment".

He’s never advertised: all his work has been word of mouth.

And he has a very simple secret to staying viable: "I make everybody pre-pay. If they don’t pre-pay, I don’t do it. Simple."

 

IN BRIEF

Truck: 1985 Hino FD Ranger

Owner: Kenny Boyd

Engine: 6 cylinder "EconoDiesel"

Transmission: 6-speed synchro

Kilometres: 565,000

 

Check out Kenny Boyd’s Used Truck of the Month in the October 2014 issue of Owner//Driver.

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