Log truck retired after 1.4 million kilometers without major breakdown

14 May 2004

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Local log truck owner and operator Mr John Welsh has retired his ‘old faithful’ Western Star truck. Yes, after more than eight years hauling timber, the black 12-year-old log truck, a familiar sight around Tumut, has been replaced.

Mr Welsh said that he was glad to retire the old truck owned and operated by J and C Welsh Pty Ltd and will now get some sleep as he won’t be thinking it might break down.

However with the statistics accrued by the Western Star, there is a fair job ahead of its replacement – another Western Star.

For starters, the first three years of its life were spent hauling hardwood logs; the next eight were spent hauling pine, primarily up and out of State Forests’ Blowering plantations.

The truck has travelled more than 1.4 million kilometers without a major driveline breakdown.

In terms of the weight of pine logs carted, it averaged five loads a day to mills in the Tumut region, carrying a total of more than 240 000 tonnes to local businesses.

Mr Welsh said that as with all business, reaching this milestone required close attention to maintenance and good drivers.

On his first day with the new truck, driver Mr Shaun Kelly beamed with delight at the improvements in braking thanks to larger engine-brake capability and the improved comfort level.

All this Mr Kelly said added to a more relaxed and therefore more alert driver.

Mr Kelly’s work will continue through winter as part of the Rosin Developments’ team harvesting and hauling pine logs from Buccleuch State Forest as Mr Welsh works as a supervisor for Rosin and also sub-contracts his truck to Rosin.

State Forests merchandising forester Mr Andrew Nicholls said State Forests recognised that a good on road safety and performance record such as that achieved by the Western Star was important to haulage operations.

In relation to the new truck, he said improved braking was one way of increasing the safety performance of forest product haulage.

“Haulage of logs to mills is a very important part of State Forests business and this is just one example of the work and investment that goes into this part of the business,” he said.

Media contact: Sarah Chester on 6036 2110 or 0417 207 669. Photos of Shane Kelly with the truck being sent.