Big-cab turns heads at Deni Truck Show
When Tongala’s Matthew Clarke graduated to driving a Kenworth K108 Big-cab for his employer Frank Gattuso Transport, it also became his show vehicle.
Matthew entered the trucking industry in 2012 and was inspired to go into ‘showing’ in 2014.
His passion for the truck saw him win two awards in September last year — the Deniliquin Truck Show & Industry Expo’s Truck of the Year and the Tringali’s Choice at the Winton Truck Show.
He went on to win the Prime Mover 7-10 years at Tooradin Tractor Pull and Truck Show in January this year.
While only a standard vehicle, Matthew says the way it has been maintained makes the truck a standout. He said the spattering of custom work also catches the eye.
At night, the truck’s lighting gets heads turning. Bright lights have been added to the mirrors, tank skirts, cab sides and rear of the wings which makes for a brilliant glistening effect.
The Kenworth K108 Bigcab boasts a 580 horsepower Cummins EGR engine, which is standard with the vehicle.
It has a custom grill to make it stand out from other Kenworths, and custom stainless steel sun visor and custom front bar.
The truck also features wings, tank wraps, tank skirts and drive guards all made with stainless steel which adds a bit of extra ‘bling’.
Helping to improve performance and enhance the look of the truck is the dual exhaust and dual air filter.
‘‘The dual air filter helps the truck breathe better, and improves fuel economy and performance,’’ Matthew said.
‘‘It also makes the truck look better.’’
The award winning Kenworth K108 Big-cab is part of a massive fleet of trucks owned by the Shepparton based Frank Gattuso Transport, which has 20 prime movers and 12 small to heavy rigids.
Matthew does the Shepparton-Melbourne-Albury-Shepparton run in the Kenworth, after originally starting off in a Western Star.
He said he entered the world of showing after hearing his colleagues talk about regional shows, the accolades that can be earned and the charities many of them support around the truck yard.
‘‘My experience driving this truck, although short, has been an amazing ride—I have enjoyed every minute,’’ Matthew said.
‘‘I found the (truck show) days or weekends were a great way to catch up with the boys out of work hours and meet other drivers who shared the same passion.
‘‘Unfortunately I didn’t get to the 2015 Deniliquin Truck Show, but made a point of going to the 2016 show.
‘‘I never imagined winning Truck of the Year as there were a lot of really nice looking trucks there.
‘‘It’s nice to be recognised for all the effort it takes, not only to get the truck ready for a truck show but to keep it looking that way on a day-today basis.
‘‘I owe a lot of that to the great friends I made while working for Frank, but the most inspirational person was Darren Peters who drove Frank’s Peterbilt. Darren was always cleaning and polishing his truck and I thought, ‘that’s how I want to be’.
‘‘It has become an obsession, which a lot of fellow truckers would understand.’’