The Heritage truck movement in Australia is alive and well, if the successful bi-annual running of Crawlin’ the Hume, held in mid-March, is anything to go by. A convoy of 235 vehicles travelled from Melbourne to Albury along the old Hume Highway on 16 April, passing through towns including Wallan, Euroa and Chiltern, all of which have long been bypassed by the modern Hume Freeway.
With trucks over 25 years old being eligible for the historic run, vehicles spanning over 60 years of transport heritage made the run north, with many truck brands no longer regularly seen on Australia’s highways being represented.
These included Deutz, Foden, Commer, Diamond T and Atkinson, with a number of prime movers hooked up to bogie and spread-axle trailers and loaded with historic cars and machinery. Some old transport names were also represented by participants with rigs sporting signage and paint schemes from Post’s Transport, Ansett Freight Lines and Vaughan Transport.
Crawlin’ the Hume is intended as a casual friendly event, with participants making the 300-odd kilometre trek at a steady pace. After assembling at the Ford factory on Sydney Road in Campbellfield the convoy made its way out of the Victorian capital and up over Pretty Sally at Wallan on to Kilmore and up to Seymour.
Participants stopped at the Winton Motor Raceway just out of Benalla for a lunch stop, which drew plenty of interested onlookers. Continuing north the group made its way up through Springhurst, Chiltern and Barnawartha to the Albury Racecourse for the overnight stop.
Early on the Sunday the morning air was disturbed by the brutal sound of air-starters firing up the trucks as participants made their way home, with almost half coming from Sydney, along with other participants as far afield as Brisbane and Tasmania.
Kelvin and Rodney Boyle, from Western Victoria, ran their Cummins Big-Cam powered Atkinson and they enjoyed the run up Highway 31. The refurbished Atkinson has not long been back on the road and were making their first Crawlin’ the Hume run with the father and son team hauling a Massey tractor and 1953 Bedford on a trailer, both of which have also been restored in their workshop in Mepunga.
“We thought we would put the truck and the tractor on the back to give her a bit of traction!” grinned Rodney Boyle.
Historic truck enthusiast Rob French, who owns a 1964 Peterbilt, along with Roger Marchetti and Trevor Davis put together the 2016 event, the third such one held, and was delighted with the turnout, with over 100 more participants than the last run in 2014.
Whilst not affiliated with any particular truck club, celebrating transport heritage and the old days of the Hume Highway is one of the aims of the organisers – “The whole idea originally was to unite the truck clubs” Rob said. We try to get every club’s colours here, it doesn’t matter what truck you have, it’s just to get together and have some fun.
“The Crawlin The Hume team work closely with the New South Wales based Haulin’ The Hume group, who stage a similar run from Sydney to Yass every other year, whilst a new event being organised by the Wauchope Yesteryear Truck and Machinery Club, from Beresfield to Wauchope, Pacin’ The Pacific is scheduled for later this year.
After the success of the 2016 event, the next Crawlin’ the Hume event is scheduled for April 2018 and planning has already begun. “We’re planning now…it began last night!” smiled Rob French on the Sunday morning, as a B-Model Mack growled its way past out of the Albury Racecourse on its way home.