Truckers gather for big weekend
By LEIGH PRITCHARD
ALTHOUGH numbers were slightly down from last year, truck drivers from all over the state were represented at Grafton's Weekend of Trucking.
Grafton Truck Drivers Social Club president Don Wall said the Weekend had come a long way in 27 years, when the only event was the ball.
A race day, showground exhibition, truck parade, auction, a golf day and ball were held over the weekend.
Mr Wall said the weekend was still going strong and he was most impressed this year with the roll-up of 150 trucks in the parade and drivers and their families travelling from Moree, Newcastle, Raymond Terrace and Brisbane for the weekend.
He said the race day was a success and would be repeated next year.
Mr Wall said the decline in attendances had been influenced by fuel costs and the drought.
Publicity officer Gai Bailey said the weekend was family orientated.
"The long weekend is about truckies getting together with their mates and their families," Mrs Bailey said.
Mrs Bailey said there were 40 exhibits at Grafton Showground on Saturday and more than 200 people.
She said children enjoyed getting up close to the big rigs and exhibits from the Rural Fire Service and going on rides.
Mrs Bailey was passenger in the leading truck in the parade with husband Des, Australian Trucking Association's National Professional Driver of the Year and Natroads Professional Driver of the Year.
They drove his Volvo Globetrotter the whole circuit before they saw the tail end of the parade.
Mrs Bailey said the golf day yesterday which attracted twice as many people as last year.
Trophies for best presented trucks in 30 different categories from the parade and judging at Grafton Showground were awarded last night at the Annual Truckies Ball.
More than 200 truck drivers and their families turned out for the ball at Silks on Course at the Grafton Race Course.
Award winners, including overall best presented rig of the show, will be published this week in The Daily Examiner.
All Truck Driver's Social Club profits from events including the Monster Auction will be donated to charities including Camp Quality and the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.