The age old battle of Ford vs Holden is still as heated as ever.
As a reporter I get a few perks and this time it was a ride in a V8 transporter through Ipswich ahead of the Ipswich 360.
The truck I won was the Ford Performance Racing team and my driver Chris Dempsey loves the team.
He said there was still a few moments when he was reminded just how much people were loyal to their team.
This was apparent during the convoy when one man wearing a FPR shirt emphatically pointed to his chest in a show of loyalty.
Another showed us how to wave a flag which had FPR plastered all over it and there were many more.
At least my dad will be happy, he’s been a Ford fan for years, this however clashes with my partner’s favourite team – Holden.
We were seventh in the convoy which drove into Ipswich from Queensland Raceway and back again. Dempsey drives the team Cat CT630 which is two years old and loves it.
He’s been doing this job for 10.5 years and is set to retire at the end of this season after 35 years on the road. And his wife couldn’t be happier; he usually spends 132 days a year away from home.
“It was time I started looking after myself,” he said.
FPR has been good for this B-double driver, they even hired his son straight out of high school and he is now an engine builder for the team.
Dempsey said he was just like a normal truck driver and filled out his log book every day.
But like other truck drivers on the circuit he doesn’t just drive a truck.
He’s also Mark Winterbottom’s tyre technician.
We asked him if other drivers were jealous of his dream job and he said they usually gave the V8 transporter drivers a hard time unless they were into the racing.
Dempsey loves car racing and driving trucks and said the job was the best of both worlds.
“All the boys in the race team are good and they look after each other,” he said.
“I’m the oldest in the team that travels. We all have a good time.”
He’s also been on a hot lap and said he loved it.
And it’s lucky he’s a Ford fan or it could have been awkward.
The transporter he drives is 26m long and carries 56 tonne when fully loaded.
Westrac are the team sponsors and provided the truck which Dempsey said was great to drive. Now, because he is leaving there’s a job opening for this “dream job”.
Dempsey’s first job in the transport industry saw him driving a White 9000 at 19 years old, carting biscuits and treated pine back from Mt Gambier.
He’s done interstate with a few companies and went back to motor mechanicing for a while before owning his own truck for a few years and then taking the job with FPR.
Source: Big Rigs, Friday, August 2, 2013. Page 47.