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Outback trip for CAT

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This new truck and trailer combination is owned by Kennedy Trailers in Victoria.

Garry and Debbie Kennedy drove the setup out to the Alice Springs for the Road Transport Hall of Fame reunion recently.

Mrs Kennedy said it was a bit of a holiday for the hard-working couple. They cooked BBQs on the side of the road and slept in the luxury sleeper cabin.

The CT630LS they bought actually won People’s Choice at the Brisbane Truck Show.

Kennedy Trailers founder Garry Kennedy came up with his first trailer design while on holidays.

His wife Debbie told Big Rigs it was pouring rain and he was sitting down drawing the design for a fold-up log trailer or skell.

From that start in the 1980s the Bairnsdale business has grown to turn out 130 trailers last year.

Both Garry and Debbie were in Alice Springs recently for the Road Transport Hall of Fame reunion.

They have just purchased the Cat Trucks CT630LS that won People’s Choice at the Brisbane Truck Show.

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The new truck led the inaugural All Truck Parts Big Rigs convoy during the reunion.

Mr Kennedy said the truck purchase came down to wanting to try something different. And they were impressed with how comfortable it was.

Mrs Kennedy said the boys laughed at her because she knitted all the way up.

The couple slept in the cab and cooked barbecues on the side of the road on their way.

“It was a bit of a holiday,” she said.

The trailer manufacturers have branched out into Quad Side Tipping Road Trains and heavy equipment for mining applications since a downturn in the timber industry and the new truck will be delivering trailers to Western Australia.

Now Mr Kennedy has started to step back and his sons are running the business there is more time to enjoy life and attend great events like the reunion.

The family owned and operated business pride themselves on custom transport solutions and have more than 30 years’ experience in the manufacturing of logging, mining and heavy transport equipment.

Mr Kennedy was a boiler maker by trade and drove trucks for a while when the company he was working for closed.

“He always liked trucks and trailers,” Mrs Kennedy said.

Then after mobile welding in the bush for a few years he came up with the trailers design.

It was well before computers and everything was done by hand. As the business took off they bought one shed, than another and four years ago the Kennedys bought a purpose-built factory.

After a health scare a couple of years ago Mr Kennedy’s sons Lynden and Cory stepped in to take over.

Working in the mining sector has opened more doors for the company.

They recently received a grant from the Victorian Government to help with the purchase of a specially designed drop deck to keep the business competitive and deliver trailers to Kalgoorlie.

This diversification also required better efficiency which meant purchasing a state of the art CNC plasma machine to ensure faster production turnaround; this machine has proved to be the heart and soul of the process.

Kennedy Trailers employ 40 staff at the Bairnsdale-based factory.

In the last 12 months they have manufactured 19 Quad Road Trains – made up of four triaxle side tippers and two triaxle dollies – as well as water tankers, single side tippers, extendable trailers and a new ‘Over Dimensional Hydraulic Split Axle Low Loader Float’, which is capable of carting up to a 50 tonne machine and boasts eight axles.

They have also recently donated $110,000 to Bairnsdale Regional Hospital to purchase a much needed Cardiac Telemetry System.

Source: Page 1,8. Big Rigs, Friday, September 27, 2013

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