Bill Chalk

In Just Truckn Around, September 20182 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 3, 2018

Water carts are water carts…unless of course they ‘re water carts owned by the Diamantina Shire in Queensland‘s southwest corner. Craig McCauley was recently in that neck of the woods when he stumbled upon Bill Chalk and the Western Star 6900 Series he drives for the Diamantina Shire Council. Bill was leading one of the Shire‘s Cat 140M graders, with his A-train (semi and 5-axle dog) water cart, watering the outback Diamantina Development road 70km north of Birdsville on the road to Bedourie. The Western Star is one of four the Shire owns, two 4900s and two 6900s, and all are registered to operate only in the Shire boundaries. Overkill you might think? Bear in mind the Shire‘s 97,000 square kilometres make it twice the size of Denmark.

The Western Star has a 600hp Cummins, 18-speed Roadranger and 44,000lb Meritor diffs. It‘s equipped with a Stratosphere sleeper, Icepack, the works.

Bill‘s been driving for 29 years on everything from cattle, to gas, to scrap metal, and it‘s taken him to every corner of the country.

“I‘ve enjoyed driving and I‘ve been at the Shire for about six months. I‘m enjoying being home a lot more, more than I‘ve ever been. Trucking‘s hard on the family. My firstborn was 12 months old and I‘d only been home 11 days in that first year,” he said. “ This is great in that respect.” The vexing question: Why doesn‘t the Diamantina Shire capex committee buy gear for councils the world over?

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