Mack Muster a must

In June 2024, Aussie Angles6 MinutesBy Mike WilliamsJuly 8, 2024

From hardworking highway trucks to history-makers, this year’s Perth Mack Muster and Truck Show, possibly the biggest Mack muster in Australia, was a showcase for just about everything Mack.

More than 350 trucks registered for the Perth Mack Muster and Truck Show, possibly the biggest Mack muster in Australia, with more turning up on the day in Byford, Western Australia. Some were already there as early as the Thursday before the weekend event in late March; Mack Alley was already half-populated with some of the heavyweights of the West Australia heavy haulage scene. The last V8 built by Mack had rolled in from Kalgoorlie to take pride of place. The Filthy Princess is an absolute legend, and being the very last in her line, she marked a change in direction for Mack. The unmistakable sound of a Mack V8 simply can’t be replicated.

Friday saw more of the big iron roll in – more of the heavy-specced gear from the north of WA – hardworking highway trucks, bush and farm trucks, and of course, the history-makers. It was hard to decide what to look at. The judges had an unenviable task.

As we walked around checking them out, the only thing I could think was I’d be happy to have any of them in my shed. A sweet red B61 caught my eye. It was so original, it looked like it might have never turned a wheel … I was assured it had worked out in the bush and on a farm for many years.

Friday night was the Harry Perkins fundraiser, which hosted more than 300 supporters, sponsors and special guests. A few drinks and a fine meal are always welcome, and it does tend to loosen the purse strings a little, that’s for sure. Twenty-three lots were offered, and all went to raise funds for much-needed research. A Drake Doolans F700 model replica from Doolans’ private collection went under the hammer for $3000, and several others for similar money. When it came to the big-ticket items, I was surprised by some of the numbers: $80,000 for a one-off Mack-inspired Harley and over $90,000 for a slick-looking NTS trailer. It did go slightly under what was hoped, considering a dolly donated for the last muster brought a surprise $75,000.

“The trailer was built to the northwest spec, so it’s a bit heavier than normal lightweight trailers,” NTS owner and director Nick Bailey said. He was delighted to be supporting the event again since every cent goes to the Harry Perkins Institute for Medical Research. “It’s about fundraising for an important cause and giving back to the community. Nearly everybody is affected by cancer one way or another, so that’s why we get behind it.”

Sunday, 24 March, was a cracker of a day, with the water cart circulating to keep the dust at bay and plenty of cool drinks and ice cream being consumed around the paddock. The transition to ‘Truck Show’ has changed the feel a little, but as they say, “It doesn’t matter what they are or where they come from, big and small, we love them all.” That’s what it’s all about.

The crowds lined up to meet Steve, Sludge and Yogi.

There are some seriously good-looking trucks in the west – big-spec trucks doing the big jobs. Tri-drive trucks rated over 200 tonne GVM were present and looking good. Campbells Transport, a company I’m proud to say I spent a bit of time with behind the wheel, was well represented with a very tidy tri-drive Kenworth T909 with triple side tippers behind it. An awesome bit of gear.

Outback Truckers stars Steve Grahame, Glenn ‘Yogi’ Kendall, and Paul ‘Sludge’ Andrews were there to meet visitors. Mack Alley saw long queues of admirers eager to meet the guys to say g’day, get hats signed and see their trucks in person.

The 2024 Mack Muster and Truck Show exceeded expectations. It’s now cemented its status as a must-attend on the calendar. The dedication of individuals like Matt Lawrence and the entire organising team made the event a resounding success, in terms of organisation and charitable contributions. With over $250,000 raised for the Harry Perkins Institute, it wasn’t just a show; it was a celebration of community, compassion and the enduring legacy of our trucking industry.

It was a hell of a show, one of the best I’ve been to, well organised and just a lot of fun.