Words: Mike Ryan. Photos: Courtesy of Mack
With severe drought devastating farming communities in Queensland and New South Wales, Mack recently decided to support our farmers by creating a one-off rig to auction. They also enlisted a special mate to help promote it.
This past May, almost two thirds of Queensland was officially drought-declared.
While the north of Queensland has got some relief from the dry conditions in the past 12 months, central and southern parts of the state have been suffering under severe drought conditions since 2013; even longer in specific areas.
For cattle farmers like Jim and Phyllis Stralow, a drought lasting as long as this one has been devastating.
“You can handle a year or two of dry weather but, after seven years of drought, things start to get pretty tough,” Phyllis Stralow said.
“A long drought is like when you have a family member who is really crook. It doesn’t matter what you do, they just don’t get better. A lot of people don’t realise how tough it’s been.”
The Stralow’s story has been repeated throughout Queensland and New South Wales, too, where 99 per cent of the state is drought affected and northern and western areas have been under intense drought conditions for years.
To support Aussie farmers like the Stralows, Mack has donated a one-off Super-Liner prime mover that’ll be auctioned to raise money for drought-stricken communities.
Mack is an Australian legend and so is Jimmy Barnes – albeit in two very different fields!
If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt familiar with Mack. Of course, Barnes needs no introduction, either.
As the front man for Cold Chisel, Barnes attracted an audience that followed him into his solo work. And perhaps the best remembered and most influential of those solo albums was 1985’s Working Class Man.
The title track became as much as an anthem from Barnes’s solo era Khe Sanh did from his Chisel days. Most everyone knows the lyrics word for word and the video clip was just as memorable, especially the burning cane fields shot near Cairns (the ‘steel town disciple’ section was shot at the Port Kembla steelworks in Wollongong, in case you were wondering).
Barnesy recently returned to the cane fields to promote the special Mack Super-Liner prime mover that’s been dubbed ‘Working Class Mack’.
“This Australian-made Mack Super-Liner is an enormous, inspirational homage to Jimmy’s legendary Working Class Man – an iconic album that still resonates with farming communities across the country,” said Mack Trucks Australia Vice President Dean Bestwick.
“We’re auctioning the Working Class Mack and donating the profits from the sale to Rotary to show our support for farmers who’re doing it tough. They’re the backbone of our nation and Mack trucks work side-by-side with them every day.”
The Super-Liner offered by Mack features the 58-inch (6x4) high-rise sleeper cab and runs the standard MP10 16-litre engine and mDrive 12-speed automated manual transmission, with a listed GVM of 28,500kg and GCM of 110,000kg.
The project was backed by Hella, Jost, Haultech Engineering and King Bars, who all donated parts to the one-off. The standout feature, though, is the special airbrushed exterior, inspired by the Working Class Man video and painted by Bel-Air Truck Spray Painting in Darra (South Brisbane), with the work overseen by Barnes himself.
At the launch of the Working Class Mack on 10 May, Barnes said people on the land needed all the help they could get.
“It’s extremely urgent - 99 per cent of New South Wales and 65 per cent of Queensland are in drought,” Barnes said.
“Tens of thousands of farmers are on their knees and country towns are working hard to make a living, because of the worst drought in living memory.
“It’s time for all Australians to rally around those in the bush, to show we care, and I’m really proud to team up with Mack for this fundraiser.”
As this issue of JUST TRUCKS went to press, the Working Class Mack was listed with Pickles Auctions, who will be accepting online bids until 4:00PM (QLD time) on 13 June – the same day this issue of JUST TRUCKS goes on sale. So if you picked up your copy of JUST TRUCKS early enough, there’s still time to get a late bid in.
As this issue went to press, bidding was up to $350,500 with two bidders, from South Australia and Queensland, duelling it out for the unique prime mover. Go to: pickles.com.au to bid and find more details on the Working Class Mack.
Whatever the final sale price is, it’ll be a benefit to drought-affected communities, said John McLaren from Rotary Australia.
“The money raised will go towards buying feed, helping farmers with their living expenses and providing health and emotional support on the ground.
“It’s a tremendous and inventive way to help our farmers and we thank Mack Trucks and Jimmy Barnes for their generous support.”
Thanks to Sequel PR for assistance with this article.
Working Class Mack – basic specs
- Model: Gold Bulldog Super-Liner
- Engine: Mack MP10, 16 Litre
- Transmission: MACK mDRIVE 12 speed, Automated Manual
- Front Axle: Mack FXL 16.5
- Rear Axle & Suspension: Mack 2370B & RADD - GR
- Sleeper: 58-inch High-Rise
- Weight: 11.5 tonnes
- Paint: Unique Jimmy Barnes design
Working Class Mack – provided parts
- Special King 4 post bullbar with front underrun protection – donated by King Bars
- Icepack ES Sleeper Cab Air Conditioner - donated by Haultech Engineering
- Jost Turntable - donated by Jost Australia
- Hella Driving Lights - donated by Hella Australia