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R.P. BenDedek

Photograph of the Week: Australian Road Trains Tennant Creek
By R.P. BenDedek
Mar 10, 2013 - 12:02:35 AM

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Tennant Creek is in the Northern Territory in Australia. Once you get out passed the cities, road trains are a common sight, but in the real outback they are a sight to behold. This photo was received in an email (from an unknown original source) which carried with it a lot of statistics on the number of cattle, tyres etc., which is included below, but that's just statistics. Just looking at this photo makes me homesick.

I spent two years living in Alice Springs which is in the Center of Australia and about 600 kms from Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock and which I had the fortune to see in the rain in 1989), and in the 70's I spent about 18 months living in Blackall in Central Queensland where I spent my 'rest days' working on a sheep and cattle property called 'Allambie Station' (Mitchell-Hills were managing it at the time for J.J. Walker).

  • I remember the day we were out rounding up cattle and driving them to wherever it was we had to drive them when I, quite a way back (it was slow going and I was tired), saw the herd split with one group taking off leftwards. Well, that was the cue. Off I galloped and headed them off forcing them to rejoin the herd. It was quite an experience. When all was calm, Mick Mitchell-hill rode up to me and said: "Just as well I trained that horse well or else we would have lost 2 hours work!" -- "Oh!" said I, "is that why I couldn't get the bloody horse to stop galloping?' (Yes folks - I am a city slicker!)

But in all truth I just love a Sunburnt Country, a land of sweeping plains, of rugged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains - as Dorothea Mackellar phrased it.

Cattle Trains at Helen Springs Station

Cattle trains at Helen Springs Station.

  • There are 17 trucks with 3 trailers and 2 decks per trailer; Therefore there are 102 decks of cattle and there would be approximately 28 cattle per deck; This totals 2,856 head of cattle. The cattle will weigh approximately 500kg each. The sale price for cattle at Longreach is approx. 165c/kg Each animal will therefore be sold at $825. Total revenue from this analysis is $2,356,200
  • Each trailer has 24 tyres plus a dolly with 8 tyres. The truck plus lead trailer have 12 tyres plus a dolly with 8 tyres and 10 tyres on the truck. For the 72 truck/trailer combos there are 6,192 tyres on the road.

POD and Just for a Laugh Series - 2011

Photos of the Week 2012

Posted by R.P. BenDedek

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