85 Transport Association

The home of past and present 85'ers

85 Transport Troop – October 2013 to October 2014

Thanks to Major Marcus Luciani, OC 26 Transport Squadron, for writing this update on 85 Transport Troops’s Recent Activities.

Our Last 12 Months

85 Transport troop tasking over the past 12 months have been almost always ongoing and concurrent, most tasks were short notice which showed the constant adaptability from members within the Troop.

Armoured Combat Regiment OCT 2013

The end of 2013 was an extremely busy period which consisted of an ACR move from Darwin to Adelaide. The move took place from the 2nd October to the 25th of October and consisted of transporting 42 x AS4 carriers weighing on average 14T each. 85 transport troop incorporated the use of T909 Kenworth single, double and triple road trains separated by 1 day between packets of vehicles. Pictured below are 3 x triple road trains at Alice Springs.

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Rolling straight into AACAP on the 26th of October from the ACR, 85 troop travelled west from Marla South Australia on rough dirt road for 170km until they reached the community of Fregon where loading took place straight away. Some of the loads consisted of R-series Macks, Graders, Bulldozers, Rollers, many ISO containers and much more. The road took its toll on the vehicles but 85 troop managed to completed the task to a good standard considering the state of the roads and thick bulldust. Vehicles used were mostly Kenworth double road trains and Mack Fleetliners towing floats, however there were also 4 triple road trains which had no dramas in the soft sections where some vehicle did run into trouble. The task was completed on the 5th November 2013. Pictured below is a double road train ready to leave and loading of a triple road train via simultaneous means.

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Exercise Kosta River

Starting the new year of 2014, 85 troop moved 72 ASLAV’s from Enoggera and Wide Bay training area to SWBTA 60km north of Rockhampton in just 39 days. The vehicles used were T909 Kenworths with singles and also some double road trains which were moving as much as the driver’s hours would permit. Over this short time period the trucks used over 44,300L of diesel and did over 76000km between the 12 of them. The ASLAV’s weigh between 12/13T which means 2 vehicles could be transported on the same trailer.

Pictured below are loaded trucks carrying 4 ASLAV’s stopped at roadworks near Miles.

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Exercise Barce

Exercise BARCE over the period 05th March 2014 to the 21st March 2014 consisted of moving 7 x M777 guns from 1 Regt in Enoggera to DSG Rockhampton for the exercise, then returning them from SWBTA to 1 Regt upon completion of the exercise. During this task 85 also had to move the MHE to lift the equipment on the trailers, in this case a 30T Tadano crane had to be taken with the guns on a float to load and unload them where required. Pictured below is an M777 loaded on step deck trailer.

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AACAP April 2014

The next major movement for the entire troop consisted of moving engineers from 17 construction squadron from Holsworthy barracks to 200km south east of Tenant Creek on dirt road. The troop did a total of three runs totalling over 20000kms for each truck. The loads ranged from JD850 bulldozers, CAT 325L excavators, JD 672D graders and many more types of plant equipment.

The rough corrugated road out to the community took its toll on the highway designed kenworths, some trucks having broken engine mounts and exterior mounting brackets bending and breaking of the vehicles. The soldiers were away from home for 6 weeks continuously and 2 trucks joined onto the 5 RAR hamel task before heading home, making their trip nearly 2 months long.

Pictured below are the double road trains loaded with ISO containers at Narromine.


Exercise Hamel June 2014

After the completion of the final trip of AACAP 2 members headed to Darwin to assist 5 RAR in their deployment to Townsville for exercise hamel. The 2 trucks were loaded to the near maximum weights allowable in the Northern Territory with the trailers road friendly suspension setup. The double road train weighed in at 78.6T with the load of 2xPMV bushmasters and 2 Unimogs that had been loaded with equipment also. The single Kenworth step deck trailer had another PMV bushmaster and also a Landrover 110. Loading these trailers took nearly all day due to the fact of the drivers having to locate the vehicles, load them and tie down the equipment by themselves. The journey to Townsville went smoothly apart from 3 blow tyres in Mt Isa. The drivers then returned to Amberley safely by the 8th of June.

Seen below is the double road train at Mataranka rest area.


In April 14, 85 Troop conducted an OSV open day on the new SDA at Greenbank training area. The day was predominantly conducted to make RACT members of the wider SE QLD area aware of the trade and was a good opportunity to recruit some new members into the trade. We had a range of vehicles up to and including Triple Road Trains with ADIs and DTOs supervising RACT members driving on the SDA. Although the turn out was not what we thought it would be, it was still a success as we gained an additional 4 members into the trade with several still interested.

Mid way through 2014, 85 Troop also conducted a team building activity in Canberra which was over a five day period. It consisted of a range of activities which included an overwater obstacle course which was the highlight for the majority. We did a tour of RMC and the AWM and then conducted some team building activities at the range. On the return to Brisbane we stopped at Holsworthy Barracks where we conducted a tour of DFCE which was a big eye opener to the soldiers within the troop. Overall the activity was a big success and a good opportunity for members to let their hair down prior to tasking in the later half of 2014.

In all as the year comes to an end, the majority of drivers within the Troop have completed over 65000km of driving all over the country with still, some large tasks to complete. We have welcomed back five members from FSU 8, deployed one on FSU 9, two on FSE 1 and are currently in the process of preparing three members for FSE 2. Toward the end of the year we will be farewelling both CAPT L. Millwood and SGT A. Avery along with several other members and wish them well for the future while the remainder of the Troop take a well needed break over the Christmas period to prepare for what will be another extremely busy year in 2015.


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