For over 30 years Mal has been a single owner operator of his family owned business, Thiel. He is a passionate truck driver and has been driving Volvo trucks since 1989!
Mal is the perfect definition of someone who loves his job as a truck driver. Growing up with his Dad in the truck business, Mal was in the truck, in his overalls at a young age - even before he could walk!
Over his career, Mal has seen and proven the great quality of Volvo Trucks. For 14 years, Mal drove a 1985 Volvo F10 300hp truck and trailer which carried around 42.5 tonnes around town and hit 1.2 million kms! In 2003, he purchased a 2001 Volvo FM12 in Brisbane and drove this rig for 15 years, clocking up over a million kms.
In 2018 Mal took delivery of a brand new 2018 Volvo FM 500 from the team at South Central Truck & Bus, which he was excited to order and build to exactly how he wanted from the Volvo Trucks factory in Wacol, Queensland.
Mal explains, “I absolutely love my job and it came to a time where I decided, after 30 years, I wanted a truck which didn’t mean I needed to change gears up and down, up hills every day. I never thought I would be in a position to buy a new truck and never dreamt of something like this!”
There is no doubt that Mal's new Volvo Truck ended up being a very customised build. All the tanks were raised to give him extra ground clearance. Because of the need to control the hydraulics at speed, a live PTO was fitted to the engine which required a hydraulic tank to be mounted on the chassis behind the cab. Mal also didn't want after-market dash screens but required two cameras and needed to flick between the two.
“I absolutely love my Volvo Truck. It has made my life on the road so easy,”
After 30 years of changing gears, one thing he loves most is the I-Shift gearbox which is designed to provide power and extreme stability. The power and manoeuvrability of the auto allows him to stop fully loaded even on a steep incline.
“When driving up and down hills I don’t need to think about it. The truck doesn’t just do it, it does it brilliantly... Ridiculously brilliantly!” Mal explains.
Mal’s business takes him off road around South Australia on gravel, loose surfaces and tricky off roads. On these terrains, Mal’s new Volvo continues to do things that surprise him - he feels extremely safe and comfortable in his truck every day.