How it all began:
During the 1980’s Hugh Campbell, a water drilling Contractor and Peter Nunn, a Machinery manufacturer, both of Dongara WA, discussed a plan to make a safe leisurely crossing across Australia by tractor.
After Sydney was awarded the Olympic Games it was thought it would be a good idea to arrange the trip to arrive on the East Coast to coincide with the Games. Hugh and Peter floated the idea amongst a few of their friends, some of whom were farming and still owned the old Chamberlain 9G tractors.
In 1997 an article appeared in “The Farmers Weekly” which generated a large response across Australia. Forty tractors nominated to participate and a similar number of support vehicles.
The 9G Chamberlain tractor was the famous workhorse of the late 50’s and 60’s, and was designed and built in Western Australia. These machines, which are capable of a relatively high speed ( 50 km/h ), can be made comfortable to drive, and of course have a proven reliability over a long period of time. These tractors can traverse rock, mud, sand and relatively deep water. They have a reputation of being a “go anywhere Machine”.
Some organisational meetings followed and it was suggested that the trip could be used as a serious avenue to raise money for charity. The charity groups chosen were The Flying Doctor, and the Children’s Hospitals in the various states traversed during the trip, from the money raised in those States.
A constitution was formalised and a meeting was held on 14/5/99 to form a Club and adopt a constitution. This meeting resulted in Hugh Campbell being appointed President. Peter Nunn and Gary Snook as Vice Presidents
ABOUT THE CLUB:
Our club members come from a variety of professions and their skills and expertise are seemingly boundless when confronted with unexpected situations whilst trekking.
Some major remedial tasks have been undertaken from time to time and simply confirm the degree of comradeship and co-operation that exists within the Club. Our tractor treks are an integral part of our activities and are planned and conducted with the safety of the trekkers and public being paramount.
The club has grown from strength to strength and currently boasts a very active membership, including a branch in the Eastern States. This can be attributed basically to the success of the initial trek in 2000 which started at Steep Point in Western Australia and travelled across the country to arrive on the East Coast at Byron Bay. Subsequent treks around and across Australia have been very popular and have covered all of the states, including Tasmania. In 2014, the horizons extended to include a trek to the South Island of New Zealand.
ABOUT THE TRACTOR:
The Chamberlain ‘Champion’ tractor was manufactured in the Chamberlain Welshpool factory (in Western Australia), commencing in 1955 with the first model having 6 gears (6G). In 1958 the model 9G was introduced and production continued until 1966 with 8165 units having rolled off the assembly line.
The first Champion 6G produced became a participant as a sweep vehicle in the 1955 and 1956 Redex Trials when it travelled with the competitors from Darwin to Perth. Whereas the standard model has a top speed of 50kph, this particular unit was capable of reaching 100kph. The 1957 Mobilgas Round Australia Rally again saw the Chamberlain Tractor, now affectionately nicknamed ‘Tail End Charlie’, participating for the full distance of 18,000 kilometers in just 19 days. This included rendering assistance and towing damaged competitors’ cars to the nearest town or checkpoint and completing the Rally with the balance of the competitors.
They are ideally suited to their new role of being a recreational vehicle so it’s no wonder there are now in excess of 40 restored 9G’s in the Club with numbers