Paul ‘Sludge’ Andrews, well know for his custom themed truck named ‘The Phantom‘, after Lee Falk’s Phantom comic book character, is looking at slowing down.
In an article titled ‘Change Of Pace For Popular Outback Truckers Star‘ written by Danielle Gullaci, we’re informed that Sludge has down-sized his fleet of trucks, and no longer drives the distances he used to.
Sludge and his famous Phantom truck feature in the television show, ‘Outback Truckers‘, filmed in Australia, appearing from Season 3 thru to 9.
In the article, we read:
By 2004, Sludge started his business Paul Andrews Transport and by 2009, he became the proud owner of his dream truck, The Phantom. It came over from the United States and was converted to right hand drive and built up in Melbourne by Christy Custom Trucks.
“It was the first 140 tonne rated Peterbilt in Australia,” said Sludge. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always loved Peterbilt. In every movie I watched, if there was a truck, it was always a Peterbilt – it was my dream truck.”Paul ‘Sludge’ Andrews
And the reason why the truck has a Phantom theme:
It was never anything to do with the comic book. I just wanted the words ‘The Phantom’ airbrushed onto the side of the truck, but because I had it painted purple, he said if you let me do what I want to it, I’ll look after you – and back then airbrushing was quite expensive. They never told me what they were doing, they just painted it and did all the artwork,” he explained.
Sludge and his late friend Mark flew from Perth to Melbourne to pick up the truck. “And I was just blown away. The only thing I didn’t like were the flames on the sides with the skulls. He said if you don’t like them by the time you get home, I’ll paint over them. But once I got used to it, it was just incredible.
“Every nut and bolt has a chrome skull cap. We put a Foxtel dish on the roof, so you just push a button and the satellite goes up and turns around to pick up the signal – there was nothing in Australia remotely like this truck. And I never asked for that. Once it had the name and the colour purple, it went mad, and everyone wanted a piece of it, so I feel quite privileged because I got this showpiece. It was unbelievable to drive it home that first time. Every time we stopped, people just went mad for it. It was pretty cool.”
Paul ‘Sludge’ Andrews notes in the article that he would love to travel overseas and do some truck driving on his travels, especially ice road driving.
To read the full article, click HERE
Paul ‘Sludge’ Andrews was raised in Freshford, New Zealand. His parents owned a transport depot where they lived for many years before moving to a picturesque station in Waikaia, NZ. It was a wonderful and memorable childhood for Sludge back and forth between the farm and his parents transport company.
Sludge came to Australia in his teenage years to stay with good family friends for motocross competitions. He loved Australia so much that it would be many years before he returned home to live, only to come back again to make Australia his home.
He began his career in the transport world where he gained valuable knowledge from his great mentor Derek Murray, who had worked for Sludge’s parents and now had started his own transport company in Narrogin, WA. Sludge worked hard and acquired endless experience in all types of freight from moving livestock to earthmoving machines and everything in between.
Many years later a friend nominated Sludge, who now would own his own transport company ‘Paul Andrews Transport’, for Outback Truckers. Sludge first appeared in Outback Truckers series 3, and would continue to appear in episodes thru to series 9, with filming occurring in both Australia and New Zealand.
Sludge gets a charge out of big horsepower. He loves his Peterbilt truck ‘The Phantom’ who he has traveled in for millions of kilometres. He also enjoys Nitro Harley racing, dirt bike trail riding, jet skiing, jet boats… basically anything with a big engine.