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Disability doesn't stop Max from doing what he loves (AUS)


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INCREDIBLE DRIVER: Max Quaglio doesn't let his cerebral palsy stop him from working as a truck driver. Kate Dodd
by Kate Dodd

THE word "can't” is one that doesn't exist in truck driver Max Quaglio's vocabulary.


Yes, he might have cerebral palsy - a physical disability that affects movement and posture - but he doesn't let that stop him going out and chasing his dreams.


Max works for Clayton's Towing Service at Nambour in Queensland and it's incredible what he can do behind the wheel of a truck.

He's worked at the tow truck company for three years after his father Ben, who is also employed there and is one of his son's biggest supporters, asked his boss Mike Clayton to give him a shot.


"When I first met Max I said to his dad, 'Look is he really going to be able to handle this?' but I've had to eat my hat a few times,” he said.

"(That first day) I said let's go up the road and see how he goes and if he can talk the talk and walk the walk, we'll see what happens.

"And we did and Max just blew me away. The moment I saw him, I said he's a natural at it.”


So, Max's first job with Clayton's was to move the cars around the yard.


Max said when he was little, he used to play with his Matchbox cars and line them up in a perfect row.


Now when it came time for him to move the big cars around the yard, it was exactly the same.


"He'd just line the cars up like his Matchbox cars,” Mike said.


"If I said I wanted them to be half a metre apart, they would be half a metre apart.


"Just this guy is a wiz and he made it look easy.”


Max then got his truck licence, and then his semi-trailer one before moving on to his b-double.


"It's not just 'Max can drive a truck'. When he's in a truck and you're watching him, he can have 40 tonnes in the back with a truck and dolley and he can drive as good or better than the other guys,” Mike said.


"He's not struggling, he's just a natural.”


Mike said he set Max some challenges and gave him a little push - he did trips to Brisbane and Rockhampton with no problems.

"I get to give him a push sometimes, it might be as simple as opening a bonnet of a car. He was trying to get it and said he couldn't. I told him to try harder, don't let it beat you, just get in there and then he did,” he said.


"Then one day we had him in the excavator - he's got better skills on one hand than the other and he said he couldn't drive it because of the levers and he struggles with fine skills. But I said we don't have time to talk about it, just get on and give it a go and he jumped on and did it.”


While Max works at Clayton's, he's also got his own business on the side - Max's Haulage, where people hire him and his ute and trailer to shift their belongings around.


But Max's got his eye on the future and is studying a business degree at university.


"My ultimate career is a combination of (working) in the office and out on the road,” Max said. "Anything's possible, you've just got to see what the future holds.”


Mike couldn't be more proud of Max.


"He's got a big future ahead of him. With Max there's no such thing as can't. You can't stop him.”



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I've seen a few of Clayton's trucks when I was in Brisbane back in 09 checking out Sowerbys in Toowoomba. Good for Max!

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