AFTER A fierce bidding war it was the final offer of $32,000 that secured local trucking company TJS Country Express the coveted spot of lead truck in the Convoy for Cancer last weekend.
Up in the cab was manager Joel Stewart, who said it was "just awesome" to be heading the Cancer Support Group's Convoy for Cancer held on Sunday.
The position was made even sweeter for Mr Stewart who was able to edge out his mate from the rival truck company Boss Haulage for the top spot.
"It was absolutely awesome to be the lead truck. It was a really good day, especially to see the response from Canberra and Queanbeyan. People were sitting on the sides of the road but as soon as we arrived they stood up and started clapping," he said.
"The bidding war? That was excellent; I loved every minute of it, especially being up against Enzo Morabito [from Boss Haulage] as he's a good friend of mine. We just had goose bumps when we won; we never thought it would happen."
The Cancer Support Group raised more than $160,000 from the Convoy for Cancer, exceeding last year's total of $107,000.
MR Stewart said the company wouldn't have been able to raise the money for the winning bid without the generosity of their clients.
In exchange for a $1000, Mr Stewart promised to display the client's company logo on one of TJS Country Express's truck curtains for the next three years.
The company also made $600 by simply putting a donation tin with one of their drivers and another two tins in local businesses.
"Last year we were only able to bid $2100, so we came up with this idea," Mr Stewart said.
"My dad and I jumped on the phone and straightaway started ringing people. We started off with our customers and from there it just exploded.
"We ended up with $38,000 and had about 32 customers that came on board. That was over a four month period."
Mr Stewart is already preparing for next year's Convoy for Cancer and is hoping to double the amount the company raised.
"Enzo's already told me he's going for the top spot but I'll be challenging him for it," he said with a laugh.
"We've got to thank all the businesses that donated, Scotty and Nige from 104.7 and the Cancer Support Group staff because without them none of this would be possible."
The Cancer Support Group's CEO Melissa Gardiner said she was completely overwhelmed by the amount of support from local businesses and residents.
A total of 432 trucks and 211 motorbikes participated in the Convoy.
She said she was most touched by the amount of support from Queanbeyan residents particularly as the area was omitted from last year's route.
"I was so happy to see all the Queanbeyan people out there. It was the biggest thing for me and very good to see as we sort of got a bit of slack about the Convoy missing Queanbeyan last year even though it was out of our control," she said.