Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2000.Truck driver George Short found part-time work after WW11 driving trucks back to Sydney from the army disposal sales in Brisbane, Queensland.
One of the trucks he drove back was an American FWD. George returned to Brisbane to buy one for himself and fitted a tipper body to it. Road maintenance in those days usually meant a few trucks and dozens of labourers whose job it was to load the trucks by shovel. George felt, with a bit of ingenuity, a lot of backbreaking work could be overcome.
With his brother-in-law, Tom Palmer, he designed his Improved Truck Loader. The device they built consisted of a scoop attached by arms on each side of the truck. These pivoted on a shaft mounted under the chassis and could be pulled up from ground level, over the cabin and into the tipper through an array of pulleys and rollers. As well as being able to load itself, the unit could load other trucks and George found he was much in demand.
Over the years George built up a sand and soil supply business and ended up with eight trucks in his fleet, but always drove the FWD himself. They soon became a landmark in the area and when the job was too tough for the other trucks, George and his ever-reliable FWD were called in.
George reluctantly retired his FWD in 1976 (he could no longer register it). It was the end of a remarkable thirty year partnership between man and machine. George died in 1992 but the truck remains, in the hands of his son John in NSW.