ASHLEY, Neville

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2003.

Neville Ashley of Drouin, better known as Nev, left school at the age of 14 years to work on his family farm.  He started driving an old Bedford truck carting hay and potatoes and was so excited with driving that he couldn't wait to get his licence at the age of 18.

His life-ambition was to drive trucks and eventually have his own.  Later he moved from the farm to Drouin where he got a job at the local sawmill stacking timber.  This lead to the opportunity of driving an army Ford Blitz to cart the timber.

He then got a full-time job with a local carrier carting goods from the rail to local stores and farms in the district.  In 1952 he bought a GMC truck and with this went carting logs and sawn timber from Noojee and Erica to Melbourne and surrounding mills.  He also carted timber from the Walhala sawmill to the railhead at Moe.  As his business grew, he found he needed to employ drivers and ended up with three trucks on the job.

In 1958 he got a contract carting bulk cement from Traralgon to Melbourne and surrounding suburbs.  In 1967 he started carting pine board, produce and general freight interstate using two trucks on this job.  Neville was, in every sense of the word, what used to be called a general carrier.

In 1973 he started carting fuel, locally and interstate, for Knights of Kilmore and worked with two trucks on this job.  In 1981-1982 he purchased his first refrigerated van for interstate work.  This lead to a variety of refrigeration work over the next year until retirement.  Throughout his trucking career, he owned and operated over 20 vehicles.  Enjoying a typical truckies' retirement, Ashley is still driving alongside his son Russell who has followed his father into the road transport industry, and who was later inducted into the Shell Rimuala Hall of Fame himself.