BATES, Kevin

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

Kevin Bates started driving in 1947 for Gilbert, Sharp & Bishop and later for Alf Hammond carting supplies from Adelaide to Port Pirie.  Kevin moved to Lee Transport and in about 1960, Brambles bought Lee Transport.

Kevin then moved to New Zealand in 1962 and drove a tipper and dragline (Ferguson) before returning to Australia in late 1962 where he drove a tipper for Edwards before joining Ready Mix Concrete as a driver.

He started at BP Australia in 1964 and worked on fuel deliveries for the next three years.  Brambles had a contract with BP on the Eyre Peninsula, and asked Kevin to come back in 1967.  There he did tanker work for two years.  When Brambles decided to opt for owner drivers, Kevin purchased his first prime-mover, a Dodge V8 petrol in September, 1969 and continued his fuel work.  He bought a new International with a Cummins motor and started on general carrying in Sydney.  He had the Inter for two years before deciding to sell it so he could work in a local depot driving a crane.  But, like so many truckies who give up driving, the road called him back.  Kevin purchased another Dodge V8 to do the market run to Melbourne every Sunday carrying tomatoes and peas when these were in season.  He also did a few Sydney and Newcastle trips whilst still continuing with drum fuel trips.  Kevin carried on doing work for Brambles but also carted for local builders.  He purchased a 3070 Acco in 1980 and did several trips to Brisbane before selling out in September 1984 after 15 years as a subbie.  He claims he "never made a cracker, but survived" and had a great life while he was at it.  Kevin took several loads to Tennant Creek before he gave away driving in 1991 after 44 years of being 'on the road'.  Kevin enjoys retirement today in Meningie, SA.