EDSON, Ross

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2004.

Ross Edson bought his first truck, a 1950 Bedford, in 1962 and, along with wife Rae, they became the local ‘milkies’ introducing the Barossa Valley to the luxury of bottled milk. The business grew and in 1964 a new 5 tonne Bedford was purchased. In turn this was replaced in 1966 by a JD series’ Ford (D500)

Frozen food distribution soon complemented the milk deliveries and before long five D series’ Fords, all with freezer vans and the largest with a D1314 turbo, were added to the fleet.

Picking up products in Melbourne and Adelaide for delivery to depots in Tandunda, Kadina and Port Pirie, Ross back-loaded prawns and tuna from Port Lincoln. 1974 saw the arrival of a Coe Dodge powered by a 210hp Cummins V8, five speed box and two-speed diff with permatrack lazy and fitted with a 28ft fridge. Ross boasts it could outrun the Ipec MANs. By now, because of his expertise in frozen goods cartage, Ross was nicknamed ‘Frosty’ by his mates and everyone on the road.

The business grew rapidly and at one stage, nine freezer vans were running on road and rail between Perth to the eastern seaboard. With son, Clayton, he started what was to become the first twice-weekly refrigerated service, ‘agent to agent’ between Brisbane and Adelaide. Just before Christmas 1983 in Brisbane, Ross was hit by a forklift. The resulting damage to his legs was permanent and meant he was forced to give the road away. The family company, however, continued to operate under the management of son, Clayton, until May 1990.