Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005.
At the age of five or six, Russell spent many hours on interstate trips with his dad. On the passenger side of his father’s Kenworth he had his own steering wheel and gear stick. Apart from an occasional cat nap, he “drove” just about as many miles as his father .
Whilst still attending technical school, Ashley completed his work experience at the Drouin Co-Operative Butter Factory, working on trucks and milk tankers where he eventually became an apprentice diesel mechanic.
Russell completed his apprenticeship and at 19 obtained his semi-truck licence. Any chance he had, weekends or days off, would be spent driving his father’s vehicles interstate. While still employed at the butter factory, Russell purchased an old LPS 1418 Benz and an old milk tanker which he fully restored. He used this to haul domestic water around town and to the surrounding farming district.
Russell had worked at the Drouin butter factory for 16 years when the decision to close the factory’s garage was made. This resulted in Russell, and the other mechanics, being out of a job. Russell saw this as a good opportunity to have a go at a full-time trucking career. He has since managed to build up a good transport business operating both locally and interstate. He now employs drivers but also drives a good deal of the time himself. Russell’s dad, Neville, is the number one spare driver and rouse-about. Russell epitomises the tens of thousands of small operators in Australia who literally carry this great country of ours.
In 2010 the business continues to grow and includes three interstate and two local semis, employs two subbies and four drivers full-time. The business has come a long way since the Ashleys started carting water with their restored LPS 1418 Benz.
Russell and wife, Leanne, with part-time help from their daughter, Stacey, own and operate the business and anticipate further growth in the future. He is a modern day truckie with links to the old days.