ASHLIN, Neville (Tas)

05_ASHLIN_Neville_1 05 ASHLIN Neville 1

Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005


Tas Neville Ashlin was born in 1929 and first started driving trucks in 1943, at the age of 14 years. His first truck was a 1929 Chev 6 tray which he used to cart furnace wood from Cairns Bay (Tas) to Franklin. He soon upgraded to a 1934 Bedford and carted general as well as wood.

Tas moved to Victoria in 1946 and drove a tractor pulling logs and clearing before getting a job driving a '47 K35 International Jinker carting sawn timber for Williams Transport in Euroa. He also drove for KR Greaves Transport in a KBRS 5 Inter-26 Army S trailer carting fuel in drums and for Atlantic Union Oil to local farmers as well as Aviation fuel to Benalla aerodrome.

He did his first interstate trip to Candos NSW carrying cement in a KB5, and the second in a Seddon Truck carting Vanguard cars from Melbourne to Sydney, 1950-1951 for Mercury Transport. In 1952 he bought a TS model Commer (Hummer motor) that was later repowered with a Chev motor to cart bricks to build new Tallangatta as the Hume Weir was being built at that time.

Over the years Tas drove a variety of trucks including a new LoadStar Austin (4 speed box) and a Bedford S with 2 speed diff and 5 gear box. He bought the truck second hand from Scotts Transport in Mount Gambier and used it to carrying stock and general freight. By 1956 Tas had started carting cars in earnest, mainly Holden, Ford and Valiant. He took the first load of Valiant Sapphires from Adelaide to Sydney. He also worked for a while for Arnold’s Transport carting cars Melbourne to Brisbane for Arnolds Transport before, in 1970, starting Benalla Car Freighters with a fleet of nine trucks that included a J3 Bedford, AT 4 Dodge, K model Bedford, late KMR Bedfords, and several UDs. In 1978 Tas sold Benalla Car Freighters and bought two Louisvilles towing linehaul for Midway Freightliner.

In 1978 Tas semi-retired and spent his time in a C 60 Chev carrying Camper vans from Melbourne to Sydney and backloading with Hi Ace vans. He did this right up until 1990 when cataracts forced him to retire. After an operation in 1992 (lenses fitted) he has been doing casual work in between travelling around Australia in his motorhome.