Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005Coxie, as he is known, was brought up in Mansfield, Victoria. He was the son of a contract logger and haulage contractor. By the age of 14, he was felling trees for his father and at the age of 16, bought his own logging jinker to haul pulp logs out of the notorious Licola Forests to the pulp mill at Morwell.
His “big rig” was a Ford Trader. In 1968 Coxie bought, what was then the envy of many an ‘ interstater’, a new Diamond Reo and began subbying for Brambles Heavy Haulage. This was the start of what was to be a way of life for many years.
It was a gut-breaking job in the toughest segment of the transport industry. Many of the heavy lifts into the newly developed Pannwonica, Paraburdoo, WA, and the Barrabra Asbestos Mine in NSW, were transported from the eastern states. In 1974 Coxie was employed by Lance Smith Heavy Haulage to operate what was one of the first 4x8 Drake low loaders. It was capable of legal loads of 100 ton. Many heavy lifts, up to 150 ton pressure vessels, were transported into the Moomba Gas Fields. It was Coxie who was always picked to do these heavy lifts.
One major contract was to transport, from Sydney, to the then New Narbelec Uranium Mine in Kakadu, six pressure tanks, each 120 feet long, 12 feet in diameter and weighing 120 tonnes; not a problem for Coxie! In 1981 he returned to Brambles, hauling fuel interstate. Then, his final change of employment was to join Linfox driving B-doubles interstate. Coxie is passionate about the road transport industry and representing the Linfox company. He speaks about road safety issues at schools throughout Victoria and promotes the importance of keeping the industry’s heritage alive through supporting the National Road Transport Hall of Fame.
Coxie estimates he has travelled in excess of five million kilometres. His hard work, loyalty to his mates, dedication to the industry and mischievous personality have made him one of the true characters of the outback and he is well respected through every state of Australia where he has always been a real hero of the highways.