Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005Eugene Gniot was a Polish migrant who came to Australia from Germany after WWII, where he had been driving trucks for the British army. Working on the railways until 1956, he purchased his first truck, a Leyland 75 Comet, and began driving interstate. The four on the floor, single axle drive was pulling a 35ft flat-top trailer between Melbourne and Sydney (a 22 hour trip in the 1950s).
His second truck was a Commer Knocker with a car carrier semi-trailer. Eugene carried VWs and Studebakers from Melbourne to Sydney and Hillmans and Humbers for the Rootes Group.
He would ‘tarp up’ to take Kleenex tissues. Kleenex became a regular client and he traded his car carrier for a flat-top drop deck to work the Melbourne to Sydney leg. In the early 1980s he would roam far and wide. He took egg cartons into Rockhampton, ran empty back to Sydney to take Kleenex to Melbourne. He later settled on a triangle of work between Melbourne, Millicent, SA and Sydney.
During 40 years behind the wheel, he has owned and operated a diverse range of trucks including R190 International, Deutz V6, Leyland Beaver and Lynx, Mercedes Benz 1424 and 2236, Western Star 4964 and 5964 and Kenworth K104. He has built a family company (AEG Interstate Transport) that now operates in excess of 50 4.6m drop deck, tri-axle tautliner B-doubles and specialises in high cubic freight.
Eugene drove full-time to 72 years of age. Now, at 85, he still keeps an eye on the business, taking pride in the company’s trucks and the company’s depot in Brisbane.
He has been an active participant in Australia’s road transport evolution; a trucking old timer who has done his bit in shaping the country’s transport industry. He is a trucking old timer who has done his bit for trucking and well-deserves his place on the Transport Wall of Fame.