Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005Alan and his identical twin brother, Doug, have always loved trucks. As kids they would load and wash trucks for Rod Gray, Bill Abbot and Greg Moran in the school holidays and often manage to cadge a trip to Melbourne.
At the age of 12 Alan fell ill with Poliomyalitus and spent extended periods in hospital and at home recuperating from this illness. It took its toll on him for a while. When he recovered he was that far behind with his schooling he chose to leave and take his chances in the world. At 16 he hitched a ride to Brisbane, put his age up by three years, got his licence and a job with M.H.P driving a Kew model Dodge.
In 1961 Alan decided to buy his own truck and haul interstate. Not long after that he started sub-contracting for Brambles carting to Woomera, Leigh Creek, Parachilna and Marree. Over the years he also subcontracted for Cousins, Taylor, Dalton and Ansett and eventually secured permanent work to Adelaide bringing back cement to Mildura and fruit from Sid Knudson out of Mildura. In 1964, he traded his R190 on what he says was his first real truck, a B61 Mack. Reg Ansett had told him ‘Buy American trucks and think big’. In the first 12 months he did 48 return trips to Adelaide. Alan stuck with Macks and, for many years, never drove another make.
In 1968, he met Devron and Brian Booth and asked them if they needed any sub-contractors. They did and Alan became their second sub-contractor (the first was Johnny Collins) and today, he still back-loads from all states for Booths running two Kenworth B-doubles and a Peterbilt that his heart insisted he buy. Alan says, “It’s a good industry and you meet some wonderful people (and some bad ones too!”) He acknowledges the support of his wife, Joy, doing the books and administration and bringing up Tracey, Dean and Claire.
Trucking offered Alan opportunities he would not have had in other industries and he believes it is a quality industry.