Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005Donald Opperman was born in Whittesea, Victoria on 18th February 1930. In 1948 he started his trucking life in Whittlesea as a self-employed cartage contractor with two trucks carting palings from Kinglake, Vic, to a fencing contractor in Preston, and logs from Kinglake to Melbourne.
Don purchased a WC22 White and a 190 International and in 1952 both trucks were put on the interstate run with Don driving one and a driver in the other.
After a couple of years he began purchasing 630 Diamond Ts to replace his previous trucks and the fleet grew to 16 on interstate with Don continuing to drive for several years. The trucks are will remembered by tother operators of that era.
Don had the largest fleet of Diamond Ts in Australia operating as Oppermans Transport Pty Ltd. During this time Don purchased two tandem tankers for local work for Monsanto during the and at night carting sulphate to Australian Paper Mills in Maryvale, Victoria. They also did local work for Esso. The purchase of two acres on land at 568 Geelong Road, Brooklyn, Victoria in 1957 saw the building of a new depot. However, increasing bad debts, road tax and competition from the larger transport companies meant Oppermnas was eventually sold.
Don could not stay away from the road. He began driving a tip truck for Leamon Earthmovers of Rosanna, Victoria, working for two years before purchasing a twin steel International and beginning again as an owner-diver. He subcontracted for Ready Mix Quarries, Bundoora for the following ten year. In 1983, Don and his wife purchased a property at Whittlesea, Victoria, where he worked his International.
He worked carting sand and gravel from Pyalong to Whittlesea right up until retirement in 1998 aged 68.
Don Opperman enjoyed 50 years in the trucking industry as an owner-driver and is one of this industry’s most well-known and respected men on the highways.