Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005Edward (Ted) Phillips started his local transport business in November 1935 at Bunbartha near Shepparton. From an early age he recognised that he was part of an industry where service meant more that putting a truck at a client’s door.
When the Shepparton manager of the fruit and vegetable buying agency, Lee McKean and Son, enlisted in the armed forces Ted bought their interests and became the buying agent for the Melbourne tomato processors.
He also hauled for big orchardists and market agents, Frank Pullar & Nephew. The upward trend continued for Ted Phillips through the war years and in 1945 he bought eight new KS5 Internationals. At this stage the weight limit laws turned operators to the small lightweight prime-mover and Ted came to believe in the small truck. He bought Fords fitted with Hercules diesel motors of a then impressive 38 horsepower rating. Ted’s fleet was the first diesel-powered truck fleet in northern Victoria.
Ted was the first transport operator in the northern Victoria region to send trucks from Shepparton to Sydney carting fruit to the markets. In those days it would take at least one whole week to complete the journey.
In 1956 Ted’s first son, Ian started working in his father’s business. The business continued to grow through the 1950s. They worked their way through several different types of trucks; Mercedes, UD, Scania and Volvo before purchasing their first Kenworth in 1978 which, up until 2055, had been working locally around the Shepparton area and had now earned a good rest and retirement in the Kenworth pavilion at the National Road Transport Hall of Fame in Alice Springs.
In 1973 another son, Gary, joined the business, as did his daughter, Marie. Ted and his wife, Evelyn, were always very proud of the fact they had third generation family members working for the company.
After an enjoyable but hard-working life Ted passed away on the 6th April 1994 after a long and productive life in transport. Son Ian passed away suddenly in 2005.