Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005Ted and George grew up in Beverford, Vic, along with younger brother John, on father William Edward Pickering’s farms there and at Murraydale. Ted, the third generation William Edward, along with younger brother George, first became interested in transport by watching trucks pull up at the farm to load local fruit and vegetable produce for the markets.
When George decided to leave school at 14, Ted thought that anything George could do was good for him as well so he pulled out too. The boys both initially worked for their father on the family farm. They also did some casual work milking cows on the nearby Jones’ dairy.
Then in 1950 George and their father travelled to Melbourne and purchased the now famous 1954 ex-army Dodge truck, which was proudly signed-written ‘W.E. Pickering & Sons’. It is now resurrected and restored. Their first jobs were carting baled hay and produce to Swan Hill Railway Station and fertiliser for the Swan Hill Dairy CO. Ted reckons they carted thousands of tons of fertiliser, all in bags of 12 to the ton and all of which here handled by hand.
In 1954 a group of owner-drivers pooled their resources and formed a co-operative company. ‘Lake Bog Transport.’ Later, a few of the group withdrew from the operation and the headquarters were relocated to Thurla Street, Swan Hill, then to premises in Chapman St. In 1962 land was leased just over the bridge at Murray Downs where the head office is situated today.
The red, white and blue trucks of the renamed Pickering Transport Group are familiar sights in Swan Hill and on the roads throughout eastern Australia. Ted and George Pickering have achieved, in one lifetime, what normally takes two or three generations and that achievement was made possible by hard work, integrity, impeccable honesty, putting customers first and a good loyal staff of whom the Pickerings have always treated more like an extended family than employees.