VERDON, Robert

Robert Verdon Verdon Transport

Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005.

Bob Verdon has always had a healthy fascination for vehicles of all types as a result of growing up around his grandfather, who owned a service station in Port Kembla, and his uncles, who operated two trucks in the region.

Unfortunately both his grandparents didn’t share the same dream and insisted that he learn a trade.  Bob undertook an apprenticeship and became a carpenter.  He managed to work in that field until 1965 when the urge to buy a truck became too strong to resist any longer.

He purchased his first truck, an International R184, bogie-drive tipper, and subcontracted for Brambles.  Within 12 months, he had purchased a second truck and employed his first driver, and o began the entry for Verdon Transport into the world of the road transport industry.  Over the years, as the business grew, Bob increased his fleet of trucks to 30, eventually changing over to Kenworths which he painted bright red with blue stripes and white stars, not unlike the Confederate Flag of the American South.  They were, and still are, a magnificent sight to see travelling on the highways.  His trucks are readily recognized; partly because of their bright livery but also because one of his trucks was used in a TV commercial for Mortein.  It travelled all over Australia on a promo tour for Mortein and the tale of “King Red” was born.

Bob has had many substantial contracts hauling pipe in nearly all states and territories of Australia.  Bob hauled for Tubemakers at Kembla Grange, and to date, Verdons still carry pipes from One Steel, Newcastle.  Other major contracts included work with BHP and Santos on the oilfields.  As well as operating his own fleet he had 150 subcontractors on his books.  He was always very proud of his company.

Bob have been involved in all aspects of transport, having owned freezer vans, fuel tankers, dump trucks, B-doubles and roadtrains.