Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005.
In 1954, at the young age of 15, Des, without any type of licence, started carting pine logs over the South Australian border back to Dartmoor. He managed to get away with this for a while but when he was 16½, the police were checking log books and it was discovered that the young Des hadn’t bothered to get his licence.
He was asked to report to the Warragul (Vic) Police Station where he lied about his age. However, it took a total of five attempts to get a truck licence.
In 1958 Des decided he’d like to try his hand at driving interstate and shifted to Sydney where he took a Job with Western Transport, itself an icon in Australian transport lore. He was given one of the first extendable trailers carting Brownbuilt roofing iron to Brisbane. When the King Street bridge in Melbourne collapsed Des drove this extendable trailer from Sydney to Melbourne opening up the industry to 50ft. Long trailers. This had been permitted to enable the carriage of the over length expansion rods needed to rebuild the approach to the bridge.
After this Des did a variety of work for several transport companies including Aboods Transport, Caringbah Haulage and Oppermans Transport Service. After nine years in Sydney, Des moved back to Melbourne and worked for several transport companies before finally deciding to purchase his own truck in the 1970s. Times were tough for the truckies and Des, ever keen to make a stand for the rights of the trucking industry, found himself taking part in the blockades at Melton trying to get the Government of the day to abolish the road taxes that were crippling the industry and causing severe financial and emotional strain on trucking families all over the country.
It was hard times for everybody in the industry. After spending over 30 years on the highway driving on the highway, driving through most regions of Australia (with the exception of Darwin and Perth), Des is still driving local jobs and sometimes the occasional interstate run for the fun of it when he can.