FREEMAN, Garry

Garry Freeman Peterbilts in Australia.

Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2006.

Born 31st May 1932 in Lithgow, NSW during a snow-storm, Garry Freeman grew up in the Sydney suburb of Petersham.  In 1950 he started his first driving job with Phillips and Beazley driving a 1948 Ford fitted with a four cylinder Hercules diesel motor with a top speed of 28 mph.

Garry worked delivering new furniture from Sydney to the central and far western towns of New South Wales.  Starting the Hercules motor was always a problem – it literally needed a man to hold a lighted petrol rag in the intake while it was cranked over or towed around the block.

It leaked and used oil at an enormous rate.  Garry was pleased when he was promoted to an Albion Chieftain with a top speed of 38 mph.  Moving ever upwards, Garry drove various AEC semi-trailers between all the capital cities including Perth across the Nullarbor Plains for Reg Phillips as part of Mercury Transport.  Garry’s wife Val, on those Perth trips, took many photos of those early days across the plain when it was 1000 miles of dirt.

Later on, in the late 1960s, he was driving for Jack Seaton Transport and Tom Bruce.  When Mainline took over he went with the trucks as head-driver.  Soon after they imported the first Peterbilt trucks from the USA.  Garry drove the first five imported on a shuttle service and then was promoted to instructor-driver which entailed demonstrating and delivering to buyers of Peterbilts as far as Birdsville and the Simpson Desert for the French Petroleum Co. who traded as Total.

After that Garry drove Peterbilt tankers for Australian Fertilisers carrying sulphuric acid and compressed gas (ammonia).  Garry was asked to demonstrate and deliver new White trucks and autocars for the Thiess Bros. business.

Before retiring Garry owned and operated various tippers on excavation work in Sydney and interstate.