Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2006.
Bob Phair has spent 45 years on the road. His first job was as an apprentice mechanic with Reg Butterworth Motors in Drouin, Victoria. However, Bob has had a long family tradition with freight and it was only natural that he would gravitate towards the same.
His Grandfather Herbert initially delivered his fruit and vegetables door to door with a horse and cart. When Bob’s father took over the business (Drouin Fruit and Vegetable Market) it soon expanded to include a fleet of trucks that transported fresh produce to the Melbourne markets. On these trips he usually backloaded with product back for local retail outlets and shops.
On completion of his apprenticeship Bob “scored” a job with Neal Transport in Moama driving a Leyland Comet between Newcastle and Sydney. He later drove a Dodge hauling briquette from Canberra to Melbourne and an 8V71 GM for Manson carting potatoes out ot Thorpedale and pineboard out of Rosedale. In 1970 Bob bought is own truck; a green 760 Dodge powered by a V8 318 petrol motor. Bob later lashed out and purchased his first cab-over Kenworth and spent the next ten years hauling palletized milk powder from the Drouin Butter Factory to the Melbourne wharf and backloading with steel pipes.
In 1989 Bob decided it was time to go back on the road for real and purchased a Kenworth cab-over K100E fitted with a 350B Caterpillar engine and went paper carting with FCN Transport. After another ten years FCN was downsized and sold so Bob “kept an eye open for an opportunity” and began hauling for John Hegart contracting with APM.
Bob is almost retired now. He works locally for AB, L&D Murray but still does the occasional interstate trip. He is remembered by his mates as a true “Gentleman of the Highway;” always offering assistance and camaraderie to his fellow truck-drivers.
He has literally seen it all, from the corrugated sand highways of the past to the multi-lane modern asphalt highways of today.