DARLINGTON, Gary

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2007.

Gary Darlington first started on overnight transport in 1963 working for Freight Lines & Construction (which was trading as Kwikasair). He drove Dodges and Leyland Comets. Gary worked local for 12 months. He then joined Comet Overnight Transport as a line-haul sub-contractor.

In 1967 TNT purchased Kwikasair which was the first company to purchase cab-over Kenworths. There were 20 rigids in the original order; Kwikasair had 14, and 6 units were allocated to Comet Overnight.

During this period drivers had a problem of blowing steer tyres and Michelin sent engineers to Australia to travel in TNT’s vehicles. For a week their engineer travelled with Gary and took movies of the tyres through the ten mile of bends on the Putty Road. At the end of the ten miles, he recorded temperatures of the tyres and this information was forwarded to Michelin in France and was instrumental in the development of the Michelin XZY steer tyre. One hundred were forwarded to TNT Equipment for testing on Kenworth Rigids.

In 1974, Gary became the line-haul manager at Kwikasair Sydney and, after 12 months, was promoted to National Line-Haul and Operations Manager for the Kwikasair Group. During this time Gary was able to pursue his passion of developing aero-dynamics and fitted the first roof-mounted airfoil to a Kenworth 104 prime-mover. This vehicle was used on the Sydney to Adelaide route and with the airfoil fitted drivers were able to maintain top gear across the Hay Plains and improve their transit times by 45 minutes and return an 8% reduction in fuel.

Gary represented TNT Australia on the Ausroads Truck Safety Committee with RTA, Police and Transport Workers Unions.

Due to downsizing and combining of the Express Divisions in 1994, Gary took the opportunity of redundancy and started his own local business.