AIKEN, Keith

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2008.

Keith Aiken started his career in road transport helping out at local transport yards, washing trucks and assisting with loading and unloading.  It was a natural progression to end up driving.  His first job was running across the Nullarbor from Adelaide to Perth.

He decided there was a market for purpose-built trailers so he opened his own business.  He called it Aiken Trailers and began making assorted trailers for the transport industry.  This in turn spawned his love affair with pretty trucks and in the late 60s Keith decided to make his business a one-stop shop for customization.  As would be expected, he called it Keith Transport.

The business made custom sleeper boxes and bull bars.  These became a prerequisite for most trucks.  Through his dedication, hard work and his quality staff, a standard was set to which many aspired.  Keith and his business were a major presence in western Sydney throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s.  Keith worked for just about all the major brands: Western Star, MAN, Ford, Mack, Scania and his all-time favourite, Kenworth.  He loved nothing more than pulling these down and creating for the trucks, a new lease of life.  Doing this brought Keith to life.

More often than not a Truckin Life 'rig of the month' had a Keith product incorporated into the design or custom job, whether it be a sleeper box, paint design or bullbar.  You could always associate the red Keith logo with a truck of class.  In his later years he took a step back and down-scaled, working with his daughter at the family's Mittagong workshop.  But he still kept turning out surprises with new artwork and designs appearing all the time.  His work was much sought after and sometimes people would have to wait months to get their custom work done.  One of Keith's last was a customized trailer for his loyal customer, Alex Kypros.  He also did up a WW11 jeep for Roadmaster Haulage.

In his 30 years or more in business, he had many loyal customers that kept coming back for a product and service that they knew and loved.  He set a standard that was hard to beat.  He formed many lasting friendships with these customers.  He enjoyed nothing more than talking their arm off about the good old days or what was going on at present.  Keith's passion for trucks and Kenworths was in his blood and he passed this desire on to his son, Rodney, who is now also a truck driver.