McDONALD, Greg

08_mcdonald_greg 08_mcdonald_greg_2

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

Greg "Baldy" McDonald started driving trucks at around 12 years of age, helping his dad collect cream cans from farms in the Combienbar area to Club Terrace.  He would go along and help his dad load and unload.  On the good stretches his dad would let him drive, and then, before you knew it, he was doing the run on his own.

At the age of 17 Greg bought his first truck.  He had a couple of little trucks (Austin etc) but ended up buying a Thorneycroft.  It was a dud and it sent him broke.  Greg ended up selling that Thorneycroft to an Orbost Company in 1955.

The fleet mainly consisted of Albions and Leylands.  Greg used these for seven years.  Greg moved to Eden in 1960 and worked for Leo Myers, driving Internationals, an R190 and R195, a B-model Mack single and bogie drive, and then into a DCF 400 Transtar 8-71 GM 290 HP with speed to 68 mph (fast back in those days), and 20 years before its time.  Eden is where Greg met his wife Margaret, and they married in the early 60s.  Then Leo bought a 37' Fruehauf freezer-van to cart fish to Melbourne and meat to Sydney, Brisbane and as far as Rockhampton.

When Leo died and the company was sold to Hancocks of Lakes Entrance there were over 80 trucks in the fleet.  Greg was carting to Perth.  There was a lot of dirt across the Nullabor in those days.  When fish was not available he would pull a flat top.  One particular load he was carting cement (doubled up) weighing 64 tons, from Sydney to Bega.  With a 400 Cat, pulling it wasn't the problem but stopping was. Towns Haulage took over in the mid 80s.  For Greg to stay with Dick he had to buy him a brand new W-model.  It was the only long-nose truck in the fleet.  After that he worked for South East Freighters for a few years.  During this time Greg won the Truckin' Life Driver of Year award in 2005 and was a very proud truckie indeed.

Greg has seen a lot of changes but feels the road transport industry of today is over-regulated.  At this stage of his life he is enjoying retirement and his grandchildren, but he still does an occasional load up the white line at the age of 75, and is still enjoying the friendship of a number of mates met over the years.