MERRETT, Colin

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

In 1955 Colin Merrett, aged 16, started driving his father's 1952 Ford V8 truck pulling a 24' semi, 'border hopping' between Woleley in South Australia and Nhill in Victoria.  Having depots either side of the border enabled Merretts to use the 'Free Trade between States' regulations to their advantage.

Rail had a monopoly on freight within Victoria so Merretts always travelled interstate.  After the border hopping venture, Colin delivered thousands of power poles throughout Victoria for the State Electricity Commission.

He has also been involved in other transport-related businesses including farming, fuel and super-phosphate distribution and grain buying.  Colin always drove his own truck during the more than 50 years on the road and says that one major difference between truck drivers of the 1959s and 1960s compared with today is that they were able to change a gearbox, replace wheel bearings, even change burnt-out pistons or blown head gaskets and do it beside the road.  Colin carried a large range of spares including drive axles, bearings, pistons, engine bearings and gasket sets, spare generator, starter motor, distributor, water pump and a tool kit that enabled him to do these repairs at any time without help.

Colin is the third generation of the Merrett family involved in the road transport industry.  They began in the early 1900s carting wool from Nhill to Portland by bullock team and later by horse and wagon.  A Model T Ford started a run of Fords that continues to this day.  Colin has used Ford trucks exclusively.  His son. Daryl, has followed his father's footsteps into transport and operates two Ford B-doubles.