MIDDLETON, Robert

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2009.


Robert Middleton had his first involvement in transport in the mid 1960s doing an occasional Adelaide to Melbourne run for IPEC when he was on holidays from the air force.  He found he had a natural aptitude for driving trucks.

On weekends Bob would get picked up on Ballarat Road by one of the drivers in either a Thames Trader, memorable for how long it was, or the Commer Knocker with its unforgettable engine noise.

The first truck Bob owned was a 300 Bedford petrol tray-truck which used to overheat all the time.  One distinct memory is of delivering all the updates to Encyclopedia Britannica volumes to the schools.  Next came an R 200 International which he worked for Ansett loading and unloading around Adelaide.

Bob traded the R200 on a White 4000.  This was the first White Road Boss to be sold by OG Roberts in Adelaide.  It was painted red, black and white, old Schrapel colours, when he started doing Adelaide to Sydney to Perth once per week with no sleeper bunk or air-conditioning.  The Road Boss is Bob's sentimental favourite.

Bob eventually established Whiteline Transport in 1977 after becoming mesmerized by the white lines on the road.  Once off the road, he ran a couple of trucks with drivers in them plus operations for Rick Cobby Haulage before leaving in the early 80s to become independent.  Whiteline was unique for the specialized service to Perth and innovators in being the first in Adelaide to utilize B-doubles and B-triples to the west.  Bob himself is well-known for his 'white' hair since high school days, and his success as four-times Australian Super Truck champion.

Bob assists, whenever possible, with the South Australian Road Transport Association and over the years has often been called upon to attend meetings with government departments to provide information from an industry stand point.

Bob has also been a strong supporter of numerous charities and football clubs.  In all things rules and regulations would have to be the most significant change and is still on-going.

Truck technology that is available today shows amazing advancement and improvement to conditions and equipment for drivers of this modern day and age.