Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2011.
Joe Bowen is a third generation house-mover having followed both his father and grandfather into the industry. However, over the years Joe has been involved in many other facets of the industry including other oversized and wide loads, a pilot and escort service and bulk grain and flour haulage.
Over the years Joe has relocated homes and buildings from all over Victoria to various sites including interstate locations.
Joe first became involved in transport back in 1945 when his father Fred employed him to work as the “billy boy” during the school holidays. When he finished school he was promoted to driver and became a house mover. His first truck was a 1938 Reo Speedwagon. Around about 1960 he bought his own truck, a Commer Knocker, and ran general freight all over the eastern seaboard and even as far across the country as Perth.
In 1963 he started his own business, F Bowen and Sons House Removalists, to take up his father’s workload in the family business. Between 1963 and 1978 they moved approximately 500 Phelan pre-fabricated homes from the assembly line throughout Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.
Today, Bowens run a fleet of trucks including three K125 Kenworths, two R190 Internationals and an L190 and C1800 International. Joe’s favourite truck of all time was an L190 which had first been registered in 1951. It was the 27th sold in Australia and Joe finally sold it reluctantly, in 2004. Joe says his favourite trucks are Internationals. “Reliable, work horses that go forever, steel not fibreglass!”