Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2010.
John Bursle began an apprenticeship as a mechanic with Harl Davis at 16 and, at 17, started work with Kevin Langley Transport at Kyogle, NSW as Kevin had taken over Harl’s business. John washed vehicles, cleaned the yard and learnt to drive trucks.
When he was 20, in 1963, he drove from Mungindi to Sydney in an International truck loaded with wool. In those days John tarped the loads which would take one to two hours. He hauled wool and timber and then started refrigerated work with TNT.
On one trip John and Mr Beck took a circus from Brisbane to Narrabri. Their semi got stuck in a black pug for a couple of days. If it weren’t for some farmers coming to their aid, they would have starved. When John first started driving interstate, telecommunications were limited. Sometimes he drove many miles to use a pay-phone to let his wife know his whereabouts. Food also was not readily available as there were no 24 hour truckstops back then. Over the years John has travelled through many floods and cyclones. In 1968, there were six cyclones in six months. At this time John was loading paper in Brisbane with Bobby Singh.
Whilst working for Kevin, John was unloading at a depot in Brisbane when a guy released the rope and a roll of carpet fell off the trailer pinning him to the ground and breaking his pelvis. John was in the Royal Prince Alexander Hospital for eight weeks. John worked for Kevin Langley until Kevin passed away in 1976. After Kevin’s passing, John continued driving and co-managing the business until it was sold in 1985. After finishing working with Langley’s Transport, John then bought his own new Kenworth in 1986, working on his own hauling for TNT from Sydney to Brisbane. He also did trips to Adelaide.
John has been on the Sydney to Brisbane run for the past 24 years, doing five legs per week without incident. John has purchased several new Kenworths. The last one was purchased in October 2007. On the 1st April 2010, John Bursle celebrated a driving career of 47 years.