CONNOR, Brian

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2010.

Brian Connor first started his career in transport as a sixteen year old working for the local fuel and produce carrier in Drysdale Victoria, loading and unloading trucks.

He then went as a rookie with a company called Alan Howard and Co which was based in Geelong. The boss at Howards was an Italian chap by the name of Alex Taranto who eventually went out on his own and Brian was his first driver. Alex traded as Taranto Freezer Vans, and went well.

Later, Brian went to WA to work for Trans West driving road trains carting ammonium nitrate into the mines. These road trains were among the biggest in Australia at the time, they were twin steer bogie drive, with large tipping bodies on the prime movers, and they towed three bogie belly dumpers, thirty six feet long and had a tare weight of sixty two ton. Brian then returned to work for Taranto which was going through several corporate and name changes eventually becoming Refrigerated Roadways which went on to be the biggest refrigerated carrier in Australia at one stage. Brian continued to drive until 1983 at which stage he had covered “every lane there was to travel” and he progressed to operations manager and later, assistant manager.

When the company diversified into rail transport, Brain was appointed national rail manager. The rail project was a unique part of the business because they converted older road vans into rail containers, and were the first to run high cube reefer vans to the west. This was considered very innovative at the time and the rail division of the company became the flag ship of the business. In 1995 TNT acquired the Refrigerated Roadways business, and in that year Brian was recognised for the development of the rail division and won the TNT employee of the year award. At the end of 1995, he was appointed to the national line haul manager’s position, and worked there until resigning from the business in late 1997.

Brain then moved on to a job with Harris Refrigerated and later went to Intercoast Refrigerated Transport until he retired in 2008.