Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2010.
Derwent Fraser started his long career driving a 12 month old Bedford for L Arthur in the early 70s. He then moved on to Vic State, a part of Mayne Nickless driving a Bedford before starting his own business in 1975 with his own tray truck at 24 years of age.
He bought his first new truck in 1982; a Benz 320hp truck day cab and dog. In the mid 80s he changed the cab to include a bunk bed doing most of this work himself. Approximately a year later he converted the tray truck to a prime-mover to tow a semi trailer.
He was a founder of Fraser and Mooiman Transport in the mid to late 1980s and ran the company with partner John Mooiman until 1994. The company became quite big around the Melbourne wharf and had up to 10 semis and 10 sub contractors, container forklifts, company cars and a warehouse.
Derwent bought a new Mack Ultra-liner in 1989, V8 500 hp. It was a semi trailer until 1995 when he converted the Mack into a B-double rated prime-mover. Derwent has taken on many different interstate trips in his time. He carted mostly tarped general freight over three decades! There was also the change-overs to Nhill or Tarcutta mostly on weeknights after a full day’s work.
Derwent was one of the longest members and supporter of the Melton Truckies Association. He won the last ever member of the year award. He had Barker Trailers make the first container roll back A-trailer in Vic, maybe in Australia.
Between 1998 and 2007 Derwent has owned 5 new Aerodyne Kenworths and 1 new cab-over Kenworth. They all had C15 Caterpillar engines with Derwent’s own B-double roll back A-trailers and retractable B-trailers behind them. Derwent owned a T400 tray truck with a 350 Caterpillar engine under the bonnet. One of Derwent’s Aerodyne Kenworths was a limited edition Big Cab. It won Rotarian’s Choice at the Castlemaine truck show in 1998 and won many other awards over the next two years. The driver of that truck was Derwent’s eldest son who was 22 at the time.
Derwent devoted his life to transport and has employed close to 100 people in almost 40 years. He now is a sub-contractor for Barnes Transport (Vic), with his own B-double.