Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2010.
John Keen started his trucking life before he was even born travelling east west and north west and staying in remote areas. John was born into a trucking family and spent many hours under the passenger seat of the trucks, in a baby’s bath tub, as there were no sleeper bunks in the trucks at that time. He was driving trucks on the farm as soon as he could reach the pedals. He seemed to be a natural and machinery was to become his life. John drove trucks and all kinds of farm hay making machinery every night after school and all weekend. As soon as he was old enough he obtained his truck licence and worked his way up through the classes until he obtained his roadtrain licence at the earliest age possible.
John worked for a few transport companies before returning to work in the family transport business. John and his father Paul spent several years working together being one of the first B-double configurations to travel from Perth to the eastern states. Together they travelled from Perth to Melbourne, to Darwin and Kununurra loading melons back to Melbourne then back loading to Perth.
His father Paul started a truck driver training school in Maddington just south of Perth believing he and John had a lot to offer in the way of training. They had spent many years on the road and could see that training of young drivers to become safe and competent operators was needed. John started operating his training school for would-be truck drivers out of Bunbury 2 hours south of Perth with 2 trucks and 2 trailers.
Within a few years John had grown the business to six trucks, become a worksafe approved assessor for forklift work, for skid-steer and front-end loader work and OH&S. This came about through his tireless efforts, by putting in many hours each day and by having a wide experience in servicing the remote areas.
John’s life is completely committed to training young drivers to be safe and excellent operators not just steerers. He has raised awareness about loading restraints and safe tyre changing; something he believes is often overlooked these days. John always puts his own business on hold to help out other people.
With the dedication John has to the transport industry he hopes ,in even just a small way, his training will help in the development of better, safer and higher qualified road transport operators.
God bless and keep up the good work John.