McCRACKEN, Richard (Crackers)

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

Richard “Crackers” McCracken was born in Traralgon on the 29th June 1958, with no doubt about his career path. Rick always had a passion for trucks; his first was a Pram his dad had modified.

They got bigger and better. He was destined to be a Transport-ologist just like his father had been before him.

1970 saw the family move to Wodonga, with Rick becoming a diesel mechanic. He commenced his driving career with Laundess Transport, then joining the family company sub-contracted for Ansett Freight Express. With his wife Janice they started their own company subcontracting to K & S Freighters, Cootes Transport, Toll Logistics and Border Express.

Richard also passed on his knowledge and experience becoming a trainer at NISTC. Crackers was on the way to his dream.  He owned a fleet of six trucks before he passed away but his heart belonged to one in particular, his pride and joy, Ramblin’ Rose, which was a 1964 B-model Mack once owned by Rick’s dad. After years of searching Rick found Rose in terrible condition so he adopted and lovingly restored her. After that Rick and Rose became very active members of the American Truck Historical Society Australian Chapter and he proudly showed her off at many events, often taking a shiny trophy home and making great friends along the way.

Richard’s family was very important to him and although he spent many hours on the road he always made the effort to see his family along the way. He was a proud dad and loved taking the kids, Nicole and Matthew, for a trip with him on special occasions. Rick loved kids and you could guarantee, at Christmas, regardless of the temperature, he would don the Santa suit for the long haul.

Crackers was known as a true and professional gentleman on the road. He took pride in his trucks having them meticulously clean. He always had a smile on his face thanks to his unique sense of humour and enjoyed supporting several charities including the Tarcutta Drivers Memorial, the Trans-help Foundation and Convoy for Kids wherever he could.

Crackers left this world too soon, a heart attack at 49 years old, but he will always be loved, missed and held in high regard by his family, friends and road transport mates and colleagues.