MILSOM, Graham

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

Graham “Curly” Milsom started his driving career in Longreach QLD aged 18, driving a Chevrolet tipper and a barber-green trench digger for a construction company. On weekends he drove a 180 International semi doing a mail run with freight and mail out and bales of wool on the return. He also did the odd casual trip with Ballard Transport moving cattle and sheep with a 190 International and Mack body trucks.

After receiving a tip about work in Darwin in late 1960 Graham commenced with Outback Transport joining several other drivers from Longreach. Ted has 3 Fodens and 1 Leyland Hippo. Top speed of these vehicles was 40mph. After 2 years with Outback Transport, Graham moved on and commenced work with Noel Buntine operating out of Katherine carting cattle into Katherine and Wyndham meat works. Noel had 5 Macks, three of these were semis and dogs and the other 2 body trucks pulled 2 trailers each; one of these being a 55ft self-tracking trailer. Graham went to Alice Springs to work Noel Buntine’s Foden operating out of Fleet Owners.

Graham then worked with Fleet Owners doing trips to Mt Isa, Darwin and Larrimah where they loaded onto the train to Darwin. He also did perishable runs to Darwin with the return trip being frozen buffalo meat or cross-tanks of fuel. This included pulling a fuel tanker for Shell Co. On the way south from Darwin or Larrimah with empty trailers, Graham would have copper loaded on at Peko Mines for the rail head at Alice Springs.  When Graham first started at Fleet Owners they had replaced most of their Fodens with B-model, Flintstone and later by “R-model Macks (a couple of V8s were Graham’s favourite). All were body trucks pulling three trailers.

Graham finished up with Fleet Owners in late 1967 and moved back to Darwin starting a casual job with George Stevens carrying BP fuel to Alice Springs depot. In 1968 Graham started driving for Shell Co operating Atkinson prime-movers and two tanker trailers. These were replaced in 1973 with 400hp V8 Macks triple tanker combination (50m length). Fuel was carried to Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine and various roadhouses.

Graham finished with Shell Co in late 1982 after having a back operation and a three and a half month hospital stay. In 1985 Graham moved to Toowoomba, QLD. The following year he commenced work for McCafferty’s Coachlines and later Greyhound Australia which McCafferty’s had taken over. He drove express routes to Sydney, Melbourne, Rockhampton, Charleville and Blackall. He also did tours through all states of Australia driving Denning, Austral Denning and Stretch Motorcoaches.

Graham retired in August 2006 aged 67 years after 20 years service with McCafferty’s and Greyhound Australia.