Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2010.
Dudley was born at York in WA in 1940. He did his trade as a motor mechanic finishing it in February 1961 aged 20.
Twelve months later he was offered a job driving an E.R.F. Truck carting iron ore from Kollyanobbing into Southern Cross Railhead which was then loaded onto rail for transport to Wundowie Iron & Steel Company near Perth. Two years later a fellow who was selling his livestock carting business suggested Dudley go “out on his own” and buy the trucks.
For the next few years Dudley carted livestock and general goods when the town of Koolyanobbing was being built. Most of the materials to build houses in Koolyanobbing were carted by him on his own with an old Ford with a Perkins Diesel engine and a single trailer. He often remarked that the only thing “Ford” about the “old girl” was the “name on the front”. His next truck was a second hand Ten Series Dodge. As the North West was starting to open up and roads there were all but non-existent the old Dodge wouldn’t hold together so he bought a second hand Diamond T. It looked great, but had a petrol motor and kept catching fire as it ran so hot. The third time it caught fire on the way up north Dudley unhooked the prime mover and saved the load. He was left a with semi-trailer and nothing to pull it with. Lucky it was insured. Dudley decided that was the end of having his own truck.
Dudley was eventually offered a job by Lawson Klopper and was with him for some years. Then he got a job with Bellway driving a new Ultra Liner Mack with a body and three trailers. When the job started on the Derby Air Base those trucks were so big specific permits were needed to go on the road. Dudley was with Bellway for about 18 years until they folded. The last 13 years of his working life was with Stephen Transport in WA carting mill ball to mines in the north, first with a Super Liner Mack and later in a new Titon Mack. Dudley says he is a “Mack Man” that’s for sure.
The biggest transformation he has witnessed in the industry is truck technology, the rules and regulations and the paperwork, compared to when he started in the early 1960s.