REIBER, Dieter (REISSENWEBER)

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

Dieter migrated to Australia in February 1955 from Germany with his family. His first trip was in a Bedford five tonne truck hauling freight from Brisbane to Lismore.

In 1957 he worked for a logging contractor in Edenhope, Vic. No sleep or pay and long thankless hours ended this job quickly.

In April 1957 he worked on the Snowy Mountains driving a Thornycroft Big Ben with no brakes, bald tyres and no rego. The truck took 12 hours to cover 82 miles with a payload of 16 tonnes. During this time a kind policeman helped Dieter get his licence and the name of an honest boss. Dieter moved to Sydney driving interstate in a Gardiner-powered Foden: 112hp taking 48 hours from Sydney to Brisbane. One hour to climb the Moonbies! Dieter’s next job was driving a MB315-145hp and later a new MB331 – cab number 4 in Australia. He was the first person to take a truck on the Princess of Tasmania and to Hobart. He carted escalators down and chocolates back.

In 1960 he bought an AEC Matador. Its motor failed twice and the chassis broke seven times. In 1961 he purchased a new Mainliner from Hastings Deering in Lidcombe and by 1965 had 12 trucks including two B-models and two Peterbilts. He owned the first GM powered Peterbilt in Australia. In 1967 he went back to one truck and in 1968 he was running Sydney to Darwin with roadtrains with the typical set up of a single driver prime-mover, bogie trailer, single dolly and spread bogie trailer. Dieter was the first operator to take a truck past Port Douglas. In 1978 Dieter bought a tri-axle alloy tipper and worked sub-contracting for Western Gold and a grain dealer in Gunnedah.

Dieter went on to become branch manager for Daimler Chrysler in Newcastle, New South Wales where he helped many people to live the dream that he did.

There is no doubt that Dieter was one of Australia’s pioneers in road transport and many operators are better off for what he contributed.