ROBINS, Dick

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

It was quite evident that from a very early age Dicks Robins, a slightly built boy from Yeelanna farm, loved trucks.

He had convinced his father that he could drive their one-ton International truck over the paddock to deliver the sheep carcass they shared each week with their astonished neighbours.

Dick was so keen that he would stay out in the paddocks with his father in the hope he may be allowed to move the truck just a little. As he and the farm production grew, a 1955 7-ton Fargo and four wheel trailer were purchased. Dick spent many hours hauling thousands of bags of grain and then bulk handling grain to silos, wool to Adelaide and livestock to market. Super-phosphate and farm supplies were carted back. As the business needed a bigger capacity truck Dick bought an AEC, a Ford and a Commer, but then realized articulated vehicles were required. He bought the tried and tested Atkinson. Unlike the imported computer controlled units he could maintain these in-house using his own skills. The first Atkinson was a double drive prime-mover, fitted with a Cummins 250 and a 13 speed Roadranger gearbox. The cab, a double skinned plastic no rust design called a “Skippy” and was made by Reinforced Plastics of Clayton, Victoria. Dick was very impressed after coupling a secondhand Gitsham tandem axle tipping trailer with greedy boards.

The unit was very reliable and easy to maintain so he decided another was needed; a 78 model with a 350 Cummins, Spicer twenty speed gearbox and Hendrickson suspension. After faithful service two further derelict prime-movers were bought for parts but one was too good to break up and was finally restored in 2002 in the Robin’s workshop by Dick and his two sons, Keith and Tony. All trucks are performing well with no plans for their replacement. Dick has loved his driving throughout his life and has spent many hours in his immaculately kept and maintained trucks and vehicles.

At 83 Dick is still hauling gypsum, grain and super-phosphate and travelling Australia in his 4WD. It has provided him with adventures, pleasure and therapy – he has never “knocked anyone else’s paint off”.

Dick’s father said that he was born to drive.