Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2010.
Alan’s mother, Fran, and her husband Reg, started the company in 1974 reaching a truck ownership of 14, four of which had to be sold for cash flow, in 1989, when a devastating family split threw Alan and his mother the responsibility of owning and operating the company.
Work was hauling steel, mainly between Melbourne and Sydney, with occasional trips farther afield. The first truck was a 1970 Mercedes 1418 which broke down after six weeks and had to be traded for another. Fran held down her own job so Alan was left to operate the business.
Fran helped with bookkeeping duties. In spite of many obstacles Alan was able to grow the company and eventually had the operation moved to Port Kembla where he purchased a large property which encompassed leased sheds and their own fuel bowsers, thus saving money on bulk diesel. There was plenty of parking spaces for their ever-expanding fleet of trucks. While other businesses have chosen to move interstate to places with cheaper tax, rent and diesel prices amongst other things, Alan and Fran chose to remain in the Illawarra and support the local economy. Today Alan has accumulated a number of separate companies of his own to add to the Ross Group of Companies each with their own purpose in the group. Alan and Fran are now the proud owners of 42 trucks. “Soon to be 50,” says Alan.
Meanwhile Alan, working with sponsors from all types of businesses, has expanded his extra-curricular activities to include active involvement in organising a huge, annual convoy of trucks and motorbikes that travel through the Illawarra area raising significant amounts of money for Camp Quality Kids. His trucks, particularly the lead truck, are dressed-up for the occasion. Alan is full of energy and swears to be retiring in 10 years. The fact that he has been saying this for the at least the last five years, while talking about expansion in the same breath, shows his reluctance to leave this industry.