ROSS, Frances

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

Fran, and her husband Reg, started the company in 1974 reaching a truck ownership totalling 14, of which 4 had to be sold for cash flow in 1989, when a devastating family split threw Fran and her son Alan the responsibility of owning and operating the company.

At this time, they were hauling steel mainly between Melbourne and Sydney with occasional trips further afield. The first truck was a 1970 Mercedes 1418 which broke down after six weeks and had to be traded in on another Mercedes.

Fran had her own job managing 370 people at a clothing factory, a job she needed to help pay the driver’s their holiday pay. Fran’s bookkeeping abilities were acquired on the job while holding down her own full-time position. In 1992 Fran gave up her job to work at Ross Transport full time. Growth spurts had them move to Port Kembla purchasing a large property which encompassed lease sheds, their own petrol bowsers that saved money on bulk diesel purchases and plenty of parking space. While other businesses have chosen to move interstate to places with cheaper tax, rent and diesel prices amongst other things, Fran and Alan have chosen to remain in Illawarra and support the local economy.

Today Fran, and her son Alan, have accumulated a number of separate companies within the Ross Group of Companies, each with their own purpose in the group. Fran is now the proud owner of 42 trucks (soon to be 50) and has only just recently pulled back a little for some well-deserved holidays, holidays she never takes in November because that’s when the years work of Fran, her staff and son, Alan culminates into a huge convoy of trucks and motorbikes travelling through the Illawarra area raising money for Camp Quality Kids together with support of sponsors from all types of businesses. Fran is instrumental in donating substantial funds into this “pet” project.

At the age of 68, when most people have given up their jobs to play golf or bowls, Fran does not look like she will give up her office space any time soon. Ross Transport is her life.