Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2010.
Dennis ‘Spooky’ Stupuras was first introduced to trucks by his father Gus who settled in Australia from Lithuania in 1949, and became a truck owner-driver in 1954.
At the age of 12, Dennis together with his four brothers started greasing, washing , and teaching themselves to drive trucks around the outskirts of Albury, while Gus was at the pub. Dennis moved to Melbourne in 1966 to do an aircraft sheet metal apprenticeship.
He worked at the Government Aircraft Factory at Fisherman’s Bend. However the lure of driving a big rig up the open road took over in 1970 when he started driving a Commer Knocker carrying cars and egg cartons between Melbourne, Sydney and Rockhampton. In the early days a trip from Melbourne to Sydney in a non air-conditioned noisy Commer at 45 miles an hour, would take around 19 hours. A big contrast to today’s air-conditioned comfort of a 9 hour trip.
Dennis spent a total of 25 faithful years working for CUBICO as a single truck owner-driver, and has later gone on to work for Mayne and Linfox carrying everything from Kelloggs to Johnson & Johnson. After 40 years on the road, sharing his workplace with thousands of motorists everyday, Dennis has seen a lot of changes in his profession, and believes the way vehicles are presented says volumes about the type of driver. Dennis Stupuras is passionate that trucks are the pulse of our nation.
Dennis, a very keen advocate for trucks says of the industry “On every Australian road, in every city, town and in the outback, trucks deliver the basics of life. It is trucks that link businesses with markets and take goods from ports, airports and railways to shopping centres. Without trucks, our economy would die.”