Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2010.
A veteran of more than 50 years behind the wheel, Graeme Williamson has truck driving in his blood. Born in Colac, western Victoria, in 1942, Graeme’s identity was formed through his family’s transport business. As a young teenager Graeme developed his truck driving skills in the paddocks surrounding his home and at 15 began working in the family’s business, KE Black & Sons. The business specialised in moving entire houses on customised trailers throughout the western district of Victoria and beyond.
During the 1960s Graeme operated a brand new Mack B61 with a low loader and semi trailer. Having the only low loader in the region at this time, the business secured much work moving large earthmoving equipment for land clearing and development associated with the Heytesbury Settlement. The equipment transported included large scale excavators, scrapers, bulldozers, dump trucks and rock crushers. No load was too big for Graeme and one of the loaders he carried weighed around 40 ton.
During this period Graeme had a contract with Telecom to cart telephone poles to install the first telephone line connections into coastal towns along the Great Ocean Road. Graeme also undertook trips to NSW where he was shifting earthmoving machinery mainly in the Lake Cargelligo area.
The work was not easy. Not only were the loads challenging but many of the locations were isolated, off road and the conditions were often wet and treacherous presenting additional challenges. In the 1980s the Mack B61 was traded in on a Mack R600 and carried local timber, bricks and machinery. Around this time Graeme, with his wife Clare, formed their own business, Black’s Heavy Haulage and purchased a mobile crane with a 10 ton lifting capacity to complement operations. This was the largest crane in the district at this time.
Sadly, Graeme and Clare’s business came to an end in 1991. However, proving you can’t keep a good truckie down, for the next 15 years Graeme drove for a local sawmill operating a B-double truck between Colac and Melbourne transporting mostly woodchips.
Now, at 67, Graeme continues to drive for a freight company in Colac. He has been an ever-reliable driver and his constant strive for perfection and his motto ‘if you are going to do a job you need to do it well’ mean that he brings integrity and a very high level of quality to his work.