Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2011.
Raymond George Burkinshaw was born on 5th January 1926. He started off in hard times, but his business still operates today. It began as a family-run business, starting with Ray and his wife Rita. The business now operates under the management of Ray’s sons, Ian and Rod, and two grand children, Shane and Brendan.R.G.Burkinshaw Transport Pty Ltd. had up to 33 trucks in the fleet in the early days which were mainly stock trucks that travelled all over Australia. Ray bought his first truck in 1942 when he was 16 years old, a 1937 Ford. Ray made this original tray truck into a handmade wooden trailer which carried 28 bales of wool. He carried mostly wool, grain and livestock. The fleet included Reos and Internationals such as AR160s, R180s, R190s ABs then C-lines and DCOFs. Later on he bought Volvo G88s as they were more comfortable and had sleeper cabs.
The Burkinshaw trucks could be found in most states of Australia moving livestock from saleyards to farms and into the city abattoirs. He went out of stock transport and more into general and wool cartage. His main route was Lockhart, Sydney, and Melbourne. R.G. Burkinshaw Transport now also has a depot in Wagga Wagga, carting bales of wool from Wagga to Sydney and Melbourne, and general freight back to Wagga and Lockhart. One day a local farmer rang Ray to cart his 3 thousand pigs to market. The following day Ray sent out 4 or 5 trucks to pick them up only to find there were only 3 ‘sow’ pigs. The farmer had a speech impediment and 3 sow pigs sounded like 3 thousand pigs!
When Ray was about 22 years old, he stepped out of his truck in Melbourne and was hit by a passing vehicle which left him with a broken leg. The driver didn’t stop! He spent a number of weeks in the Royal Melbourne Hospital. He still managed to work and get around the saleyards with a heavy plaster and his crutches beside him. Ray also owned 2 farms in Lockhart, “Brookong Park” and “Valera.”
Ray was known for his hard work and devotion to his family. He passed away on 4th July 2002 and was buried at Lockhart NSW.