COOPER, Kevin

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2011.

Kevin Graham Cooper ( KC) was born in Tawonga Vic 17.11. 1955. Kevin spent most of his younger years helping his father, Ken, service trucks in the family-run business, Letts Transport Yarraville Vic .

He started his working life as a roof tiler which only lasted 2 years as his love for trucks took hold and he began working for his father. On his nineteenth birthday he obtained his licence and drove to Sydney that very night in a 1419 Benz. After 4 years with his father he was given a new truck, a Triple 1 Scania hauling general freight Melbourne – Sydney.

The next five years (1980-1985) saw Kevin marry Debra and complete his family with the birth of 2 sons, Ben and Shane. Towards the end of 1985, Kevin joined DJ & W Wells driving interstate in a Mitsubishi Rigid for Emery Transport. In late 1986 he joined FATE Express driving a T-Line Rigid hauling overnight freight for Skyroad Express. “Dampier Express” was formed four years later when the opportunity arose for Kevin to become an owner-driver with Wards Express. The company grew considerably going from owner-driver to small fleet operator. Over the next 17 years the fleet consisted of MAN Rigids, Transtars 4700, Powerstars  and Kenworth Aerodynes. Overnight parcel express and airfreight were the main contracts with Mayne Nickless, Ansett Airfreight, TNT ( Riteways) and Mainfreight .

During his 17 year career as a road transport operator Kevin showed dedication, loyalty and commitment. He was noted for the excellent care and attention he gave to his fleet and his reliability and willingness to help others. The saddest memories for Kevin are for the mates lost along the way. He is held in high regard by his fellow truckers and employers. Kevin enjoyed the mateship and camaraderie of the industry. Cooking meals for mates was his specialty, substituting GOAT for beef on unsuspecting diners because it was cheap!

In May 2006 Kevin was forced into early retirement when he suffered a cardiac arrest. His short term memory was affected but his fond memories of the Hume Highway were never erased. His family and friends continued to run Dampier Express for the next 17 months, but due to ill health, in October 2007, the decision to sell the business was made.