Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2011.At day’s end Bernie says he enjoys trucking. There's no better way to see the country side and sleep every night on the road. He specialises in wide loads. Bernie said he should have done this type of work years ago.
Bernie Dawe was born in April 1946 on the outskirts of Adelaide. The young bloke spent his younger years growing up in Brompton. Young Bernie developed a keen eye for trucks, and with help from good friend Phil Davies, he was soon driving himself. He started driving for Jack Penrose and while learning the ropes Bernie worked for food and keep.
He then drove for Klein’s Transport carting Lightburn products; the heavy and hand loaded freight of concrete mixers from Sydney to Adelaide and Victa Mowers from Adelaide to Sydney.
At age 23, Bernie moved to Western Australia and purchased a brand spankin’ new truck; a Pommie Atkinson Seddon which had a Perkins V8 and rated at 185 horse power. The single drive truck pulled a Fruehauf 34 foot bogie trailer. He worked the unit for Brambles Manford. This work took him to the northwest, around Port Hedland, Karratha and Mount Tom Price, and in those days the roads were dirt and rough as hell.
A year passed by and the Seddon was history. Bernie decided to upgrade to a MAN 9215 which required a lot of alterations. The bonneted truck was a single drive and pulling a flat top trailer. He was subbing for TNT.
A return to South Australia saw Bernie driving for Kevin Bunker. He did the big run to Sydney and return hauling freight for AllTrans. He also worked locally around Adelaide for Booths and Northline but the short hauls were not his cup of tea.
Over the years Bernie has owned 35 trucks (a combination of Ford Louisvilles and Kenworths, cab-overs :COE), SAR, T900, T650, 904 and currently a Kenworth T908. He has also employed eight drivers.
At day’s end, Bernie enjoys trucking, “The best way to see the countryside.”