SYMES, Daryl

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

Daryl Symes was born on the 20th January 1938 at Harcourt Victoria. He first started driving a 'Maple Leaf' Chev on the family farm at Harcourt. He was inspired and had a great passion for road transport from a very early age which was greatly influenced by his uncles, Malcolm and Colin Symes who had the first semi-trailer in the Harcourt district.

Daryl’s father, Rex, then purchased a 1952 Ford V8 truck. Before Daryl obtained his licence he started driving locally doing deliveries for his father on the family farm and orchards at Harcourt. His passion for driving trucks grew and by 1956 when Daryl gained his licence, his father purchased a Commer Knocker and Daryl started carting fruit to Brisbane and Sydney markets. With a strong demand growing for road transport by 1960, his father then purchased a 634 Diamond T with a John McGrath bogie strap trailer, and carted fruit to interstate markets. Then began the challenge of rail competition.

After a short stint on the family farm, he made his Diamond T into a tray body, powered by a 400 Leyland diesel engine, and began with Martin Overland Freighters delivering the 'TV Times' to Brisbane three times each month. He also had stints with Mayne Nickless and Brambles.

After a marriage break up in 1972, Daryl parked the Diamond T and started work with his younger brothers, Ken, Greg and John. They were hauling interstate for Cubico, which incidentally was owned by Peter Gunn who was an offshoot of Martin Overland Freighters. They hauled the east coast of Australia and to Perth, carting Kelloggs Corn Flakes in a Ford 8000, powered by a 555 Turbo Cummins, 225hp.

In 1984 Greg and John started a Courier service from Bendigo to Melbourne and Daryl started driving for them and that meant more interstate travel.

At the grand age of 73 Daryl still travels the highways: Bendigo, Sydney, Newcastle and Melbourne. He has a vision to be still driving into his 80s.

Daryl still owns his Diamond T which is now parked at his brother's place in Harcourt. He hopes one day to restore it to its former glory and wants his favourite truck to always remain in the family.

In 1998 Daryl was a national finalist in the Goodyear Highway Heroes Award for an outstanding contribution to road safety and was presented with a framed certificate.