YAKAS, Frank

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

Frank Yakas’ introduction to trucking was as he was growing up on a market garden in Spearwood Western Australia.  His parents had a 3 tonne Chevrolet truck which he was taught to drive around the garden at about 8 years old with the odd sneak excursion out onto the road. They also had a car and tractor.

Being around machinery gave him a natural interest in servicing and repairs which lead to being employed as an apprentice motor mechanic at Shacks Holden in Fremantle W.A.  On completion of his apprenticeship he moved to a workshop where they serviced and repaired heavy vehicles, trailers and tractors.  His interest turned from repairing to driving when one day he was underneath a truck repairing a gearbox. The driver was lying on the tray of the truck having a rest. Frank was underneath covered in grease from head to toe, and the driver got talking money and earnings. He was earning 3 times as much as Frank!! The rest was history.

Frank started with an 8 tonne Bedford flat-top carting concrete products and traffic cones all loaded and unloaded by hand. The money was the driving force.  After a couple of years he went car transporting all over Australia for TNT Car Carrying for the next 5 years. Yet again he felt like a change so he joined Brambles Manford at the time carting general freight all over W.A., mainly to the northwest.  At the time Brambles had the bitumen contract for BP which enabled him to help with the seal of the last stretch of the Nullarbor into S.A.

With Brambles there was a vast opportunity for various modes of transport: freezers, chiller vans, tankers, low-loaders and general freight.  After Brambles he joined Kleenheat Gas to get into dangerous goods which included transporting gas from as far as Port Bonython in S.A. to all over Western Australia.  He also did a stint with Boral on pneumatic tankers for a while. Moving on from there he joined W.A. Limestone hauling pocket roadtrains and doing low-loader work.

By now his son Paul, whom he taught drive and operate his own transport business, decided to start his own company called Coogee Freight Services which operates around the northwest and southwest of W.A and also interstate. They haul whatever is going from single trailer to triple roadtrains.  Frank is now approaching 44 years in the transport industry. While still fit and healthy he hopes that he will be driving for a few more years to come.