Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2012.Graham Armstrong’s fellow truckies call him ‘Veg’. He is still driving trucks today having started before he was 16 and did not have a licence. His first job was driving for his father in a 40hp petrol powered Austin with a four speed manual. After being caught a couple of times without a licence his father sent him down to the local police station to get one. Veg managed to do this without having to complete any tests.
In 1968 VEG started contracting for R & P Baker, owners of Bowral Brickworks. He purchased an eight wheel Mack Cruiseliner in partnership with Frank Olsen and carted bricks to Nowra and Canberra. Veg then sold the Mack and started carting fuel in an International S-Line for Chadwick’s BP before moving on to driving interstate for Tycan in a Volvo F10 for the next ten years.
In the 1980s Veg hauled for Blue Circle Berrima driving a W Model Kenworth carting cement throughout NSW. This was about the time B-Double combinations were introduced to the trucking industry. Veg thought he was fortunate to get to operate a 460hp Detroit powered Freightliner. It was great negotiating the routes in the Sydney Metropolitan areas. Later, when he had his first run up the New England Highway, Veg was stopped at Willow Tree because the local Department of Main Roads staff had no idea of what a B-Double was. Veg went on to complete 17 years with Blue Circle.
In 2012 Veg is based in Coffs Harbour, working for the Toll Corporation carting beer from Brisbane to Sydney. He also drives a truck and dog part-time for a local landscape yard.Graham has fond memories of his early trucking days when he drove down the road with no CB or UHF. A friendly wave was the only communication until he could pull up at a roadhouse for a chat or to answer the call of Mother Nature. VEG specially remembers Dougal MacRae, who showed him the finer points of driving, and all the mates he made over the years. He is still good friends with many of them.
VEG’s sons, Scott and Cameron, are proud of their father and have followed in his footsteps.