Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2012.Barry McLauchlan prefers to be known as Barry Mac but is often called Baz. In his younger years, while at Pacific Coast Trucking, he was also known as Zappa. His family has been involved in the industry for multiple generations so it is little wonder that he believes that being in transport is being in it for life. So far Barry has been involved for about 55 years.
His first truck was a Morris Commercial which he drove for Super Transport doing local deliveries for St Mary’s Transport. The Morris was traded for a 1966 Dodge tipper that cost £7000. With this truck Barry worked for Larry Sands at Blue Metal Gravel extending the Sydney airport runway.
With so many years in the industry Barry can recall many memories both good and bad. Those people who were special to him include his mates and teachers of his trade such as James Paxton, Frank Burke, Max Hickey and Don Campertelli. They were all great mentors. In those early days, he remembers, there was mateship and loyalty, slower trucks and good food at truck stops. Everyone always helped no matter what. There was less pressure from the bosses and appreciation shown for a job well done. One of his favourite stories is how he was stuck in the Gillart River Crossing in a new C-line International with a load of oil drums going to Mt Isa. It rained, the river rose reaching 1.7 metres and it kept rising. Luckily a big Mack and dog came from the north and Smiler Nylon hooked him on and towed him out.
Going to jail for nonpayment of road tax and fines cost Barry time and money making for some bad memories. However, he considers over regulation, lack of loyalty, loss of the personal touch and governing by the multinationals today is detrimental to the industry that keeps Australia going.
Barry describes his current position as being an owner driver, an operations manager and a slave. His current company is BRA Services. Over the years he has built up several businesses including Central Burnett Road Freighters and Holbrook Produce and Trading. His main focus in business today is simply to survive by “carrying anything, anywhere” although his main work is towing for Wanless Truck Parts travelling all over Australia picking up wrecks. The company also operates trucks on seasonal work carting cotton, grain and potatoes.
Today, a variety of trucks make up the fleet including GD Hino, Isuzu 100, Western Star, Ford Trader and T604, T404 and K100G Kenworths. BRA Services operates out of two depots in the Brisbane area where Barry lives.
For Barry the future means selling up and retiring but that could take ten years as he believes he is a hoarder.