MURPHY, Garry (Spud)

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2012.

Garry (Spud) Murphy commenced his life-long driving career at barely 18 years of age when he took a job driving for Claude Robbins carting bottles for the Manufacturing Bottling Company. One of Garry’s early memories is rolling a load of bottles over in Wood Street, Warwick, on the main highway through town. He went on to work for Muusers Bros. in Moree for a few years before deciding to go into business for himself.

In 1969 Garry bought an AEC Mandator and carted grain from the Moree area for a while before deciding to move back to Warwick, and he has lived there ever since. After the AEC many different Macks followed including B, F and R models before he switched his allegiance to Kenworth briefly before investing in a Mack Superliner.

Garry always operated as one truck owner driver. Over the years he carted everything from general to grain, hay, timber, cotton, produce and machinery and at one stage drove roadtrains to Darwin for Keith Smith. Over the years Garry used many trailers; including flat tops, grain bins, tippers, fridge vans and tautliners.

During his fifty years in the industry Garry has worked for several companies including well known and iconic companies such as Bell Bros., Lindsay Bros., Theiss Bros., Gatton Freighters, Brambles Heavy Haulage, Hoepner's Transport, FCN Transport Combined Freight, Nolan's Transport, Winrose, Discount Freight (now Star Track Express), Brown's Sawmill, Market Freight Brokers and Wickham Freight Lines.

Garry has fond memories of the early days. He remembers trailers with side curtains, cap tarps and grain chutes.

“ It’s all a far cry from the tippers and tautliners used in later years,”

Garry recalls the days when dodging ‘the scalies’ and paying the dreaded road tax were just part of the job. It was not uncommon to get caught overloading and be inundated with logbook fines. In the early days trucks were not equipped with air-conditioning. It was normal to be freezing cold in winter and extremely hot in summer.

The worst moment for Garry was discovering his insurer had gone into liquidation just after he’d had a rollover which meant he had to borrow the $50 000 for repairs. It took a long time to recover financially but he was determined to do so. With nearly fifty years on the road behind him Garry has made lifelong friends and still has contact with them.

In 2006, while sub-contracting for Star Track express, a job he held for many years, Garry was diagnosed with oesophagal cancer which required surgery. He suffered a stroke during the surgery and was forced into retirement. Garry’s beloved Mack Superliner is now operated by his son.