O'BRIEN, Douglas

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

Douglas O’Brien commenced his driving as a career when he was 17 years old carting logs with an R160 International fitted with a six cylinder Black Diamond motor. For two years he worked for John Coombes driving from Tolmie to the bluff at Mansfield in Victoria’s high country.

His next employer was Zeth Trentfield and Doug worked out of Jamieson for 18 months before moving to Townsville where he contributed to the building of the new township at Greenvale. Doug later drove roadtrains interstate running between Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide in a ‘Flintstone’ Mack pulling two trailers. When he returned to Melbourne he drove an R600 Mack followed by a Kenworth.

After a couple of years Doug made the decision to go into business for himself and purchased a 1418 Mercedes Benz with which he carted livestock from Victoria to New South Wales. His next purchase was a Ford Louisville and Doug returned to interstate driving. A Mack 320 was his third purchase and this became his favourite truck. Doug worked this Mack for the next ten years all over Australia, mainly hauling for NQ Express into the mining regions of Queensland.

After Cyclone Tracy Doug ran a roadtrain to Darwin, on to Cairns and to Perth before returning to Whyalla to load shell out of BHP for Townsville and Cairns. This was his longest interstate run and it took him about 14 days to complete the round trip. Doug liked to haul general freight all over the country and was prepared to take on the most difficult jobs that no-one else was prepared to do. No load was too hard or too heavy.

Doug spent the next ten years on long distance linehaul before deciding to take a break and freelance on interstate. He did this for two years. Doug then bought a cabover F model 320hp Mack which he says,

 “...made life a lot easier”.

He returned to Melbourne to cart local freight and today hauls tippers and water tankers Mansfield with his Mack truck.


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