Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2012.Ron Pattel was destined to be in transport. His grandfather worked for Cobb and Co and his father, Jim Pattel, drove horse teams throughout Western Queensland before moving into motor transport from Townsville in the 1930s.
Ron was born in 1945 just as the sun was setting on World War Two. He married his wife Alice when he was just 18 years of age and purchased his first truck, a secondhand 1958 Ford F600 in 1964. Ron has been self-employed since although he says he has less than fond memories of that first truck as he seemed to spend more time working on it than working in it. He concedes it was the stepping stone to bigger and better things. Ron eventually upgraded to a TS3 Commer Knocker and was happy when it proved to be a much more reliable truck.
In 1968, with two more Commer Knockers and a 6354 Perkins powered ACCO in tow the Pattel family moved to Collinsville, QLD to service a contract they’d won to transport coal from the Collinsville mines to the new Collinsville power station. They called the business Pattel’s Collinsville Transport.
Shortly after arriving in Collinsville, Ron was approached about branching into livestock transport. He purchased a single deck crate and started a lifelong association with livestock transport which still continues to this day.
As the livestock business grew it was decided a venture into roadtrains would make the business more viable and a Mercedes 1418 was purchased.
“The Benz over-achieved as it was coaxed around the district discovering where the two trailer configuration could and couldn’t run.”
In 1989 Ron purchased his first new truck, a Kenworth T650 which is still working in the fleet. He says the first 650s were the simplest and most reliable trucks he has ever had.
Pattel’s Collinsville Transport is still operating in 2012 with Ron and Alice both actively involved. Livestock transport is still in the mix but the fleet now includes tippers, tankers, low loaders and earthmoving equipment.
Ron has been a member of the Livestock Transporters Association of Queensland since it started in 1981 and still sits on the executive in 2012.