Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2012.Kevin (Kev) Pitcher made his entrance into the trucking industry when, at the age of 16, he took a job driving milk trucks on weekends in the Mt Compass area of South Australia.
In 1957, at the age of 19, he purchased a 1952 side-valve V8 Ford tipper but it wasn’t long before he upgraded to a Ford Thames Trader to work on construction of the levee banks in the Murray Bridge area following the extensive damage the area sustained after the 1956 flood. Kevin subcontracted for various companies during this time including Quarry Industries and GA Smith Earthmovers.
After a couple of years working in the dairy at Mypolonga, Kevin decided he wanted to cart stock. In 1966 he purchased a B61 Mack and triple deck stock crate and began contracting to the Charles David Abattoirs in Murray Bridge (Now T & R). By 1967 he was also transporting sheep from Armidale, NSW to Albany in Western Australia. It was one of the longest stock hauls in the country. KR & RD Pitcher Livestock Transporters went on to operate for about seven years primarily running International trucks.
After a short stint carting general freight between Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth Kevin did his first run to Darwin arriving there just two days after Cyclone Tracy ravaged the city. Some of Kevin’s fondest memories are of the trials and tribulations and the bull dust on the Old South Road (Now Stuart Highway between Adelaide and Alice Springs).
“Of course it turned to mud when it rained so I got to throw ‘happies’ when I got bogged in it.”
Kevin continued running Adelaide to Darwin until the new railway reached Kulgera, after which he piggy-backed on the train for some time. When the railway reached Alice Springs Kevin switched to hauling general between Alice Springs and Darwin. Following this he spent two years towing triples (three trailer combinations) to Ayers Rock with building materials and supplies for the new township of Yulara. This was followed by a stint with a concrete agitator in Alice Springs during which time he did many bush trips up to 700km into the desert to remote communities with dry concrete.
Kevin returned to Murray Bridge in 2002 and took on the role of transport manager at a local abattoir for Graham Wilson and later drove for Scott’s Refrigerated Transport (Bruce Scott).
Kevin Pitcher semi-retired in 2010 at the age of 73 and in 2012 still works on a casual basis for Scott’s Transport.