Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2012.
Ian (Pricey) Price was born in Victoria in 1956 and it is no surprise he ended up in the transport industry. He had spent his entire childhood around trucks as his father Cliff Price was a general carrier and later operated a roadhouse in the Northern Territory.
Ian was barely 17 years of age when his father first put him in a Leyland Beaver and set him off from Adelaide on a trip to Darwin across the notorious Old South Road (now Stuart Highway). The run from Adelaide to Darwin stretched 3,500 kilometres and in those days it was known as one of the most arduous trucking hauls in Australia and only the toughest of men and the hardiest of trucks took it on for any length of time. The section from Adelaide to Port Augusta was unsealed; a corrugated dustbowl in the dry and a boggy quagmire in the wet. The section north of Alice to Darwin was a single ribbon of heavily potholed asphalt that had been hastily laid during World War Two riddled with flood prone causeways and single lane bridges. If you could make it on the Old South Road, you could make it anywhere.
By1981 Ian had driven a short stint for Peter Sherwin carting cattle all over the Northern Territory, northern Western Australia and Queensland and hauled general for Ascot Haulage, the Northern territory arm of Scotts of Mt Gambier. Ian started with Co-Ord Transport in Alice Springs in 1982 and spent the next six years transporting fuel all over the Northern Territory in roadtrains. This was in a variety of Kenworth trucks including a W-Model and a brand new SAR.
After leaving Co-Ord Transport in 1988 Ian drove for a short time for Les Dehne before starting with NT Fuels, the Territory Shell distributorship, in 1991. Based in Alice Springs, he started doing the notorious run to the Granites and Tanami Gold Mines hundreds of kilometres northwest of Alice Springs and accessible only by a poorly maintained dirt track in 1992. He has continued to drive the ‘Tanami Road’ for the past 20 years since, as well as an occasional trip to Darwin or remote communities and stations throughout Central Australia. Ian stayed with the company when it was sold out to Ascots in 2006 and became Northfuels.
Over the years Ian has driven a wide variety of trucks including Atkinson, Mack, Kenworth, Western Star and Volvo; mostly in multi-trailer combinations on the roughest roads in the most isolated parts of the country.
In 2012 Ian is planning to leave Alice Springs to live in Queensland after having spent 40 years on the road in the Northern Territory. Known as a bit of a character he is also regarded as a professional and safe driver and a master operator in the Outback. He is well deserving of his place on the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame.