PRIDEAUX, Robert (Bob)

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

Robert Prideaux grew up on a farm in north-western Victoria and learned to drive all sorts of vehicles including a T-model Ford that his father bought for him. This was cut down into a ute.

His first cartage job was driving a Nuffield tractor with a 30ft farm trailer, loaded with wool bales, to the railhead at Macorna. On his 18th birthday he drove the family car, by himself, fifteen miles into the nearest town to get his driver’s licence. The local policeman was so surprised that he didn't already have a licence that he gave him one so he could drive home again, legally!

When things got tight on the land, Robert secured a job in a store in Melbourne, for Reed Paper Products, but soon convinced the contract carrier, George E Bolden, to give him a go driving one of the tray trucks.

This was the beginning of more than 40 years working in the transport industry. At 21 he obtained his semi licence and drove for Fleetways carrying Holden parts from Dandenong to Fishermans Bend.

Looking for, 'walk-on-walk-off' freight, he began driving for Grendas Bus Service in Dandenong. Then an opportunity arose to drive LPG tankers for Heatane Gas. Here Bob rose to the position of assistant foreman. Later he and his wife, Jaci, bought an LPG tanker and contracted, to deliver LPG in the Wimmera area.

After they sold the business, Robert went driving interstate with Amezdroz and Son (later Wettenhalls Express) upgrading to B-Doubles along the way. He was soon joined by his wife, Jaci, and they ran the east coast, as a two-up team, for six years.

Robert 'retired' from the highway and drove B-Double tippers for Molloy Brothers Transport in Ararat and stock-crates for Prendergast Livestock Carriers, in Ballarat.

In 2012 Robert is a driver-trainer and enjoys passing on his knowledge to the new generation of 'highway' men and women.


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