RADFORD, Stephen OAM

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

From the age of five years Steve Radford, known as Bean Bag, spent all his spare time observing his father’s earthmoving business. His father’s plant included CAT 922 loaders and KB5 Internationals, AS160 Internationals, AB180 Internationals, Bedford tippers, Leyland Beaver and Hippo tip trucks.

Steve also spent much of his time with his father’s employees, either in the trucks going somewhere, in the left hand seat of a Blitz crane giving a hand or learning how to load trucks and trailers. He soon had a good understanding of earthmoving and transport, crane operation, rigging loads, loading and unloading and how to drive and position trucks. At 14, he was sick of school and left to work for his father at the South Mine.

At this time he was nicknamed “Bean Bag” which has stuck with him all his life. He left his father and started his own business at the age of 16. Steve’s first truck was a single drive Leyland Beaver. It was the pride of his fleet; she was the only truck in his fleet. He called her “Leyland LiL,” and she was a low loader that pulled a D4 dozer around Cameron’s Corner and into the Cooper Basin region. Steve went back to work for his father at the age of 18 where he drove Acco 8 wheel tip trucks and 3070 Acco semi tippers. Steve then got his truck licence in a 1966 Seattle Kenworth, powered with a V8 Jimmy (GM) and a 4x4 Spicer box. It was an art to drive that old girl, something he really loved.

In 1981 Steve drove a brand new W-Model Kenworth hauling livestock from southwest Queensland, Cameron’s Corner, Cooper Basin, into central and southern parts of Australia before returning to manage his father’s business for 25 years.

A highlight of Steve’s career was moving Raise Drill Rigs for Western Mining. This entailed loading and moving some 650 tonnes on about fifty semi trailers in a special sequence: first truck loaded was the last truck unloaded. Sometimes he shifted these rigs from Kalgoorlie to Mt Isa.

Steve worked with the RTA to open up access for roadtrains between Buronga and Curlwaa, NSW and was part of the initial triple roadtrain trials between Wentworth and Buronga, NSW. His company was the first to legally operate AB triples in NSW under the IAP system. Steve continues to work with the RTA and is currently conducting trials to run BAB quad roadtrains in far west NSW.

Steve’s major companies, Consolidated Mining and Civil and Basin Sands Logistics employ 375 people and operate 525 items of plant and equipment.


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