TODD, Alan

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

Alan (Toddy) Todd started driving trucks when he was  just 12 years old helping his father who grew vegetables. When he was old enough he drove for Tom O’Connell carting stock to Sydney. Negotiating the roads around Oberon in single drive Internationals, and Dodges, with bogie axle trailers was a challenge because of the snow, ice, mud and hills.

Toddy became an owner driver in the 1960s carting grain all around the central west, western and northern NSW in a Perkins powered Commer. In the early 1970s Alan and his late wife Molly, who helped run the business AR Todd Transport, acquired more trucks. Alan also owned and drove headers. While he was away working Molly ran the depot in Oberon and did some driving as well. Molly passed away in 1993.

Alan went through some hard times in 1998 but managed to keep two trucks and three trailers. With his new partner, Yvonne, he now has a depot in Wellington, NSW. Yvonne helps with the book work and the daily running around. Most of Alan’s driving was carting freight from the east coast to Darwin.

He has employed many drivers in his business but does all the maintenance himself. Although Alan never went to school and was too busy helping his father to complete a correspondence course, he can fix just about anything.

At one stage there were six trucks in Toddy’s fleet but today he operates a single 1992 Mack CLR Superliner still running from the east coast to Darwin with three trailers swinging behind.

Trucking has changed according to Toddy. Gone are the times of being bogged for days on dirt roads. There are few places to get a good meal and no time for mateship on the road where help was once freely given whenever needed. He believes that registrations are too high, roads are not up to standard and that the industry is becoming over regulated. The good thing today is that the trucks are better equipped with air conditioning, sleeping cabs and bigger, more powerful engines. He also appreciates that in today’s modern industry, machines do the loading and unloading.

After 58 years in the industry Toddy is looking towards his retirement when he can spend time fixing old machinery, look after a few head of cattle and see much more of his grandchildren.