Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2012.
In a career that spanned over 55 years in the road transport industry, Francis (Frank) Webb “never shied away from a hard day’s work and has always been keen to do anything as long as he was working”.
Frank had little education as a child, but was determined to make a good life so threw himself into his work. He started out as a drover and taking on odd jobs such as driving a water cart on road works. It was while driving a tractor in the Mallee in western Victoria that Frank had his first thoughts of becoming a truck driver. He knew there was plenty of work around and thought he could do well and make some money.
Frank’s father purchased a new Ford Thames Trader in 1951 and that marked the beginning of C D Webb Transport. It didn’t take long before the business grew to a fleet of eight. Frank went on to spend 23 years in the family business hauling super, wool and livestock. The family business came to an end after Frank’s father passed away. Frank went out on his own carting gravel for a variety of different companies with a truck that previously belonged to the family’s business. He was involved with a large number of companies as an owner driver.
Two of Frank’s fondest memories are the times he spent working on the Cobar to Moomba pipeline in 1974 carrying natural gas pipes, and in 1986 when he drove for Heggies Transport carting steel from Port Kembla to Western Port.
Frank looks back on his career as being enjoyable especially when he got to drive through the country-side. The lack of continuity in available work was always the downside. Frank says of the transport industry,
“It is an essential service that will always provide opportunities for people like me and that it is exciting but the rules, regulations and log books are the negatives of being a truckie.”
After 50 years in the industry as an owner driver, Frank semi-retired and drove casual for SBA Transport for seven years. At the age of 64 he officially retired and in 2012 Frank works with his son, David, as a self-taught mechanic in the diesel mechanic business.