WHALAN, Darby

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

Darby Whalan is 79 years young. He started his steering days in 1950 in a 1936 Chev carting drums of fuel around Coffs Harbour and Dorrigo. The old Chev had mechanical brakes that didn’t work. The only way to stop was to change down to third gear, to low gear then switch off the ignition. Learning to drive this way prepared him well for his career in road transport.

A K5 International followed, then an NR Mack carting fuel from Newcastle to Grafton up the Pacific Highway. He then worked for Vic Lindsay, father of Lindsay Brothers, driving a 1949 Ford body truck carting 9½ tons of drums.  Darby was Vic’s first driver as the brothers were too young to drive.

Next, he carted sleepers to the wharf in a 1952 Ford, all loaded and unloaded by hand. Then up to Grafton, 60 miles away, break open the brick kilns and load two trucks with 9½ tons of bricks each then back to Coffs Harbour, unloaded, then back to Grafton and do it all again – two loads a day. It sure tired him out but he coped OK. He was only 19 years old.

He bought a new 1950 Thornycroft carting fuel from Dorrigo to Newcastle. Then Darby worked for the DMR driving a new HD-16 Allis Chalmers dozer with an 8 yard scoop, stockpiling sand off the beach for the Pacific Highway.

In 1950, he drove for Western Maranoa out of Toowoomba, doing Brisbane and the west in Scammels and Dennises. A brand new A51 Mack came next carting goods to the west and wool on return. Some of it was loaded off the ground.

Darby then drove interstate with Baartz Transport in a 1948 EH Mack diesel. In later years he restored this and it can be found in the Gatton Museum.

So, after 42 years, He has managed to keep the "shiny side up."

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