Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.
Back in the late 60’s Kenneth Hennessy began his journey in the transport industry working for one of Australia’s most iconic transport companys of the past, Eastoes in Moorabbin, delivering frozen goods throughout Victoria. All the fridge vans during that era were loaded and unloaded by hand. It was slow and back breaking work but Ken enjoyed it. He later moved into an office role assisting with Eastoes expansion into Queensland. He moved his family during the 1974 Queensland floods.
It wasn’t long after that Ken and a few other drivers headed back down to Victoria to work for a gentleman named Ian Cootes. Ian Cootes had left the police force and in subsequent years grew his business from a single tanker operation to Australia’s largest tanker corporation with over 800 employees. Ken was driver No. 5. He worked delivering fuels, LPG and bitumen on behalf of Shell, BP and Mobil. He was also one of the first drivers to be trained to deliver LPG in Victoria for auto use. The price was nine cents per litre!
Throughout his driving career with Cootes Ken was privy to driving a vast array of trucks from Kenworth S2’s, W-models and cabovers. He was involved with the takeover of Bromage Tankers which extended his vast array of trucks to include Mack superliners.
Ken’s professionalism to the job and dedication that he showed made him a well regarded member of the transport industry. His trucks would be immaculate and still be able to deliver on time. Ken has mentored and trained some young drivers through his time that have moved on to be successful tow hauliers for major companies today.
Due to his professionalism and dedication Ken was asked to come off the road to take on a scheduling/manager role. He accepted the position and was successful in moving thousands of tonnes of fuels, gas and bitumen throughout Australia to fulfil his customer’s needs whether it be from the back of Broken Hill or a local delivery. Cootes began expanding in Queensland and Ken was asked to be State Manager. He was able to double their fleet in five years. Talking to his friends and colleagues he was a pleasure to work alongside out of the Pinkenba depot as he ran and maintained the depot to a high standard.
He retired in 2006 after 31 years of service but found it hard to relax so after a short six month break he took on a role with Downer EDI Australia where he scheduled up to twenty trucks throughout N.S.W. and Queensland. In late 2012, due to health reasons, he moved into a compliance position to help improve their fleet. His knowledge of the industry has been a valuable resource to many. He has helped and improved safety to a high standard for now and the future.