HOWE, Denis

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.

Denis Howe was born on 18 March 1947 and grew up on a farming property in the wheatbelt of Western Australia.  He has been married to his wife Jan for 45 years and has three children and three  grandchildren.  He was first introduced to many different types of vehicles on the farm including many ex army trucks such as a GMC six wheeler, the Chev Blitz semi and a 1952 International in which he carted wheat to the local bin at just 13 years of age.
 
With his natural ability for driving and having a love of heavy transport he took a job with Eyre Highway Transport owned by George Barker. he also subbied to Wridgway North, a furniture removalist.
 
He was the “Tea and Sugar’ on tyres.  This is a quote taken from a book, Nullarbor Lifelines written by Basil Fuller published in 1977 The truck he drove was a Leyland Beaver prime-mover with one trailer. He carried both frozen and fresh provisions for the service stations and sheep stations along the Eyre Highway. The conditions for driving were very different to what they are today as there was no such thing as air-conditioning in the cab (only the left and right windows open). Denis had to navigate many hundreds of kilometres of dry, dustry and corrugated unsealed road.

Denis then  drove roadtrains for Bellway during the seventies. The roads were unsealed  and during the wet season the roadtrains could be bogged for days or weeks on end.  Each night, while waiting for the roads to be opened, the camp fire would be lit and the drivers would sit around. eat their tucker and sharing many a story and a joke or two.  At this time Denis owned his own truck - a rigid UD - with an enclosed container. Later Denis drove Mack trucks for Mick and John Caratti carting wheat, sand and heavy equipment.  Before recently retiring Denis drove triple road trains to the north of the State for P & R Watson, subbies to Toll Transport.

Denis’ family is very proud of what he and the many drivers who take to the road each and every day to transport the essential food and equipment to the far north of Western Australia.   He now enjoys retirement contemplating driving around Australia with the caravan - stopping along the way to smell the roses.

 

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