Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.
Ronald George Maple, known as Ron, was born in Sale in the Gippsland region of Victoria in 1946. With the growth of the shipping industry in the late 1800s Sale had established itself as a port linking the town, via the Thomson River and the Gippsland Lakes, to the open seas. As the shipping industry and waterways freight died off opportunities arose in the trucking industry well into the 1900s.
Ron first started driving in 1965, when he took a job working for Clive Brothers Transport carting livestock throughout Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia in an old Federal Truck with a five speed box and a two speed differential. It was tough running in those days but the camararderie on the road made up for it.
Ron then went on to drive for several different livestock companies over the next few years including Watson’s Transport and Spargo’s Transport from Bacchus Marsh. Gus Spargo ran a small livestock carrying business and it had just been taken over by his son Graeme who still operates it to this day. Bacchus Marsh is located mid-way between Melbourne and Ballarat, in a rich and fertile valley that consists of orchards, market gardens and pastoral fields. Ron later drove for McKibbons from Yaroke Victoria and J. H. Ralph from Melbourne. Ron also worked for the well known firms of McKibbons from Yaroke Victoria and J. H. Ralph from Melbourne, Victoria.
Ron then started hauling general freight interstate with Brown & Mitchell, out of Footscray, Victoria and later still for East West Freighters hauling out of Melbourne across the ‘paddock’, as the Nullarbor was called, to Perth. Ron also drove for Vern Dick, a well known carrier, out of Bacchus Marsh for a time. Vern carted general for loading agents Kidd and Sartori and minerals for WR Ringwood as well as wool from Adelaide.
In 1986 Ron bought a1979 cab over Kenworth with GM engine to cart general freight to Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth for a few years. When he decided to take things a bit easier Ron gave up interstate to do local work in Melbourne and Ron sold his truck in 2009. Today, in 2013, Ron is enjoying retirement and lives in Echuca at his son’s caravan park with his wife Francis.