Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.
Denis Robert McCubbing was born on 7th April, 1937, at Kondinin Distract Hospital in the wheatbelt of W.A. He moved from Kondinin at a very young age to a farm in Salmon Gums then onto Esperance when the farm dissolved.
Denis’s initial foray into the road transport industry began at the age of 15 years when his first job as an apprentice mechanic lead him from Esperance back to his birth place – Kondinin. He qualified in April, 1958.
In 1959 he married a local girl, Joyce Murray, and continued working as a mechanic.In May 1963, together with a young family, they decided to start up business as the local Golden Fleece Distributor and school bus contractor. Joyce played a huge role in the financial management side of the business.
At the time Golden Fleece lent the money to purchase the school bus run and once the business flourished, the loan was repaid. Joyce’s uncle gifted them a 1947 Bedford 6 tonner, to be paid for when they could afford it. This delivered fuel to farmers in the surrounding area – fuel being delivered in 44 gallon drums. He remembers the Bedford being a challenge to start up at times in the early mornings.
The first school bus was a VW Combi, which frequented the farm gates early mornings and afternoons to carry the precious cargo of school children to the local primary school. Increasing numbers of children meant a new bus was needed and in January, 1965, the first of two new Mercedes buses was bought.
In 1968, he ventured into livestock cartage with the purchase of a local business and an 1800 Series Acco. In 1982 he joined the LRTA WA of which he is still a member today. In 1985 Denis branched into semis with the purchase of a Volvo G88 and a triple deck stock crate. The previous year his son, Bruce, had started driving and helping with the livestock carting. The fuel distribution, now Caltex was sold in 1996.
However, the cartage business continued to grow over the years with the carrying of livestock, general freight, bulk grains and fertilizers mainly between Kondinin and Perth and is a family based enterprise right up to this day. His son now runs the business and Denis still claims the ‘shed’ as his mechanical territory. He has done some longer runs throughout the state, but his motto of – “Look after your own dung heap” kept him tied to his local customers. Over the years Denis has driven and seen the inner workings of six Internationals, a Ford K700, two Volvos, two Whites and six Kenworths.
After 50 years, retirement is not a word used in Denis’s vocabulary – most weeks he jumps into a cab to give the drivers a break.