Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.
Thomas George Rogers was born in Bacchus Marsh and, coming from a farming background, he soon developed a keen interest in machinery proudly loading his first truck at the age of ten. His uncle and brothers were all owner drivers with their own businesses at different stages so it is little wonder Tom grew up with a passion for road transport.
Tom entered the Army at age 20 where he trained as a truck driver and plant operator and drove earthmoving equipment. This is where his love of trucks evolved. Life after the army saw Tom work for several earthmoving companies before becoming an owner driver in 1970 specializing in livestock and general transport for the farming industry. Tom’s first truck was an International ACCO 1840 semi tipper.
Throughout Tom’s business career he drove full time and employed two full time drivers and up to six owner drivers at times usually carting fertilizer and grain. Tom owned a 1970 International, three Atkinsons powered with Gardner motors, a Ford Louisville, five Kenworths and two S-Lines of which had either Cummins or CAT motors. Tom’s favourite truck was a 1965 Harris Cab Atkinson which he says was a “gem of a truck” and very economical at eight miles per gallon carting livestock. Another favourite was a Cabover Kenworth which he says never let him down in tough economic times.
While working at Bulk Haul in 1988 Tom’s nickname “Sixty” came about. His truck-driver ID was 260 and his radio call was 60 for short which he is still known by today. Tom retired in 2006 from his business and commenced driving for his son’s company DT Rogers Bulk Transport whom he still drives for today. Tom usually drives a new Volvo prime mover and will tow a semi tipper, tautliner, drop deck or stockcrate as required.
Tom has met some great characters over the years and loves catching up with old mates on the road with his famous line “What are you doing you old bastard?” He still enjoys driving and everyone remembers him or asks after “Tommy”. He has many quirky sayings and antidotes that will have you in fits of laughter. Tom estimates he has travelled close to eight million kms during his 49 years of driving. Family is most important to Tom especially his wife Lorna. He says he couldn’t have done it without the support of her and their three children and eight grand children.