Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.
Gordon Taylor was born in April 1940. He is also known as ‘Dingo’ or ‘Spud’ - a name that was coined by a bloke in Thorpdale. Legend has it that Gordon was loading potatoes in Thorpdale and was so hungry at the time that he began eating raw spuds; the name has stuck ever since. Spud operated trucks for thirty plus years. His son also works in the transport industry driving large road trains for the mines.
Beginning as a driver and going on to become an owner-operater Spud has operated just about everything from low loaders, road trains, mobile cranes, bulldozers, fuel tankers, open trailers, step deck trailers and over dimensional loads. He carted all sorts of loads from food produce and livestock to tyres and mining equipment.
Spud started out in the trucking industry carting stock from Gippsland to Melbourne back in 1954 when he was just fourteen years of age. Things were quite different back then; no fancy roadhouses and almost no streetlights, even in the city. The first truck he had was an old Dodge P6 Perkins with a five-speed crash box. There were holes in the floor you’d pee through, so you didn’t have to stop. There weren’t any windows, just a bag over the door to stop the rain and cold. Spud recalls “things were pretty casual back in those days”.
A standout memory on the road was while driving to Rockhampton he heard a vibration so got out to have a look, discovering bolts had broken off. The only way to get anywhere was to replace them. Lucky he carried spares. As Spud was getting out the old bolts, frozen water from the leaking water pump was spewing out and on the other side, a roaring fire to keep me warm.
Spud recalls it was meeting people that made the job worthwhile. “You meet the most wonderful people and there was great mateship along the road irrespective of who you worked for or what you drove. It was a pleasure to do this job for that reason alone”.
Spud has spent much of his retirement years writing books, stories, poems and screenplays about his life and adventures in the trucking industry. He has become a well known and respected character of the road transport industry.