Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2014.
Peter Astbury, known as ‘Gums’ to his mates on the highway, has been in the trucking industry for over 35 years. He claims the easy-going lifestyle and great blokes he has met while working have taken him around Australia without costing a cent.
Peter is self-taught and was driving tractors, Chevrolets and ex army trucks as early as five years old at Eynesbury Estate between Bacchus Marsh and Lara In Victoria. The experience instilled in him a love of driving and a deep admiration for the trucking industry. Peter’s first trucking job was with Scott’s Transport carting timber from Mt Gam- bier to Melbourne or Adelaide in a Ford Louisville 903.
Looking for a change of scenery Peter then spent the next 13 years carting steel for LA Transport out of Western Port along the east coast unloading steel for New Zealand Steel. During this time he drove the first imported Kenworth ‘Anteater’ T600. At the time the T600s sloped hood was a departure from the traditional cab over engines and square noses that ruled the road and no-one was sure how the industry would take to it. Aerodynamics at the time were essentially an afterthought for most truck operators.
Peter then went local for a while delivering gas in and around the Brisbane area for All Gas, before changing course and working with LA Transport again. Peter also did a short stint driving roadtrains in a Century Class Freightliner for Porter Transport. During this time he carted a lot of mining plant and equipment for K&S Transport and for Halliburton Mining Equipment.
There have been many adventures, and few misadventures, for Peter along the way. He was once caught in a flood in Goondiwindi for two days and suffered a few minor crashes and near misses including one with a school bus. These have never deterred Peters love of the road and driving trucks. These days he is quite happy driving a Kenworth K104 carting concrete rail sleepers locally for Stocks Transport, where he has worked for the last four years. He still enjoys the long hauls and occasionally gets to cart railway sleepers throughout Victoria and do the odd interstate trip. The advantage is he can now spend more time with his children and grandchildren.