HARRIS, Robert

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2014.

Robert (Bob) John Harris was born in Charleville on 11th June 1925. Charleville is a small town in south western Queensland, 683 kilometres west of Brisbane. It is situated on the banks of the Warrego River, and is the terminus for the Warrego Highway. Even though it is the largest town and administrative centre in the Shire of Murweh, covering an area of 43,905 sq. kilometres, the small community hospitality and spirit of the outback ruled Bob’s upbringing and his generosity went on to become his trade- mark during his life on the road.

Young Bob spent most of his childhood on ‘Yaranvale’ station near Charleville and later on “Evengy” station, Jundah. He left school at an early age to help supplement the family income. He initially started work as a drover and later went on to cutting wood. It was then Bob decided he needed something reliable to cart his own wood and purchased his first truck, an Austin and was able to collect and deliver his own wood increasing profit margins. From there Bob ventured into mail runs and later into general freight haulage. Initially, all of his trucks were Interna- tionals; he particularly loved the “Old 90”. As the business grew, Bob then ventured into livestock cartage and with that, bought his first Mack B61. He was so impressed with its performance that he has gone on to own every Mack model that came on the market. However, the truck that brought Bob the greatest joy was the 1988 Limited Edition Bicentennial Mack Superliner called the ‘Ludwig Leichhardt’.

Bob is known as a great bloke who was always willing to help everyone along the road. That famous outback hospitality didn’t just extend along the highway, there was also many a truckie who enjoyed a home cooked meal at Bob’s. Bob is currently the Depot Manager of Followmont Transport, Longreach and has been for the past 18 years. Followmont was established in 1983 by Alan Salpietro and Bernie Tobin, starting out in a small office in Stones Corner, Brisbane and spreading throughout the state. It is one of Qld’s largest privately owned transport companies.

 

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