Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2014.
Rodney Whelan has never felt more comfortable than when he is behind the wheel of a truck. He grew up “thrashing” his father’s Fargo in the paddocks of their Maryborough property. It was only natural for Rodney to turn his passion into a career driving trucks.
Known as ‘Day’ out on the roads, he has driven trucks locally and interstate, for more than 40 years. His very first job was driving a water tanker for the Country Roads Board (CRB). He later took a job delivering chaff to numerous produce stores and horse stables throughout Victoria. He then went to Phelan Industries where he carted ready-built houses, joinery and other equipment in an old petrol powered ACCO semi with vacuum brakes towing a single axle trailer. It was from here that things started to step up a notch. Rodney got a job driving for the Lean brothers, in what was to be his first regular interstate run. He carted general but primarily books and soft drink. He later had another ACCO; this one was a triple five with single drive and a bogie trailer.
Day then went on to work for Keith Reid, where he stayed for 27 years, driving interstate, covering Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Ad- elaide. It was a job he loved. One of the first trucks he had in this job was a Ford LNT Louisville. It didn’t have a bunk so he would have to make do, sleeping across the seats or on the warm nights, using a fly tarp under the trailer to make a hammock-like bed.
“It was all just part of the adventure”.
In later years he also drove an Atkinson and several LTLs in this job.For the past 10 years, Day has been working as a pre-loader for K & S Freighters, doing locally based work so he can spend more time at home with his family.
Day has covered millions of miles, met lots of people and listened to many-a-tune.He has made life-long friends in the industry. In words spoken by Day himself, “once your truck is loaded and your tanks are full, you’ve got a job to do so you just go out and do it.”