WHITING, Donald (Don)

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

Donald Whiting (Don) is well regarded as a true pioneer of road transport through the north and west regions of South Australia. For over 50 years he operated VO Whiting & Sons, the company his father, Vivian Oswald (VO) Whiting, founded in the 1920s.

 
Born in Adelaide in 1921, Don’s early work included a year as a telegram delivery boy before joining the family trucking business. Young Don was drafted into the Australian Army from 1942 to 1946. He met his future wife Ruve Cockburn and married in 1944. They went on to raise a family of seven children. Returning to Port Augusta in 1947, Don rejoined his father and brother, Ross, in the family trucking business. After Ross left the company in 1950 Don continued to run the business, retaining the company name of VO Whiting and Sons. Much of the early work was carting livestock, wool and general freight for pastoral companies in the north east of South Australia. They were among the first to cart stock from the west coast leading to the replacement of the drovers who were still moving stock on the hoof from the Birdsville Track.

 
Over time, the company grew to six trucks which operated across Australia. As the mining, oil and gas industries grew Don branched into moving transportable buildings and setting up construction and residential camps. This included the Moomba Gas installation, the Olympic Dam mine and the mining camps in the Pilbara regions of Western Australia. Over the years Don bought and operated 33 trucks from 1946. These include numerous Internationals (KD7s, AB182s, 184 Cummins, Accos ), TS3 ‘Knocker’ Commer, Bedfords (K6Ts, KHT), Fords (Thames, D800, D1000, Louisville), Leylands (Comet, AEC Mandators, AEC Mammoth Major), Mercedes 1418, Mack R600, Isuzu, Bedfords, White Road Commanders, Volvo and Nissan UDs. VO Whiting were renown for their reliability and service.

 
Don passed away in December 1997 after spending more than 50 years driving trucks and running the business. He was a hard worker and an astute business man who established a business that has continued for four generations of the Whiting family.


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