Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2014.
Noel Wiech’s first experience with trucks was in the early 1950s while working on the family farm at Kybunga, South Australia. He bought his first truck, a Ford V-8 petrol with a Mercury Motor and body tipper, from Reg Kruse. It already had one million miles on the clock. Noel used the truck on gravel jobs. In those days the gravel had to be shovelled by hand out of a creek bed onto the river bank and then shovelled into the tipper. It was a hard, back breaking and labour intensive work for even the fittest of men.
Later Noel carted bagged grain from the paddock and delivered it to railheads at Kybunga and Blyth using a home-made semi-trailer with a Commer P6 powered by a Perkins engine. He also carted crushed metal from Keith to Bordertown for Quarry Industries. In partnership with Bruce Gosden, Noel later acquired Yorketown Transport and began carting livestock and general freight to and from Adelaide. Noel married Maureen in 1959 and they went on to have four children; Peter, Debbie, Jennie-Lee and Vicki. It didn’t take long for Maureen to settle into the role of bookkeep- er. The business became more involved in carting livestock and wool in the Flinders Ranges and in the 1970s they also purchased Hawker Transport providing work into northern South Australia, Alice Springs, Broken Hill and northern New South Wales.
The expansion resulted in the transition from single deck stock crates to three and four decks, road trains and B-doubles. The business employed many staff and without them could not have grown as it did. Noel’s son Peter became more involved in the business, and in the 1990s, when Noel and Maureen moved to Esperance, Western Australia, Peter and his wife Jane took over the business. Eventually Peter moved the business to Esperance where it continues operating today. Noel’s grandson, Sam has now made it a third-generation business.
At 85, Noel continues to be active in the company. He still holds his roadtrain licence and drives the seeding bar and header at harvest time. Each year he passes his medical with flying colours.