Alan 'Grubby' Barden was born to in Warragul to family of loggers and timber workers. Moving to Bairnsdale where in 1958 at the age of 13 Alan cleaned up a truck workshop after school for a quid a week before going on to servicing trucks for Arthur Ablett and Overends Transport. These two men taught Alan how to drive and work hard, so after getting his licence he went to work for Overends carting briquettes to Canberra in a knocker. He then proceeded to an AEC Monarch with a 190 Cummins. Not the best ride he said as the gravel roads from Orbost to Cooma were a bloody nightmare, but that's all there was, then in the summer we done Melbourne to Canberra.
Moving to Abblett's in a 184 with a 160 cummins Alan began carting timber for the Monaro area, then at Cann River carting logs. He then went to Hansen's Transport doing general freight before working for Anderson's Transport in Benambra in a 10 Series Dodge, a commer with a 653 Allison, a 1418 Benz, an ex Ansett rebuilt slim line Kenworth with an 871. Finally then came the new Sleeper Cabover Kenworth with a 335 Cummins motor that is in the Kenworth Museum today.
In 1973 Alan bought a Cabover Kenworth and pulled a BP tanker at Bairnsdale, then carted spuds, paper and general freight from Latrobe Valley to Sydney, Brisbane or wherever the load took him.
In 1979 Alan began driving a F12 Volvo which he said was a good truck with hub reduction diffs for the heavier work like logging and then pulling a water tanker building SEC dam walls. Alan then went to North Queensland for three years building rail lines out to Abbot Point for the mines before coming back to Melbourne and selling her up to a S-Line Inter and dog with Burdett's Sand Supplies for five years.
Alan finally bought a W-Model Kenworth log truck and began carting logs to the mills until selling up and becoming a driver. Alan is still well known around these parts for his knowledge and skill. Even at 74 he still services and drives cattle and log trucks part time as life is not the same without driving.