Bridge, Robert

Well known as John

Inducted into the Rimula Hall of Fame at ReUnion 2015

Robert John Bridge was born on the 13th of March 1946 at Cessnock, New South Wales. When John was 15 he went on a truck trip to Adelaide with Barry Pringle who owned a new AEC truck.

In 1966 John married Julie King and they had three children, Robert, Tania and Sonia. In 1968 John got a job driving a milk tanker for OAK New South Wales. In 1969 John bought a C line International, Perkins engine, 120HP. He became a sub-contractor for R & H Transport, Newcastle, transporting steel and nitropil to Queensland mines, back loading magnetite to Newcastle for commercial minerals.

John traded his truck in on a 10 series Dodge with 160Hp engine pulling a single axle trailer, later trading it on a 1972 2050 Acco with a 210 Cummins engine. He started buying molasses for backloads to farms in the Hunter Valley. John brought it in 44 gallon drums but it was in such demand he had to buy tanks and bladders to supply farms. John got a molasses contract with Bundaberg Molasses which is still running after 45 years. John traded his Acco on a 1974 Kenworth with a 903 Cummins engine which he later lost to fire. John then bought a 1977 K124 Kenworth with a 400 Cummins engine which he hooked up to a B-Double. The trucks name was 'Maggie'( after Magnatite) He now has a Volvo with 580 HP Cummins engine, pulling B-Double trailers.

John’s biggest load was moving a house in one piece. His biggest achievement was starting with four drums of mollasses and growing to supply over 100 customers in Hunter Valley. His son Robert bought a truck to sub-contract for him for 15 years, then sold the truck to John who then employed his son-in-law Ricky Orr to drive it for 10 years.

Over the years John has sub-contracted for K & S Freighters, Western Dredging, R & H Transport, Commercial Minerals, Comsteel, Bundaburg Foundry and Walkers, Maryborough transporting loads from Newcastle as far north as Tully.

At 69 years of age John is still buying and selling molasses and is still driving trucks.