Rodney Phillip Lanson was born in Glen Innes in 1947. His father Ross Smith Lanson drove for Bradley’s Transport and Floyd’s Transport, so Rod was involved in transport from childhood.
On leaving school at 15 years of age, Rod was employed by Central Motors in Glen Innes and there gained his Heavy Vehicle licence. He drove for Henry Cook Livestock before joining R.E. Whytes in the spare parts department. In 1973 he progressed to Truck and Tractor Salesman, which included travelling to collect new trucks from Melbourne.
In 1974, after marrying Faith and following the death of Ross Whyte, an opportunity to 'go on the road' came up and Rod drove for Jackson’s of Armidale, transporting meat to Brisbane from Armidale Abattoirs.
From 1976 until 1980 Rod drove for IPEC, until he purchased land and constructed premises for a new business, Lanson’s Spare Parts, on the New England Highway at Glen Innes. In addition to spare parts, the business saw Rod become a Mack salesman.
In 1982 Rod sold the business and drove for Hilliers Transport from Armidale until he purchased his own truck in 1983 creating Lanson’s Transport. The owner-driver company continued when the family moved to Gatton, Qld in 1984. After selling the truck in 1994, Rod drove school buses for Gatton Bus Service before returning to trucks with stints for BW & PK Jahnke and later Hillman’s Transport Toowoomba.
Rod commenced with Nolan’s Transport as a driver in 1998 until Terry Nolan offered him a position in the Risk Management team. In this role Rod became involved in assessing economies, the technological side of modern trucks, legislation and safety compliance and attending many conferences including ATA. He challenged many politicians and once had former Prime Minister Tony Abbott drive with him from Gatton to Brisbane. Tony learned that Rod was not afraid to advocate for owners and drivers.
In July 2015 Rod made the decision to semi-retire and just do some driving. Still with Nolan’s Transport, he started with change overs as a fill in driver but this has quickly become fulltime driving again, with an allocated truck on the North Qld run.
This nomination is a celebration for Rod’s 70th birthday and a lifetime of involvement in the transport industry.