Palmer, Joseph "Old Joe"

Joseph Kennedy Palmer ‘Old Joe’ 24/9/1929 to 21/5/1982 aged 52.

Joe was born at Katandra West near Shepparton Victoria but spent all his life at Euroa. From age 18 every truck he owned was a white USA made. Joe lied about his age and got his licence one year early in 1946 to drive trucks and carted fruit to the Sydney markets from Shepparton in white WB models, he also carted hay and fodder. Then a white WC 20 jinker carting logs out of the Strathbogie Ranges to the sawmills at Euroa. But most of his life he was a stock carrier in White 3000, which he had nine of these models over the years including the only two BIG sleeper cabs that came to Australia, travelling all over Victoria, NSW, South Australia and Queensland. Joe carted the first double decker load of cattle from Omeo over Mt Hotham which was done in the big cab 3000 with a V6 53 GM 5 speed gearbox and 2 speed diff, these roads were not sealed back then in the 1960’s and he had trouble sleeping the night before, worrying about the mountain, roads, bends and breaks.

Joe carted three decks of sheep from Albany WA across the Nullabour which was dirt in 1966. He repowered the 3000 trying Cummins first but with no luck until he fitted V6 53 GM’s then he made a dollar.

He brought a White 4000 that was Kevin Lowe’s road commander that lasted one trip, which near Dubbo a truck side swiped him at night and caught on fire then rolled over the bank which he had to kick the windscreen to get out as the flames were inside the cab. The insurance company went bankrupt the day before, so he borrowed $1000 off his dad and brought a road commander off Bunker Freight Lines on a hand shake to pay the rest of the money.

Joe then pulled a refrigerated van’s for Temp Lo to Sydney, Brisbane and Perth carting frozen food. But he always returned to livestock carrying.

He had a couple of special mates on the road who also had White trucks, Tom Glover and Kevan Lowe, many miles they travelled together.

Joe also did hay runs up north for the farmers in drought, and carting stock, also after the tragic Longwood bush fires.

He taught many people to drive a truck, maybe so he could have a rest. He had fun with new cops on the road when they pulled him over saying he was Joe Palmer and you don’t pull me up and get away with it. One night near Seymour in the rain he was under the truck jacking it up and a cop asked what was wrong and he said “I’m just checking the bloody jack still worked in the rain” that one cost him a few tickets.

His last trip was to Wodonga 21/5/1982 and another truck got him head on at Barnawartha.