Robert (Bob) Palmer was born in Trafalgar, Victoria on the 15th August 1935. His history in the transport industry spans seven decades from the 1950s to 2011. Bob learnt to drive in Erica, Victoria for his father, Chris Palmer at their saw mill. During the 1950s he worked for J Jeffery of Morwell driving bulldozers, low-loaders and tip trucks.
During the 1960s, from Morwell Victoria, Bob and his father contracted to Electric Power Transmission delivering steel and cable for power line construction in Victoria then temporarily moved to North Queensland to continue contracting for EPT. They had about six trucks, 1418 Benz, petrol International AB, C Line’s, F700 and more.
After Queensland they went on to general interstate freight into the early 1970s, mainly carting paper from the Australian Paper Mill and potatoes from Gippsland to Sydney. Bob formed RC & MH Palmer with the same trucks.
In the 1970s, Bob had a regular run from Sydney to Perth, with the dirt highway starting at Port Augusta to Norseman. He had a depot in Perth with a Port Headland run. An International Acco with a Cummins 210hp was not the ideal truck for long haul but the single drive, boggy trailer was the vehicle back then.
1975 he went to Mackay, logging. Bob hauled railway sleeper logs with an Acco, 345 petrol motor. During the 1970s he also drove a Volvo G88 for Dennis Stanley Saw Mills hauling timber. In the 1980s Bob drove a Kenworth, mostly wide loads and pipe around Victoria and roadtrains from Sydney to Kakadu for Ray Pearce from Sale, Victoria.
He moved to far north Queensland and owned a fertiliser spreading truck later in the 1980s. Bob then bought a Mercedes semi tipper and went into bulk haulage, mostly grain. He also carted bulk bark from the Sunshine Coast to Cairns.
Unfortunately, Bob had a major accident due to poor road work signage on a notorious section of road near Childers, Queensland in 2000.
After this incident he drove interstate for a few more years before selling his Mercedes semi tipper to a farmer friend in Goondiwindi in 2003, but continued to drive it, carting grain from the farm to the silo. Bob continued to drive the truck two seasons per year until fully retiring to the Sunshine Coast in 2011.