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Year: 2004


Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2004.

Frank Fidler moved to Alice Springs in 1947 and started working as a truck driver for Road and Rail carrying freight to stations that were inland from the highway. He would go up as far as Newcastle Waters and then take the Murranji Track to Victoria River Downs, Wave Hill and the many other cattle stations and communities in the area.

In 1950 Road and Rail shifted to Darwin so Frank, wanting to stay in Alice Springs, took a job with Kurt Johannsen. His job was to pick up the ex-WWII 44 gallon drums along the Stuart Highway and military staging camps and deliver these to either Alice Springs or Darwin.

For the next 14 years Frank worked for Jack Litchfield. Initially he carted stores to Hatches Creek and copper from Peko Mines at Tennant Creek. He then travelled extensively in central Australia and across the border into Western Australia. Between Billaluna and Mongrel Downs there was no road so they travelled by compass through the spinifex, at speeds of two to three miles per hour for several weeks at a time. Sometimes station owners, after being contacted by radio would light up some old tyres so Frank and Jack could follow the smoke to find the actual homestead. In 1967 Frank set-up his own transport business. He carted cattle for the pastoral industry, equipment for local mines and fuel and stores for stations and remote communities.

He was one of the first cattle carriers to bring cattle from Billaluna and Mongrel Downs into the rail head at Alice Springs. Frank was a real pioneer in cattle transportation.

Frank passed away in 1999. One can see his old White truck (the one pictured here) in the grounds of the National Road Transport Hall of Fame where, one day, it will be restored to its former glory. The old girl still runs perfectly whenever its started.

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