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Year: 2004


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

Syd Fletcher was a young corporal in the army and Yvonne Coats a shoe-shop manager when they met and married in 1944. The Fletcher's story typifies just how much road transport is a lifestyle and a family affair and not just a job for the husband or boys.

In June 1947, with a not very profitable carrying business operating between Melbourne and Echuca, they won a contract to carry goods between the South Australian Murray River towns and Mildura where the fresh produce was loaded on the train to Melbourne. At this time it was illegal to compete with the railways. Syd and another carrier took a delegation to the Victorian Parliament and were successful in having the law changed to allow carriers from the Riverland to take their freight to Melbourne without having to use the rail from Mildura.

In 1948 the Fletchers were asked to take a load of Berri produce to Melbourne. It is this trip that is the origin of the firm's slogan Interstate since forty eight. As Berri Fruit Juice production increased, Syd began to freight their products to Melbourne. It was the beginning of a 50 year plus solid, working relationship.

In 1989 the Fletchers moved from Cobdogla to their new depot at Berri where the latest in computer technology keeps track of the company's 70 line-haul vehicles as these operate through most states of Australia. Fletcher's Freighters boast several modern day records including the first all airbag tri-tri B-double, the first single fridge unit serving two trailers and the first jumbo B-double trailers.

Syd passed away in 2000 and Yvonne retired from active duty in the company at that time. Today Fletchers is ably run by son Barry and other family members.

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Alice Springs, NT

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