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Year: 2000


Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2000.

Bruce McDonald started driving trucks at 16 carting to Inaminka from Adelaide.  It was a six day trip in an AEC Matador.  In the 1960s he introduced an 8000 gallon wine tanker to haul for Emu Wines, in the Riverlands, and some Fruehauf, three deck sheep crates which folded into cattle crates.

This operated from the west of SA to Adelaide for Metro Meat.  Part of their expansion included the relocation of oil rigs to the Simpson Desert.

Following that, semi - tippers were purchased to move gravel and sand to Adelaide Concrete Plants for O'Neils Southern Quarries.  In 1966, with wife Raelene and two of the first Peterbilts in Australia, he formed McDonalds Transport.  That year Bruce undertook his first trip between Adelaide and Darwin hauling empty 7Up soft drink bottles.  A year later a permanent contract with Jacksons Meat Geelong became available and Bruce hauled the first load of frozen lamb carcass on the same route.  Return loading was buffalo meat from the Darwin and Arnhem Land areas.

From 1972 their trucks were a common sight on the track between Adelaide and Darwin.  And what a track: dirt from Port Augusta to the Alice and a single lane bitumen ribbon from there to Darwin.  Regular runs to Coles Darwin started but fell apart when Cyclone Tracy hit in 1974.  Fortunately, it all came back on track in 1975 when Coles contracted them to transport all Dry Freight, Perishables and Frozen.  The business grew quickly despite many hurdles including the 800 miles of nothing but dirt tracks and corrugations between Alice Springs and Adelaide.

This took its toll on both drivers and equipment and the McDonalds decided to retire.  The business was sold to Northern Territory Freight Services in 1984.

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