Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2009.
Frank McLean has been a truckie for approximately 40 years. He started driving on various mine sites and farms in and around Perth working for companies such as Terni Transport and Bell Brothers, neither of which are still around today.
Frank carried freight to mine sites in the northwest, going to places like Port Hedland, Dampier, Newman and Tom Price. Some of the roads at that time were dirt and when he returned home from each trip, his truck would be covered in red dust.
There were also the times when he would be away longer because the wet weather had washed out bridges, or the water was too deep to pass. None of these deterred him though, he continued to drive trucks. Frank eventually bought his own truck, a Dodge, and worked as a sub-contractor. In 1978 he moved to Alice Springs where he started working for Co ord Transport and later for Timor Transport, doing rig shifts to remote areas. He also worked for Red North carting fuel.
Frank then moved back to Perth and drove as a sub-contractor for Centurion Transport until 1994, when he moved to Darwin. He still lives in Darwin and at one point owned three trucks. He now drives from Darwin to Brisbane and does one return trip a fortnight. He has always liked Mack trucks and today drives a Mack Titan, but his favourite was his Mack 500 value-liner.
The happiest thing that has happened to him on the road would have to be the birth of his first grandchild, Chantal, and the saddest would be the death of the same grandchild 25 years later, once again while he was on the road. Like all of us in the road transport industry he has also lost a few good mates over the years.
Even though retirement age has come and gone, Frank shows no sign of stopping. He has never been unemployed for anything longer than a few days, so he must be doing something right. Frank is considered a hero by his family and all who knew him. He is certainly deserving of his place on the Wall of Fame in Alice Springs.