Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2009.
Graeme Neal (aka Jingles) has been transporting livestock as an owner-operator for 50 years. He commenced driving at 12 in a 46 Chev and a 48 Austin on the farm carting hay. He remembers the Chev especially for its poor braking system and lack of power.
At 19 he spent a year driving an SL Bedford for a local livestock carrier, purchasing this from him a year later. Over the next 48 years he purchased eight trucks including Bedfords, a Commer, a Dodge and two Volvos. Graeme's current F10 V olvo is his favourite. It has done three million kilometres.
He does however have a soft spot for his Bedford Leyland with one million miles on the clock. It is still in the shed and Graeme would love to have it displayed at the Hall of Fame. Graeme prides himself in being able to maximize the life of his trucks, and for this he is quite legendary and cops some good-natured stirring. What stands out in his memory is that most of the roads he travelled, including much of the Princes Highway, were unsealed, rough and windy.
Carting livestock is unlike any other mode of road transport as the load is a continual moving one which is very unpredictable. It was an advantage for Jingles to have been reared on a farm, as with no knowledge of livestock there are many pitfalls and it can be, at times, quite dangerous. Graeme has always been very dedicated and passionate about the industry. He has been for the past 20 years and remains, a member and regional representative of the Livestock Transport Association, Victoria.
He sits on the East Gippsland Shire saleyards committee, and was an active participant in the redevelopment of the Bairnsdale Livestock Exchange. He sees the most significant transformation over his 50 years as being the improved safety, power and especially braking capacity of modern trucks.
Graeme has spent much time lobbying Vic Roads to upgrade road systems. Graeme is extremely proud of his achievements within the industry and of his reputation.