Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2009.
Bill Van Der Weerden initially commenced his working life at 14 years of age as a yard boy, loader and driver's jockey for Ken Howlett Transport of Mohyu in Victoria.
In those days the freight was hand-loaded and unloaded and included bales of wool, hops and bagged grain. Bales were stacked three high making an impressive load on a single-axle trailer hitched to a Ford F600 prime-mover.
At 18 Bill had enough experience to obtain his driver's licence and was the proud driver of Ken's F600. Bill worked for Ken hauling freight between Melbourne and Mohyu, often against the rules of TRB which was protecting the railway's freight monopoly. Bill Van Der Weerdan was well-known to the TRB Inspector, former Essendon Footballer, Don McKenzie.
In 1964 Bill left the general freight business to drive a BP tanker for Frasca's of Myhree. The first of these vehicles was an International AB184 with V8 petrol engine which was a big rig for the day. The next vehicle was a magnificent White witha 6V53 Detroit and Allison auto-transmission and Bill just loved driving it.
Bill left Frascas after becoming an owner-driver with an Acco 2150 prime-mover and joined Ian Cootes in 1980 hauling petrol, LP gas and bitumen tankers throughout the eastern seaboard and throughout South Australia. Some of these products were transported over long distances as far afield as Coober Pedy and Woomera in South Australia and remote areas of New South Wales. It meant long hours on the road.
In the late 1980s Bill left Cootes and joined W Cleland & Sons as an owner-driver hauling refrigerated products.
Bill was a highly regarded driver on the road and respected by all who knew him. He is now working for Linfox on special projects. Bill enjoys life today and is heading into a well-earned retirement.