Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2007.
Jim Warden grew up with a love of trucks. In 1952 he got a job with CR Sievwright driving a Bedford truck delivering concrete pipes to construction sites right throughout south-eastern Australia.
By 1953 Jim had decided that he wanted a truck of his own and purchased a KR8 International that had been damaged in unloading at the wharves. The engine was replaced with a 5LW Gardner diesel and a five-speed Fuller gearbox was installed.
With his unique rig Jim played a vital role in delivering pipes to the Snowy Mountain Hydro Scheme that was under construction. Roads into Jindabyne were then little more than goat tracks with dirt roads leading up to Stringybark Ridge. The approaches to bridges were often washed out and drivers needed to use a spade to fill them in before crossing. Batteries lasted two weeks before the lead fell out.
The pipes were unloaded at Jindabyne and taken one at a time up to Island Bend. Once, during a concrete pour at the dam, Jim's truck became bogged in the snow, blocking the road. It is imperative that once a concrete pour is started, it must continue to completion. Jim was told it would be cheaper to push his truck over the side of the mountain rather than interrupt the pour. Fortunately, they were able to push him off the track before such drastic action was needed.
When Melbourne Airport was under construction at Tullamarine, Jim carted the first load of pipes to the site. Up to five tonnes of pipes needed to be unloaded by an unassisted driver, using a crowbar and two pieces of timber for a ramp. The trick, according to Jim, was to jack-knife the truck, lever off one pipe, then straighten up a little before levering off the other so the pipes could not hit.
Jim is now retired and living in Queensland.