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Year: 2007


Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2007.

It is a brave bloke who challenges an oncoming train and wins, and Don Evans wasn't one to retreat when his freight had to get through. Take one incident in the 1970s, when flooded causeways on the track to Darwin forced truckies to take a drastic detour.

Don's roadtrain was halfway across the rail bridge over the raging Adelaide River when he was confronted with a freight train. There was a debate about who should back up. The locomotive driver lost and Don moved on.

That typifies the determination that drove Don through 25 years of accident-free trucking in which, he proudly says, he never damaged an ounce of freight.

Born in 1934, Don lived much of his early life at Broken Hill, qualifying as a motor mechanic and running service stations, before moving to Adelaide in 1967, when he bought his first truck, a Perkins-powered International, and started carrying Chrysler cars to Melbourne and bringing back Fords to Port Pirie. But, tired of these overnight hauls, he did a run to Mt Newman in WA at the start of the iron ore boom. That began a long stint of trips to Darwin and north-western WA.

In 1968, Don drove the first freight, a test load of gyprock sheeting, into Karratha when the now booming town was just survey pegs and big rocks. By then, in a reversal of the usual practice, he had recruited his dad, also Don, who had been vegetating in retirement, into his trucking business. They hit the highways and tracks together, each in a MAN. (Don's favourite trucks out of the 15 or so he owned over the years). After 1975, Don concentrated on the Adelaide to Sydney to Perth triangle until he retired in 1992 after a career in which he was renowned for helping out fellow truckies, whether with spare parts, spare tucker, or a tow out of the mud or up a steep hill.

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