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Year: 2007


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

Arthur and Eileen Battle started out carting for Malanda Milk on the Atherton Tablelands with a horse and cart. They then bought a Maple Leaf truck followed by a 1942 Ford and later other trucks to build their fleet. During the war they couldn't get fuel and Arthur would run the trucks on gas from wood burners or with ethanol fuel mix. One of their main contracts was to supply milk for the Australian and American armies stationed in the area.

With rationing on fuel they were not able to get enough fuel to complete the deliveries. The American army arranged for them to be able to get fuel to deliver their milk without using ration tickets. They just signed for it when they were carting milk. If the trucks were used for other types of deliveries ration tickets were still to be used. After an approach was made to the government over road tax it was eventually wiped on milk delivery but still applied on all other loads of freight.

Their company, Norgate Transport, has its headquarters in Townsville. Its operations range far afield and are vitally important to the economy of north Queensland. The company has grown from a modest beginning to one that boasts a service station with motel accommodation for their drivers, an aircraft and one of Australia's most efficient transport fleets. It's a real family affair with the company operated by Arthur, Eileen, and their children.

They have always prided themselves on the fast turn-around of deliveries which was essential for perishables. On the early outback roads this proved to be very demanding on tyres, vehicles and drivers alike.

Of a great advantage to them was the aircraft, which was used extensively to get the trucks running again after breakdowns in isolated areas. Parts could be flown out in a matter of a few hours and the trucks back on the road quickly. The Townsville depot had its own mechanical workshop which allowed all their work, from complete overhauls to minor running repairs to the trucks, to be carried out.

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