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Year: 2006

Don Bale06baledonalddon2

Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2006

Don Bale first started trucking at Broken Hill in 1952 with a 1942 KS5 International.  The Public Works Department gave him a job carting forms for concreting stands for the water pipe-line from Mendindee to Stephens Creek, near Broken Hill.

The job finished and he was no longer wanted so he packed up spare tyres and tin patches for sleeves and fuel and headed north through Maree and Oodnadatta to Alice Springs where he cut and carted wood to Jim Clark's wood-yard.

Don then applied for, and was awarded, contracts from Native Affairs to cart supplies to local settlements and communities.  At the time he also hauled for Connellan Airways carrying av-gas to the outback stations all over the Territory.  Connellans had the mail contract for the Territory, flying weekly to cattle stations and outback communities, and had to have fuel to fly home again.  In 1954 Don upgraded his truck to a Ford F600.  In 1955 he found enough money to pay £1,000 for a deposit on a B61 Mack.  He got the B61 a year later; this was about the same time as the legendary Noel Buntine got his first Mack.

Don operated from Melbourne and Adelaide to Darwin mainly hauling heavy drilling and mining machinery for the Rum Jungle Uranium Mine south of Darwin and back loading uranium ore to Adelaide mine's department.  By late 1955 things were not going so well so Don sold off the F600s and just had the Mack.  He kept the B61 till 1968 then traded it in on a new bogie-drive V8 Mack.  He did many trips back to the Territory, Kununurra, Mt. Isa and the Mary Kathleen Mine before trading it in on a new V8 F-model Mack.  Don was a Mack man who enjoyed a beer.

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