FRANK WADWELLwas just a teenager when began his working life with the NSW Railways shovelling coal. He worked his way up to eventually driving trains in the Upper Hunter and Tamworth Regions. Looking for a change of scenery in the early 1960s Frank decided he'd rather drive trucks and took a job with Parry Logistics out of Tamworth.
Keen to become an owner operator, Frank purchased his first truck, an Cummins powered AB 160 International. This was followed by a 3070 International. In 1971 he moved to Newcastle to work for Noel Moses transporting pigs and fertilisers all around the state. In later years he worked for Steggles delivering chickens. During this time Frank met and made friends with many of the other drivers. If they were a long way from home Frank would invite them back to his house and his wife Gail would make breakfast. Many of these people are lifelong friends.
In 1981 Frank bought his final truck which he proudly owned up until the day he passed away. His Kenworth K123, or the K-Woppa as he called it, regularly journeyed the likes of the Murrurundi and Gunnedah to the Hunter Valley primarily supplying grain to local dairy farmers. It was here he made many lifelong friends including Len Bayliss and Brian Hailes. As the years passed and demand grew, Frank expanded his operations to include a grain and stockfeed business on his property. It still survives today supplying retail quantities to many local thoroughbred and harness trainers.
For the 29 years Frank owned and operated his final truck, his beloved K- Woppa, he entrusted his friend Max Clarke of Wallabadah to do all the mechanical work on the truck. Frank was immensely proud of his truck and would not leave the yard on a Monday morning if his pride and joy was not sparkling clean.
Frank Wadwell passed away in 2010. He is remembered as a man who loved what he did. Trucking was literally his life. He was a man who was always smiling and helping out where he could. He loved giving the young ones a bit of friendly "old school" advice.