Stephen Anderson (nicknamed “Prairie Dog”) was born in Townsville, Queensland, in 1955. Steve was 15 when he saw Wrights unloading Northern Territory bullocks at Neila Ponds, Queensland and knew then that he wanted to drive trucks.
In 1978, Steve bought his first truck, a Hino concrete truck and worked with Ready Mix but moved onto a Volvo to work for Freightliners on the Cairns-Mackay run along with his own run from Townsville-Mt Isa carting milk and produce.
Steve sold the truck in 1984 to purchase a café/ service station in Prairie, Queensland. By the year’s end, Steve was back driving, working for Mick Curley in Cloncurry for a season of cattle carting. It was Mick who gave Steve his nickname.
Following this, Steve worked for Byers Transport, hauling steel from Pt Kembla to Darwin, then RTA/Kloppers on livestock cartage in Western Australia and onto John Bain Transport for whom he drove refrigeration vans and later, general freight from Toowoomba to Darwin.
Unfortunately, in 1988, Prairie broke his back in a car accident and it took a lot of hard work and rehabilitation before he was back up on his own two feet. Upon returning to Townsville, Prairie met his wife, Barb, and at the same time, an opportunity arose to buy a truck and work locally for QRX.
Anderson Transport Services (NQ) was established and soon Prairie was working and subcontracting for W&M Meat Transport as well as holding a contract with a fertilizer company. In 1998, he started subcontracting to Boral, running pneumatic tankers up to Weipa, out to Mt Isa, over to Western Australia and down to South Australia while running tippers out of the quarry and a concrete plant. The fleet eventually grew to 13 prime movers along with a wide range of different types of trailers.
In 2006, Prairie and Barb saw a need to draw more drivers into the industry and established Anderson Training Services (NQ) Pty Ltd to facilitate this. A decision was made to sell all the transport equipment in 2018 to make way for semi-retirement but the training business has boomed. Prairie and Barb are based in Townsville but travel extensively for driver training and licence assessments. Inducted in 2021