Darryl Robert Birrell’s mother always said her son would be a truck driver as he used to stand out the front of their house, as a child, and watch the trucks passing on their way to Adelaide. And so it was that Darryl started driving trucks for G.W. Pennells in Braybrook, Victoria, in 1968 at the age of 18. He drove a 1953 Austin tipper, carting offal to Glues and By Products in Kensington, Victoria. When driving up Kensington Hill, the petrol in the Austin would vaporise. Darryl would stop, jump out, shove a brick (which had a length of string attached) under a wheel, put a damp rag on the fuel pump, jump back in, pull in the brick and drive on. Darryl then moved on to work for C&C Thompson in Brooklyn carting out of Monsanto Chemicals. It was at this time that Darryl did his first interstate trip to Adelaide driving a R190 International with a Scania motor in it, towing a boogie trailer loaded with James Hardie pipes.
Darryl then married Barbara, the love of his life and the couple had a daughter, Kim, who was the apple of her dad’s eye. When C&C Thompson folded, Darryl worked for Ernie Wallet, driving a Slimline Mack to cart LP gas for Mayne Nickless all over Victoria and New South Wales. Darryl’s next job was with K.L. McKenzie in Footscray, Victoria for whom he drove a 10 series Dodge carting general freight to Sydney. This was followed by a stint with Glovers Transport in Airport West, Victoria, carting fuel throughout central New South Wales and also cheese out of Kraft Foods in Pt Melbourne to Sydney and Adelaide. Darryl’s next job was with Brambles Heavy Haulage, carting wide loads across the eastern states.
After his pride and joy, son Gavin, was born, Darryl started working for Don Watson in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria. He stayed with Don for 15 years, carting hanging meat out of Corowa, New South Wales, to Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide meat markets. Darryl then worked for Traianon’s Transport in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, carting general freight interstate until an accident at home in March 2020 meant he was housebound.
Darryl earned the respect of transport operators for his work ethic and the detailed care he gave to the trucks he drove. Inducted in 2021