Barry Flanagan was born in May, 1947 in Orange, New South Wales and has been involved in the trucking industry for over 50 years.
In 1964 Barry did an apprenticeship as a diesel mechanic in Wellington, New South Wales with Sunserve Pty Ltd who were the local Massey Ferguson dealer. After that, he moved onto Mack Trucks in 1969 for a couple of years where he gained a sound working knowledge of engines and trucks. Whilst working at Mack Trucks he also started driving tankers for Roy Pierce, transporting ‘heating oil’. Barry received a wage from Mack Trucks by day and collected another wage from Roy for driving his truck after hours.
In 1970 Barry married Barbara and for their honeymoon they travelled from Sydney, New South Wales to Mt Isa, Queensland in a ‘B’ model Mack when the Bourke to Mt Isa stretch was an all-dirt road.
The first truck Barry purchased was an International C180 Supercharged 180 HP Cummins which he replaced with a White 4000 Cummins to cart steel for BHP and general freight from Port Kembla and Newcastle in New South Wales to Darwin in the Northern Territory. In 1982 he purchased a Western Star and in 1985 Barry had a custom made 6 foot bunk built for his son Wade’s wheelchair. The bunk had purpose-built ramps so the wheelchair could be driven up into the bunk. This modification enabled Wade to travel with his dad from Wellington to Darwin in the school holidays which he thoroughly enjoyed.
Around 1987 Barry moved to Darwin permanently and started to haul bitumen for many years. He did try a sea change for 10 years but he went back to driving trucks again.
At 74 years of age, Barry drives for Ostojic Transport on what is known as the ‘Pensioner Run’ – Mt Isa to Tennant Creek and return. Inducted in 2021