David Wayne Parkinson (known as ‘Parky’) was born in Alice Springs in February 1956, the second youngest child of Edgar and Marie Parkinson. David and his four siblings grew up on Willowra Station, 340km northwest of Alice Springs.
Trucks always played a big part in David’s life on the station and he first learned to drive in a 1956 Chev three-ton truck. When he started work as a contract musterer, David drove an AB180 International to shift the horses from one mustering job to the next. David went on to drive for his brother, Les, running general freight from Adelaide to Darwin in a D1950 International.
In 1975, David bought his own D1950 International with two trailers to cart cattle and freight to Yuendumu and surrounding areas. Two years later David’s brother, Trevor, joined him and they secured a contract to cart bagged cement from the rail yard to a local ready-mix plant. They loaded the cement off rail carriages and onto pallets on the trailers all by hand. Each load weighed 25 ton and they would do three loads a day to the plant. Brother, Les, then joined the pair and they established ‘Parkinson Brothers Transport’, buying a 2150 Acco to cart freight and a new 3070 Acco body truck to cart cattle. When Parkinson Bros Transport closed in 1981, David carted fuel to cattle stations and communities.
He was then offered a job driving a White Road Boss for Davmax, a local pastoral company, carting old rig shifts, freight, fuel, and cattle. To this day, David maintains the White Road Boss was one of his favourite trucks. David then took a break from driving for a couple of years and went back to work on cattle stations but he couldn’t stay away from trucks for long.
In 1986, David started driving triple road trains, carting cattle, full time for Tanami Transport, Alice Springs, and he regards the 14 years he stayed in this job as his best years behind the wheel. David was given the first set of Byrne triple load-through trailers used in Central Australia. Cattle carting wasn’t always easy, especially long trips across the rough Tanami Desert Road, Plenty Highway or along the Birdsville Track.
David’s career in the road transport industry has spanned over 40 years. He has an impeccable driving record and is highly respected as an excellent road train operator. Not surprisingly, David’s two sons, Barry and Ben both initially followed in their dad’s footsteps.
David has driven many great trucks over his career but his pride and joy now is a SAR Kenworth, named “Golden Nugget”. David carts freight and his own cattle but it is more of a retirement hobby than a working truck. He still lives in Alice Springs. Inducted in 2021