Bernardus Snippers, known as ‘Benny”, was born in Hengelo, Holland in 1941, one of seven siblings. At the age of 20, Ben migrated to Australia and settled in Millicent, South Australia, where he worked as a qualified painter. However, Ben was keen to seek out a different career, one that was better paid and provided greater opportunities.
At the age of 21, Benny relocated from Millicent to Kalangadoo, South Australia. He taught himself to drive an ex-army GMC petrol log truck which he had to manually load and unload with cut logs. In the late 1960’s Benny moved to Adelaide to pursue linehaul driving opportunities and his 55 year span on Australia’s highways began.
In Adelaide, he found himself working with some of the pioneers of South Australia’s transport industry such as John Snell. Benny’s interstate route covered Adelaide, Ceduna, Southern Cross, Perth and Dampier, hauling general freight in Leyland trucks. These trips were often on dirt roads, without two-way radios and sometimes in cabs without windows. For a time, Benny also drove for W.R Ringwood, hauling wool on the eastern seaboard.
Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s Benny’s professional reputation grew and his solid experience as a road train and heavy haulage driver ensured he easily gained employment with companies such as Kain and Shelton, Linfox, Scotts of Mount Gambier and MacMahon Constructions. His driving routes stretched from Adelaide and Port Augusta to Alice Springs and Darwin. Benny was also involved in the sealing of the Stuart Highway between Port Augusta and Alice Springs prior to the Bi-centennial celebrations in 1988, whilst driving his cabover Leader “No.3016” and Mack V8 Valueliner.
Towards the end of the 1980’s Benny became the first road train driver employed by Golding Transport Industries in Adelaide. Driving a Kenworth W924, Benny worked hard to ensure the success of Golding’s in offering multi-combination bulk solutions for their customers. Benny was then approached by Kalari as they required an experienced MC driver with knowledge and handling techniques of bulk contents.
After his stint at Kalari, Benny moved back to work at Golding until he retired in 2016 at the age of 75. Benny and his wife, Kaye, live in Adelaide and Benny still holds an MC licence! Inducted in 2021