David John Sutton, known as “Roadtrain” or “Sutto”, was born in 1949 in Sydney, New South Wales. He started in the industry in 1968 when a friend needed a driver for the wheat harvest and he was able to legally get his licence even though he was not 21. A call to National Service then saw David driving ACCO MKV’s in a Vietnam Reinforcement Unit during two years with the Australian Army.
Upon leaving the Army, David could not settle but eventually found work driving a Kenworth S2 on a gas pipeline project until starting with TNT Kwikasair in 1974. David began driving the overnight express freight trucks, better known as ‘The Grey Ghosts’, between Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. He then joined Carey’s Freight Lines in Tamworth, New South Wales, driving first a Mack B61, then a White 9000 and finally an Mack F700 on the Tamworth – Sydney – Newcastle run, hauling general freight.
David became an owner driver in 1978, purchasing his own Mack F700 to drive the Sydney-Brisbane-Kingaroy-Sydney runs before selling out and going to work for Les Howard. During his time at Howard Haulage in Willow Tree, New South Wales, he drove tippers carting grain and super in a Gardiner-powered Atkinson, moved into a 903 ACCO and then went on to drive a 300 Cummins ‘S’ Line International. David regarded Les as a great boss. Next, David worked for Jim (Spongy) Heywood for 18 months, driving two-up on road trains to Central Queensland Mines with general freight and back loading grain to Sydney.
Working for Gordon Martin was David’s next position, driving tippers in a Kenworth W Series before stepping into a new LTL Louiseville, carting coal in the Hunter Valley and bentonite to Sydney. David highly respected Gordon as an employer.
Deciding to become an owner-driver again, David bought 3 Mack R600 Rigid Tippers and two trailers to cart gravel in the Hunter Valley but again, he sold up and then moved to Queensland to work for Chemtrans. Following this, David bought a 6x4 Kenworth T358A concrete truck and worked for Hanson in Maroochydore for 11 years. David then went into semi-retirement but did some driving for a mate in Condobolin, carting grain in a Kenworth W601 tipper.
David has spent 52 years driving, has clocked up innumerable miles and has always held a job. Inducted in 2021