Frederick John Wilson, known as Fred, was born in Hamilton, Victoria in 1948. He left school at 14 and briefly went to Melbourne as an apprentice fitter and turner. Fred soon returned home to Milltown and began helping his father with a variety of jobs, one of which was unloading, by hand, the sawn timber delivered by his mother. His mother drove an F600 Ford and an AA1 International until Fred was licensed in 1966. Fred would often accompany other drivers as well, as an offsider, lending a hand with the unloading.
At 18, Fred started driving tray trucks for his father, carting livestock, timber and fuel. Turning 19, Fred got his articulated license and started driving a semi with a 32-foot single axle trailer carting both livestock and timber.
When work was slow, Fred started building the first of a number of stock crates; this would become the way of life when cartage work was scarce. Fred and his father purchased a brand new 760 Dodge with a V8 petrol motor for $6,100 as well as a second-hand Freighter bogey trailer. Fred was now in business with his own truck which he later converted to a full double deck cattle or three deck sheep crate.
Over the years Fred purchased and sold many trucks, including a new Kenworth V8 71GM for $41,000. Like many others in the trucking industry he rode the good times and persevered through the tough times. Droughts, wool price crashes, cross border hopping and the struggle to compete with the railways were all issues faced by Fred.
Fred worked across many states in different fields of transport including in Queensland, helping to build sections of the New England Highway.
He is now enjoying retirement in New Zealand with his Kiwi wife, Karen. Inducted in 2021