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Year: 2015

Robert (Bob) Teakle was born in Mount Barker in South Australia on the April 26th1946. From an early age transport was a part of his life. His family was in farming and Bob could be found most afternoons at the Old Spot Hotel' with a glass of raspberry talking to the truck drivers.

1957 saw Bob working the farm due to his father's ill health. He left home at 14 and drove a truck in the Riverland until his age and lack of licence was discovered. Graduation to legally driving age 16 he was hay carting, stump picking in an Acco 170 International. This was followed by drink deliveries in a Fargo, then to a Bedford delivering stock food.

From this interstate driving forged what was to be the future for the Teakles. Trucks and loads improved over the years as Adelaide to Melbourne runs became Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and all places in between.

From International 184s to Atkinsons, Macks to Kenworths, Transtars and Volvos, cities to remote communities Bob covered nearly every road in Australia, some good, some barely there. Being dry bogged in bulldust on the Tanami to water over the combing rail on the south road, through mud, sand and swollen creeks, Bob did it all.

A load to Perth across the Nullarbor in 1968, a five ton switchboard was the first one ever to reach its destination in one piece.

Bob's longest trip was with TNT Darwin Express driving a C501 powered by a 525 19 litre Cummins where he left Darwin, across to the Lindt to Mt Harget loaded at the mine site, across to Freemantle, back to Darwin, a total of 14,000 kms approximately.

1978 was wet and just north of Coober Pedy a truck was bogged blocking the highway. While discussing its removal more rain fell and moving was out of the question. Five days and 10 road trains later it seemed like a good idea to join with stiff bars and push/pull each other through the mud. It was quite a feat but it worked, with only one truck left, the initial truck.

Bob drove the first double for Peter Gilbert in an Atkinson from Adelaide to Darwin in 1976. From Peter Gilbert to McDonald Transport as the rail was extended from Kulgera to Alice Springs so Bob moved his family to the Northern Territory.

McDonald sold to NTFS and Bob went with the truck. McBride's took in a few years as did TNT, Shaw's, Jeff Gilbert, ABC, AL Logistics and finally Hillman's rounded out over 49 years legal driving.

Over the years Bob reckons he's covered close to 12 million kilometres with Alice/Darwin and Adeliade/Darwin approx 2,000 round trips on the Stuart Highway.

Bob is now retired and travels with his wife of 50 years and their five dogs in an Iveco duel cab with a Jayce caravan finally having a look at all the places he's been and never had time to see.

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