Bob (Stray Dog) Stray was born in 1943 in Melbourne. He left school at 13 and started working in a local garage, West Gippsland Motors in Darnum Victoria. He was working on trucks and machinery and started an apprenticeship at 15 as a motor mechanic. Bob learnt to drive cattle and log trucks by going with drivers during weekends and nights in the Gippsland area.
Bob's first paid driving job was for Steele & Co, carting agricultural products from Geelong to the Gippsland area in an International 180 and Loadstars. He also drove dozers and excavators, moving them around with a Diamond-T low loader which was powered by a Perkins engine. Bob then drove a butter box ACCO 185 with a V8 Cummins which was a test truck from International, sub-contracting to Brund Sartori carting from Melbourne to Brisbane.
In 1968, Bob started driving for Sartori Transport in another test truck, a Leyland Mastiff with a V8 Perkins carting Melbourne to Brisbane on mainly dirt roads in Queensland.
In 1972, Bob moved to Melbourne after answering an ad from Kevin Bunker wanting eight drivers to start Bunker Transport. He got the job driving a Transtar 250 Cummins for Alltrans on the Melbourne to Sydney run. Later Bob changed to TNT on the Melbourne to Brisbane express in the first Cabover Kenworth with a 350 Cummins. It was a top job working under Ron and Rod Bunker.
Approximately three years later Bob purchased his first truck and trailer, a Fuso. He started with Don Byrnes where he specialised in containers carting general freight around the Melbourne area. Later Bob upgraded to a Series 7 Dodge. Missing the highway, Bob started with Mal Clayton Transport doing the Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane run.
Bob then bought the first of many Mack trucks, sub-contracting for different companies such as Holdsworth & Quigley, TNT, Alf Marsden and Wettenhalls to name a few, going wherever the freight was.
Bobs truck and trailer caught on fire coming out of Brisbane and was a total loss. He then went back to Mal Clayton Transport for a while as Transport Manager but missed the road.
Bob then bought an R Model Mack 320 Cool Power from Nick Bannarvis, sub-contracting for Arvee Freightlines.In 1988 Bob moved to Queensland, sub-contracting for Lindsay Edwards Refrigeration and then back to TNT sub-contracting on the Brisbane to Perth run.
Bob was offered a permanent Brisbane to Perth run with Sadliers Transport back load for NQX and K&S. He did this for eight years. Glen Cameron started a depot in Brisbane and Bob sub-contracted to him for 13 years, carting country and local freight running two CH Mack's and a Valueliner until his retirement at 70 years of age, it was time to sell up. Bob's son has the CH Mack and is still with Camerons.
Bob's life today consists of travelling the country in his caravan with his wife Shirley and when at home he restores classic cars.