Unlike many other truck drivers, Hugh Ridgway was the first and only member of his family to work in the trucking industry.
Growing up on a farm in South Australia, a young Hugh, at 16 years old, was sent off with a transport company to help cart hay after the 1967 drought. On one trip home, the driver Hugh was travelling with was bitten by a bee and could no longer drive, so it was up to Hugh to take the steering wheel. Luckily enough he had his licence, and well, the rest is history. From that day on, Hugh was the driver.
Hugh has been in the trucking industry for around 45 years. He has been an owner driver since 1975 when he first set up his own trucking company, Ridgway Agencies, Golden Fleece agent until Caltex took over. He has owned many trucks and travelled many roads. If you know Hugh, you will know that he has had a Kelpie dog at his side throughout all of this.
The first truck he drove was a two to three tonne Austin farm truck, then he moved onto an Acco with a 345 petrol motor. Among other trucks he has driven, the B-double tipper is a favourite.
Hugh is a through and through livestock boy, carting livestock is a highlight of his career, but he has also carted numerous other things. Over the years he has carted and driven for Broome Contracting in Western Australia, Crane Livestock in Naracoorte, RTA, APC, Kangaringa Pastoral Company, JH Ralph, Archie Frew and McCabe Transport. He is currently carting potatoes, grains and fertilizer out of South Australia.
Hugh has also been heavily involved with the Livestock Transporters of South Australia and inaugural member, where he was Vice President for four terms. On the committee for volume loading; he is currently an active member. Pilot for truck safe Accredited No.18 (since retired).
All in all, Hugh has enjoyed spending his time out on the roads. It has been a tough one, but the rewards far outweigh the bad. He has made a lot of mates and has had the chance to have a career in the outdoors.
He couldn't have done it without the support of his family, his wife of 40 years, Anne, and his children, Michael, Sarah (dec) and Emma.