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Year: 2015

Brian (Duck) O'Neill born 17th November 1938 in North Sydney. He grew up in Wentworthville. Brian started in 1953 at Western Earthmoving as apprentice plant mechanic. After obtaining his licence, the manager sent him to Portland, Victoria in a four tonne Blitz, with parts and tyres for the machinery building Portland Harbour.

Brian later transferred to Blue Metal & Gravel, repairing engines, gearboxes and differentials.

He went to Charleville via Brisbane to start working for Jim Picket, who had a contract delivering mail from Charleville to Tambo via the Ward Road. When the shearers strike occurred in the mid 1950s, shearers would slash tyres to prevent wool getting to the sales in Brisbane, but couldn't touch Jim's trucks as they were the Queens mail.

He then commenced with Darcy Heieman (SWF) driving an R line International with a Black Diamond motor, carting wool. Road taxes were enforced then within the state, so they used to border hop to Tweed Heads to avoid tax inspectors.

Returned to Sydney to drive for Stephcon running to Cairns in an F600 V8, carting general freight. Cedric Abood was next, driving an S Model Bedford, running interstate. Brian's first big diesel was a Thornycroft 120 hp with five speed crash box and bogey trailer, carting copper from Port Kembla to Brisbane, back-loading grain and produce from Gatton and the Granite Belt. He next had a Foden 150HP (called Mark Anthony) with a 12 speed Epicycle box. It became the first of its kind, a two stroke Foden 175hp,12-speed Epicycle gearbox,and air change single drive. Cedric built the trailer with a 10 foot 6 inch spread, New Way Suspension with BPW Axles.

Brian then commenced with John L Pierce, driving a B Model Mack with the first of its kind Freighter Hydraulic Spread Adjustable trailer. Their first fully imported Kenworth, powered 318hp GM, 12 speed Spicer on Torsion bar, with an American Trailmobile trailer.Carted CSRbuilding materials to North Queensland, back-loading from Mt Garnet.He also carted Bulk fuel from Melbourne to Canberra,Royal Doulton Potteryfrom Sydney toBrisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.Parts of the Newell Hwy and Nullarbor Plain were still dirt.

Then Blue Circle SouthernCement, carting Flyash and Cement throughout NSW& Interstate. Boral merged; Brian later moved in the office as OH&S officer and later retired in June 2007, with over 50 years in the Transport industry.

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