ICONS of the Industry Russell (Roadway) Norman
Russell Norman was born in Geelong on 11/06/1948. He and his wife Colleen, have been stalwarts of the trucking industry for over 50 years. Russell first developed an interest in the industry as a young boy when he would help his father deliver fresh produce from Drysdale to Melbourne. When he was old enough, his father took him to the local police station to get his drivers license where the police officer wasn't impressed, stating he'd seen Russell driving for at least twelve months prior! Obtaining a Heavy Vehicle licence 'back in the day' required driving around the block without hitting anything; Russell maintains that this is still a key for success in the industry.
Starting out as a driver with Nash's Transport hauling concrete, Russell soon became an owner-operator, his first truck purchase being an early model International and single-axle flatbed combination used for hauling general cargo, however once he got his hands on a cab-over Kenworth he has remained a Kenworth man to this day. His loyalty to the brand even once cost him the opportunity to trial-run T-Line Internationals in his fleet.
During the 'Razorback Blockade' of 1979, Russell instigated the blockade at Little River which cut off all routes between Geelong and Melbourne. Within 24hrs of flagging down his first truck, he had a blockade of over 215 trucks, seriously impacting on local businesses.
There are few highways in Australia that Russell hasn't travelled and fewer still on which a truck bearing his distinctive 'Roadway' branding hasn't travelled; FORD motor company components between Melbourne and Brisbane, BHP steel from Whyalla/Newcastle/Wollongong, mangoes from Bowen to East coast markets, fresh chicken from Geelong to Adelaide, OD mining equipment from Latrobe Valley to Kalgoorlie, Carpet from Geelong to Perth; you name it he has safely hauled it across this great country, he's even pulled trailers of gymnasts during the annual Gala street parade in Geelong.
Together, Russell and Colleen have raised 6 children and inspired three sons and one daughter to also obtain heavy vehicle licenses. They are now active, proud grandparents and continue to run their own small fleet of Kenworth trucks.