Michael Donlon was born in 1946 in a city but raised in the country. Entertainment was to be with his mates in Wangaratta and watch the trucks travel on the old Hume Highway. Conversations and trips with local truckers cemented Micks lifelong interest in the road transport industry.
Mick married Tricia in 1972 and together they ran M & P Donlon Transport. They have seven children with one son in the industry. Trucking has been his life.
Micks working life in Melbourne began in International spare parts with Brooklands in the 1960s. In 1970 he bought his first truck, an International AB164 and his second in 1977, an International D1810.
Sub-contracting both metropolitan and interstate, Mick learnt the road transport industry from the old school. Mateship and networking helped keep the job sustainable. Trips included carting a James Bond Lotus car from Sydney to Melbourne and a tank with waste from the zoo to keep the trees alive in Melbourne during the drought of the 1980s.
Mick enjoyed taking his children with him on the road and later Tricia drove two-up with him. He contracted to numerous companies over the 45+ years including Brambles, FleetXPress, Spargo Swiney and K & S Freighters to name a few carting everything from steel to plastic. Mick drove interstate in the 1980s when local work was not available hauling tippers with grain, potatoes and general freight. He had a head on collision during this time.
As work dictated Mick upgraded and the first if two Accos were bought. Donlon Transport was incorporated in 1996 and in 2002 he bought his first DAF a CF75. A second DAF CF85 was purchased in 2004 and another CF75 in 2005.
Mick purchased an additional 4.5 and 8 tonne trays for magazines and newspapers before the print media became digital. Finally he bought an Isuzu compactor for removing stable waste for mulch.
After a 45 year career that has seen major changes in the industry, truck technology, workplace safety and chain of responsibility retirement now beckons Mick.