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Year: 2016

William Joseph Bourke (Bill) is 78 years old in 2016. Born and raised in Yarrawonga young Bill left school wanting to drive trucks. His first job was at GE Judd & Sons on road works. Once he got his licence Bill drove weekends and wet times for Cyril Weygood in an R190 International and later a 1956 V8 Ford. His first big interstate trip was to Thargomindah in Queensland carting drought cattle from Nockatirnga Station to Boorara Station in late 1950's. There was no air conditioning in the truck then.

His next job was at Cobram for Mike Lanitis carting fruit to Queen Victoria Market (the main wholesale market for Victoria) in a 1956 V8 Ford and later an R7 Commer with single axle strap trailer. All freight was hand lifted lifted on and off as forklifts were rare. In 1961 Bill purchased a second hand 1956 Ford tip truck to work on first by pass from Chiltern to Barnawartha on the new Hume Highway which was, at the time, one way lane north and south.

When the credit squeeze hit and there was no truck work, Bill went up to the Snowy Mountains and got a job driving between Cabramurra and Khancoban at Camp Ogilvy's. He drove a Leyland Hippo and a Scammell on roadworks. Bill later drove for East Coast Transport (ECT) Sydney to Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide. After ECT were taken over by Mayne Nickless Bill drove an ERF powered by a 220 Cummins RTO Road Ranger, an FR700 6 cylinder Mack and a White Road Commander with a Cummins vT903.

While Bill was driving an FR700 Mack the company took part in a survey for the Federal Government's Australian Road Research Board. Meters were fitted for to measure fuel used and the tyre wear on loads of 16 tons, 20 tons, 30 tons. On completion new laws were passed allowing increased loading.

After an accident Bill had to stop driving for a time. He started again with EW Days Oaklands carting BP Fuel to Hay, Tumut, Narrandera, Sydney in a cab over Kenworth with V8 892 TTA.

Bill Bourke finished his driving career at Judd &Sons, the same Company he started driving with. He carted road base to towns by passed by new Hume Freeway including the Euroa bypass and Wangaratta to Bowser Bentons Hill and around Springhurst, Bamawartha, and Wodonga. Congratulations to Bill on his induction into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame.

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