Owen started his working life operating bulldozers for forestry and logging operations in New Zealand. From 1978 to 1988 Owen, wife Trish and their family lived and worked in Fiji, Australia, Solomon Islands, then settled back in Australia.
Owen and Trish started RINGROSE TRANSPORT and subcontracted around the highways of Australia with an old Flintstone Mack, an ex-logging truck brought back from Fiji. Later he purchased a Mack Valueliner and flat top trailer and subcontracted out of Brisbane. This led to an opportunity in Mount Isa. Seeing a need for a reliable transport service in the Gulf, and at the request of the communities and station owners, Owen and Trish relocated their business permanently.
Owen and Trish operated RINGROSE TRANSPORT in Mount Isa from 1998 until 2017. During those years, they provided freight services carrying groceries and general rural supplies to communities and properties in the Gulf of Carpentaria (Qld) and Barkly Tablelands (NT) regions. RINGROSE TRANSPORT could be relied upon to get the essential goods regularly delivered on time. Initially that meant delivering through some tough conditions with bull dust in the dry seasons and mud and flooded roads in the wet, often having to coordinate deliveries via plane and boat.
Using his broad mechanical knowledge and ingenuity Owen often came to the rescue of stranded tourists, business owners and station people. RINGROSE TRANSPORT also donated time and use of equipment to many regional events.
By 2011 RINGROSE TRANSPORT had grown to a fleet of 6 road trains - all Macks with a combination of trailers (fridge vans, flat tops and curtainsider). The fleet would leave Mount Isa every week on Tuesday, returning on Friday. It was rare that Owen was not behind the wheel of his own Mack. Trish would manage the yard, handling freight and accounts, in preparation for the next week of deliveries.
Owen was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2002, giving him two years to live. In 2015 he was diagnosed with a tumour on his liver that gave him 24 hours to live. Big Rigs ran a story Too busy to die, mate. That was Owen's way. Always active, with his own unique blend of determination, positivity and humour! A true legend!