Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2015
Peter (Berta) Bertacchini was born in Maffra, Victoria on the 15th May 1936.At 20 Peter decided truck driving was for him and he bought a Ford F500 six yard tipper and got a job carting for Ern Cook of Trafalgar. It only lasted for about six weeks when he decided tippers were not for him. He bought himself an R180 International and carted logs from Connors Plains to Heyfield for the next nine years until moving to Melbourne and settling in Knoxfield, a suburb of that city.
Peter continued in the timber industry and by 1996 he worked carting for the Murrundindi sawmills. Here he met Peter Canty and a lifelong friendship ensued. “Candy worked for “Berta” until he bought his own truck. Peter’s hard work ethic and can do attitude soon saw his business grow as people realised to get the job done right they just had to ring Peter Bertacchini. He went on to expand his fleet of trucks to include Diamond Ts, Kenworths, Mercedes Benz, Volvos and Macks. He had 11 trucks and 12 to 14 drivers. Peter was now carting over-dimensional and general freight both locally and interstate. He carted many over-dimensional loads to mining companies in remote area of Queensland and the Northern Territory.
In the late 1970s Peter decided to scale back and keep only four trucks: an R Model Mack, a Valueliner, a Cruiseliner and an F700. He carted glass out of Pilkington’s to Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide, drilling gear for Esso to Barry Beach, conveyor belts for OPC and timber for Stegbar from Melbourne Wharves.
In 1983 Peter married Carmel who became an integral part of Peter’s life not only looking after the home front but in keeping the trucks looking clean and tidy. In the late 1990s Peter worked on alone, still carting OPC’s conveyor belts and Stegbar timber, contracts he held for more than thirty years. In 2002 Peter and Carmel moved back to Heyfield with Peter continuing with his contracts until he retired in 2010.
Peter says the highlight of his career was the men that worked for him as they enabled him to maintain his excellent reputation in the transport industry over the many years both as a driver and fleet owner.