Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.
Kenneth (Ken) Zippel was born in farming community of Horsham (Victoria) in March 1939 just as World War Two was about to make its mark on the world, and the Australian road transport industry. It was tough times on the family farm and young Kenneth grew up helping out where-ever he could. In 1965 he purchased an old Commer truck for $1600 which he used for farm business. However, in 1972, with a downturn in the economy and the farm not meeting ends, it became necessary for Ken to look for additional income. He took on the local distributorship for Liquid Air and used his old farm truck, a 1953 Commer to make deliveries. It was twenty years old but stood up to the task.
Liquid air is air that has been cooled to cryogenic temperatures (low) so that it condenses into a pale blue mobile liquid. To protect it from room temperature, it must be kept in a vacuum insulated flask or cylinder. Liquid air absorbs heat rapidly and reverts to its gaseous state. It is used for condensing other substances into liquid and/or solidifying them and as an industrial source of nitrogen, oxygen, argon, and other inert gases.
Ken's first deliveries were in and around the Horsham area including to Stawell, Ararat, Beaufort and Ballarat. Within a year business had grown to such an extent that a second truck was necessary. In 1973 Ken purchased a D-series Ford tray truck and commenced delivery runs throughout country Victoria. It was at this time he employed his first driver, Dennis Ryan. Dennis remained working for Ken Zippel for the next 30 years until the business was wound up.
In 1976, after setting up a depot in Sunshine, Ken serviced the whole of country Victoria and the Riverina. In 1988 Kenneth also took over the Metropolitan delivery contract for Liquid Air. During this time Ken designed and developed a a special tray that enabled the driver to load and unload cylinders from the kerb.Over the years Ken built up a long-standing relationship with Liquid Air with his reliability and ability to meet demanding schedules. His fleet consisted of 21 trucks including Sterling, International and Isuzu. His fleet was joined by a Kenworth which was purchased only three weeks prior to his passing.
Ken never married but regarded his drivers as his family who remember him well. A tribute to his memory is his old Commer which now has on it a motel room and is situated at Old Dadswell Town on the Western Highway in Victoria. Ken Zippel passed away in 2003.