Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.
Don Bradford started in the transport industry in 1956 when he became a diesel mechanic for Nubley Bros Transport. When he turned 18 he started driving for them as a casual. By the time he was 21 Don was working for Darby Transport carting coal from South Bulli mine to the Port Kembla coal loader. Not surprisingly, given the thick black coal dust involved in coal loading, Don soon earned himself the nickname 'Blackie'.
Don went on to purchase a Diamond T and tipping trailer to carry coal for Clutha Development to the coal loader. He later purchased a Volvo F86 which he operated for the next three years before upgrading to an F700 Mack and later an R600 Mack which appeared on the cover of Trucking Life magazine.
When Citizens Band (CB) radios became available in the mid 1970s their use was deemed illegal for road transport operators despite the obvious safety advantages of radio communications. The authorities feared their use would alert truck drivers to enforcement activities reducing resultant revenue. This did not prevent most truck drivers, including Don Bradford, fitting CB radios in their trucks. The Department of Transport and Communications took action against a defiant industry arresting operators and confiscating CB radios from trucks. In 1976 the industry decided to take action. Don helped found the Illawarra CB Radio Association which fought to legalise Citizen Band radios.
Convoys of trucks clogged the roads around the Wollongong courthouse where offenders were detained and one of Australia's first major protest blockades occured in Mt. Ousley. Eventually Don and his mates formed the United Transport Owners Association and took a convoy to blockade the N.S.W. Parliament for five days. Their actions forced an inquiry into the industry and the right to use CBs was won. Don Bradford went on to work tirelessly promoting the industry including initiating his first truck show in 1982 at Illawarra. Just a year later Don formed Bradford Transport with a single cab-over Kenworth and a flat top trailer. The fleet soon grew to include 13 prime-movers including eight Kenworths, three LTL Fords, two Western Stars and 17 assorted trailers.
In 2005 Don Bradford sold his last truck and retired. He continues to support the industry and selected charities by putting together events and reunions for Illawarra truck drivers. Don has given freely to the road transport industry and well deserves his place on the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame.