Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.
Bruce Cleasby was born in August 1935 in Toodyay Western Australia, son to William Cleasby and Lilith Elfeda, brother to Desmond Cleasby. Bruce never married and has no children. He has made trucking his life. At 77 years of age and he still trucking in Toodyay.
Bruce's father and brother operated their own transport businesses in the early part of last century; his father operated in the region in the 1930's. Bruce started out in the industry at the age of 18 working for a local farmer driving a 1949 Austin 5 ton truck delivering bagged grain to the railways. Bruce then went on to work for the local wood mill driving heavy duty off road trucks including the ex-army NR Macks with a top speed of 27 miles per hour.
In 1960 Bruce started his own carrying business with a 1949 petrol Morris Commercial five tonner which he used to haul all forms of freight including grain and wool to the local railway and general round the district. In 1962 he started carting bagged fertiliser from Perth to Toodyay, carrying out two trips a day of around 50 miles one way. The same year, his first diesel powered truck, a 1948 Albion CX3, was purchased. The Albion could carry 10-11 ton and made a big difference to his payload.
In 1962 both trucks were registered to carry all classes of freight within a 40 mile radius of Perth. In 1965 the Albion was decommissioned and replaced with an Albion HD53. Bruce's petrol powered Morris was set up to cart bulk fertiliser. Soon after another Morris flat top was purchased. In 1967 the Albion HD53 was traded in on a 1965 four cylinder Albion Chiefton. In 1998 both Morris trucks were discontinued and a 1970 TK Bedford purchased.
Bruce's fondest memories are of the long hauls carting railway sleepers from Bunbury WA to Whyalla S.A. and backloading steel to Dampier in the far North of Western Australia. Bruce particularly loved the challenge of carting agricultural equipment throughout the state. In 1969 Bruce broke down on the Nullarbor and was out of action for three weeks at a place called Ivy Tanks.- a failed gearbox bearing was the start of a long repair with the only form of communication being the Royal Flying Doctor Service and with Bruce as the chief mechanic. It was three weeks of his life he won't forget in a hurry.
The Cleasby family was presented a certificate of appreciation for their service to the primary producers from The Western Australian Farmers Federation. Bruce remains an integral part of the Avon Valleys Transport Industry and is well known and respected in the trucking industry.