Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.
Robert Leslie Cosgrove was born in Roma, Queensland in 1942, the third youngest of a family of twelve. He never enjoyed the prospect of school, instead he spent as much time as possible travelling with his father, Les Cosgrove, on a contracted mail run that took him away from home for weeks at a time. It was on one those return trips that Bob sat behind the wheel, barely peeping over the top and brought home load after load of mixed goods from the outlaying stations.
As Bob grew older he went to cart wood out in the mulga, quite some distance from Roma. He would stay out there till it was cut and loaded. Bob left Roma when he was offered a job with Western Transport of Toowoomba where he drove a B61 237 hp Thermo dyne Mack. He left and joined Lambs Transport in Brisbane in 1965. He mainly did the Melbourne run, then onto Sydney and back to Melbourne. Sometimes he was gone for a week or two. There were no bunks in those days.
From there it was into a job with Prices Transport driving a new DCO International, the first of its kind in Australia, also the first with a bunk! He also drove one of their B Models for a while till the new truck arrived. It had a logo of a Kangaroo on its doors with Be a jump ahead with Prices Transport. From there he moved to Sydney to work for Howard Bros and later for Brambles Bulk Haulage at Silverwater where he won Driver of the Year for two years in a row.He was then offered a job at Tipping Bros, a heavy haulage company that moved giant equipment to the mines.He took a transformer to Mt. Newman for Envirotech on behalf of Mobil Oil. This was done under police escort to Nyngan, then pilot cars the rest of the way to Adelaide. Guide posts were taken out of the bridge at Wilcannia to fit through. Many a big yellow dump truck was taken, with the tyres off in those days. A dirt road was cut and widened to get the truck and a huge crane through and over a river. Sinking into the red bulldust and getting bogged was part of the norm.
Bob then started his own business delivering soft drinks on a route run for Shelly's Ecks and delivered the first bottle of Perrier water into the finest restaurants in Australia. Times passed Bob moved to the Gold Coast where he bought a boat hire business. He still retained a prime mover in Sydney, which eventually took him back onto the open roads. In his latter years he went to work for his son, doing allocations for three years. Not only did he teach his son to drive but another two drivers whom are still with the business today.
Robert Cosgrove did his last run in the November of 2008 and died in the June 2009. He was buried in a casket (which he chose) painted up with his beloved B61 Mack. It was a great tribute to him, that on the day of the funeral a convoy escorted him to the cemetery. His wife used to joke she could hold his funeral in a telephone box. How wrong she was. His business associates and the staff that worked with him over the years still speak fondly of him and the mechanics still admire the cog they especially made up into a small memorial for the lunch room. Many of Cosgroves drivers today testify that Bob often keeps them company on their long journeys around this beautiful country.