Leader

There has never been a truly Australian truck, but if one could lend its name to being the closest, it would be Leader. Cyril Anderson, CBE, wrote the first chapter in the Leader story when in 1972 Leader Trucks Australia was established on the Darling Downs in Queensland as part of the Great Western Group. The first of the Leaders to come off the pro duction line were two tandem drive twin-steer trucks for Blue Metal Industries in Sydney. So successful were these two originals, that the company subsequently bought another 60. The Australian construction industry at the time, was screaming for the production of a reliable twin steer truck.

Leader found their niche in the heavy transport market and built as a rigid 4x4 and 6x6 configuration for tray, tipper and agitator applications, they offered new realms of reliability in the rugged world of earth- moving and off-road construction. Leader was the first manufacture to fit Caterpillar engines to trucks, and to fit automatic transmission to diesel trucks in assembly. Leader was also the first truck manufacturer in Australia to offer disc brakes and boasted its components to be 80 percent genuine Australian with only the engine, transmission and steering box imported. By 1980, Leader had sold its 1000th truck in Australia and had also sold to New Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong, The Peoples Republic of China and Indonesia.

Founder, Anderson was no newcomer to the road transport industry. His involvement began in 1934 when he bought a two ton Studebaker truck and started a carrying business between Brisbane and Toowoomba. Quick to realise the potential of the road transport industry even then, he soon purchased another three trucks. His business was called Cyril Anderson Transport which eventually became Western Transport and one of Australia’s greatest transport stories. Western Transport operated over 100 prime-movers and 100 body trucks right across the country. In turn, this developed into part of the Great Western Group of Companies which established Westco Motors and later Westco Truck Sales in Toowoomba. Like so many other Australian success stories, the Leader went off the market for economic reasons in February 1983, by which time 1295 Leader trucks had been assembled and sold from the Toowoomba plant. Westco Truck Sales is still very much operational.

Leader Trucks was a truck-manufacturing company based in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. It was established as an initiative of Cyril Anderson and Western Transport. Nearly 2000 trucks (a wide variety from 4-ton to 250-ton) [1] were manufactured between 1972 and 1984.[2]