Top honour for retired truckie
RETIRED Warwick truckie Garry "Spud" Murphy has been honoured as one of Australia's great trucking pioneers.
In recognition of almost 50 years on the road, Mr Murphy was inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame on Saturday at Alice Springs.
At the age of 18, Mr Murphy drove his first trucks for Claude Robbins carting bottles for the Manufacturing Bottling Company.
In 1967, he and his wife Bev moved to Moree for two years where he worked for Muusers Brothers.
They then returned to Warwick and bought an AEC Mandator prime mover so he could start a successful career as an owner-driver subcontracting for companies including Bell Bros, Lindsay Bros, Theiss Bros, Gatton Freighters and Brambles Heavy Haulage.
Mr Murphy enjoyed his final six years behind the wheel on the Brisbane-to-Sydney run for Star Trek Express.
He also pulled road trains to the Northern Territory.
Mr Murphy transported grain, cotton, produce, heavy machinery and general freight.
In 2006, he suffered a stroke during an operation for cancer of the oesophagus.
The stroke ended his career as a driver but not his interest in a way of life he had made his own.
"With nearly 50 years on the road behind me, I have made lifelong friends along the way and am still in contact with them," he said.
"I have really fond memories of my time on the road."
Mrs Murphy said her husband enjoyed the Saturday ceremony in Alice Springs, which he attended with family members and friends.
"His life was driving his truck, servicing his truck, and his family," she said.
Shell Transport marketing manager Gavin Corcoran said his company was a proud and long-term sponsor of the National Road Transport Hall of Fame and in particular the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame celebrations.
"It is always such a great experience to come up to Alice Springs and honour the hard work and achievements of the dedicated drivers from the Australian transport sector," Mr Corcoran said.