Pickering Transport veteran remembers days gone by

By: Peter Schlenk, Photography by: Peter Schlenk

Tubby Gibson has noticed significant changes in the life of the truck driver over the years.

Pickering Transport veteran remembers days gone by
This 1942 model Dodge was the first truck Pickering Transport founders Ted and George Pickering owned


Spend almost 50 years in the one industry and you’re bound to notice a number of changes.

Just ask Tubby Gibson, who works for well-known freight operator Pickering Transport Group.

Pickering is synonymous with the Murray River, with depots in Adelaide, Mildura, Robinvale, Swan Hill, Kerang, Bendigo, Shepparton, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Tubby started driving trucks in 1966 and joined Pickering’s 35 years ago as its Melbourne depot manager.

Tubby says the life of a driver has undergone huge changes in that time.

When he transferred to Pickering’s Mildura depot, drivers would still go out and load their own truck, tarp it down, and drive to the Melbourne markets.

"Nowadays, 90 per cent of the trucks are loaded for them, they just open the curtains. The manual labour has gone out of it now," Tubby told Owner//Driver when it caught up with him at the Mildura Historical Truck and Tractor Show.

"Back in the ‘good old days’ you were much fitter and you were more resilient to accidents. You wouldn’t leave home without an extensive tool box, torch and a few spare parts. You would patch it up one way or another.

"Now they are steering wheel attendants and are not allowed to touch anything, because everything is computerised and the tyres are changed for them".

Tubby started driving trucks in his teens and worked for his father before joint Lake Boga Transport in 1980 and then moving over to Pickering’s, where he as worked in operational and sales roles.

The industry veteran had a number of vehicles on display at the Historical Truck and Tractor Show, including the first truck Ted and George Pickering owned: a 1942 Dodge.

Read Tubby Gibson’s story in the September edition of Owner//Driver. Click here to guarantee your copy now.

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