“I WORKED the Snowy twice. The second time I was driving a Euclid, hauling rock. I headed up there with six quid to my name. The aeroplane fare was £5.10 shillings to Cooma. The bus fare out to the job was nine bob. I arrived with a shilling to my name.
“I put my stuff in a room and they sent me down to the site to meet with the foreman. He said, ‘You’re here for a truck driving job, yeah? Take that one over there’, pointing to the Euclid. I said ‘I can’t drive one of those mate’. He said, ‘You’re a truck driver aren’t you?’ I said ‘well I think I am, sort of’.
“There was a bloke walking past and he yelled out ‘hey Vince, take this useless bastard out and see if he can drive’. So Vince takes me for a couple of laps around the site and to be perfectly honest with you, it had me bluffed.
“I put about four hours into it and then we went back to the boss who asked Vince how I was going.
“Vince replied that he thought I would be all right if they left me to it. I breathed a bloody great sigh of relief!
“After about three days I was well used to it and had a lot of fun. I had a couple of trucks but I never did any good out of them.
“I had a 190, then a Kenworth. In the early days you would never see an overweight truck driver. Everything was hand loaded. If you did happen across a forklift you’d think all your Christmases had come at once.
“That loading and unloading was considered our downtime. From that point of view when I reminisce I don’t call them the good old days.”