The Industry Icon for 2023 was awarded to Bruce McIver during the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame ceremony at the Festival of Transport in Alice Springs last weekend.
Bruce is equally known for his leading role in transport industry organisations as well as his considerable achievements in the heavy transport industry. Bruce was born into, and grew up in a road transport family, starting his career in 1969, aged 19.
After completing a motor mechanic apprenticeship he began as driver and manager of the family business, started by his father Stan and uncle Guy in Queensland.
In the mid-1970s the business began stock crate manufacturing as a side business, designing and manufacturing them at Dalby.
Other subsidiaries of the company included livestock transport, crude oil tankers bulk haulage and road trains. In 1987 Bruce took over the exclusive ownership of the family business.
In 1997 he pioneered the logistics solutions for BHP’s new mine at Cannington in north-west Queensland. The unique road train units developed were dubbed the ICON – Innovative Combinations of the North.
Bruce played a leading role in the development of industry associations in Queensland and Australia. He was a founding president of the Livestock Transport Association of Queensland and founding president of the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) from 1985 to 1991.
Bruce was also one of five founding members of the road transport industry forum later known as the Australian Trucking Association. He also served on several advisory government bodies.
Bruce’s leading role in the establishment of the Transport Industry Association gave him a profile that few, if any transport operators have achieved. After selling his business in 2003 Bruce went into politics. In 2019 he was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for his contribution to politics and the transport industry.
In response to receiving his award, Bruce said: “To stand up here, I have to say when I look at all these people that have been inducted into the Wall of Fame here today, that it is very humbling.
“Because our industry – and I still class it as our industry – even though I sold my business in 2003, has been built on people like those here today. They touch me here and they must touch you there too,” said Bruce with his hand on his heart. “There are many, many people who have been part of my life and of my journey to get here today.
“I’d like to thank all of our staff who worked for us and I’d like to thank the suppliers including this gentleman behind me,” continued Bruce, pointing to Jim Hurley who had presented him with his icon award along with G&S Transport’s Frank Bilota.
“I remember one day in 1984, if my memory is right, that we took delivery of 15 Kenworth SARs in one hit from Brown and Hurley.
“I would also like to thank my family. My darling wife of 53 years this year, who has been with me from the very beginning, my dad and uncle and brother who were involved with the starting of the business and working in it.
“It is indeed a pleasure to come here today to see you all. It’s been a wonderful trip. This award is something very special and I will treasure having been a part of this industry.”