Truckie Profiles

Truckie reflects on over 50 years on the road

Veteran truckie and radio presenter Tim Abra, 71, may have just retired from the airwaves but he’s still got many miles on the road ahead of him yet.

Abra became a familiar voice in the Redland City in Brisbane, with his regular country radio show airing on community radio show Bay FM 100.3 for 31 years.

Though his career in trucking extends even further, with over 50 years spent on the road.

For Tim, his foray into trucking started very early on, sparked by a chance encounter with a truck driver in his early teens.

“I was down in Bendigo and saw some trucks parked up, so I jumped in one of the cabs and started talking with the driver – it all just went from there,” he said.

“When I was 15 I used to wag school and go down to Rutlands Transport in Bendigo to wash shitty stock crates. So I learned to drive the trucks around the yard and back them in until I got my licence at 18. Then I spent a few years with Rutlands, carting livestock.”

Originally from Tasmania, Tim spent many years living in Victoria before making the move to Brisbane in the late 1980s, where he currently resides, working for Simon’s National Carriers, based at the Wacol depot.

He’s now been with Simon’s for over 20 years, doing local work throughout Brisbane as well as occasional runs into the regions.

Over the years, Tim has worked in various driving roles including livestock, tankers and general freight, along with a 15-year stint driving tour buses across the country.

“I’ve driven all sorts of trucks, starting out in the Accos and Atkinsons and that sort of stuff. I’m a local bloke now and have cut back to three days a week, so now I’m in Volvos, Macks and Ivecos,” explained Tim.

“I’ve been on the local runs since I started with Simon’s, which I love because you’re home every night. When you get to my age, when the sun goes down, so do I!

“I had lots of different driving jobs in between. When I was driving the tour buses, it was based in Wangaratta and we went to Brisbane, Sydney and occasionally across to Perth. It was that job that brought me here, when I was transferred to Brisbane.”

Tim in the studio. Image: Tim Abra

Thirty-one years ago when Tim started on the radio, he was 40 years old. And as he explained, he’d spent his days on the road and then put together his radio program when he got home.

And up until his last show, he would go into the station with a suitcase full of CDs.

As much as he loved the show, he knew the time was right to give it up.

“I used to do the Sunday morning show. I still miss it but I don’t miss sitting in my room after work preparing for it,” he laughed.

“There are a lot of new people coming through the radio station, I met a new partner and we’ve had a motorhome sitting in the shed for over 12 months, which he haven’t had a chance to use because I’ve had to be home on the weekend for the show.

“It was hard to leave the radio show though. My last show was pretty emotional. All the other presenters came in to help me get through it.”

In addition to a few trips in the motorhome over coming months, Tim is also hoping to make more use of his historic truck collection which includes two early Transtar 4070s, a 1971 big cab Atkinson and an Acco Butterbox among others.

“I try to always attend Lights on the Hill and the Brisbane Convoy for Kids. But now that I have more time, I’m hoping to get to more shows with my old trucks. I can even get one of the old trucks and take them for a run on the weekends now too.”

1 Comment

  1. It was great to see an old mate in your Big Rigs, I’d love to catch up with him we drove together in the Coaches and I also drove Tankers in my time along with lots of interstate driving in my 50 years on the road! I’d love to catch up with him, so could you pass on my details to see if we can meet up some time!

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