There's a saying that real truckies are people who love engines and can tell by the throb of it what size and make it is. The legendary Dean McBride, by that criteria alone, was a real truckie. He knew every one of his trucks by the sound it made.
Dean was involved in trucking his whole life. As a youngster he practiced driving his dad's Chev 4 before starting work driving an old Ford for a road gang. He lasted at this job for three years and ended up driving tippers before he bought his own truck in 1962 to run interstate. Dean initially ran Adelaide-Brisbane and later took on the Sydney-Perth run when the Nullarbor was little more than a rough, dusty, corrugated track.
After a few trips up the 'Old South Road' between Adelaide and Darwin, Dean and wife Carleen threw tradition to the wind when they moved to Alice Springs and built a road-train business with Ford trucks. Dean had his first taste of the Territory in 1972 in a 160 Cummins powered Inter carting cars for Gulf Transport. He went on to run the 'Old South Road' between Adelaide and Darwin for ten years, including as a subbie for McDonald Transport.
The McBride fleet grew to include 21 prime-movers, 100 flat-tops and over 32 dollies. It was a family business in every sense of the word, being well and truly a full time job for Dean, Carleen and their two sons Darren and Tim.`McBride's core business was unloading general freight from the rail-head in Alice Springs and carting it in their road-trains to Darwin, usually as a sub-contractor to TNT. Dean's trucks had the enviable reputation of being the best looking and best maintained on the road. Drivers put their names down for jobs and usually had to wait for someone to retire before they got it.
Dean McBride played an active role for the industry in both S.A. and N.T. He is a life member of the Northern Territory Road Transport Association and has always been an avid supporter of the National Road Transport Hall of Fame, where he was inducted to the Wall of Fame.
I first met Dean when I visited him in Morgan to do a three year club inspection of his 1954 Ford tray top truck. He and his wife of 58 years had moved there permanently to retire around 13 years ago.
After doing the paper work and an interesting chat he showed me his purpose built 'memory room' where he had on display many photo's, posters etc of his former personal and business life. His great love was 'anything Ford', with a couple of large models of his road trains in glass cases, other smaller models and a good collection of Ford touring race cars and memorabilia.
Dean passed on a few days after his 81st birthday, and although no longer with us, he still has a presence in that room, as his ashes are there alongside those of his beloved dog.
Back in June 1989 a mate and I walked into "McBrides" yard in Alice Springs, looking to pull spanners.....nothing doing, however after some humorous banter with Dean McBride, he picked up the phone and rang a mate. We got a heads up and we both started elsewhere the next day . Loved his LTL's and Fruehauf gear, always looked tidy.
Ta for the post Tacho
"Gotta long way to go and a short time to get there....."
Met Dean only about 18mths ago, and have been shown through the "shrine". Was always tricky to catch up with him, as he was usually flat out with Meals on Wheels .... seems ya couldn't get him away from anything involving wheels.
He was quite keen to come on the Renmark run with us, but started feeling a bit crook so he pulled out.
Be it firearms or V8 engines, the question is not "why should you have them?"
, but "who are you to demand that I justify them?"