Vale Merv Blinman
22nd April 1929 – 14th December 2018
Merv Blinman was the owner of Caringbah Interstate Haulage which operated from sometime in the 50’s to the 1980’s.
Merv was a top bloke and top payer until late in the day when let down by accounting staff. This was also the case with John L Pierce at one stage. Beware of accountants.
I worked for him in the mid seventies during the time of the South Australian rego schemes which ultimately were one of the main factors leading to the abolition of road tax.
When I worked for him he had regular loading between Sydney and all the capitol cities and most of the whistle stops in Australia.
Merv was not scared of testing the carrying capacity of his fleet. My first trip for him Sydney to Melbourne while Marulan was shut would have made a scalies eyes water. My heaviest gross weight was nearly 60 tons and 14 feet (4.3) meters wide.
North Queensland loading was mostly CSR Sugar mill freight. Loading out of the north was limited, a little bit of timber, plywood, some tin, copper from Townsville, scrap, hides and stinkers.
Most of this was controlled by John L Pierce, TTS, TNT, NQX and Sims by the mid 70’s. Previously it had been held by Blair and Reiber, TNT, Burns Philp and Cairns Transport Terminal.
Then came the saving freight. Bananas from Tully and surrounds. These had previously always gone by rail but now production and handling outstripped QR’s ability to service the growers who seemed to grow nearly as fast as weeds in a cane paddock. Merv bought out a small transport agency in Tully to get the freight and it was on. We carted the bloody things over two meters high two rows over the gates somewhere between 1700 and 1800 cartons, every last one loaded and off loaded by hand. They went to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and then by train to Perth. Some loads went to Perth by road but not many. I still won’t eat the things.
Merv helped many subbies stay on the road; he would pay for major repairs and then take it out of the freight a bit at a time.
Hundreds if not thousands of drivers must have worked for him over the years. He was a very fair boss and the only thing I know against him was the sacking of a driver for losing or pilfering two ingots of tin. The tin was later found in another employee’s garage along with a large quantity of stolen fruit juice.
Merv assisted many people in his life and should be remembered as a kind and generous person. After the sale of Caringbah he ran a cab for a while, then a beauty therapy business with his wife Narelle and finally a school bus in Yass.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dave_64, PaulFH
I know nothing about Caringbah haulage except that they owned a 1964 Peterbilt.
This copy of a photo was handed to me a while back and I was told it was taken by Merv Blinman. I was also told the truck is now in Queensland with a tipper on and a hideous homemade grille. A shame....