M'boro truckie spends 37 years and millions of miles on road
MARYBOROUGH'S Neville Meyers drove millions of kilometres over the 37 years he worked for Richers Transport.
As a 35-year-old who just wanted a steady job, Mr Meyers did the milk run every morning.
He transported bottles of milk from the Maryborough factory for Richers Transport, delivering across the area, but he wanted full-time work.
In exchange for purchasing the milk run from the company, he was offered a full-time job at Richers in June, 1982, gaining permanent employment along with his semi-trailer licence.
Mr Meyers thought he would just drive locally, but there were much bigger plans - and longer trips - in store for him.
He was told to get a log book and to head off to Brisbane.
When Hyne started work at Tuan, interstate deliveries started, with Mr Meyers' first trip being to a depot in Sydney.
Not knowing the city, the first visit was difficult and he got lost.
"I don't know if I ended up in Kings Cross or Alexandria, but it was a busy area," Mr Meyers said.
The first man he asked for directions didn't speak English, while the next was a tourist from the United States.
"I ended up getting back in the truck and I ended up going around and around in circles and I eventually found the place myself," he said.
Thankfully on his return trip, some kids pointed him in the direction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and told him how to get out of the city.
Mr Meyers has been to every capital city on the mainland, all while driving a Richers truck.
He made a round trip to Perth by himself on one of his most challenging journeys.
Growing up on a small dairy farm in Tiaro, Mr Meyers couldn't have imagined seeing so much of Australia.
He worked on his parent's dairy farm while growing up before being hired to do the milk run.
Over the years he has transported timber, potatoes, watermelons and general freight - and he never lost a load.
He has experienced a couple of jack-knifes on his long journeys, but always made it come safely.
Mr Meyers has seen more than his fair share of bad driving during his career.
The worst behaviour he has seen regularly on the road is drivers speeding up in overtaking lanes.
Over the years he has also seen the road rules change and get stricter and conditions have changed for the better in his role too.
Truckies now have to rest more frequently, making their work safer.
He doesn't have any idea how many kilometres he has racked up over the years but, as he celebrated his retirement this week, Richers gave him a moving gift - a replica of a Richers truck with an estimation of how far he has driven in his career.
The total was 6.5 million kilometres.
Every day was a different adventure, with Mr Meyers travelling far and wide delivering different loads.
One long trip out to the Nullarbor in the Northern Territory stands out in his memory. He was working with a partner and they had to go off-road, across rivers and through the dirt to get there.
"I can tell you I was pleased when I was back on the bitumen," he said.
The long hours away from his children were tough.
"You're usually away for the full week," he said.
"I used to come home once every fortnight."
On those long hours of driving, Mr Meyers listened to a lot of radio, tuning into the ABC and John Waters' show.
He also had plenty of chats with other truckies through the CB radio, where he was referred to as Milko in honour of his dairy farming days.
In fact, many people didn't even know his real name.
One of his favourite parts of his job was that it allowed him to stay connected to the land that he had grown up on and loved.
He never got bored with seeing the countryside.
He had a few breakdowns while trucking across the countryside during his career but thankfully never too far from help.
He is recognised as a legend within the company and was inducted into the Transport Hall of Fame in Gatton.
He has watched Richers grow in size and stature in that time.
Mr Meyers said his longevity in the business was due to liking the job and the company he worked for.
Now he has retired, he intends to spend more time with loved ones, tend to his vegie garden and see more of Australia - this time stopping to enjoy destinations rather than just driving through.
Apart from his long career, he is also very proud of his three children, Mitchell, Suzanne and Rochelle, and his seven grandchildren.