'It gets into your blood': Veteran truckie recognised
FROM the moment Peter Cruse stepped into his first truck as an 18-year-old, he knew it was how he wanted to earn a quid.
The 71-year-old road transport veteran and former Toowoomba resident has been recognised by the industry for his career spanning five decades.
Mr Cruse, who lives in Allora and still drives for Warwick-based Wickham Freight Lines, was inducted into the National Road Transport Hall of Fame in Alice Springs last week.
It was truly love at first drive when the New Zealand expatriate got his heavy transport licence in the 1960s.
"I left school at 15 and went to work in a earth-moving firm and a lot of them would drive machinery," he said.
"When I was 18, I got a heavy transport licence and never looked back.
"Once you start it, it just gets into your blood. I always enjoyed it, and I loved the distance and the fact you're your own boss."
Mr Cruse's favourite run was from Toowoomba to Darwin, which usually took about eight days to complete.
But he said driving trucks was not without its challenges.
"When I first did the Darwin run, there were no air-conditioners in trucks," Mr Cruse said.
"I enjoy the challenges and thinking every situation out. It's not just sitting in a chair and turning a wheel.
"It's all changed now - it's all probably for the better, but for a lot of your career it was just, 'here's your load, get it there as fast as you can'."
Mr Cruse paid tribute to his wife Lynne for supporting his career, saying it took a "special woman" to marry a truckie.