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News headings from LabourStart

Pat McKenna first joined the TWU in 1964

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One of the best things that happened to Pat McKenna during more than 50 years of driving trucks was meeting up with a bloke named Bob Hancock.

Pat, then only in his 20s was working as a subbie for Skippers where Bob was a two-way controller. Back then the company was owned and run by the Williams family.

Pat already had a few years driving under his belt having got his start with local ceilings and plasterboard manufacturer HB Brady.

He’d also done a stint as a subbie with Frank Manford one of WA’s early freightforwarders. That was back in 1964 and where he first joined the TWU.

All good experience for a young man going somewhere and his future as an owner-driver was virtually set for years to come after a call out of the blue from Bob Hancock.

Bob had left Skippers to start his own business under the banner of Harbour Haulage.

The business took off and the Hancocks later bought out Josephs Transport and then Container Cargo Specialists (CCS) – who are now one of the best established truckers in WA – and one of the best to work for.

They must be because Pat McKenna subbied for them for almost 20 years. Pat is a top operator himself and would never work for mugs.

Bob and Troy Hancock run a family style business which suited Pat whose sons also subbied for the Fremantle firm for many years. Troy McKenna stayed for 15 years and his brother Wayne is still with CCS.

Interestingly Bob’s son Troy and Troy McKenna are good mates and were born just eight weeks apart.

“Bob Hancock is the best transport operator I ever worked for”, said Pat.

“You could go and have a grumble with him and put your case. Bob would think things over and give you his answer – one way or the other. You always knew where you stood with Bob.”

Pat says the transport industry has provided a good living for him and his family but having celebrated 72 years he is ready to put his feet up.

He has sold two of his trucks but gets a bit bored now and then and does the odd trip or two in his beloved Ford Louisville LTL. He’s had the old girl for 21 years and hasn’t been able to part with her.

The old Ford and his wife Margaret are the loves of his life and he says Marg has enjoyed having him around the house a bit more often – which says a lot about the couple who have been together for 53 years.

Pat says he enjoys a few ice cold ales on a hot day and does plan to take things a bit easier. If anyone has done his bit and earned a rest it is Pat.

We salute Patrick McKenna – trucking legend.

Pat McKenna first joined the TWU in 1964