Bob Shand, a co-founder of Western Star Trucks, sadly passed away recently. Penske Commercial Vehicles (the current owner of Western Star Trucks) and the heavy equipment industry at large have come together to mourn the passing of one of Australia’s most well respected trucking business figures.
About Bob and Western Star Trucks
Bob, and fellow co-founder Kit Bleakly, established Western Star Trucks in Australia in 1983. They brought the North American brand to Australia by importing heavy duty trucks in kit form from the Western Star factory in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. They then assembled them in their facility in Wacol, QLD – where the company’s headquarters can still be found today.
A lasting legacy
Many of the features of today’s Western Star Trucks were the result of Bob’s work. He aimed to make Western Star’s vehicles the top truck choice in the Australian market. To achieve this, he focused on ensuring the trucks all provided comfort, reliability and strength – and they continue to offer these attractive qualities to a variety of industries today.
Tributes from Penske Commercial Vehicles
Penske Commercial Vehicles wrote about Bob’s passing, saying his “legacy will forever remain” in the company, which “remains indebted to Bob and his work”. He’ll always be remembered for “his unwavering commitment to the customer, as he strove… to deliver a tailored customer experience”. This commitment is an essential part of the brand, even after several major changes within the company; it changed hands twice – first becoming part of Transpacific and then transferring on to Penske Automotive Group.
Penske Commercial Vehicles added: “We will miss him greatly and our deepest sympathies go out to the entire Shand family.”