Daimler Truck and Bus has paid tribute to industry icon, John McCarroll who has died at his Shepparton home nearly a year after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Mr McCarroll, known by most as ‘Johno,’ was a much-respected member of the Victorian trucking industry for nearly half a century, maintaining and selling trucks in the Shepparton region and recently played a key role in the Australian Freightliner Cascadia test program.

Daimler Truck and Bus Australia Pacific president and CEO, Daniel Whitehead, sent his condolences to Mr McCarroll’s wife Carmel and their sons Patrick and Jamie.

“Johno was a true icon of the industry and the Shepparton region for good reason. In addition to all his charity work and community service, he worked extremely hard to look after his customers and keep them on the road,” Mr Whitehead says. “He was simply a great person, who cared about others and he will be sorely missed,” he adds.

Such was his impact on the region, the Shepparton transport community last month held a drive-by tribute that included a convoy of more than 100 trucks rolling past Mr McCarroll’s home.

Mr McCarroll started his career as a mechanic at Mercedes-Benz truck dealership Mid Star Motors in Shepparton in 1972, before working for a transport company and then Jones Truck Repairs, which would later become Hartwigs.

He rose to the role of branch manager and became a shareholder in the business before selling it and opting for ‘retirement’ at the age 60. It didn’t last long and Mr McCarroll did a range of different transport odd jobs before being called on to be involved in the testing program for the new Freightliner Cascadia.

Mr McCarroll had long links to Freightliner, carrying out servicing on the first Freightliner model sold in Australia, the FLC, when he was at Jones Truck Repairs.

He drove one of two ‘camo’ Cascadia test units five days a week from July 2018 until he became ill late last year. Mr McCarroll said it was a job that he enjoyed immensely.

“Johno was a great advocate for our brand and he made a major contribution to the introduction of the new Freightliner Cascadia with his test driving role,” says Freightliner Australia Pacific Director, Stephen Downes. “We know his loss will be felt deeply by his family and his many friends across the industry, including many of us here at Daimler,” he adds.