Don Rhodes Mining Museum

Don Rhodes Mining Museum

The museum bearing the name of Don Rhodes commemorates a pioneering figure in the mining and transport industries of the Pilbara region. Don Rhodes played a pivotal role in these sectors and is credited with overseeing the construction of the first modern Australian-built roadtrain.

During his work on manganese leases, Rhodes initially employed various trucks manufactured in England. However, these trucks proved insufficient for the demands of the task at hand. In response, he enlisted his chief engineer, Harold Ridley, to conceive and construct the 70-ton Rhodes Ridley roadtrain. Completed in 1958, this innovative rig had the capacity to transport the company’s 100-ton crushing plants.

Despite its impressive capabilities, the government of the time refused to grant a license for the Rhodes Ridley, preventing its operation on designated roads. Consequently, the roadtrain had only covered a modest distance of 3,000 miles (4,800 km) before it was compelled to retire.