Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2003.Jim Cooper started in business as a general carrier in West Otago N.Z., in 1961 with a Leyland Comet truck, one vehicle authority and, he says, a good back and a supportive wife.
During this period road transport ws licensed to one of 11 separate districts in N.Z. allowing travel only up to 35 miles from home because of the competition it gave to the government owned railways. This meant Jim did more work after dark dodging police than he did legally in the daylight.
In February 1972, Jim moved to the Northern Territory and took over Gulf Transport, which at that point, had two depots, one in Alice Springs and one in Darwin. He operated with a fleet of two AEC Mammoth Majors and a Volvo G88, a few very worn trailers and a well-organized opposition called Co-ord Transport. From that time onwards, Gulf Transport, through a series of expansions, consolidations and acquisitions, has now become the Gulf RTA Group operating in excess of 80 roadtrains throughout its diverse operations spreading through all states of Australia, Canada and USA. The Gulf RTA operation includes above ground bulk haulage, underground haulage on mine sites, cattle haulage, service provider and equipment manufacturer producing power trucks and power trailers.
Jim was a founding member of the Northern Territory Road Transport Association and has served tirelessly as the Northern Territory's representative on the various Australian trucking associations including twelve years as director of the Australian Truck Association.
After over 40 years in the industry Jim Cooper can be held as a role model for road transport. He still plays an active part in the industry, is supported by his wife Jenny and has his son Jamie playing a more active role in the business these days. Jim also credits some very dedicated and loyal staff with helping make Gulf RTA and the Jim Cooper name synonymous with outback trucking in Australia.