Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005Gilbert was just ten years old when his father, William John Davis (Bill) first started in the transport business in 1925. With a Chev 4 and a trailer he carted his own goods from Adelaide to his store at Tickera. The law wouldn’t allow anyone under the age of 21 to register a business so the firm was registered by Bill’s father and operated as HJ Davies and Son.
Gilbert joined his father in the business at the age of 16 in 1951 followed by his brother Malcolm in 1964 and his son Brenton. Bill retired at 78 and Gilbert continued to drive to Adelaide five days a week.
HJ Davies and Son relocated to Kadina in 1979 and began trading as Davies Transport and more recently as G&M Davies. A six-day a week service provided general freight to Kadina and surrounding areas using a freightliner and two Mercedes Benz trucks. From 1950 to 1975 was a busy period for carting livestock from farms to the abattoirs at Adelaide and Nairne. In 1960 bulk grain haulage began from farms to silos at Wallaroo.
The 1990s saw bulk super unloaded from ships at Wallaroo port into hoppers on trucks and carted to Hi Fert at Kadina. This was a very busy time for truck drivers because of the long hours and the many trucks involved. Bulk super is now delivered direct to storage sheds and farms.
Gilbert’s skills were again utilized in 1992 when, in conjunction with Oster Engineering, a 42 foot Tautliner was built. This eliminated the need to tarp down the general freight.
Gilbert has seen many changes in the transport industry, notably in the size of loads and a decrease in the manual handling. Gilbert was actively involved in the Mid North Carrying Association and served on the committee for ten years..