Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005Les Howard was born in Quirindi on the 26th of January 1933. He started driving trucks at the tender age of 17 to help the family business, R.S. Howard & Sons. The first truck he drove was a 1938 Fargo, running mail and carting wool. Then, it was a KB7 International with a 22 ft single-axle trailer carting livestock and wool around north-west New South Wales and the Hunter Valley. He progressed to an R190 International and then an AA182 International running local and interstate.
Les married Pam in 1961 and they started their own business with a 1959 Bedford J6 and a clamshell loader. He brokered a deal with Elder Smith where he arranged the supply, delivery and air-spreading of bulk super-phosphate and gypsum for the aerial topdressing of grazing country. It was railed to Willow Tree and Les unloaded the rail cars with the clamshell loader and delivered the bulk fertilizer to airstrips that he positioned, dotted along the spurs of the Great Dividing Range, between the Hunter Valley and the north-west slopes and plains.
In 1964 Les began travelling to Newcastle to pick up the fertilizer to improve delivery times, then began loading grain to Newcastle and reloading fertilizer. In 1966 Les registered Howard Haulage Pty Ltd and progressed to become the largest bulk grain carrier in north-west New South Wales. Howard Haulages Pty Ltd currently operates over 50 vehicles carting grain, fertilizer, coal and general freight and has depots in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Newcastle, Tamworth, Gunnedah and Willow Tree.
Les contributed greatly to the road transport industry, both past and present, and there is no doubt the benefit of his contribution will be felt well into the future. Les finally retired in 2000.