Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2010.
John Backman, born 8th May 1952, is the owner-operator of a small fleet operating as Backman Transport, carting livestock and bulk haulage, based in Esperance WA.
At the age of 16 in 1968, with an extraordinary licence due to hardship, John started his lifelong career carting grain, bagged fertiliser and livestock on the family farm in Esperance with a petrol Bedford 300, 18ft tray truck. He purchased his first truck in 1972, a Dodge 760 series, 361 V8 petrol, with a 35ft triple deck sheep, one deck cattle convertible trailer carting stock from Esperance to Perth.
The next truck was a second-hand 1418 Mercedes bought to service the demand for livestock carting 1974-1978. “The greatest prime-mover any truckie could ever have.” John’s favourite truck would be the 1996 Topline T143 Scania Anniversary model, largely modified to his own specifications, for the harsh conditions. This was the 14th Scania that he had bought, always pulling six decks, sometimes seven decks, up in the north west of Western Australia, Northern Territory, and north western Queensland in all types of unpredictable road conditions.
It has done 1.7 million klms, 22 000 engine hours and other than a few basic cosmetics the engine is still original and is still in the fleet today in 2010. Over the years John had one Bedford, one Dodge, one 1418 Mercedes, 14 Scanias and four Kenworths. He has a reputation of always being on time, and very reliable. John has a unique personality that puts people at ease, always willing to share his experience and knowledge with other drivers, providing an honest and professional service over many years.
The highlight of John’s trucking life was in 1998 when he bought his first 7 deck roadtrain pulled by a Caterpillar-powered T950 Kenworth and it was so good he soon after purchased another T950 Kenworth.