OLIVER, Jimmy

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2010.

“A ninety went past, a nine year old at the wheel. Sitting on a pillow; half propped on one heel was a young boy. His name was Jimmy Oliver – this is his story”. Born in 1944, Jimmy off-sided early for his father Jack who drove a 1954 AR182 International hauling general freight.

“It kept you warm in winter and hot in summer. In those days you drove as long as you wanted and pulled up to camp anywhere without worry.”

Jimmy’s first trucking job as a “grease gun boy” was in Longreach for his uncle Rob Harris. By the time he was 15 he was driving an R190 International around the back blocks and at 17, once he received his “official” licence he was put to work carting wool to Brisbane and backloading with general. In 1964 Jimmy married Valma Dolgner and had three daughters. After driving many years for Ted Wilson Transport in central Queensland, he got a job with Allan Jones of Barcoo Transport. Jimmy knew the road from Brisbane to Darwin like the back of his hand.

In those days the bitumen ended at Roma and didn’t start again until 15 miles out of Cloncurry. Jimmy started his own tipper business in 1974 and started carting stock in 1978. His thrones during this time included an R-model Mack, cab-over and a W-model Kenworth. A brand new W-model Kenworth purchased in 1987 still remains his favourite today. The years have had their moments – like losing his temper reversing onto a dolly and getting out finding it a block away. The last ten years Jimmy has spent as a water truck contractor at Dysart working on the new Thompson River Road at Longreach and today “settling dust” full time around Boulia. Jimmy and Valma will soon retire in Barcaldine – when Jimmy agrees to let go of the steering wheel in that 1987 Kenworth ... the second love of his life.