SMITH, Thomas

10_smith_thomas_1 10_smith_thomas_2

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

A thriving cartage business existed in the Western Victoria areas of Minhamite and Hawkesdale for 50 years. It was started by brothers Tom and Alex Smith in 1947.

Over the years, the business has changed partnerships, and moved to the next generation. They called the business Smith Brothers. Alex left in 1956. Tom’s wife Jean joined in 1954 as organising bookkeeper. Smith’s carried a variety of freight over the years including superphosphate in bags and loads of hay and livestock. They used a 1930 B Ford for superphosphate top spreading.

Initially work hours were restricted to daylight, but as the regulations were relaxed the loads and the trucks got bigger (and came with sleeper cabins) and the trips got longer. Smiths Transport pioneered the carting and top spreading of super phosphate using small bags (and later in bulk bins and tip-trays) using a ‘spinner’ top spreader. This was in response to farmer demand for easily applied fertiliser. This lead to any and all types of on and off-farm produce carting. Smith’s Transport has provided employment to numerous local drivers over the years in the Hawkesdale area. This was due to seasonal work eg: hay pick-up (little square bales at the time), wool bale carting, and the need for farm owners for off-farm work. In 1986 a partnership was formed with Tom’s youngest son Peter and his spouse Kerry. Then in July 1996 Tom retired to Warrnambool where he has restored a Ford Army Blitz.