Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2012.Jim Yate’s started his working life as an apprentice motor mechanic. His family were farmers near Cohuna in northern Victoria and as his employer was at Mount Eliza in southern Victoria he lived away from home from an early age. He completed his apprenticeship and from about 1959 Jim worked with the RACV in one of their roadside service vehicles. He then spent some time in dairy farming before returning to Melbourne with his young family in 1968.
Jim purchased Mitcham Mobile Cranes in suburban Melbourne in 1969 and began his time as a truck and business owner. He built up from one crane initially, to four when he sold the business. One of these four cranes, a Lend Lease Chevrolet, has been in the yard at the National Road Transport Hall of Fame in Alice Springs for many years. The signwriting is still very clear.
When Darwin was destroyed by Cyclone Tracy in 1974, Jim decided on a new start in an area that he had visited many times and for which he had a great affection. He moved his wife and four children to Darwin in a 1946 Chevrolet truck and a Humber car with a four wheel trailer.
On arrival, Jim worked for a crane hire company and then bought two concrete trucks which kept him very busy.
During his time in Darwin, Jim was very involved in the local car club and continued to restore cars, trucks and motor bikes. He took part in many events both locally and interstate. His home was always available to visitors from southern clubs.
On his retirement in 2002, Jim decided to move back to Victoria and the old 1946 Chevrolet truck was restored, repacked and used to take everything to Cohuna.
Jim Yates succumbed to a serious illness and passed away in 2009.