Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.
Jim McGrath’s transport industry career began in 1958 when he commenced an automotive apprenticeship in Bendigo, Victoria. It was here that he first worked on the legendary International R190 truck; a truck he continues to have a soft spot for some 55 years later.
Jim had a small stint driving interstate in the early 1960s before working at International Bendigo until 1970. He and his wife Catherine then moved their young family to Wagga Wagga where Jim took up the position of Service manageer with Bartholomews Truck and Machinery who were the Mercedes Benz and International truck dealership. Jim played a key role in initiating Bartholomews as the local Kenworth dealer. It was a busy period for Bartholomews. Subsequently Jim spent many a night and early morning servicing and repairing all makes and models of trucks along the roadside of the Hume, Sturt and Newell Highways ensuring that the freight always got to its destination safely
The early 1980s saw Jim establish his own service and parts business following the collapse of Bartholomews. The business filled a niche in the market and grew rapidly establishing a branch in Griffith before selling out to CMV Adelaide. During this period Jim hung up his overalls and focused on sales and general management to local and interstate fleets and owner/operators. Sound mechanical knowledge and high quality customer service have been the key to Jim’s success in his management roles over the years.This was recognised by Kenworth Truck Australia in 1991 when the Riverina Kenworth Truck Centre was awarded the prestigious Kenworth Dealer of the Year award.
Many of Jim’s current customers and associates have been known to him since his early days in Bendigo and Wagga Wagga and more recently the Paccar dealer Network. This is a testament to the relationships that are built in a hard working and vital industry.
Jim and Catherine currently live in the Southern Highlands, NSW where Jim is employed as the Regional sales manager for DAF Trucks Australia. he works with dealers around the country to encourage DAF sales and enjoys nothing more than taking customers and journalists for a long distance drive or around the test track. While he contemplates retirement in the future he already knows he will not be able to retire his hobby or passion for the road transport industry. There is no doubt he will continue to be a strong advocate for the industry he loves.