Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.
Martin (Marty) William Smith was born in Sydney in May 1947 and passed away in Darwin on the 31 July 2012 by which time he had become a legend in outback trucking throughout the Top End of Australia. Keen to make more of a life for himself than the city could offer he ventured off to explore Australia as young man.
Marty was just 21 years of age when he commenced working with the legendary Buntine Roadways in 1968 in Wyndham, Western Australia. It was the beginning of a 44 year career in the road transport industry in the Northern Territory, and north west of Western Australia and Queensland.
At that time, in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, the roads were not much better than the bush tracks, bulldust and corrugations which created countless problems. Many times the trucks would detour into virgin scrubland because it was better than the road conditions. In the early days of its operation every Buntine roadtrain left the depot equipped with tin boxes carrying packed wheel bearings, spare axles, six spare tyres, rolls of plastic tubing, radiator hoses and spare fan belts. There was no such thing as the luxury of a workshop in the places were Marty and his fellow drivers worked.
Buntine’s drivers had to be more than just drivers; they were mechanics and bushmen skilled at handling cattle and fending for themselves in the outback. All repairs were made on the roadside in bulldust or mud and often in searing temperatures or torrential rain. Meals were cooked on the side of the road, shared with the station managers and drovers, or if they were lucky they could get a meal at one of the few roadhouses that were spread around the harsh and desolate outback.
Over the years Marty worked for many of the iconic companies of Northern Australia like Buntine Roadways, East Kimberly Transport, Dick David Fuel Supplies (AFD), Sherwins / Barkly Transport, Road Trains of Australia, Ceccon Transport, Bellway, Bob Kerr Transport and All Earth Industries among others.
Marty went on to have a very distinguished career and was held in high regard by both employers and fellow workers. He was also known and respected as a great mentor for younger drivers, whom he trained in the transport industry. R.I.P Marty Smith.