Hall of Fame induction. Richard And Lesley Jacka.
Richard was born 8th September 1945 in Mintaro SA where he grew up. Commonly known as Dick He began driving around the young age of 16 in the early 60s, along side his Brother Des working for their old man. First truck he steered was a Chev with a 32hp engine around the countryside in South Australia’s Mid North. Was not long before Richard met his Wife and business partner Lesley. Lesley born 8th July 1947 was a nurse straight out of school in a small country hospital, but working at golden north when the two met. The pair began by purchasing a Commer Knocker with the name of Miss Cooningie, hauling their first load of slate from Mintaro To Adelaide.
After gaining wine cartage contracts their number of trucks grew and began a daily service from Clare to Adelaide competing against the trains. Richard soon took off interstate, Wine down and machinery back.
Richards’s favorite truck was the 1418 Mercedes Benz, which he proudly told he bought many of brand new. Apparently Lesley always had an idea of where Richard was, and this before mobile phones were invented. She was always calling the phone line at his next stop to pass on the message, Lesley said if he’d had a hard day she would call either the Rhynie or Auburn pub.
The pair even Purchased one of the very first commodore computers for around the ridiculous price of $14 000 in the late 80s. Around this period Richard and Lesley were in partnership with the late Les Goodwin Sharing a Mercedes as J G Haulage.
Richard And Lesley owned trucks Like a Commer, Gas fueled internationals, numerous models of Mercedes Benz, Leyland’s, UDs, Mack’s and even a regretful Volvo.
Lesley Played a very important role in the success of the business, Juggling 4 kids, bookwork, deliveries, loading and especially putting up with Richards Grief.
In the 90s they remained in South Australia carting from Adelaide through to Jamestown and surrounding areas as the business continues to do today.
Richard and Lesley are still working in the industry to this day 50 plus years later, their time in the industry has not been all smooth sailing, but they’ve made many stories, friendships’ and have family continuing In the industry.
Behind every great Truck driver is a great truck Drivers Wife.