Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2010.
John Raymond Klitscher was born in Coonalpyn South Australia. He grew up on the family farm. Sadly his father passed away when he was 16. John and his father had old Ford L series trucks on the farm.
John bought into the operations of Coonalpyn Transport Services and with his old White Road Commander he ran the business from on the road. Times were tough but when he met Meredith, his future bride, and then moved to Adelaide in about 1978 things started to look up.
Not long after John purchased a brand new Kenworth K125 and freighter trailer, painted originally in Sheppard United colors. He then set to work hauling mainly along the eastern coast but basically where-ever the freight took him, The apprenticeship we all had to serve, said John. About 5 years later John went into tankers in a major way. This could mean spending anything up to three and four months on the road, transporting mainly wine along the eastern seaboard. John had some great times out there on the road but with family commitments growing more demanding and the old body not as agile as it used to be, he returned to full time South Australia work with Transwest, Kalari tanker division.
Amazingly, while most of his mates had gone onto bigger and more powerful rigs he still held the firm view that the old Kenny would get the job done. It did for 21 years but all good things have to come to an end and the old VT903 and torsion bar suspension had been rebuilt a few too many times. A later model Sterling with newer features such as air bags, hydraulics and a bigger 500hp Detroit motor took over.
I'm an intrastate operator now, I get sick if I travel over the state borders nowadays, says John.