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Year: 2006

John JacobsOwner-driver or employee?

Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2006.

John (Jake) Jacobs started his driving career in 1957 driving local for Harry Crane in Melbourne.  After six months on the road he decided he wanted to stretch his wings (wheels) further afield and began his interstate driving career with Reg Ansett after which he drove for other well-known Australian road transport pioneers on the east coast.  These included famous names like Ron Hartridge, Bruno Sartori, Fletcher & Stradling, John Synon, Paddy Martin (Martin's Overland Transport) Andersons, Eastoes and Brown Haulage.

Jake had his first go at being an owner-driver when he purchased a new International truck in 1961 and subcontracted for Ace Gutter hauling Melbourne to Sydney.  After four years he decided the pressures were too much, sold out and went back driving for bosses again.  However, by 1972 Jake had decided that he'd like to be his own boss again as an owner-driver and went and purchased a new Kenworth.  A couple of years later he gave it up again saying the competition was too stiff.

This time he went and drove for Ted Whitehead, John George and finally for eight years as a driver and operations manager for IPEC.  After leaving IPEC in 1983, Jake again bought his own truck and began running interstate for a variety of companies before starting a distribution depot in Benalla, VIC for IPEC and Discount Freight.  He managed this facility right up until he decided to retire in 2005.

The early days in the fifties and sixties of tray trucks pulling semi-trailers, under powered, no brakes, goat tracks for highways were the real test of transport driver just to have survived through those decades was a test of driver's ability and durability.

After nearly 50 years in transport Jake is indeed worthy of a place in the National Road Transport Hall of Fame.

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