Ian Douglas Davis, known as “Jacko”, was born in Murrurundi, New South Wales, in 1953. His family had a long history with the transport industry.
Ian’s grandfather, Ted Davis, started a transport business in 1920 with a wagon and 10 horse team, carting wool bales from Timor Station to Blandford Railway Station in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales. In the 1930’s, Ian’s father, Jim, started driving for Max Saunders, in a Chevrolet Maple Leaf Truck, also carting wool . In the late 1930’s Jim Davis bought this truck from Max and along with his wife, Elsie, began their own business. Through the years they ran Chevrolets, Commers, Dodge and International trucks and Ian actually learnt to drive in a 1957 petrol Commer truck. As Jim and Elsie had three sons, Norman, Ian and Stephen , the business was called “Davis & Sons''. The boys worked with Jim until his death in 1979.
The three sons and Elsie carried on the business and Ian became the boss. As the business grew, the fleet had seven trucks including Volvos, Scania, Ford Cargo, Hino, Western Star and eventually, Kenworth. Cartage jobs were mainly livestock and hay across the eastern states and South Australia and wool bales to Newcastle and Sydney.
Running an interstate trucking business in the late 70’s and 80’s before the advent of mobile phones and readily available UHF radios was difficult at times. Drivers had to pull up at a roadside public phone box to ring the depot by reverse charge but often found the phone was out of order. They would then have to try and find a working public phone further along.
One of the funniest trips Ian can remember was when his 1984 Volvo, loaded with four decks of sheep, had to be towed up a hill out of a bog hole by a grain header.
In the past 48 years of truck driving Ian has clocked up some 8.5million kilometres on the road. Inducted in 2021