John Robert Guymer was born in Young, New South Wales, in 1936. He grew up on a prune orchard and learnt to drive multiple vehicles from the age of ten. At the age of 20, after a short stint of shearing, John went to work on the Snowy Mountain Scheme. Upon gaining his semi licence in 1958 he started carrying general freight from Sydney to Melbourne in a V8 F600.
After marrying in 1960, John picked up his first tabletop truck, carting bag grain and hay; in one season alone, he carted 84,000 bales. In 1974 he purchased his first prime mover, an International ACCO 555 which was followed by two 903 Cummins 3070’s and a Dodge with a 160 Cummins. In 1980 John purchased a brand new 350 Cummins Atkinson which he kept for the next 35 years.
In 1981 John built a dolly and purchased two 40 foot flat tops. He transported scrap tin out of Young, New South Wales, to the Gunpowder Mine in Northern Queensland and back-loaded meat meal and bulker bags of copper dust to the Brisbane port. As road trains were illegal in New South Wales at the time, there were many late night drives on the backroads from Young to the Queensland border to avoid detection.
Following that, John undertook sub-contract work, towing trailers from the railhead at Alice Springs to Darwin in the Northern Territory. One time, John was asked to pull a trailer to Uluru (Ayers Rock) from Kulgera, but as the pin was 3 inch and his turntable only 2 inch, he had to pull it on a dolly. This led to an 8 hour trip, travelling at 30 miles per hour!
John was 80 years old when he parked his Atkinson in the shed for the last time. With over 55 years in the industry, John has driven thousands of kilometres across Australia carrying everything from hay, grain, fertiliser, livestock, cotton, peanuts, groceries, scrap metal to granite rock. He even moved the Moscow Circus when it toured the country in 1990!
Today John enjoys life on his property at Wirrimah, New South Wales which he purchased in 1963 and he still shears the odd sheep or two. His seven children often joke that there are not many places you can travel in Australia without someone knowing John Guymer. Inducted in 2021