Jack Madgwick was born in 1951 in Cobram, Victoria. He began driving for RJ Cornish & Co. Cobram in 1972 firstly, in a Butterbox ACCO carrying fruit and vegetables from the company’s farms back into town. Jack then drove a Mercedes Benz on the fuel run to Melbourne before graduating to interstate driving in a cab-over Kenworth, carting potatoes to the Sydney market.
In 1975 Jack purchased his first new prime mover, a 3070 International which he had painted in blue and white Kenco colours. He did not own a trailer so worked as a subcontractor for Kenco, carrying general freight on the Melbourne-Sydney run. Jack also pulled a trailer for Pilkington with glass sheets on board, working the Melbourne-Sydney, Melbourne-Brisbane runs. In 1979 he was part of the Razorback Mountain blockade in New South Wales which saw truck drivers around the country protesting about the road taxes, maximum weight limits, fuel prices and freight rates. Throughout the seventies and eighties, Jack carted small square hay bales in an ACCO truck in the local district.
In the early 1980’s Jack purchased a Ford LNT9000 Louisville prime mover and soon after, his first semi-trailer in order to cart general freight from Melbourne to Brisbane. A couple of years later he took a break from truck driving and purchased a Golden Fleece garage but eventually Jack returned to driving his Louisville, again on the Melbourne-Brisbane run. Later on, Jack made the decision to sell the truck and concentrate on the garage. Around this time, Jack also purchased a briquette carting business. This involved manually shovelling briquettes off of railway trucks, onto an early model Commer and then driving the load to the local Kraft factory.
From the mid 1980’s until 1992, Jack drove a Kenworth SAR for Doug Trease, carrying general freight from Numurkah, Victoria to Brisbane. Jack still has a soft spot for the SAR model and has even restored one in his spare time.
In 1992 he was offered a job as an offsider on a drilling rig and in 1993 Jack and his wife purchased the business, Strathmerton Drilling. Their first drill rig was a Gardner Denver, Mayhew 500, mounted on a Bedford truck, but it was soon joined by a Gardner Denver, Mayhew 1,000, mounted on the old ACCO hay truck. Strathmerton Drilling now has a large fleet of Kenworth prime movers and tri-axle trailers, tray trucks, drilling rigs and equipment.
Jack still drives his beloved Kenworth but not for long distances anymore!
Inducted in 2021