The first time Graham (Mouse) Tomkins drove was in a Superpose Commer table truck. He was about 10 years old, clinging to the steering wheel and looking out the window as bales of hay were loaded on a ground drive bale loader. He had to line the bales up or they would get jammed. During school holidays in 1968 Graham drove a Commer Knocker between Parkes and Condobolin carting wheat with his brother-in-law. It was a single drive, single axel and was lots of fun.
Graham stated driving with a licence when he was 21, the legal age to get a truck licence. This was in a VAKW Commer 24 foot tray top with a 6.354 Perkins doing three trips a week from Orange to Sydney. Everything was hand loaded and included fruit, bricks, roof tiles and other general freight. He also started driving semi-trailers in a MAN 650 with a pogs stick gearbox and a 36 strap single axel trailer.
Graham then changed jobs driving a 250hp UD carting gates, tarps and bulk grain. He then drove a 4070 Transtar and a Kenworth eight wheeler carrying explosives. Graham was in an ACCO GO3 running along the Pacific Highway from country to city when he had a crash that he describes simply as not good. He then went away from trucks and back to the farm.
A new job running interstate between Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide saw Graham clock up one million kilometres in four years. He followed this with quarry work using a truck and dog trailer staying local for 7½ years.
Graham was offered a Volvo to buy and worked for Cubico for five years to pay for the truck. He then bought a drop deck trailer.
After driving around Australia with a great variety of freight, Graham became a Grey Nomad with a difference and had a fantastic time.