Charles Walker better known as Les started his transport career in the early 1950s when he purchased a Fargo tip truck and went contracting to the then Main Roads Department in Tasmania. This involved camping on site as the days were long and the area often remote. Les's wife Mavis accompanied him on the jobs until she became pregnant with their first child.
Les and Mavis knew that the camping idea was no longer going to work so they purchased a local freight business and Ampol fuel agency servicing Orford on the east coast of Tasmania. The business transported anything and Les's motto was Anything, Anywhere, Anytime and he stood by his motto. In quiet times Les would cut, load and cart six ton of fire wood to Hobart each day to keep the business viable.
He upgraded to his first new truck, an AA160 International, the colour was pink straight from the factory. Not long after this Les took ill and could no longer drive. His two eldest sons drove the trucks and Les managed the business.
A seaweed processing factory and a woodchip mill where established in the town and at this time Les's two eldest sons took over the trucking side of the business and Les concentrated on the Ampol fuel operations. His fuel depot was the major refuelling point for the 90 local log trucks and this kept Les well in touch with his trucking mates. In 1974 Les and his son-in-law gained a contract carting waste from the local wood chip mill. This contract required dump trucks working 24 hours a day, five days a week and they held this contract for over 30 years.
A testimony to Les's integrity and honesty is the help he received from his local International dealer after one of his trucks was written off. They put a brand new AB 160 International complete with new tray, sign written, registered and on the road in three days and he never signed a thing until the insurance was finalised six months later. He believes without this help his business would have folded.
Les retired from the industry in 1989 and passed away on the 20th May 2002 at the age of 79, Walkers Transport will celebrate 60 years operation in 2017.