James Smithers was only 19 when he purchased his first truck. He didn't have a licence but he loved trucks. His first truck was a Commer and the first trip was a load of wool from Geerawean Station to Balranald. He had to travel both ways in the dark because of his lack of licence.
James worked as a sub-contractor for John Duryea of Balranald carting mainly wool for three years. He then worked for M & A Tyrer sub-contracting as a stock carrier for the next three years. James ended up selling his truck and drove for Tyrer's for the next four to five years.
James bought a White Road Commander in 1990 and became JM Smithers Transport (Livestock & General). He has a Road Commander with an 892 Detroit motor, two Western Star Constellation 4900, one with a 600 Cummins motor, one with a 550 Cat motor and a Western Star Constellation 4864 with a 600 Cummins.
He has carted wool, sleepers, machinery, grapes and livestock. James travels to where his work takes him, Australia wide. It wasn't much fun in the early days when the roads were mainly dirt.
James's best memories of the road are going away with four or five other stock trucks to do a job, all travelling and pulling up together, cooking a bar-b-que, having a chat and being there to help each other out.
James still has a wonderful business today, trading as JM Smithers Transport (Livestock & General) Balranald. He has worked very hard to achieve what he has today. James can't read or write so to have a trucking business for so many years, he has done a marvellous job.
James proudest achievement was when he bought his first brand new Western Star. He will still be driving and doing what he loves for many years to come.