James (Jim) Salisbury's early days were spent working on the family farm, and he started his transport business because, I was sick of milking bloody cows. Jim bought his first truck in 1952, and carted his first load of cattle at Rathdowney.
A F600 Ford semi arrived in 1956 and Jim spent time during the grain seasons at Allora from 1956 to 1960 carrying grain to Beaudesert and South to Wallangarra. Grain at the time, was bagged, loaded and unloaded by hand, and potatoes were also carried to the markets in Roma Street Brisbane from Beaudesert.
During the 1960s Jim carted stock to Cannon Hill Saleyards and back loaded to the Abattoir at Beaudesert, starting a long association with Tancred Meats and later Australian Meat Holdings. Commer trucks were used at the time and Jim then purchased his first Mercedes, a LPS 1418 semi, with a local farmer commenting Why would he need anything that big? Various Mercedes trucks were purchased, 1418s, 1419, 1424, 2626, 2632, 2233s and 2238s, with a later move to Kenworths.
Cannon Hill kept Jim busy, with Tuesday's stock finishing in time to start carting Thursday's sale cattle. The late 1970s saw Jim purchase his first double deck crate, adding versatility to the fleet. Increasing traffic on roads used as the stock route to the abattoir caused trouble, and trucking was deemed the safest option.
Jim's fleet expanded for the abattoirs rail requirements, with sheep, pigs and calves also carried, until closure of the small stock section. Horses were roadtrained to Bourke, with back loads of goats to Beaudesert Abattoir. Cattle, sheep, horses, pigs, goats, camels, deer and ostriches were transported during his career, and specialised stock such as dairy cows, bulls, polo and race horses carried far and wide. Animals were loaded onto trains, planes and ships to destinations around the world.
Jim also ran a successful grazing business during this time, taking to the saddle at every opportunity. Upon retirement in 2014 after 62 years, the name JF Salisbury is synonymous with livestock transport in South East Queensland, and few will ever match his resilience and perseverance.