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Year: 2015

Born in1938, Lester grew up on a farm in Tamrookum QLD with his family, growing corn and lucerne. On the family farm Lester was around tractors and trucks from an early age and an inevitable love of trucks grew with him. He could not wait to get his licence, leave school and start driving for a living.

In 1955 at 17 years of age, Lester moved to a boarding house in Woodenbong on the far north coast of NSW, and started driving for Jimmy Carter. He would cart a variety of freight from Brisbane to Woodenbong each night for 12 months. During this time, Lester drove a KB6 International. When Lester turned 18 he obtained his trailer licence and started driving for Eddie Allen, hauling household goods from Brisbane to Sydney in a Commer Knocker.

By 1959 Lester was driving for George Kedatz, often living in a tent in the bush whilst hauling logs to Mallanganee Saw Mill and Bonalbo for 12 months. Lester then moved back with his family in Victoria Point QLD, helping his father and brother cart vegetables from farms to the Brisbane Markets in Roma Street. He would do this for 2 years.

In 1962 Lester began driving hides and plywood for Ken Braithwaite along a familiar route, Brisbane to Sydney, this time in a Perkins truck. He then moved to Grafton in 1964 and started working for Cromack & Tranter driving a Diamond T carting timber and general freight from Grafton to Brisbane. Lester then began working for John Swire in 1965 where he drove a Leyland again from Brisbane to Sydney. Lester would work this route for around 8 years, hauling general freight and plywood.

In 1972, Lester purchased his first truck, a Mercedes Benz and began sub-contracting for Billy George hauling chemicals from ICIs West End depot in Brisbane to ICI Botany Bay in Sydney. (ICI would later be known as Chemtrans the Orica)

After driving the Mercedes for 2 years, Lester upgraded to a Volvo. He had a G88 for 6 years, a F10 for 5 years, and then a F12 for 7 and a half years. After years of driving Volvos, Lester thought it was time to upgrade to the truck of all trucks, a Kenworth. So in 1992, Lester bought a 1988 Kenworth cab over. He would continue driving Brisbane to Sydney of another 12 years and became well known for hauling yellow chlorine cylinders, both full and empty.

Lester retired from long haul driving in 2004 but still enjoys the trucking life through his son Mike and grandson Matthew who both drive heavy vehicles in various capacities. Lester now lives in South Grafton and can still spin a yarn about the trucking life.

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