Leslie James Latham has never done any other job but drive a truck but more importantly, has never wanted to do anything else.
Born in 1948 to Errol and Stella Latham, Les' father was a major influence in his chosen career. Errol had also been a driver in various capacities for many years until an accident resulted in him losing his leg and having to give trucking away.
Les started driving for Whites Transport in Killarney, Queensland and then went to work for Wickhams where he drove for many years.
In 1982, and with the support of his wife Ros and family, Les started LRL Haulage. They purchased a Kenworth W-model and had the contract to cart swinging meat from Killarney abattoir to Sydney markets twice weekly.
This was the start of a very successful enterprise with Les as chief driver and Ros as chief bookkeeper.
One of the most memorable trips that Les did was when LRL Haulage partnered up with Judd Bros Silage Choppers as they took a convoy of equipment to Darwin.
In 2012, LRL Haulage sold its last truck and ceased operation after many long years and many roads travelled.
However, Les was not ready to put the air brakes on permanently, and his career has turned full circle as he is now driving again for Wickhams.
His children, Amanda, Jason and Nick are justifiably proud of their dad and have spoken to some of his friends and fellow drivers to get feedback on Les as a truck driver.
They said they kept hearing the word 'professional' to describe their dad. They also heard that Les' trucks were always impeccable in presentation and mechanically perfect and were often admired by many while travelling the thousands of kilometers year after year.
The life of a truckie is often distant. They do sacrifice plenty of family time and moments due to their work, but our family has always had nothing but respect for dad and for what he does ., they proudly said.