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Year: 2015

Trucking it seems, has always been in John Franich's blood. Born in 1942 into a hard working Croatian family in Kalgoorlie, his family have always been involved in trucking. His father, Snowy, had mines, dug wells and carted logs around Kalgoorlie whilst his mum's father carted logs for the vineyards. John's passion for trucks carried on with him to the fertile grounds of the Swan Valley where his family moved to when he was just 10.

John's first involvement with trucks started back in 1962 with his first job in Port Hedland for a local builder driving a V8 dodge. By the late 1960s, he was carrying bags of wheat in the Wubin/Buntine area. By 1971, he started working carting explosives in stock crates at Nookenbarr in the Kimberley.

Working around Hamersley Iron and Robe River, there were no roads and only tracks - truckies had to follow the creek beds to get to their destination. Out there, the mentality was that you must be covered in red dust or you haven't been working hard enough. They were the cowboys of the trucking outback.

In 1971, John married Gloria and with her support, he decided to venture off on his own and buy his first truck, an F86 Volvo. With this, he helped cart the structure for the biggest pioneer feat out at the time - the Fortescue River Bridge. By the 1980s, he was carting the first graders into Telfer mines and was involved with the diamond mining run.

Flash forward to the 1990s and it was time for a change of scenery. With the long haul trips up north, he purchased a Volvo FH16 520HP, the biggest rig on the road back at the time. John's love affair for Volvo trucks still continues today, which has seen him purchase a total of 10 Volvos.

With John retiring in 2013, his son Luke has confidently taken over the reins of the family business. It is a testament to John's tenacity and love for the business which has ensured that the passion is truly passed down the generation.

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