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Year: 2016

John Donohue, better known as JD, was born in February 1942 and grew up in the small Victorian country town of Inverleigh. He and his wife Heather have three children Peter, Stephen and Susan and seven grandchildren. His father, Paddy Donohue, had been a local cartage contractor in Inverleigh and young John always wanted to follow in his footsteps. In order to get his licence John told the local police officer he was a year older than he was.

John started driving interstate in 1964 for JS & D Nash Brothers in Geelong. His very first job was carting a load of hogs head barrels to Adelaide in a 1963 Bedford. However, John always wanted his own truck. In 1972 John and Heather decided it was now or never and purchased their first truck. It was a shiny new 1972 F86 Volvo which they used to cart cement all around Victoria. In 1976 John stepped into his beloved Ford Louisville. It was fitted with a 903 engine. He did interstate mainly running Adelaide - Sydney carting steel for Alan Jones of Grove Haulage. After years of no bunk or air conditioning John decided to buy a 1985 Ford LTL. By then he was sharing the driving with his sons Peter and Stephen.

One of Johns most memorable loads was bringing Leigh Smorgans $2,000,000 racing boat from Hamilton Island to Melbourne on a customised trailer that he had picked up in Cairns. It was so wide they had to load it on the trailer on a 45 degree angle. There were no escorts back then but he could only drive in daylight hours. On another occasion he nearly sunk the Mannum Punt in South Australia going around the Tallem Bend weighbridge with a load of steel.

Before I drove on the punt operators boots were dry, when I drove off he was up to his ankles in water.

John has travelled millions of kilometres and says he enjoyed the mateship of trucking in the early days when everyone pitched in and helped one another. You would never leave a driver stranded. John also enjoyed the times he could have a beer at The Eagle on the Hill and talk with his mates.

In 2016 John is 73 years of age and works for Rocke Bros carting containers in and around Melbourne. His wheels never stop turning. John says he has no intention of retiring anytime soon.

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