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Year: 2015

John Collier commenced a diesel mechanic apprenticeship at the age of 14. His first drive of a truck was also at 14. He left his apprenticeship and went delivering milk from dairy to dairy where he worked for 12 months. From there he started with Doug Prior doing concrete agitator work. Whilst driving for Doug, he began his interstate career at the age of 20 years driving an A.E.C Mandator sub-contracting for Cousins Transport.

At 23, John worked for Chasemores of Nunawading doing assorted tipper work. He also worked for Geoff Stevenson of Heyfield carting Caltex fuel from Melbourne to Gippsland. In 1969 he became an owner driver with a white 9000, 250 Cummins, sub-contracting to Brambles Liquid Haulage for two and a half years. In 1972 he bought an Atkinson with 250 Cummins, half cab sleeper sub-contracting for Toll Chadwick, Newcastle. He did the Newcastle to Melbourne run. The truck was named Jason's Jalopy, after his eldest son. He also sub-contracted for Reeve Haulage carting livestock.

From 1977 to 2001, John went into low loaders where he built a customer base of around 100 customers, covering all aspects of heavy haulage. He expanded to five trucks which consisted of a Louisville 9000, S-line, Western Stars, Kenworths and Lusty floats. John's major customers included William Adams, John Deere, Volvo Construction and Case Construction.

John had some trials and tribulations, getting through quiet times, like all in the industry, but probably by far, getting through the recession in 1990. His best memories were meeting great people throughout the years, many of whom he remains in contact with.

John had a few innovations including a 1977 Fruehauf bogie low loader with ramps, in 1982 a mobile phone fitted to the truck and in 1994 a deck widening float. These were all firsts in Victoria. In 2001, John was awarded a trophy for his service to William Adams. In 2001, he sold his business, but continued to work a tipper until 2009. He then drove school buses and continues to do so to this day at the age of 72.

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