John Robert Talbot (JR) was born in Bendigo in 1933 and grew up in Kamarooka where he worked and lived on the family farm before completing three months National Service in 1954. Working on the farm, trucks and machinery became his passion. He purchased his first truck, a Chevrolet Maple Leaf to work for the Country Roads Board (CRB). In 1959 he had a serious accident when a truck rolled and three people, including JR, were injured. JR nearly lost his arm and one of his close friends died.
He met Elaine Mavis Smith and they were married in March 1961. They moved to Kangaroo Flat and then to Maiden Gully where he spent the rest of his life. JR and Elaine had two children, Darren John born in 1962 and Warwick Ian born in 1967. JR went on to purchase various models of Ford F series trucks. When he left the CRB he went carting Marchant / Cohn soft drinks. In 1969 he purchased his first International and moved into livestock haulage. Livestock became his life. Frank O'Connell and Stan Rutland introduced JR to the livestock and assisting him to get established. JR transported cattle, sheep and pigs and had a longstanding relationship with Castlemaine Bacon. In 1973 he purchased his first Mercedes Benz truck. Prior to this purchase JR had always only had one truck. The introduction of the Mercedes Benz brought his truck ownership to two and was the beginning of the Talbot fleet. He went on to own eight trucks.
When JR wasn't driving he would turn his hand to building or refurbishing stock crates. He constructed all his own stock crates, not only for himself but also for others in the industry. He took pride in maintaining his equipment to a high standard. Talbots had a number of long standing drivers who were always treated like family. JR organised the drivers and Elaine ensured the books were maintained and kept the drivers happy with morning tea and lunches. Her sweet culinary delights were legendary.
JR's passion for livestock carried on in his two sons, who both worked for Talbots Transport. Darren is still driving in the livestock industry and Warwick moved into logistics and is now a truck salesman. The business ceased in 1992 when Lewingtons took over the company. JR continued as a driver for Lewingtons until his retirement in 2004.
John Robert Talbot passed away in 2014 having enjoyed over 55 years in the road transport industry as an owner operator. A true gentleman of the highway JR was well respected by his peers in the industry.