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Year: 2018

Leslie William Ferris, known as 'Les' was born in 1951, in Coburg Victoria. The eldest of 16 children 11 girls and 5 boys with two brothers in transport, one is a train driver and the other is in truck transport.

Les's late father, also Les was in transport in the 1940's after World War 2, and did general freight. He then got into live stock. Les learnt to drive with his father when he was around 12 years old, and helped out with the stock. Les would go with him to the Newmarket Saleyards with stock to sell, and then they would deliver newly purchased stock for various farmers in their stock creates.

Les was also an owner driver for 37 years, doing interstate runs for 20 years, travelling to locations such as Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, South Australia, Melbourne, and all over Sydney. He did lots of hard miles and never put a scratch on any truck. He did his own mechanical repairs when needed, even out in the middle of nowhere Les learnt how to improvise. He would regularly do 2 trips a week from Thorpdale in Gippsland Victoria to Brisbane carrying produce and, 5 trips a fortnight between Melbourne, Sydney and beyond. He and was proud of his reputation as being neatly dressed, hair always combed, and when he arrived in Brisbane Les always looked like he had just got into the truck when in fact he had travelled over night to arrive.

He phoned home every night and spoke to his wife Annette and his daughters to catch up on what was happening. Annette was both dad and mum to the girls and she held things together while Les was away. Annette took care of the day to day things, and she often said "She could wall Paper the lounge room with the tickets he received". Sadly she passed away in 2007.

After giving away interstate runs Les worked for 12 years around all parts of Victoria, Melbourne and the suburbs doing Asphalt paving of streets, roads, highways and even freeways. Les even worked on the AFL Etihad stadium car park where he kicked the first goal with a football (the stadium was not yet open). Les did this while asphalting for Ready mix.

As an owner driver during the 1990's, Les was the representative for over 50 drivers, asking for fair and improved work conditions and pay rates.

Prior to this, the vehicles that he drove were Stock, logs and Semi trailers. Les also drove as a sub contractor for Dick Towns who had Kenworths with General Freight, then drove for Ab O Connor in Kenworths, Mercedes semitrailers and log trucks, then Les drove for Matt Sutcliffe in an Internationals 3070 and finally he drove for Transtar with general freight. After this Les, as an owner driver had a Mercedes 1418, a Kenworth S2 and an International 3070 which he sold on Anzac Day 1989. Les then got into tippers and never looked back. He had a Scania 350 cummings ex Ready mix, a Volvo M12, Kenworth S2 Ford LTS Louisville then a Western Star Constellation cat assert 15.2 litre which he sold in 2015, with a plan to retire, but plans do not always work. Les received phone call after phone call asking if he could drive to help out, Les has now been back driving for Kennedy Haulage in Morwell Victoria for over 2 years where he is known as a Top Bloke Top Transport.

Les has many great memories of his years on the road throughout Australia, has met some wonderful and kind people, and has also come across some not so nice people. Les bent the rules from time to time but has loved every minute of his career. He often says without Trucks Australia stops.

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