DON DAWSON or 'Smoky' was born in 1944 at Box Hill in Melbourne and has lived in Kinglake West for the past 43 years. Don left school at 15 to work as a radio and television technician before working at a local garage fixing a fleet of 6yd tippers. Don purchased his first truck, a 1965 International AS 160 tipper, at the age of 25 and has been an owner driver ever since. In 1968 he purchased a 1964 ACCO tipper to carry sawn timber from rail to wharf and to new housing estates for AV Jennings.
Don later purchased a Joe Rohan Loadstar cab chassis and fitted a 10 yard tipper followed by a demo 1974 ACCO tipper. This was followed by a Mack Flintstone tipper and dog trailer which he operated for nine years. He also operated a BMC 8 yard tipper and a DA115 Toyota tipper on local council work. Don later purchased a 1418 Mercedes Benz 15 yard semi tipper to supply mountain soil from Kinglake to various garden suppliers in Melbourne. Unfortunately this truck burnt due to an electrical fault. He then purchased a 1964 cab over Kenworth and shortened the wheel base to fit a 10 yard tipper. Looking to diversify his operations Don built a 20' Tautliner on a Mitsubishi 415 which he used to deliver paper products local and country. This was later upgraded to an FL10 Prime Mover and homemade 40' tautliner hauling paper products from Melbourne to Sydney.
Mack then became Don's choice. He purchased two new CH Mack prime movers and 45' Vaudrey tautliners and carted interstate with general freight and potato chips for Snack Brands. In 2002 a Mack Elite joined the fleet to haul a B-Double with 32 pallets for Snack Brands. This was followed by a 2006 500Hp Freightliner Argossy and a Cummins powered Ford L9000 delivering concrete panels local and country for W Hunter Transport. In 2002 Don Dawson purchased as CH Mack prime mover to subcontract for W Hunter Transport and later do local water deliveries with an 11,000 litre tanker. He also had a 30,000 litre tanker for larger Jobs. In 2017, at the age of 73 Don is still delivering domestic water to local properties. Don Dawson has spent over 50 years in road transport. In all that time he has had no accidents or convictions and estimates he has driven over 9,000,000 kilometres. Trucking definitely runs in the blood of the Dawson family. Don's wife and four sons all have road train licences and are actively involved in the family business.