Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2014.
Graham Leech was born in Castlemaine in 1948. He first began driving at 15 years of age in an AA180, accompanying his father Jack Leech to Shepparton. There, they hand loaded tinned fruit for Stoneman's Supermarket. Graham recalls the police pulling the pair up in Elmore and questioning Graham about his age. His father said Graham was 17 and that he was teaching him to drive. A month later, a letter from the police department arrived in the mail with an official warning in big red lettering!
Graham then drove two up from Bendigo to Canberra with loads of Stramit board with a mate who had his licence. He remembers putting 44 gallon drums of fuel on the hungry board and pump- ing it in so they could make the trip it up and back. Graham's first truck of his own was a Perkins powered ACCO tray which the family business J.J. Leech & Sons converted to a prime mover with quite a large hungry board. At 18 years of age Graham drove solo to Coonamble in New South Wales with a load of Stramit. He will never forget that trip. He came off the other side of a bridge with a large bump, the fire extinguisher went off, filled the cabin with foam and the gear stick came out in his hand. He was going nowhere! He completed the trip home via Sydney to Melbourne and despite the mishaps decided this was teh career for him.
Graham drove many trucks since including ACCOs, AB160, AB180, R-190s, Diamond T, R-200s 1418 Mercedes Benz, MANs, Dodges (7 Series), Macks, Kenworths and Western stars. He has delivered just about everything from bricks, groceries, granite, pumps to electric and pump stations, rail, steel and general freight.
Graham has taught his son to drive trucks too and he is now a part of the next generation at J.J Leech & Sons, along with his two daughters. These days Graham spends his time working in the yard at the family business J.J. Leech & Sons, delivering goods lo- cally. Coming from the old school and the hard old days of truck- ing he enjoys listening to today's drivers complaining about how hard their job is, they have no idea!