42 years carting livestock from Inverleigh

By: Tamara Whitsed, Photography by: Tamara Whitsed

Ray Goodman’s patience with animals and loyalty to clients has enhanced his reputation as a livestock carrier in Victoria’s Western District

42 years carting livestock from Inverleigh
Ray Goodman has carted stock in Victoria’s Western District for 42 years

Based at Inverleigh on Victoria’s Hamilton Highway, Ray Goodman has been hauling livestock since the early 1970s and he has carted pigs for Pastoral Pork Co since the mid-1990s.

Ray Goodman Livestock Transport usually carts 3500 pigs between Victoria and South Australia each week. This peaked at 5,000 pigs leading up to Christmas.

Ray says carting pigs is a lot like handling sheep. "Once you get the first couple going the others will follow. I like the little ones really – the little weaners. They just scamper on there because they think there might be a feed. You have to rush after them to get the door shut because when they find out there’s nothing on there they want to come back."

Pigs account for 80 percent of Ray’s work, but he also carts sheep and cattle and is a familiar face at Colac, Geelong and Ballarat saleyards.

Ray says it was a love of animals, not trucks, which attracted him to the livestock cartage industry. "You just have to have a bit of patience. Take your time. Just be sensible. Don’t go wild at them."

Today there are four trucks in the fleet and Ray employs three drivers including his son Alastair Goodman. Ray’s wife Rhonda Goodman manages the banking, wages and other office duties.

After 42 years of livestock cartage, 65-year-old Ray prefers to work close to home, so he sends his drivers on the longer trips. But he still drives to Murray Bridge once a fortnight with a load of pigs.

Carting livestock requires more physical exertion than most sectors of the trucking industry. Ray says this has helped him stay fit.

He envisages a period of semi-retirement at the end of his career, but is worried about insurance. "They won’t insure me because I’ve turned 65. If I want to continue on to 70 I’ve got no income protection insurance."

Read the full interview in the February 2014 issue of Owner//Driver Magazine.

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