70 candles for car-carrying King

By: Tamara Whitsed

John King1 John spent his early years driving for McCoullough Bros. John King1
John King2 McCoullough Bros specialised in car carrying. John King2
John King3 John moved cars with this Volvo from the McCoullough Bros fleet in the late 1970s. John King3

Sydney truckie John King has held a truck licence for 49 years and still carts cars full-time.

70 candles for car-carrying King
Homeward bound – John King returns to Sydney loaded with cars. Photo by Tamara Whitsed


John King celebrates his 70th birthday this month, but the Sydney truck driver shows no signs of slowing down.

Owner// Driver caught up with John at Wodonga recently when he was returning from Melbourne to Sydney with eight cars on a single trailer behind the 2012 Freightliner Columbia he drives for Ostor (No 12).

"I think cars are about the best [freight] – drive on and drive off," John says.

John has driven for Ostor (No 12) for the past eight years. The Sydney business is owned by Kevin and Yvonne Moore and Dennis McDowall and specialises in interstate car carrying. Kevin and Dennis are hands-on bosses – they both transport cars interstate.

The comfort and technology of the Freightliner is a far cry from the Bedford with a petrol motor and vacuum brakes which John learned to drive in the 1960s. He was taught by his brother-in-law Colin McCoullough who operated a Wagga Wagga transport company, McCoullough Bros, with Neville and Ian McCoullough.

John had already clocked up many miles in the Riverina and on the Hume Highway before he obtained a truck licence 49 years ago. He was working for McCoulloughs when he first transported cars. In the early days he also carted wool, sheepskins, drums of oil, fertiliser, furniture, express freight and livestock.

During his career he has worked for many employers including Alan Shearer, Ron Crouch, Stephen Peel, Eric Johnson and Ron Finemore of Wagga Wagga, and Len Hayllar of Narrandera.

Since the Bedford he has driven a Commer Knocker, a 1418 Benz, Internationals, Volvos, Kenworths and a couple of Scanias.

John routinely spends a 24-hour break with his wife Pam at their Sydney home each weekend. He enjoys seeing his daughter, stepchildren and grandchildren. But he is in no hurry to retire. "I’m comfortable at the moment. It’s a good life."

Read the full story in the March issue of Owner//Driver Magazine.

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