The remarkable story of Michael Smith, whose voyage to realise his business and fleet dream began at age 13
The story of a farm kid barely in his teens, leaving school to sell eggs on the way to building a diverse civil construction and trucking enterprise isn’t something you come across every day. Such, however, is the remarkable story of Michael Smith
E very now and then you come across someone truly intriguing, if not inspirational. Such a ‘someone’ is Michael Smith from Woodenbong in far northern NSW, a quiet rural village not much more than a good stone’s throw south of the Queensland border.
Our meeting didn’t last long, a tad more than an hour or so, yet it was enough to expose a snapshot into the life of a man who has jammed an extraordinary amount of energy and enterprise into his 34 years.
Ostensibly, it was to be simply a brief discussion on the performance of a couple of Kenworth T610 SAR models bought by Smith in the back half of last year. However, as long-term Brown & Hurley Kyogle salesman Mick Clark had forewarned: “There’s a lot more to Michael than meets the eye. It’s incredible what he has built, especially when you think of how he started, selling eggs.”
It’s a short drive out of town on the Murwillumbah road to the sprawling depot with its expansive office and workshop area, and row of hefty grain silos. Out front, the sign reads simply: “The M.J. Smith Group – Kyogle Workshop and Grain Storage. Specialising in all aspects of earthmoving, forestry and bulk commodity transport.”
Smiling and waving us into the office while he finishes a phone call, Smith emphasises soon after that it’s a family business run with
“I couldn’t see any way of making money by staying at school.”