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

Australian Transport News - - Contents - WORDS STEVE BROOKS

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.”

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