James Shaw’s truck driving career started from a young age.
The 20 year-old Mansfield local has memories of trips spent with his father Stephen, in the passenger seat of his trucks when he was about six years-old.
It was these experiences that encouraged a career that followed his father’s footsteps, working as a livestock carrier for the family business, Shaw’s Transport.
A self-proclaimed “up and coming trucker”, Mr Shaw’s career is in its early stages, having started driving his own trucks three years ago.
“Because I’m in our littlest truck at the moment, I do a lot of local trips going to saleyards at Barnawartha, Shepparton, Wangaratta and Yea,” Mr Shaw said.
He said being a truck driver was all he had ever wanted to do from a young age.
“I’ve always enjoyed being out on the road, I enjoy the lifestyle and the freedom of being able to set off on a trip and just go from home to somewhere and back again,” he said.
He said the job did come with hazards but these could easily managed so long as you were careful.
“If you’re on the road constantly, seven days a week, it can get challenging and you can get fatigued, but you’ve just got to take breaks when required and not push yourself too hard,” he said.
Another big part of the job was moving livestock around, which was an aspect he enjoys.
“When we get jobs carting cattle out of properties, to saleyards, and then out of saleyards, you’ve got to load and unload your own truck, so I’m quite heavily involved in that,” he said.
Also “born and bred farm kid”, Mr Shaw helps on his family’s Mansfield farm, where they run about 220 Angus and Hereford cows and calves.
While his dad spent a lot of time on the road, his mum Heather, who passed away in late 2012, ran the farm.
“She loved the farm and had a passion for it, that’s where I got my love of farming from,” he said.
“Ever since she passed, I have been more heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the farm.”
Following in his father’s footsteps has meant he will most likely take over both the trucking and farming businesses when his father decides to retire.
“I’m in the early stages of being able to eventually take on the businesses myself, my father is coming to an age where he wants to back off a little bit and hand it to me, and I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.
“We’ve built ourselves up a good reputation, we’ve got a name that everyone knows, and I just want to take it on and make it even bigger.”
He said being a young person in the industry, and also having completed a certificate II in agriculture at high school, he has been able to bring fresh and innovative ideas to the business table.
“A lot of things have changed in the industry, mainly with technology, and I’ve been able to take on that side of things and bring new ideas onto the job,” he said.
“Studying ag gave me a better insight into the different areas of the industry.”