Driver marks 45 years skippering a milk truck

Ray Smith, milk truck driver

“This job just fit and I fell in love with it,” he said. “In all these years there’s never been a day when I said I didn’t like my job.”

Ray Smith was driving a truck for Halliday and Craftsman’s building supply in 1972 when he got a call about working for the dairy.

“They hired me over the phone and I’ve been here ever since,” he said with a chuckle.

The 70-year-old starts his truck around 7 a.m. and picks up milk from many of the same farms he did years ago, travelling through Old Barns, the Stewiacke area and to the Dal AC campus. He makes deliveries as far away as Sussex, N.B., and P.E.I.

“The farmers I pick up from use me number one,” he said. “I’ve been blessed by the Lord for my health and to be able to do what I can every day. I’m never bored; I learn something every day.”

He has experienced bad weather but feels the key when driving in it is to take your time. He also enjoys listening to country music while he’s in the cab. He sometimes sees wildlife and recently saw his second bear in the wild, in the Bass River area.

Smith has only missed three days of work during 45 years; one day when he had pneumonia and a couple of days when his house was destroyed by fire, about 25 years ago.

When he does have time off he enjoys being around his three daughters, his son and his five grandchildren, as well as his two horses.

“I’d like to stay here for at least 50 years,” he added. “I like to go, go, go. I’d like to finish life the way I started and go, go, go ’til the Lord calls me.”