Ex-army driver starts new business after crash derails plans
BYRON Smith lost his right leg and lost his life in a head-on collision in 2007, but he hasn't let it get in the way of pursuing his dream career.
The ex-army driver is the proud owner of brand new business, Appointed Transport, which provides long-haul transport to those in need.
"I'm offering long distance trips to anywhere, whether it to be from Airlie to Mackay, Eungella, Townsville or Brisbane," he said.
"It started because I had a friend ask me if I could bring him down to Mackay to get to an eye specialist appointment; he wasn't able to drive for a day and it sort of just stemmed from there.
"I thought to myself whether there was a market for such transport and after doing a bit of research I found out there was.
"So far it's been lots of people with surgeries that can't drive afterwards and also just people that don't have licences, cars or just need to get around, and that a cab would be too expensive for."
According to Mr Smith, the job is perfect as he's always shared a passion for driving and was thankful his accident didn't take that away.
"I've always been a car nut, I find it soothing, I couldn't wait to get my licence when I was young," he said.
"If I had lost my capability to drive in the accident then that would have really hurt, whereas I'm pretty positive because I can still do everything."
He said the business idea couldn't have come at a better time, having applied and not heard back from almost 200 jobs following his return from rehab in Melbourne.
"I was finding it extremely difficult to find work and stay positive while coming to terms with my disability," he said.
"My work history of being a soldier in the Australian Army and professional driver looked well and truly to be over.
"It was because of this struggle I started to look at other avenues for employment, or even starting my own business."
In January Mr Smith picked up the keys to his new van and said business has been solid ever since.
"It's first in, best dressed at this stage, I don't have a set schedule," he said.
"My only plans are that this time next year I would love to be buying a second van and a couple more in the future.
"It would be great to expand and have one doing Mackay, another Townsville or wherever it's needed... it will happen eventually."
To find out more or to book a trip with Byron, phone 0448361133.