Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005Joe’s grandfather, John Cahill, an immigrant from Ireland, commenced his working life in Australia, carting with horses and drays, firewood to the smelters at the Nymagee Copper Mine, west of Sydney in the 1800s.
When the mine went bankrupt, he moved to Melbourne and set up a carrying business in North Melbourne. One of his sons, Joseph Cahill Snr. (Joe’s father) worked alongside him before starting work with Daniel Vaughan Pty Ltd. They carted the building materials for the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. Yellow Express Pty. Ltd. took over Vaughans in 1930 and Joe Cahill Snr was appointed the general manager.
Joe Cahill Snr was Chairman of the Victorian Road Transport Association for many years. In 1951, with a deposit of $800 borrowed from his father and uncle, Joe Jnr purchased a Ford semi-trailer. At that time, the transport system was designed to carry everything by rail, with permits and taxes payable by road transport users. Joe’s early years were spent on the road on projects such as, The Snowy River Scheme and delivering pre-cut houses to Newborough (near Yallourn Power Station). He also transported goods to the new Loy Yang Power Station, Upper Yarra Dam. He also carted 72in x 30ft steel pipes from Eildon Weir along the route to Melbourne.
Joe subcontracted for approximately the firstseven years before obtaining his first direct customer, Australian Glass Manufacturers. Later on, clients included Eliza Tinsley, Hutchinson’s Flour Mills, Pilkington Glass, ACI and Frozen Food Industries. Joe supported the actions of “Greendog” blockading on Razorback Mountain which helped eradicate the loathed road tax burden. He was excited when Malcolm Fraser, in 1975, legislated for a 40% investment allowance and double depreciation on all new asset acquisitions enabling him to purchase his very first Kenworth.
Joe continued working in the business until 1989, when sons, Michael, Daniel and Joe (the third Joe Cahill) took over the day-to-day operations of the business which now has a fleet of over 100 vehicles and 120 years of carrying.