Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005
Arthur Higgins used to work for Reg Bartz but it was his mechanical knowledge that made him legendary. Reg had a transport depot in Taylor Street, West Toowoomba with approximately half an acre behind his home where local truckies used to leave their dog trailers and unload them.
Arthur drove a B47 Mack owned by Reg Bartz. It was similar to a B-model, but had a Mack petrol engine and a smaller gear-box and diff. Arthur really enjoyed the challenges it presented him over the years he drove it.
Arthur was renown for his exceptional mechanical ability and always took on the jobs that were too daunting for others. One of his ‘famous’ jobs was when he removed a 4-71 GM engine out of an Allison Crawler tractor and a gear-box from an ex-army tandem Mack, and placed it all into a B20 Mack adding a B-model differential to complete the job. Curley Anderson from Western Transport always said Arthur Higgins was the only mechanic to rebuild a Scammel diff and gear box. There were 117 bearings in these two components.
Arthur was also well-known on the road as a truck driver and for his many exploits. On one occasion Arthur was driving the B20 Mack loaded with tyres for Brisbane when he approached Gosford where the bends meet the seashore and lost the whole load. Tyres rolled all the way down the rocks, about 300 feet to the water, then scattered and floated everywhere becoming, for a while, a great tourist attraction.
Arthur was one of the first truckies to come to the aid of the pastoralists in central Queensland during the great shearer’s strike of ’56 by carting their wool by road to Brisbane. Arthur also managed Brambles Heavy Haulage in Brisbane.
He is remembered for the memorable things he did on the road and his unique ability to fix all things mechanical.
Arthur was a friendly truckie and will be always remembered as a great mate by his many friends on the highway.