HEFFERNAN, Vincent

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2007.

After shearing for four years, Vincent Heffernan commenced driving for Pat Sheehan in Bega. The trucks were Austin and Dodge table-tops carting butter from Bega to Nimmitabel rail, and general produce on the return run.

In 1954, Vin purchased his first truck, an Austin five ton. This he used for Ampol cartage to the Bega area, livestock to Sydney markets and hay to Bega during drought periods. In 1956, he bought an International R182 semi-trailer for cartage of sawn timber from Bermagui to Sydney.

In 1959, Vin moved to Eden and purchased a logging operation with R195 International and NR Mack trucks. By 1970 he was employing 50 people and owned 12 Mack trucks and 20 pieces of logging equipment (dozers, skidders and loaders). He started contracting to the DMR and RTA on highway construction from the Hawkesbury River to the Victorian border and road building for the Victorian Country Roads Board south to the Cann River. In 1970, Vin formed a company with his brother Des to quarry rock and established the Ready Mix plant in South Pambula, where they jointly employed another 15 people with nine agitators and four tippers; a mixture of Benz, Mack, Leader, Foden and International.

As the Eden chipmill increased its export tonnage to Japan and China, demands made by OH&S dictated upgrading to mechanical felling, so Vin introduced the first mechanical integrated harvester to the area. As Eden is fairly remote, Vin used his own light aircraft, as part of the business, to procure needed machinery parts. Today, Vin operates a fleet of eight Western Star and one Kenworth (mostly B-double configurations) and has upgraded the earthmoving gear to include two D9s.

He still operates excavators, dozers and occasionally fills in driving a truck on a needs basis. Today, Vin employs around twenty people in his business.