Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2009.
John Francis Cadan, 'Tracka' to those who knew him, was born in 1938 and has been in the trucking game for more than 50 years. He initially got the bug after getting a lift in a truck with a mate in the early 1950s when he was 15.
He started in a 1946, 47 RT Commer working mostly on the Sydney out of Melbourne run carting general freight. He always had to be towed over Greens Pinch because the truck didn't have the power to get over on its own.
The old Commer was all but shot when he got an R-model International but his favourite of all times was the 112H Scania in which he had a fantastic run doing over 2,000,000 kms with this truck. Tracka soon realised that for those who were not afraid of hard physical work, good money was to be made as a hay carting contractor. During the 1950s to the 1970s he would go from the Goulburn Valley to the western district carting hay.
It was hard work and teams stayed in various stations camping in shearing quarters, sometimes at the same time as the shearers which was very interesting. At the age of 32 he managed to set, what was believed to be at the time, a world record, for the number of bales (3439) carted in one day on one truck. It was an amazing effort considering that the bales were carted direct from paddock to stack at that time. The industry for hay carting contractors has changed over the years, the advent of large round and square bales and mechanical loading and unloading has made the work physically easier but there are not too many around that know this game as well as Tracka, a testimony to the fact that at 70 years of age he is still in demand. His knowledge of hay quality, optimal methods for cartage and storage, supply and demand, even during difficult periods such as drought or flood, is second to none.
Tracka still enjoys the game. His Scania and modified tri-axle trailer that has more hydraulices (self-installed unloading system) than you can poke a stick at, are still seen around the traps in the area today.
Well done, Tracka, you have served the industry well.
John Francis (Tracka) Cadan passed away peacefully at home Feb. 10, 2012.