RESTA, Vin

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2010.

Vin worked as a driver from the age of 19 and in 1973 when he was twenty-six, Vin purchased his first truck and began his lifetime career as an owner-driver, eventually becoming a small fleet owner running five trucks interstate.

When Vin purchased the Atkinson, a 1968 model with a 671 Detroit engine, he was married with two young children and the bright orange upholstery in the cabin was a big hit with the family.

Vin drove interstate to Perth, Mt Isa and Brisbane, carting general freight. Often, when time allowed the whole family went for a ride, sleeping four abreast in the cabin. After the Atkinson, Vin bought a 1969 cab-over Kenworth with an 871 Detroit engine continuing to drive interstate, mostly to Perth and Mount Isa. Vin always favoured Kenworths but, in the last few years, he has been running Western Star trucks with much success. Vin’s greatest love was a 1985 W-model Kenworth with a 400 CAT engine which he fully restored from scratch after having bought it as a wreck in Balranald. Those who knew him well always refered to the W-model as the “Balranald Burner” because Vin broke his leg while he was loading it to bring it home. He kept the Balranald Burner for several years, finally selling it with some regret. He has since restored another 1985 cab-over Kenworth with a 400 CAT engine and he has almost finished restoring a 1985 W-model Kenworth with a Series 60 Detroit engine.

Vin remembers that in the early days, although there were many problems in the industry, life on the road was full of camaraderie and good times. All the drivers helped each other if they encountered trouble along the road and many families combined holidays and business by coming for a ride in the truck.

Vin spent many years carting wool which he still does regularly. He drives occasionally but most of his time these days is taken up with organising freight and keeping up with maintenance on the vehicles as well as restoring his beloved W-model.

He has had numerous experiences on the road but perhaps one of the best memories is that of being in the road blocks which resulted in the abolition of road tax.