WHEELER, Jack

13wheelerntruck 13wheeler loaded

Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.

John Francis Wheeler, Jack to his family and friends but known to most of his truckie mates as Jackie,  was born in Woodend, Victoria in 1938 where his family operated a small farm. Jack grew up with an early appreciation of road transport and machinery and began driving at a very early age. He has been driving trucks now for over 60 years.

Jack is well respected by his mates along the road. Even though he is quite ill he still literally lives and breathes the trucking industry and is one of its keenest advocates. He has arranged, when the time comes, for his ashes to be scattered along the highway as ‘the road’ was his life.

Jack’s first real job was carting logs from the family farm in  St. Andrews but when he turned 18 he left home and started hauling bricks at a brick kiln in Melbourne before moving on to work for Thompsons in Huntingdale, where he stayed for the next twelve years.

When he turned 35 Jack decided to go into business as an owner operator and purchased an Oshkosh. He carted logs for his brothers in Buchan and in the winter, when work dropped off, he hauled paper for Mayne Nickless.  Once the Oshkosh wore out Jack invested in a Mercedes Benz and stayed with them the whole of his career since. Jack is a three time Mercedes Benz award winning driver.

Over the years Jack has owned ten Mercedes Benz including 2232s and four Actros. His biggest load was carting dump trucks to the mines in Northern Queensland  and his most unusual load was carting an elephant for a circus through the suburbs of Melbourne. Jacks last job was hauling over-size and large loads for Millars Transport in Heyfield, Qld.

Jack was forced to retire in 2011 when his prostate cancer proved too much for him to handle. he currently lives in Moe where he is cared for by his brother Brian and sister-in-law Lorraine and supported by his family.

John passed away in May 2014.