GERRISH, Kevin

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2014.

Kevin Gerrish was born in Warburton Vic in 1932. He purchased his first truck in 1953 which he used to cart logs in the Warburton district. He sold the truck in 1955 to go into partnership with his father in a garage and taxi service. In 1957 Kevin and his wife Betty left the business and moved to King Lake (Vic) and started logging with Ken Heaney. After that they moved to Bayswater Victoria and Kevin drove for Lewis’ of Adelaide. He later bought two Dodge trucks in partnership with his brother-in-law, Peter Burgess. Peter was later unfortunately killed in an accident in one of them.

Kevin then purchased three D8 bulldozers and a Mercedes Benz 338 prime mover named Hitler’s Revenge to haul a low loader to transport the equipment. The family moved to Mansfield, Victoria where the machinery was used to widen the Mt Buller road to the snowfields, dig dams and clear land for pine plantations as well as snigging logs in the bush. Kevin eventually sold up the bulldozers and bought more Mercedes Benz trucks, eventually having a fleet of six. The trucks were used for logging in the summer and used on interstate work in the winter, carting to Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Kununurra and Alice Springs. Kevin was one of the first to haul B-doubles interstate, leaving one trailer at Port Augusta and then travelling to Sydney or Melbourne with the other.

Some of Kevin’s highlights included carrying concrete light poles to the Argyle Diamond mines, sometimes ‘piggy-backing’ trucks home and taking an oversize concrete mixer to Alice Springs. He brought the prime mover home on the Old Ghan train. Kevin also carted huge granite slabs to be used for headstones, two slabs per load, from Pleasant Hills in South Australia to Melbourne. Kevin was one of the founding members of NETCOL, the local branch of the Long Distance Road Transport Association.

Kevin downsized his fleet driving the last truck himself at 74 years of age. Whilst taking a load of logs from Omeo to Eden N.S.W in 2006, Kevin had a bad accident and was air lifted to Melbourne hospital. He died eight months later from his injuries. RIP Kevin.

 
 

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