HAYWOOD, Wilf

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

Wilfred Allan Haywood born in Somerset Tasmania but moved to Victoria in 1936. In 1948, as a fifteen year old he started work on a dairy farm in Lilydale. His next job was with a Yarra Glen cartage contractor which had Wilf driving around Yarra Glen without a licence. The local Cop told him to present himself to the Police Station and for 5 bob (50 cents) gave him his license.

From here Wilf progressed to driving a K5 International “Tipper” for Frank Woods. By 1953 he was working for McKenzie Bus Lines. In 1955 he went to work as a truck driver for the Manufacturers Bottle Company of Victoria (MBCV) which had been set up by Carlton United Breweries (CUB). At the time the CUB warehouse in Darwin was serviced by sea freight with a lead time of three months. Darwinites were heavy drinkers and demand could not be kept up! When the decision was made to service Darwin by road in 1959 it was Wilf they turned to. The road between Port Augusta and Alice Springs was dirt so the route from Melbourne to Darwin via Mt Isa was chosen. Initially an AEC Mandator was used but later four Leyland Beavers and a Hippo were acquired.

It was tough going. Roadside break downs and repairs became an all too common occurrence. Eventually MBCV ordered 10 x W923 Kenworths through ‘Cameron’s Transport’. Wilf’s truck came with a 10 speed Roadranger but it was quickly realized that a 15 speed was required to lift off big loads, When the road train operation started, single axle dollies with no brakes were used. Wilf’s good friend, Ray Miller of Sydney/Mt Isa Transport used a bogie dolly on the second trailer behind his single drive B Model Mack. Wilf convinced MBVC that was the way to go. Eventually the decision was made by CUB to try running to Darwin ‘through the centre’ and Wilf went on to become a legendary south road runner; the man who brought the beer! He was a real gentleman of the road.

Wilf took redundancy in 1989 and moved into the world of gold prospecting for the rest of his life. He passed away in March 2014 but lives on through his son Neil and daughter Debra.



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