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Year: 2018

Raymond (Ray) Hayes was born in 1944 and grew up in Balintore, a farming community approximately 15km north of Colac Victoria. As a young man Ray worked locally and helped out around the family farm by doing odd jobs such as bagging onions, but it was when he was 18 that his career behind the wheel started. Ray began driving in 1962 for Lex Garner, Coragulac. Driving an SSeries Bedford he moved produce around the Western District. After this first experience Ray moved on to Eldridge Bros Alvie, carting livestock all over Victoria in an International R-190.

In 1966 Ray decided to pursue a local driving job with Don McKay in Colac. This was the beginning of long term employment with the local company. He worked for McKay's for 10 years until 1976, had a two-year break, and then commenced back on the job for another 30 plus years. Ray started out driving an International 190, delivering potatoes from the Otway's. Ray enjoyed his regular connections with the locals and made lifelong relationships with many. He also really appreciated the mateship of the other drivers such as Max McKay, who he worked with for over 25 years. Later in his career Ray brought box posts back from Dunolly and Avoca and fertilizer from Geelong to local farms around Colac and district. As the years went on, Ray upgraded to a Mercedes Benz 1418 then, in 1987, he got the first S-Line bought by Don McKay.

After a long wait in his driving career, Ray finally got his first brand new truck in 1987, an International S-Line with a 300 Cummins. In 2005, he progressed into International Eagles until his retirement from McKay's in 2009 at age 65. This was not to be retirement from driving though, as Ray continues to drive school buses for Coles Coaches Colac today.

Transport is in the blood of the Hayes family. Ray's son Jason also works in road transport (father and son worked together for six-and-a-half years at McKay's) and Ray's grandson, Rhys, will make the third generation.

For most of his years on the road Ray was supported by his wife Lesley. He proudly sat beside his two sons and grandson as they drove around on their L plates and looks forward to doing the same with his granddaughter and two other grandsons in the future.

Ray Hayes has loved his work as a driver and proudly celebrates nearly 56 years in road transportation.

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