Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2014.
William Robert Cleeland (Bill) was born at Mansfield Victoria in 1940, one of seven children to Rupert and Barbara. He went to Barjarg State School, then to Benalla High School until he was 15. He then worked for two years selling rabbit skins and wool, later working at Mt Bulla driving bull dozers to save money to buy his own truck. He always wanted to drive his own truck. Bill bought a J6 Bedford truck for £2300 cash and carted logs from Mt Sterling, Bulla and Jamieson to Mansfield for the next 18 years. He then purchased his first bulldozer and worked for the various mills in Mansfield, Jamieson and Euroa in summer. In winter he hauled on private logging to timber mills in the north east.
In 1978 he purchased a logging business in northern New South Wales which included four logging trucks. This was an unsettling time as the greenies and hippies were trying to stop rainforest logging which they succeeded in doing at Terania Creek. It was very confrontational and police were brought in to ride shot gun on trucks. A television documentary promoting Bill's business of logging in the Nimbin area was made and this story was featured in the English magazine called the Rolling Stone. Bill carted one of the biggest logs to come out of the Nimbin area. In the years since the logging industry increasingly operates in a sustainable manner for regeneration of environmental resources.
Bill moved back to Victoria in 1982, and sold his business although he retained his beloved Road Boss that he has kept for 21 years. Bill decided to haul interstate. His son Ashley started working with him and they purchased two Kenworths, a Scania and a Mack. In the years since, Bill has given numerous drivers their first job at truck driving and though he had to retire 13 years ago because of ill health he still takes a great interest in the trucking industry and those that work in it. He has been married to Bev for 53 years. He has two children, seven grandchildren and five great children.
On reflection Bill states that he would do it all over again, I have loved the life and it has given me a good life.