News

Legend Vincent Borg is overwhelmed with HOF selection

Vincent Borg.
Vincent Borg. Contributed

ADELAIDE-based retired truckie Vincent Borg cried for two days when he found out he was to be inducted into the Road Transport Hall of Fame.

He joins a list of 88 truckies set to be inducted into the HOF during this year's reunion in Alice Springs on August 28- September 1.

"I feel overwhelmed, I didn't really expect this," he said.

Vincent's son nominated him and didn't tell his dad until afterwards.

"I can't beleive it, I've got tears in my eyes now.

"He said he did it for the grandchildren and their children," Vincent told Big Rigs.

"I've got some wonderful memories of Australia. My friends go overseas. I tell them I don't go overseas. Australia has it all.

"I saw it in the raw. It was hardly blemished."

Vincent was born in 1939 at Horsley Park NSW just at the onset of the Second World War.

Times were tough and young Vincent started working at just 15 years of age.

He began his career in the trucking industry in 1954 transporting and road testing new Leyland buses and trucks.

Vince discovered he had a natural aptitude for truck driving and in 1958 purchased his first truck, a Leyland Comet 75.

That truck didn't even have windows on the sides he told Big Rigs.

He was living in Adelaide (where he still resides) and was thrilled to become an owner driver and soon found work sub-contracting for KW Thomas and Edmond T Lennon, carting all sorts of goods to most major mainland cities throughout Australia.

Business was brisk, and as a result, Vince upgraded to a brand new International AA180 and 34ft Aiken trailer by 1959.

Vince carried food, tractors and GMH parts for assembly. In those days the roads were mostly dirt between Adelaide and Sydney.

And Vince was one of the first to drive a road train out of Adelaide in 1959. Back then they all ran out of Port Augusta.

He remembers back to driving up north and having to open gates to drive along the highway through towns.

By 1963, Vince had three trucks, one of which he worked on the Adelaide Darwin run.

Vince's favourite truck at this time was his Commer Knocker.

He enjoyed its reliability and economy, however, for grunt and pulling power, it was his Leyland Super Beaver that won. It was among the first vehicles to pull a full road train from Adelaide fully laden to Darwin.

The road to Alice Springs in those days was a dusty corrugated dirt track that turned into a muddy quagmire in the wet.

Roadhouses and people were few and far between. Breakdowns could see drivers stranded for weeks on end with the only service delivered by plane.

Vince carried many interesting loads of freight, including the first drive-in movie screen to Alice Springs from Adelaide.

He also routinely carried oversized goods that the railways could not handle such as turbine condensers for electricity generation in Darwin.

When Vince retired from the road, he moved into the supply sector.

After introducing Bandag retread tyres to many parts of the transport industry Vince moved into truck sales with International Harvester.

He pioneered fleet sales and received many national awards for his commitment to customer service. In 1982 Vince Borg retired from the transport industry.

During his long and productive career Vince founded a trucking company, managed logistics for the food manufacturing industry, designed trailers, worked with the development of new products and changed the way that truck sales were handled.

"I really haven't got any bad memories of those days," he said. "In them days, people were excited to see you with a load. It didn't matter if it was late."

But Vince remembers how the road tax sent a lot of good operators to the wall.

"Back in those days, things were pretty hard. You just battled on. Trucks bought me my first house."

He is heading to Alice Springs for the induction and looks forward to catching up with the other inductees.

Big Rigs

Topics:  hall of fame inductees transport trucks


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.