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A trucking pioneer

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September 16, 2017

Ludvic ‘Victa’ Lumbar arrived in Australia from Yugoslavia on January 11, 1954.

He began his journey working in Wentworth picking grapes and then started at International Harvesters in Geelong building castings for machinery.

After moving to Melbourne he was employed at Dunlop Tyres, making tyre casings, before he moved to Chiltern in Victoria to begin his own business.

It was here that Mr Lumbar’s involvement in the transport industry began. He ran a service station with a business partner who had a truck.

Inevitably, another truck was purchased between them.

As times changed, Mr Lumbar felt like he had to move on.

The business partnership was ended and Mr Lumbar made the journey to Deniliquin with his AA160 Inter with a 28-foot strap trailer in mid-March 1961.

His day-to-day work in Deniliquin would start with cutting about 12 tonne of firewood, with his wife by his side.

He would then load it up, jump in the truck and start his 10-hour trip to Melbourne to deliver his freight.

In seeking efficiencies, Mr Lumbar began back loading freight, with local business Gillespies being his first major client.

Mr Lumbar was the first carrier in Deniliquin to make general freight a priority.

He was also the first to cart bulk grain on a flat top trailer with grain traps in the floor (using an early model convertible).

Slowly he added another truck to his business, and added a third when he began moving groceries and later beer.

It was at this time, in the late 1960s, Mr Lumbar moved his home business to a site in Sloane St, Deniliquin.

By this time the service between Deniliquin and Melbourne was like clockwork, with the business running up to three trucks a day.

In the early 1970s, Mr Lumbar moved the shed at his home to Sloane St for use by the business. He also expanded by adding a service pit and truck wash to the premises.

Mr Lumbar was active in the industry until his death in 2001. His sons — Frank, Stan and Eddie — have continued to remain involved in the transport industry.

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