Bush trucker harvests and hauls

By: Tamara Whitsed, Photography by: Tamara Whitsed


Paul Muggleton enjoys harvesting logs in the summer and carting them in the winter.

Bush trucker harvests and hauls
Paul Muggleton with his boss, R&V Bergin managing director Buck Bergin.

 

Paul ‘Spot’ Muggleton spent 18 years harvesting logs for R&V Bergin of Tumbarumba, New South Wales, before he started driving the company’s trucks in 1994.

Driving long distance and interstate was a welcome change, but he still loves the bush. So it suits him to spend summers harvesting hardwood logs and winters carting them.

The 55-year-old has spent most of his 40-year career working for R&V Bergin. He was only 15 when he joined Rex Bergin’s logging crew in 1976.

Modern logging is safer, easier and more comfortable than when Paul started.

"Years ago you had to have a bloke to hook the logs on the back of the bulldozer. That was my job first up," Paul says.

He was 17 when he started driving a bulldozer.

When Paul was 33 he was ready for a change, and started driving trucks for Bergins. He drove long distance in the 1990s, but since marrying Jenny in 2007 he likes to work closer to home.

This summer he operated a processor, harvesting alpine ash in Bago State Forest. He can see the hills of the Bago Forest from the backyard of his Tumbarumba home.

Paul looks forward to returning to the road when rain and snow force the hardwood logging crew out of the forest.

"A change is as good as a holiday," he says.

He is likely to spend part of the winter carting logs from the pine plantations around Shelley, Victoria, to Visy’s pulp mill at Tumut. It can take up to three hours each way.

Today R&V Bergin is managed by Buck Bergin, his wife Debbie and son Robert.

The company is one of Tumbarumba’s largest employers with about 60 staff, 33 trucks, one hardwood harvest crew and three pine harvest crews.

There are several long-term employees including Brian ‘Sadie’ Wolter.

You can read more about Paul in the February issue of Owner//Driver.

 

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