A deep history of far-reaching service. The Hastings Deering Group was founded by Sydney-born Harold Hastings Deering in 1932. Legend has it that while a fighter pilot in Britain during the first World War, he landed his plane in the AEC factory yard, and refused to leave until he had coerced AEC to allow him to distribute its trucks and buses in Australia.
Harold Hastings Deering was appointed Manager of the new distributorship, and became a pioneer in the mechanisation of Australia, foreseeing the development needs of the growing nation, and securing the machinery necessary to do the work. In 1932 he formed Hastings Deering Engineering Company Pty. Ltd to acquire the distribution of Exide batteries. He added the Sydney Ford distributorship (trucks, cars and tractors) in 1935, and then an Alice Springs Ford dealership in 1936. He was author of a widely-read “Faith in the Future” newspaper column in which he expressed his views on Australian industry and its development.
Hastings Deering also distributed the Lima and Michigan range of cranes and excavators in New South Wales, where a substantial engineering and machinery body building business was established in Sydney.
With the giant Snowy Mountains Scheme in full swing, an earthmoving equipment repair business was developed. This indirectly precipitated the move into the Queensland Caterpillar dealership, with Waugh & Josephson selling its business in Queensland in 1953 and Hastings Deering closing its repair business in New South Wales.
Hastings Deering has been at the forefront of development in Queensland, initially with sales of large Caterpillar tractors to contractors clearing land for agriculture, and later for large mining developments in Queensland and New South Wales. A strong relationship was forged between the company and Thiess Brothers, resulting in the appearance of a large Caterpillar fleet of machines on major civil projects around the country.
Substantial sales of Caterpillar equipment over the years to major oil exploration and mining projects made its mark in the highly valuable territories of Papua New Guinea. Hastings Deering has become a significant presence in that country’s economy and development. In 1992, the Hastings Deering Group was purchased by the Malaysia-based multinational Sime Darby Berhad, which operates more than 200 companies in 21 countries worldwide.
World-renowned Caterpillar heavy earthmoving equipment is distributed throughout Queensland, the Northern Territory, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia by the branch network of the Hastings Deering Group.