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Hastings Deering History


Founded in 1932

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. The 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 persuaded 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 a very high profile figure of Australian industry and for some years wrote his widely-read "Faith in the Future" newspaper column in which he expressed his views on Australian industry and its development.

Earthmoving equipment was introduced with Caterpillar dealerships being gained in the Northern Territory in 1948 (with Hastings Diesels Ltd in Alice Springs) and Papua New Guinea in 1953 (with Hastings Deering (Pacific) Ltd in Lae). The company also distributed the Lima and Michigan range of cranes and excavators in New South Wales, where a substantial engineering and body building business was built up in Sydney.

At one time the company built the bulk of the airport service vehicles in Australia and established substantial export markets in Asia and the Middle East. A smaller side of this business was the manufacture of crane carriers on AEC chassis; and of some truck and tractor cranes based on Ford ‘Country’ tractors for use on aircraft carriers.

An earthmoving equipment repair business developed at the time of the giant Snowy Mountains Scheme. 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 N.S.W.

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 in Papua New Guinea has firmly established Hastings Deering as a major figure 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.

  • 1948: Hastings Diesels Ltd incorporated to conduct Caterpillar equipment dealerships at Alice Springs and Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia.

  • 1953: Hastings Deering gained the Caterpillar franchise for Queensland, purchasing premises and taking over the staff of former dealer, Waugh and Josephson Ltd.

  • 1970: The company opened a facility at Gove (N.T.) to support the large fleet of Caterpillar machines sold with the huge bauxite-mining project established there.

  • 1974: Darwin devastated by cyclone ‘Tracy’. Hastings Dearing’s facility was not seriously damaged and the company was able to assist with the cleanup by providing equipment and necessary machine maintenance and repairs around the clock.

  • 1982: Hastings Deering commenced operations at Honiara in the Solomon Islands.

  • 1992: The Hastings Deering Group purchased by Sime Darby Berhad.

  • 1993: Hastings Deering extends its branch network with a new branch at Andrews on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

  • 1994: AustChrome, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hastings Deering commences operations in Mackay, Queensland, providing hardchroming and hydraulic repair services to the dealership territory.

  • 1999: Hastings Deering (Australia) Ltd certified to ISO 9002 Quality Assurance Standard. Head Office in Brisbane and 9 branches met the requirements for certification, effective March, 1999.

  • 2003: New Darwin branch opens.

  • 2009: Additional branch facilities open at Hastings Park in Mackay.

  • 2010: New Caterpillar on-highway truck business opens at Richlands in Brisbane. New Hastings Deering Institute of Technology centre opens in Acacia Ridge in Brisbane.

  • 2011: Caterpillar acquires Bucyrus International in an USD7bn transaction. Hastings Deering becomes the first Caterpillar dealership in the world to sell, service and support the new range of underground and surface mining equipment.

  • 2012: New General Construction stores open in Brisbane and Mackay. New Hastings Deering Institute of Technology campus opens in Rockhampton. Truck centres in Richlands, Toowoomba and Mackay expand.



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