Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005Ian Kelly is a third generation truckie and has been involved in the transport industry for 40 years. He began his working life as a jockey working for his uncle, Ian Kelly, when he was 15 years old. His grandfather, Alfred Kelly, was a transport operator in the 1930s in Camperdown, Victoria, carting wool so he already had an appreciation for the trucking industry.
His father, Alan Kelly, together with his brother, also Ian Kelly, owned and operated a transport business, Kelly Brothers Transport, carting general freight and fruit from Mildura to the Melbourne markets.
Ian became a subcontractor when he turned 18. His first truck was a Ford F750 tray, which he upgraded to a Ford F750 with a 35' single-axle trailer. It was considered state of the art at the time. In 1975 he prided himself on purchasing a brand new White 9000 and worked with his father until1976. The business was then sold to Ted Pickering. Ian then began local cartage in and around the Melbourne wharf area and the suburbs. By this time, his brother Barry was working with him and the two of them became subcontractors for Mayne Nickless.
In 1984 he purchased a new Western Star 4684 prime-mover. He named it, “Magic” and won the Truckin Life Rig of the Year in 1985 with it. In 1988 he purchased a new Kenworth T650 as a second vehicle. When work volume increased he bought a second-hand T600 Kenworth. Ian’s son, Shayne Kelly, travelled with him during all the school holidays and when he turned 18, Ian bought him a Kenworth SAR and welcomed the fourth generation truckie into the family. By then Ian was operating five vehicles doing local wharf cartage around Melbourne as well as carting containers of fruit from Shepparton to Melbourne for Phillips Transport.
They now run three Kenworth B-double combinations around the Melbourne suburbs.