Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2009.
Rob Male loved trucks. Long before he joined his father's transport business at the age of 16, he helped around the yard and in the workshop. In 1980 Rob and his wife, Thelda, took the business over. The older trucks were replaced with new Internationals and Atkinsons. Ultimately, their sons Tim and Adam would join the business.
The business expanded with a twice-weekly service to Melbourne and a daily run to Adelaide. Regular work included delivery of locally-manufactured, large agricultural machines. A difficult and time-consuming job was the police escorted transport of power pylons which meant keeping careful records of gradients, bridge widths and overhead cable clearances.
As a small child Tim Male shadowed his father around the truck yard and went on his first interstate run when he was five. The Male Depot was next to the high school and there was Tim, distracted by the sound of trucks coming and going, looking out to see which truck, which driver and what load it was. He left and began working for the family business when he was just 15. Adam also joined the family business as soon as he left school, working around the depot helping service vehicles and load and unload trucks. Once he had his licence he began making local deliveries around Mannum. By the time he was 18 he was already doing interstate trips learning the ropes.
The long, hard hours of work were beginning to take their toll on Rob's health and Adam gave up driving to become operations manager. Males Transport was by then operating five Internationals and Atkinson prime-movers, various trailers, additional light trucks for the locdal work and up to eight drivers.
In the mid 1990s Rob and Thelda handed the business to Tim and Adam. Rob died two years short of retirement, on the 25th November, 1998 and is buried in Mannum. Adam took over the daily delivery service for a large regional retailer, establishing himself as AJ Male Freightliners. He bought a new Iveco which soon proved itself pulling a tautliner on the daily Adelaide run. Tim traded as TR Male Transport with three Kenworths, two Western Stars and a UD looking after interstate work.
In 2005, when he was diagnosed with a serious illness, Adam ceased operations and began to dispose of the equipment and take on casual work with his brother. Tim, his son Brendan, together with his brother Adam and his son, Harry all work together in this 140 year-old family company that has had five generation of Males work in it.