KELSALL, Max and Jim

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2010.

S D Kelsall Transport initially started as a cream run operated by Susan Dyer Kelsall in 1926.

Max Kelsall worked for the International dealer in Grafton for four and a half years and he then inherited the business from his mother in 1950. Jim Kelsall worked as an aircraft engineer with Qantas before returning to Lawrence.

In 1952 Jim joined his brother Max in the business. The Kelsall’s first two trucks were KS5s carting timber from Lawrence to MacLean Wharf and bagged corn and potatoes back to Grafton Rail. In 1954-55 they bought five Internationals and carted timber to Brisbane and flour and general stores back. It was a 10 hour trip each way on part gravel roads and with many ferry crossings. In the early 60s they bought three B61  Macks followed by two F200 Macks in the mid 60s, 1418 Mercedes and three Fiats. The early 70s saw the introduction of the first of the Kenworths into the business. This soon grew to nine Kenworths on the Brisbane run and the beer run from Grafton to Taree, Tamworth, Walget and all the north-east of NSW.

The mid 70s saw the introduction of the fuel tankers and another six Kenworths carting from Trail Bay, Newcastle, and Brisbane covering the north-east corner of the state. Another two Kenworths were carting frozen goods Sydney to Brisbane in the early 80s. Also in the 80s the Kelsalls acquired the contract to cart Stramit from the Grafton factory Australia wide. They also brought general goods from Sydney to Maclean to load the ship for Lord Howe Island. By the mid 80s Kelsall Transport was running 17 Kenworths from the Grafton depot and were employing 14 full-time subbies. Due to family illness the Kelsalls dismantled the family business in the late 80s and early 90s.

Max still lives in Lawrence and Jim lives in nearby Woolgoolga.