Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2010.
Maxwell Kuchel began his career as a truck driver at the age of 18 in SA’s Riverland. This was in 1945 and he had to split mallee stumps by hand, loading and unloading them the same way. Bagged wheat, grapes, hay and horse manure were other items carted – the loading of which was very labour intensive.
In 1949 a G-well under body hoist was fitted to a KBS6 which, at last, made the tipping off of products possible. A short time later, Max fitted a semi to his unit and took oranges to Melbourne.
Max also hauled fresh fruit and vegies to the then eastend market in Adelaide. He later decided to moved to the Barossa Valley in 1951, sharing a school bus contract with a cousin, and finding work for his trucks in-between school bus hours. Over the years he worked for the Highways Dept., ICI etc. Max also worked carting Barytes from Orraparinna, in the Flinders Ranges, to Adelaide. In 1967 he banded together with a group of local truck operators to form Barossa Contractors, carting for Adelaide Brighton Cement under this banner. He was joined in the business by his son, Tony, in 1973. From Max’s initial beginning of carting produce to Melbourne, this type of cartage was expanded on to carrying potatoes, grain and minerals to Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
Max was a hardworking, honest individual and took great pride and interest in the growing business of Kuchel Contractors. He was known as being a fair and honest player and was well repected by his peers right up until his passing in 2004.