Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2012.Harold Bryant first started his transport business contracting in a tip truck to local councils in the Lismore NSW region as WH Bryant in 1927. Over the years as his family grew and his two sons, Henry and Lyal, became more involved the family business became WH Bryant & Sons Pty Ltd.
Lismore lies nine metres above sea level on the narrow and winding north arm of the Richmond River. The area was once covered by a huge rainforest known locally as “The Big Scrub”. As European settlement grew so did the need for timber and opportunities for a fledgling logging industry. By the 1850s the logging industry had experienced much growth since prompting considerable increases in river traffic. When World War Two ended road and rail took over most of the freight task in the area.
In those early days Harold Bryant also operated a timber jinker hauling White Booyong and Australian red cedar logs from the deep valleys into the local saw-mills. It was hard, tough and back breaking work for men and machine and anything that made the job easier was welcomed. Harold Bryant was an innovator and is remembered for the many tools of the trade he, with the help of other local businessmen, developed including a wire-operated winch for loading and unloading huge logs.
As the years went on and the road transport industry in the northern New South Wales region developed, Harold Bryant played a significant and innovative role in its development particularly in the latter years when his two sons, Henry and Lyal, joined the family business. All three were dedicated to the development of their industry. The first trucks Henry and Lyal operated were a KS5 and a KSB6 International. Both proved hardy and capable for the task ahead of them and the business soon grew with the first building of many being erected in the 1950s.
Harold was involved in numerous firsts for the trucking industry in his district. He was first to own a winch operated tipper, a hydraulic tipper and dual-wheeled trucks. Following the success of his early work with the BB Ford and KS Internationals he went on to own many more over the years including an S-Line, a bogie-drive R174 and a diesel S182 truck. Internationals were the core of the business until, in 1965 he purchased a Kenworth K124 and moved thereafter to the Kenworth marque. WH Bryant & Sons Pty Ltd added the latest models as the business changed and expanded under the leadership of the second generation of Bryants to operate the business as their life’s work.
The Bryant family business changed focus from being local contractors to specializing in supply of stock feeds and fertilisers to local primary producers. The Bryants also added tankers to their fleet to deliver petroleum products throughout regional and country areas in NSW and Qld.
As Henry and Lyal (dec) moved towards retirement, they sold the last of their Kenworth fleet.