Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2012.Kingsley Peach started driving trucks when he was just 16 years old carting wool to Geelong for his father’s business in a KS5 International. He also carted superphosphate from the Hawkesdale railhead to local farmers and groceries and beer from the Hamilton railway station to Macarthur. Kingsley took over Peach’s Transport in 1989 following the death of his father. By then, the Peach family transport business had transpired six generations.
Kingsley’s great grandfather carted supplies and passengers in his wagon to and from Port Fairy in the late 1800s and his grandfather purchased their first truck in 1924. It was a Fiat with solid rubber tyres. Twenty years later Kingsley’s father, Jack Peach, entered the business. Kingsley went on to work in Peach’s Transport in various roles for over 50 years. His son Peter was also actively involved in the business until it was sold in 2004.
Over the years Peaches operated a varied fleet including Bedford, International, Commer, Ford, Atkinson and Mack. By the time they sold out in 2004 Kingsley had built the fleet up to 12 trucks being primarily Kenworth and Western Star. They started carrying livestock with one semi and a tray truck and built the business up from there. Kingsley worked carrying from farms to the salesyards and from there to the various meatworks in the area. He also carted wool for a local wool buyer via Mt. Gambier to Melbourne to escape oppressive intra-state trade legislation “but went direct when the TRB weren’t watching.”
Dodging the Transport and Roads Board was an everyday challenge and everybody looked after each other in those days. Kingsley recalled the day the local headmaster called and asked if Kingsley was about to leave with a load of wool, and when he answered “yes”, the headmaster advised him the TRB were parked in the school yard watching him. A little while later the headmaster called to say they were safe to go…………………... “I’ve locked the gate and they can’t get out,” he advised.
Peach’s Transport went on to become one of the largest fleets in Western Victoria. It was sold in 2004 and Kingsley now spends his time working on his cattle property with his son Peter. Kingsley looks back on his trucking years fondly saying the best thing was the mateship of the people he met and dealt with including his staff, agents and clientele.