Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.
Douglas Earle Shelton was born in Dungog, N.S.W., on 7th June, 1938. He married his wife Reta in 1961 and they went on to have two children, Jennifer and Guy. The family own and operate Sheltons Bus Service Pty. Ltd.
The business started in 1938, the same year Doug was born. His father, Harry, had established a taxi service using a Hudson Teraplane car and later using a Studebaker car. A key part of the business was operating a passenger service from Dungog to the Barrington Guest House.
In 1950 the Dungog Country Women’s Association (CWA) asked Harry Shelton to transport four students from Williams Valley to Dungog so that the Education Department would establish a Central School. Harry said ‘yes’ and this event was the impetus was the start of the school transport business.
During 1954 Albion Motors came to sell a chassis to Harry. They were told he couldn’t even buy the spare wheel and wouldn’t have a converted truck chassis anyway. Subsequently the first Albion FT39A, No. 3735E bus chassis came to Australia. Mr. Anderson, Albion’s Managing Director gave Harry advice about how to drive a diesel and, to use only Shell Rotella oil in the motor for a long and reliable life of the motor. To this day Shelton’s still use only Shell oils in their fleet. Harry Shelton was impressed with the Albion’s performance and twelve months later a second Albion was purchased.
Doug left school in 1956, obtained a special licence to drive a bus, and commenced work with Harry and brother, Noel, to help run the business. As the Education Department closed small country schools they relied on Shelton’s to provide transport to schools in Dungog from outlying areas. The fleet grew and the family were heavily involved in the establishment of the Dungog High School in 1966. Charter work involves school excursions, day trips and group tours. Over the years many makes of vehicle were used including Leyland 400/401, Mercedes-1316, 1418, 1728, 1830, Volvo B7R, Toyota Coaster. The current fleet of 20 buses employs 21 drivers, 3 mechanics and involves, 15 contracts. Sheltons transfer over 600 students per day.
Doug was awarded a Certificate of Transport Management in 1995, and a certified Driver Authority Trainer No. H243 ITA in 1993.
Doug has 56 years in the industry: 47 years as Managing Director, and retired from driving in 2005. Third generation son Guy and his wife Christy, have managed the business since 2003.