HUDSON, Lionel

Lionel George Hudson, during his early school years in Cloncurry was single minded to his future and dreamed of driving trucks throughout north west Queensland. Upon leaving school Charlie, as he was well known worked by day at Barney Long Toyota in spare parts. Nights found him out roo shooting and collecting firewood to sell in a quest to save money as quickly as he could to purchase his own truck.

Hard work and sheer determination enabled Charlie to purchase his first truck in 1970, a Ford body truck, which came with the purchase of a Shell Fuel Depot which was a venture in partnership with parents Lionel and Dorothy. He soon expanded the operation to include a Leyland towing a 20 foot dog trailer, the first of many multi combination vehicles that Charlie would own in his trucking business.

Charlie realised an opportunity cattle carting, which saw him take the plunge to acquire his first new truck, an early 1970's 184 International. Cattle transport became his destiny and he expanded his fleet to include the purchase of several White Road Boss prime movers in the mid to late 1970's. With the increased use of double deck stock units Charlie became aware of the need for more powerful trucks. In 1979 he purchased a Kenworth K144 prime mover. This was modified to become a twin steer tandem drive with a lazy axle, quite a unique combination for the time. The 1981 purchase of a K144 Aerodyne body truck road train became the pride of the fleet nicknamed 'The Office'.

Ever the innovator, Charlie designed and built the first top load through with a full width ramp helping to cut traditional loading time in half. Hudson Livestock Transport prospered through the 80's with purchases to include Western Star, Mack and finally Kenworth C500 with the cherished 19 litre Cummins engines.

Married to Lesley in 1982 soon came a family, Andrew, Tamika, Elley and finally Guy. Charlie's operation had grown to be one of the leading such operations in the north west. Charlie sold his impressive depot and business to Curley Cattle Transport in 1996.

Charlie is driving trucks today at the age of 66 and remains a true gentleman and pioneer of transport in the north west.