Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2007.
Adelaide trucking pioneer, Leon Macklin, travelled the Nullarbor in the early 1960s when it was just dirt, potholes and corrugation..Always excited to head off for a new destination in any part of Australia, he especially loved Perth.
He is among the many trailblazers who began with a single truck but spent a lifetime building up a fleet and a successful business. He was only 16 when he learned to drive a 1936 Bedford in 1943. I cut my teeth on milk and cartage and tippers and all sorts of things, said Leon.
Leon was very proud to have built his company from humble beginnings through hard work. From 1954 to 1960, Leon and his brother, Brian Macklin, worked in partnership, carting milk and cream in Fords, buying a semi and venturing interstate. In the 1960s and 1970s, Leon won a fuel-carting contract. He was able to buy more trucks and employ drivers. After being loyal to the Ford brand for decades, Leon bought a Volvo G88 in the 1970s. Today, most of his trucks are Volvos. The business continued to grow after Leon stopped driving in the mid-1980s to focus on administration. He had 15 trucks in 1990 and 20 in 2000.
In 2007, Macklin Transport Storage & Distribution took delivery of a Volvo FH520 increasing its fleet to 33. Several of their trucks operate as triple roadtrains. The business operates from the industrial Adelaide suburb, Dry Creek, and the trucks travel to all mainland states. The Macklins believe buying specialised gear for long-term contracts pays off. They have 60 trailers and three 35 tonne container lifters. Today, Leon's son, Richard is the managing director. Leon worked in transport for 64 years and passed away before his 80th birthday in 2007.