Kevin Preston was born in Creswick, Victoria in 1950. His father Ken, started his own transport company KT Preston in the same year, and it is now employing into its third generation, 70 years on. In 1966 at the age of 16, Kevin Preston left school to work with his father and eldest brother in the family business, carting sheaf hay, bales, bags of chaff – all hand loaded and unloaded from the local chaff mills for J & R Tyner at Newlyn, Kingston and Learmonth in Victoria. Kevin hauled general freight and hay on the back of an Austin and Bedford before he officially became an employee of his father’s company at age 18. His love of hay carting shines through in his many stories and memories of those days.
In the seventies, the business branched out from mainly hay carting, to carrying general freight from Ballarat and surrounds to Melbourne before moving to interstate work. The business expanded slowly and when he was 21, Kevin became a partner in KT Preston & Sons Pty Ltd. Hay, bales and chaff were still common loads during that time but progressively, vehicles were purchased to cater for bulk grain cartage.
After his father’s retirement, Kevin managed the business with his brother David but by this time the third generation of sons were joining the company. Contracts with Warehousing and Distribution for Carlton United Breweries and Coca Cola Amatil had been obtained and staff numbers and the size of the fleet had been increased. In late 2003 Kevin and David separated the business.
Kevin is now the managing director of KT Preston Pty Ltd and works with his wife Deta, three of his four sons as well as his daughter to carry on the business today. K.T Preston Pty Ltd now largely services the imports and exports of shipping containers and operates general and interstate freight runs with a fleet of immaculate Kenworth prime movers.
The end of 2020 marked 70 years of trading by the Preston family. To celebrate this milestone Kevin, with the assistance of Phil Roberts, published a book covering the remarkable journey of the family’s business over the decades. Inducted in 2021