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Year: 2015

Max Watkins was born in Launceston on 24th July 1948 and after leaving school and trying a career as a butcher he soon changed to one in transport. The first truck he drove was a K Model Bedford carting general freight while working for his father Claude Watkins.

In 1969 Max and his older brother Kevin, who also worked for his father took over the business with their wives Jenny and Pam and established the company Claude Watkins & Sons. During the next two decades as well as carrying local freight and new and used furniture, they were travelling interstate and also handling overseas removals. They opened a new company, Watkins Removal & Storage, and were operating from rented premises in Launceston and Hobart. They were also running prime movers and trailers as well as the furniture vans and had about ten employees. Max was now in charge of operations.

In 1990 to 1991 a new depot was built at Invermay which enabled them to store and handle the larger volumes of furniture now being moved. In 1997 the company was divided with Max and Jenny taking over the Launceston business and Kevin operated Hobart.

One of the largest contracts Max undertook was transporting joinery from the manufacturer in Devonport to Sydney, to refurbish a major business prior to the 2000 Olympic Games. It took three months to complete and included a tray truck and driver to distribute the loads to the building site in Sydney.

As well as running a successful business Max was a member and president for several years of the local Truck Owners and Operators Association, and is also a member of Rotary and has been involved in the youth driver awareness programme since its introduction. This programme is run each year for grade 10 students.

The business was sold in December 2004 and after more than 45 years in the transport industry Max was looking forward to a more relaxed life, however, even after 10 years of retirement, any opportunity to get behind the wheel and head down the highway, is taken. Max's favourite pastimes are listening to Slim Dusty music and watching the V8 Supercars.

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