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Year: 2015

Dennis Bernard Maxwell (DB) was born at Ulverstone on the 12th January 1936. Dennis left school at an early age and began working for the Preece family at Cressy cutting wood.

Dennis bought a 1952 Austin K4 Truck and started working for himself on Empire Day 1955. Unfortunately on that very first day Dennis was helping fix a mate's truck when the driver accidentally drove onto Dennis fracturing his pelvis. In 1956 Dennis purchased a new Ford F600 truck. He contracted for the DMR carting sand and gravel on the Scottsdale-Bridport Road.

In 1959 he carted freight for Cliff Cairns Freight Services from Launceston to the West Coast mining town of Queenstown and freight for Port Phillip, working six days a week travelling to Hobart.

In June 1964 Dennis and his wife Jeanette bought a dairy farm at Lower Wilmot. They also purchased their first school bus that year, a 16 seat L391D Mercedes Benz and contracted transporting children from Erriba to Wilmot Primary School. They held that contract for 46 years. They also operated a mail contract for Australia Post for many years.

That first school bus led to many more buses which in addition to the school buses led to transporting bushwalkers to and from the world famous Cradle Mountain Lake St Claire National Park, over challenging roads in rain, ice and snow. Dennis became known as King of the Mountains. He also did numerous tours of Tasmania for various groups.

At one time or another the Maxwell Coaches fleet has included Flexible Clippers, AEC, Mercedes, Denning, Hino, Mazda and Toyota buses plus various Landrovers.

Dennis worked long days and nights transporting bush walkers as well as doing his own mechanical repairs and maintenance. He loves his work and is like a magnet drawing people to him with his infectious sense of humour and warmth.

Dennis has been President of the Tasmanian School Bus Association and has Life Membership with Wilmot Primary School and received membership of the Tasmanian Bus & Coach Society. Dennis donated two buses to the TBCS, a 1963 Bedford bus and a 1963 AEC 45 seater. The AEC had sat in a paddock for 20 years. Dennis put a new battery in her and the AEC fired up straight away and he took it for a spin around the paddock.

August 2014 saw Dennis and Jeanette celebrate 50 years in the bus industry. He is semi-retired and still driving buses. He has a few trucks and is adding to his collection of tractors. Dennis enjoys his farm, watching AFL football, visiting his grandchildren and will still drive anywhere anytime.

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