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Year: 2015

Tony Kuchel commenced work as a truck driver in mid 1973, joining his late father Max in the family tipper business which commenced in 1950. The business grew over the years from two trucks to the larger concern now known as Kuchel Contractors which operates out of the Barossa Valley throughout South Australia and the eastern seaboard. Tony has always had a great pride in the presentation of the trucks in his fleet, and in the 1970s was often responsible for some custom paint jobs on private trucks, as well as those sold by the International truck dealership in Adelaide. Tony kept driving full time until 1986 after which, he then decided he was needed to manage the business from the confines of an office.

Tony has always been a passionate advocate of the road transport sector and has always tried particularly hard to lift its image, profile and standard. Kuchel Contractors was one of the first companies to be awarded Trucksafe accreditation in 1997. Tony, who served on the board of SARTA from 1996 to 2004, along with fellow board member and employee, Rob McConnell, often gave talks at local schools to try and boost the enthusiasm of children with the view they might pursue a career in the transport industry.

Tony was one of the main instigators behind truck trailers being allowed extra mass (45t and 49.5t) which had a huge effect on the tipper industry in the state.

The Company was awarded runner up for Excellence, Employers of New Apprentices in 2005 after Kuchel's worked hand in hand with V Tech by opening up their premises to Faith Secondary School students over two semesters for them to gain Certificate 1 in Automotive which continued for several years.

In 2006, Tony was awarded the LS Booth Outstanding Contribution to the Road Transport Industry, an award of which he felt very humbled to receive.

Tony still works in the family business, occasionally behind the wheel, but these days mainly overseeing all other aspects of the business, being ably assisted by his wife Anne, their three children and their partners.

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