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Year: 2015

WILLIAM ARTHUR FELDHAHN

Arthur, as he was known to everyone, was born on 3 January 1923 in Lowood, Queensland. Arthur married Betty May Pryde on 22 March 1947 in Ipswich.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Arthur and his father cut timber and transported logs from Lowood to Krugers sawmill in Ipswich. He soon moved to Gatton with his family and became a partner of Gatton Sawmilling Co. Driving a 1955 Ford, he hauled log timber from around the district to the sawmill. He also bought a Thames Trader prime mover and timber jinker for his other sawmill in Ravensbourne.

In 1967, Arthur purchased Gatton Freighters with Harry Yates. A body Thames Trader and International truck were included in the general carrying business. As the business grew, Arthur increased his small fleet by purchasing a Ford D Series, a semi-trailer flat top and another Thames Trader body truck. For a number of years, Gatton Freighters continued to carry general goods from Brisbane to Gatton.

In 1976, Arthur purchased four new Ford LNT 9000 Louisvilles which carried produce from the Gatton area to Sydney and Melbourne, and subsequently bought four more Louis. Some of these were eventually traded for four 1984 LTL 9000 Louisvilles and tippers, which were used to carry grain, fertilizer and gypsum. Walking floor trailers were used to carry woodchip, silage and cottonseed to and from the Darling Downs.

After Betty (2005) and Arthur (2007) passed away, their children carried on the business until closing in 2011. Over the 43 years, Gatton Freighters owned up to 44 trucks including 30 Louis, 3 Macks, 2 Man, 1 UD, 1 Iveco and 1 Argosy Freightliner (pulling a b-double). Gatton Freighters employed 25 drivers, 3 mechanics and 2 office staff.

The red 1985 Ford Louisville and tipper trailer are still owned by Arthur's son-in-law and daughter and is used to carry grain from the Darling Downs to Brisbane. One of the old D Series is currently being rebuilt by Arthur's son.

Arthur was well known for his strong involvement in the road transport industry, most prominently for being the driving force behind Gatton Freighters, one of the main transport operators servicing the grain and produce farmers of the Darling Downs.

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