Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2015
Kenneth (Ken) Buchanan has worked in the transport industry for over 50 years; hauling roadtrains and over-dimensional loads throughout Australia. Ken’s father drove a pug nose Austin and used their home in Oatley, Sydney as a depot/workshop. After completing his mechanic’s apprenticeship, Ken repaired one of his dad’s old Austin and worked this as his first truck in 1964 on local and country deliveries which included carting canopies for Shell Service Stations throughout New South Wales.
Ken soon found his forte hauling for many heavy engineering firms. He remembers deliveries for the construction of various projects like the Sydney Opera House and BHP Steel works.
Ken’s brother Ian has worked with him throughout the years as a mechanic and driver and has restored Ken’s 1967 TK Bedford. Ken purchased this brand new with a 120Hp Leyland which he later upgraded to a 6V53 GM, one of the first Bedfords to have this motor in it. Ken often referred to it as “King of the Road”. Ken’s wife Wilma was very supportive of his time on the road. Their eldest daughter was born on New Year’s Eve 1971 whilst Ken was stuck in Mt Isa waiting for parts for his 1970 White.
Ken respects a driver that understands the equipment he uses and believes that this is one important thing missing from the way drivers are trained today. When reminiscing about the old days Ken thinks of the hot, noisy uncomfortable trucks; the rough and long gravel roads, the heat of the outback, the hills he tried to avoid and the way all truck drivers would always stop to help another driver in need.
In the 1980s Ken began carting tower crane equipment and it was here that he found his niche. He changed his company from Buchanan Carriers (a sole trader) to K&W Haulage Pty Ltd.
With a fleet now of about 20 trucks and 50 trailers (many of which are specialised for over-dimensional work), Ken is very modest about his achievements. His son and daughter now work in the company which allows Ken time to travel Australia. Ken still keeps tabs on the business while away and when back in Sydney still maintains an active interest in the daily operations.