Truckin's in the blood

Jon Kelly, owner of Heavy Haulage Australia, stars in the TV series Mega Truckers.
Jon Kelly, owner of Heavy Haulage Australia, stars in the TV series Mega Truckers. Paul Broben - Foxtel

IF IT'S big, then Jon Kelly can move it.

As the founder and owner of Heavy Haulage Australia, it's Kelly's job to figure out how to move everything from 70-tonne locomotives and 20-metre-high catamarans to the world's largest bulldozer along the east coast of Australia.

He started the South Brisbane-based business when he was just 19 and now, at just 32, is running a $50m business.

MegaTruckers - A&E - Monday at 6.30pm Qld, 7.30pm NSW.

"Trucks run in both sides of my family, so the only way out was blood transfusion," he told The Guide.

"I've really enjoyed trucks ever since I was a toddler.

"It was a foregone conclusion by the time was 10, but it was daunting to turn a childhood dream into a very successful business.

"I was 19 when I bought my first truck and by the time I was 20 had $1m in debt."

Kelly is known in the heavy haulage industry for the amount of time and money he spends on fitting out his trucks. He spends millions on painting and extra chrome and employs two full-time detailers.

"It's just like having a Saturday sports car, but instead I have 50 trucks," he said.

"Everyone enjoys driving down the street in a good looking sports car and it's the same persona with trucks."

Kelly set up a YouTube site for the company where he showed off his tricked-out trucks and as the site neared 10 million hits he was approached by A&E.

The pay-TV channel filmed a one-off Mega Truckers special, which was so successful that it has been expanded into a full series.

Cameras follow the day-to-day operations of the business, which are anything but boring.

It's a behind-the-scenes look at the planning and precision needed to load and transport large, heavy and sometimes oddly-shaped cargo.

"When we're doing big, heavy-haul moves the issues we have to deal with are mostly infrastructure restrictions like road widths, height restrictions and low power lines."

Kelly can spend more than a year planning a big job.

"I enjoy helping the boys and doing the work," he said.

"Nothing is better than doing a job that people say can't be done and doing it incident free. Actually, nothing is better than sending the bill (laughs)."

He hopes the series gives viewers and everyday drivers an insight into the skill involved in truck driving.

"We take our job very seriously," he said.

"We're trying to raise the public profile of transport in general.

"Although I am a cranky boss I am a very fair person and I'm here to make sure my customer's cargo gets there issue free and they ring us for the next job.

"I'm just a normal guy who didn't have any extra privileges.

"I run my business on a simple ethos: I buy the best equipment, pay the best money and attract the best staff."

Topics:  trucking tv series

Working for the ultimate gift

Mullaway primary students have been doing home chores to raise money for eye surgery.

New initiative at Mullaway Primary set for a big future.

Friday mornings providing the right dose of H20

GOOD MORNING: Woolgoolga's first Fluro Friday was a burst of colour.

Salt water and fluro, what could be a better antidote.

Man was stomped on, kicked and stabbed in CBD assault

CRIME SCENE: A man suffered serious head injuries in an assault in Coffs Harbour last night.

Man suffers severe facial injury in CBD assault

Local Partners

Family's new arrival in face of tragedy

MEL Small had already gone into labour when she learned of the tragic fate of her sister Jodie Spears.

Survive and support this Pink Ribbon Day

Denise Bass, Kathy Clough and cancer survivor Dorothy Lockart at Pink Ribbon Day stall in the mall.

Cancer survivors often say the diagnosis is the toughest part.

Blooming Woolgoolga

Handmade flowers have brought colour to mental health in Woolgoolga.

HANDMADE flowers have brought colour to mental health in Woolgoolga.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

ABBA to reunite for virtual live experience


ABBA have confirmed they are to reunite - in virtual reality form

Hugh Laurie receives star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie and his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Blake Lively hosts 40th party for Ryan Reynolds

Blake Lively throws husband Ryan Reynold's 40th birthday bash

What's on the big screen this week

Benedict Cumberbatch in a scene from the movie Doctor Strange.

MARVEL'S latest superhero Doctor Strange makes his debut.

Trump 'worked like hell' to pick up John Travolta's wife

John Travolta and Kelly Preston

Trump wrote comments in tribute to Travolta's son Jett

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Politicians promise homebuyers a helping hand

PROMISE: Canberra has plans to address housing affordability.

How Coffs can help fix housing affordability

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June