Entertainment

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



Council ‘cautious’ on highway handover

Pacific highway upgrade valla beach . East west overpass..  12 April  2016.

Council cautious on highway handover

Coffs next in line for bypass?

Sapphire to Woolgoolga bypass opens  pics are of the  1st night.Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate

Coffs next in line for bypass

Solutions for Valla Beach highway turnoff

Discussing safety options for the Pacific Hwy at Valla last year were Oxley MP Melinda Pavey, Nambucca Shire Mayor Rhonda Hoban and Pacific Highway general manager Bob Higgins.

Solutions for Valla Beach highway turnoff

Latest deals and offers

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

Dynamic pics from Splendour Day 1

The Strokes perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Check out the latest pictures from Splendour in the Grass.

Bindi Irwin: 18 magic photos to mark her 18th birthday

Bindi Irwin with a python.

Photos: Bindi Irwin from babyhood to 18

Aussie director makes his mark on new Roots mini-series

Malachi Kirby as Kunta Kinte in a scene from the TV series Roots.

BRUCE Beresford behind final episode of remake of iconic series.

The Avalanches pull plug on live broadcast of Splendour set

The Avalanches are an Australian electronic music group.

RADIO listeners won't be able to tune in to the band's show tonight.

Who's got Richie's heart all aflutter?

Richie Strahan stars in season four of The Bachelor.

THE Bachelor has found his dream woman second time around.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

A home rich in history looking for a new owner

HISTORY: The circa 1920s home is being sold for the first time in 90 years.

Circa 1920s home being sold for the first time in 90 years