In the 1860’s William and Fredericka Male owned a farming property just out of Mannum, when the opportunity rose to take over a small carrying business to Adelaide. Fredericka considered it not only a good business proposition, but also a good way ensuring the delivery of their own farm eggs and butter to the Adelaide market.
They acquired the vehicle described as “little wagon like a hawker’s” and William ran it together with the farm. The business grew modestly when neighbours added their produce to the load and began asking William to bring goods back from Adelaide on his return trip.
In 1894 their two sons Eli and Enos took over the carrying business, building it up until they had 60 horses, a passenger carrying dray, three six-tonne vans and a six-tonne trolley.
Male Brothers carted beer, groceries, furniture and building materials from Adelaide. Mannum had always been a centre for the riverboat trade and much of the produce destined for Adelaide was brought in on paddleboats and then transported via road from Mannum to Adelaide.
The business continued over the ensuing years, when Rob Male joined his father’s business at the age of 16 with passion for trucks. In 1980 Rob and his wife Thelda took over the business and the older trucks were replaced with new Internationals and Atkinsons. They employed permanent office staff and up-graded facilities to improve client services. Regular work included delivery of locally manufactured large agricultural machines to country areas. Eventually imported machinery was collected from Melbourne and delivered to country areas in South Australia and Victoria.
As a small child, Tim Male shadowed his father around the truck yard and went on his first interstate run at aged 5. He began working with Male’s Transport at 15 years old and later began interstate work to Melbourne. Easy on equipment and careful with his load, Tim enjoyed the freedom and comradeship of the road.
Although the business name has changed to TR Male Transport Pty Ltd, it has a 140 year history with Tim’s own children being groomed to take over in the years to come. The family is very proud of its long history and expects to provide transport services for many more years to come.