SARTA pays tribute to industry personality Tony Kuchel

Business owner and road transport advocate passes away


The South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA) is mourning the loss of Tony Kuchel, who died on September 4.

Kuchel and wife, Anne, established the Kuchel Contractors business in the Barossa.

The 68-year-old was a “leader and innovator and his rigs always stood out as gleaming examples of the best in the business”, SARTA noted.

Kuchel began his career in 1973, joining his late father, Max, in the family tipper business.

The business grew over the years and became Kuchel Contractors, which operates in the Barossa Valley and throughout most of SA and the eastern seaboard.

Kuchel took pride in the presentation of the fleet and was responsible for some of the custom paintings over the years, and the additional Kuchel Custom Trucks business.

Read sister title Owner-Driver’s profile on Kuchel, here

He was a passionate advocate for the road transport sector, working to raise awareness about transport and supporting the local community, including as an active member of the SARTA board from 1996 to 2003.

He joined his father on the National Road Transport Wall of Fame in 2015.

SARTA said Kuchel raised the notion of the SARTA slogan “road transport – your lifestyle depends on it”, which has never been more obvious to the community and government than during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I had the greatest respect for Tony and his professionalism and commitment to the industry,” SARTA CEO Steve Shearer said.  

“I am grateful to have known and worked with him and I could always count on Tony for wise advice regarding the issues facing the industry.

“He was part of the team of dedicated people who put SARTA back on its feet and established it as a strong and respected peak body for the benefit of the industry.

“For that we all owe Tony and Anne a debt of gratitude and respect.”

Kuchel truck.jpg

Photography: Warren Aitken

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