Duell’s Furniture Removalists celebrate 50 years on Australian roads

Jan 31, 2024 4min read

It was just over fifty years ago in 1973 that Allan Duell presented the very first truck in action for Duells Furniture Removalists for his father’s inspection.

“When my father Jack saw the very first purple truck he said, ‘You might as well shut up shop now’,” Allan remembers fondly.

“But I guess standing out from the crowd was the right choice!”

The distinctive purple colours of Duells Furniture Removalists

At the time, Allan was a one-man, one-truck operation with the responsibility of the mail run from the post office to the railway station in Mount Gambier, South Australia.

However, the Duell’s history in the region goes much further back: Allan’s great grandfather carting goods with a horse and wagon during the regional city’s earliest days and his father Jack running a contract sawmill and delivery service.

The talent for transport has evidently passed down through generations, as Allan went on to grow an operation which now spans several states, covering local and interstate moves. He's also designed a customised packaging system for the protection of client’s valuables during transport.

The journey for Duells has included the purchase of Mount Gambier’s Ausline Removals and Storage in 2013 and the acquisition of Adelaide-based All States Removals in 2015.

Duells’ distinct purple trucks can be seen trundling the highways with the most frequent jobs taking place between Melbourne and Adelaide. Allan says they will happily transport anywhere in the country.

“We have runs up to Darwin and into northern Queensland, including moving a household to a dug-out underground home in Coober Pedy,” he noted.

Throughout their evolution, Duells have sustained a steady ‘customer first’ focus, ensuring that the reliability of their transport fleet and staff remain on point to deliver superior service.

They run an impressive array of trucks, and their light-and medium-duty fleet is built from a backbone of Isuzu product—one of the earliest being an Isuzu TK model with Pantech body (branded as Bedford by Isuzu at the time) that Allan purchased a few years after setting up shop in 1973.

The TK model Isuzu used by Duells Furniture Removalists in the 1970s

This first TK model performed admirably for the job of furniture removal, instigating Allan’s life-long appreciation for the brand and expansion of the fleet to match demand over the coming years.

It recently saw him adding a new FXD 165-350 4x2 model into service, taking over the duties of a 2015 model of the same type.

To celebrate their 50-year milestone, this FXD is proudly wrapped in special livery celebrating Duells’ success.

It’s delightfully, distinctively, purple.

The latest FXD 165-350 4x2 model adorned with the 50-year celebration livery

“I look back and I have to say the success of the business has been built on loyalty, which includes those who work for the business, our customers, and Isuzu,” Allan said.

“As we continue to celebrate 50 years in operation, having a special wrap on this FXD showcases how Isuzu Trucks have been the backbone of this business.

“Our purple rigs always stand out, but this truck really is the pride of the fleet—it replaces a 2015 model of the same type that has covered over 800,000 kilometres without any issues, which we are keeping on for moving containers around Mount Gambier.”

The striking FXD 165-350 features an enclosed body with a capacity of 58 cubic metres, with additional side-lockers for storing loading ramps, ropes and heavy-duty blankets.

The truck weighs in with a generous 16,500 kg GVM and a GCM of 38,000 kg which allows for towing a seven-metre trailer that can carry up to 45 cubic metres of additional freight.

Under the hood, the FXD is powered by Isuzu’s 6UZ1-TCC six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, producing 257 kW (350 PS) at 2,000 rpm with torque of 1,422 Nm @ 1,400 rpm. ZF nine-speed manual transmission matches this power output for maximum driver control over all terrain.

Included in Isuzu’s FX model range are comfort and safety features that are critical for Duells’ drivers who are on the road day-and-night.

This includes an ISRI 6860/875 NTS air suspension seat, LED main and halogen high beam headlamps, roof-mounted clearance lamps and front foglamps, a low light reversing camera and anti-slip steps, plus the MyIsuzu Co-Pilot AV unit with a 10.1-inch, high capacitive touchscreen and Android Automotive operating system.

“The new truck has all the added safety features, plus for the driver it has truck-specific SatNav capability and ensures the driver is comfortable,” Allan noted.

“Jumping back into a cosy cab is welcomed by all our drivers, as they’re loading and unloading in all types of places and weather conditions.”

The FXD also comes backed by an industry-leading six-year warranty and six-years of Isuzu’s 24/7 roadside assist service for peace of mind.

“I always go to Mount Gambier Isuzu for all our service needs and only use genuine parts, which helps retain the resale value on the trucks.

“The staff there know the history of our vehicles and ensure our downtime is kept to a minimum.”

As Duells celebrates their golden milestone, Allan is rightfully proud of all they have achieved. One of the brightest moments in his personal 50-year history in transport has been his induction into the National Road Transport Museum’s Wall of Fame this year.

Allan Duell has been recognised by the National Road Transport Museum’s Wall of Fame

“Growing a business over the course of 50 years is a feat in itself, but to be recognised by the transport industry is really special,” Allan said.

“Across the journey I have had 30 Isuzu trucks, including a JCR I got in 1985 that I still own— it’s my favourite truck, simply because of what it has meant to me and the business.

“We also have a 1990 FVR model that we used to call ‘The Bitumen Boeings’ which we now use to transport our speedway racecar that Duells runs.

“It's done over a million kilometres and the original engine has never been touched… it's still going strong, just like the business.”

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