S Sali & Sons Celebrates 60 Years

By: Tamara Whitsed, Photography by: Tamara Whitsed

IMG 2394 Sam Sali with the Bedford which launched S Sali & Sons 60 years ago. IMG 2394
IMG 7557 Adem Sali, Sam Sali, John Barrett, Leanne Chandler and Roger Weidenbach are a close-knit team. IMG 7557

Sam Sali is proud of the rich history of S Sali & Sons.

S Sali & Sons Celebrates 60 Years
Adem and Sam continue the Sali family’s 60-year old trucking company.


Sixty years ago this month brothers Sam and Alan Sali purchased a Bedford 6-ton tray truck.

So began S Sali & Sons, a respected interstate trucking business based in Shepparton, Victoria.

Today Sam manages the company which has 10 trucks carting building material, food and general freight between Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. He also engages subcontractors.

Sam and Alan migrated from Albania to Australia with their parents in 1937. Australia was in the grip of the Great Depression, but the Salis saw the country as a land of opportunity.

Sam’s parents had four more sons and produced vegetables and fruit at Shepparton.

In 1956 Alan used the Bedford to cart produce to the Melbourne market. Sam washed and serviced the truck at night until 1958 when he finished a mechanic apprenticeship and started driving a Diamond T. In the 1960s they diversified into interstate freight.

Sam is quick to acknowledge Alan’s role in building the company: "Alan was a great PR person. He had very good connections." His death in 2002 was a great loss for the family and business.

Operations Manager John Barrett has worked there for 41 years. Other long-term employees include Office Administrator Leanne Chandler and drivers Peter Jackson, John Campbell, Paul Mahoney and Darryl Brew.

Sam turns 79 this months but is in no hurry to retire. Planning for the future, he bought two new Scania R620s last year.

Sam and his wife Nina have been married for 53 years and have four children. Their son Adem learned to drive a semitrailer around the yard when he was 12. Now Adem manages the family’s orchards and steps into the S Sali & Sons office when Sam is away. "I’m sure when I decide to walk away, Adem will pick up the reins," Sam says.

Read the full story in the January 2016 issue of Owner//Driver Magazine.

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