January 10, 2013
Well-known Kingaroy businessman Ron Oliver may have just sold Ollies Mowing … but he’s not looking at retirement yet!
There’d been rumours going around town that Ron may turn to a life of fishing, but the 67-year-old doesn’t look like he’s about to slow down any time soon.
He may be eyeing off his boat and caravan and talking about “lightening the work load”, but he’s also still thinking of ways to expand his towing business.
A new line is containers: selling new and secondhand storage containers, as well as shifting rental containers.
Ron’s been connected to many successful Kingaroy businesses over the years, all of which have been run as family concerns.
As well as Ollies Mowing, there’s been Ollies Windscreens, Ollies Honda Motorcycles and Ollies Towing …
“All the family members have been involved in one or another over the years,” he said.
Ollies Towing is the last one left in family hands. It’s now being managed by Ron’s son, Ron Junior.
This business has just relocated into new premises at 4 Markwell Street (the old home of Loves Tiles).
Ron Senior began his working life as an apprentice spraypainter at Kingaroy Body Works.
About 39 years ago, he purchased the smash repairs business … the only one that never carried the Ollies moniker.
Ollies Towing developed as a natural partner to the panel shop and continued on in its own right after Ron sold Kingaroy Body Works about 12 years ago.
“The towing business has grown from just one truck,” Ron said. “We now have five trucks: four tilt-trays and a Scania bogie drive with a drop-deck trailer which we use as a recovery vehicle.”
There are also two holding yards: one in Kingaroy and one in Murgon.
In 1977, Ron kicked off Ollies Mowing, the first dedicated mowing shop in Kingaroy. Brett and Jacquie Irwin, formerly with South Burnett Hire & Sales, formally took over this business on January 3.
Ron says his life has consisted of work but he looks back with satisfaction.
“We started with nothing. We grew the panel shop from almost nothing,” he said.
“We started the mowing shop from nothing; we started the windscreen shop from nothing; we started the towing business from nothing.
“We created these businesses from nothing and at our peak we employed between 15 and 18 people.”
Even if Ron did decide to retire, he says he won’t be leaving Kingaroy.
“Kingaroy’s been good to us and I’ll never leave it,” he said.