The end of an era as Cleveland Freightlines prepares to close its doors

After 45 years in business, Cleveland Freightlines has confirmed it will sadly be closing its doors at the end of the year due to the ill health of its legendary owner and founder Frank Lenzi.

A true pioneer and icon of the industry, Lenzi started the business in 1977 and has grown it into what it is today – one of the longest continuously operating transport companies to specialise in the east to west express service.

Cleveland Freightlines took to social media this week to confirm the rumours surrounding the company’s closure, with its final day of operation being December 30.

Frank and Tony Lenzi before Cleveland Freightlines was started. Photo: Facebook/ Stories From the Road Museum Australia

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all past and present employees for helping make Cleveland’s the great company it has become,” the company said in its online post.

“The doors may close however the Legend will live on for many years to come.”

In hearing the news, many shared their experiences with the legendary Lenzi over the decades.

“Frank Lenzi would of been probably the best boss I ever had. With 3 recommendations from 3 of his drivers Pedro Barry and Newbs he gave me a start and for the experience and friendship I built I thank him… Frank always gave my family the greatest respect and my boys grew up around Cleveland’s as a lot of others did. It was a big part of our life back in the day. Thanks for the memories Frank and Cleveland Freightlines. End of an era,” wrote John Smith on the Cleveland Freightlines Facebook page.

Cleveland Freightlines was handed the keys to the 10,000 Kenworth, a T600, in November 1988.

“Absolute legend and pioneer of East-West Express. Good onya Frank Lenzi,” said Mark Bettridge.

“What a milestone! Provided many employment opportunities from humble beginnings, many a story shared by Frank from way back to cyclone Tracey…I wasn’t a major customer but I was a customer to Frank and the team, legend for sure , and great support from his lovely wife. Now that is pioneer trucking,” said Clayton Penley

“Was a pleasure to work for him and with all the great people employed there,” shared Dave Broun.

“It’s not going to be the same without the Legendary Mack Munchers on the roads. I loved your no bullshit attitude Frank, you kept it real. Wishing you all the very best for your health. Thanks for the memories,” added Symonne Sykes.

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