Fleet Focus


Passion Projects

There were moments in West Auckland transport operator Richie Malam’s education that he really enjoyed: Like watching all the trucks go past his school. LOL. During lunchtimes and intervals, “I used to stand at the fence and watch Barry Butterworth go past in the Black Bitch.” Yep, the black Kenworth W924AR tractor unit owned (and given its now totally un-PC name) by the legendary Kiwi “outlaw” speedway racer and truckie. With Richie being a Westie, some of the locals were among his favourites: The Lendich and Antunovich Contracting trucks, for instance. And other contractors like Ian Spedding, the Lipanovichs and their Macks and the R.E. Jackson trucks. In fact, Richie’s first ride in a Kenworth was in Spedding’s first KW, in the mid-1970s. The thing is that Richie is not only the son of a truckie….he’s also proudly able to bo..

Fleet Focus - December 2020

Looking after the locals

After 30 years spent working for Northland’s flagship trucking company, United Carriers – looking after its loyal local customers – Doug Wilson hated it when big, Aussie-based corporate Toll took over. He’d happily worked his way up from tyre fitter to dispatching and managing some divisions of the 220-strong fleet by the time the Toll Group bought the 65-year-old company outright, in 2008. He tried to adapt to working under the new corporate regime, but sums up: “When Toll took over I thought ‘nah – not for me.’ Toll were only interested in big customers and none of the small ones.” Within a year he quit – and established Northern Rural Haulage. It was a company founded on the basis of looking after the locals. Even better than that – it would be run by a local, who knew the Northland farming community, understoo..

Fleet Focus - November 2020

Kev's Happy place

It seems perfectly understandable that, after 35 years behind the wheel, career truckie Kevin O’Brien last year took the opportunity to get out of a truck…and into the office. Understandable….particularly since he’d been driving for the same company all that time – and he’d been carting logs into the same sawmill every working day. Understandable….even more so because, for the past 14 years, he’d been the co-owner of the company. And the Hautapu Haulage fleet had grown to 10 trucks – a big number to be organising every day from behind the wheel of one of them. So here we are now….and Kev’s in his happy place. Yep, back behind the wheel of one of the company’s Scanias – and loving it. Because – logical, sensible, understandable though it may have been – the move into the office was never ..

Fleet Focus - October 2020

Living Ian’s fun-loving legacy

Say that you’d like to leave loving memories behind you when you’re gone from this world….and you’ll likely not find many who’d wish otherwise. But saying it is one thing. Achieving that high ideal is a rare and special thing. Well, Marlborough transport operator, the late Ian Higgins, achieved that...and so much more. That’s something that’s very evident in his living legacy – a trucking company like few others. Renwick Transport is a place where irreverent banter melds seamlessly with obvious and heartfelt respect, where grief for a great man taken before his time lies very close to the surface – yet does little to muffle the peals of laughter that punctuate conversations…. And where the concept of family is not only spoken of but also lived out in all its rambunctious variety and tolerance. Furthermore, the compa..

Fleet Focus - September 2020

Skux Trucks

When Kohan Wilson added a new truck and trailer unit to his Auckland tipper fleet recently, he revealed it with a series of posts on his TKO Contracting Facebook page….. Including one that says: “In loving memory of Johnny danger…. #HELLFARKINYEEHAAAW.” It carries a photo of the taildoors on the Mills Tui bins on a new Scania truck and trailer unit, both bearing larger-than-life tributes to one of Kohan’s best mates – Kiwi social media sensation Johnny (Danger) Bennett, who died in a motorcycle crash in 2018. The post attracted 931 Likes, 42 Shares and 32 comments, including the following: “That’s brilliant bro what a nice thing to do…..Thats mean as Kohan. Respect…..Now that’s tuffff brother….Oooosh now thats cool ……That’s And another post – this one with a night-time shot of ..

Fleet Focus - August 2020

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