Story by John Coker , Photos by Gerald Shacklock
To say trucking company owner Blake Noble is a little bit different – even in an industry that’s jam-packed with individuals – is one of those ridiculous understatements. Seriously. Ridiculous.
So here’s a guy who, at 38, is running his own 16-truck transport operation. So far, so….well, interesting. Unusual. But probably not unique.
Not until you take account of the fact that he’s now just four years into trying to breathe new life into an old trucking company….a business he bought despite having absolutely no previous experience to speak of with trucks or the road transport industry.
So, no – this was not one of those classic family trucking business succession deals, whereby Mum and Dad bow out, and one or more of the kids take it over.
Yes…he was formerly a partner and shareholder in a successful family business – but that happened to be a medical supply company (which he worked in for 16 years).
And when he bought the then Wellsford-based Transcon from founder and longtime owner Ian Ward in 2015, he was giving up the comfort of a good salary and a shareholding in the Noble family’s Allied Medical….and stepping instead into the largely unknown.
The closest he’d come to any hands-on experience with trucks was when the family business went on its annual roadshow – with Blake hiring a light truck to shift its products around the country for two weeks…and happily volunteering to drive it.
Plus there were the days when he’d hire a truck – not to cart anything, just so he could drive it around for the day.
As all of that strongly hints at, here’s a man who’s had a passion for trucks since he was a kid. Who’s always harboured a burning desire to one day run his own trucking company.
The Blake Noble path to becoming a transport operator is even more remarkable because of the way he enlisted the help of some giants of the industry to help him get started.
See, Blake has this belief that what the trucking industry really needs is a bunch of young operators with fresh ideas. Yep, people just like him.
And because this young, go-get-‘em entrepreneur wasn’t afraid to put that concept to the test with some of the industry’s most successful execs and owners, he’s enjoyed the benefit of their insights and advice in achieving his own ambition.
In the past four years at Transcon he’s had the chance to put the results of that – his philosophy and some of their thinking – into practice.
Transcon, with a fleet of 16 trucks, was a straight-up-and down, old-school, smalltown trucking business, specialising in livestock and general freight. A company too that was very much in the image of its creator, Ian Ward.
Transcon’s former owner was, as writer Bob Pearce put it when New Zealand Truck & Driver profiled the business back in 2001, “very much a man of his district” – a ruggedly-built young Northland rep rugby prop who was told at school that he was “a dumb bastard”...
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