The third dynasty
It’s complicated. For sure, Osborne’s Transport is a real family business….has been for pretty much all of its near-on 70 years. But, unlike most Kiwi trucking dynasties, we’re not talking just the one family here – not the traditional father/son/grandson line of succession that so often is the way with longtime family businesses. Well, not so far anyway. It’d help to have some grounding in genealogy to fully appreciate the twists, turns and intricacies of the DNA that’s created this once big and bullish, now modest (and happy with it) Te Awamutu trucking company. Essentially, three families – in amongst 12 different co-owners – have run the show. But also entwined in Osborne’s Transport’s DNA are another two trucking families from hundreds of kilometres away… And a whole bunch of other transport operat..
Fleet Focus - June 2020
The Truck Driver MacGyver
Remember MacGyver – that hit tv series from back in the 1980s? And MacGyver himself – the super-cool, super-smart dude who came up with outrageous high-tech tricks to get himself and others out of trouble? Well, about 30 years ago, the New Zealand trucking industry had its own MacGyver-like figure – Auckland transport operator Robin Thomas earning a bit of a whizz-kid reputation for his innovative thinking and can-do attitude. With an old K-900 Series Dodge, a D Series Ford, a 4x4 Commer and an FR Mack – each with Hiab truck cranes – he was building a business on the back of finding ways to deliver bulky objects into hard-to-reach locations. “I did a lot of difficult jobs – jobs that nobody else wanted to do. When I was on my own, driving the FR Mack, customers nicknamed the truck MacGyver. It used to have it written on the front of it...
Fleet Focus - May 2020
Never mind the big, juicy jobs…
You don’t need to tell Pukekohe trucking company mother and son Bev and Matt Young that old adage about not putting all your eggs in one basket. Once upon a time, back in the days when Bev’s husband Bruce was still alive, they dared to risk testing the truth of the saying….and got burnt. Pukekohe Carriers, now in its 37th year, was lucky to survive the experience, says Matt: In 1986, Bev and Bruce took a punt – taking up the offer of a contract with a big produce company to cart its produce from Pukekohe to Auckland…. Conditional on the two-truck business putting on six extra trucks, to do the work. For a little company, just a couple of years old, it was a huge deal. Another Puke company, Powells Transport, had previously done the job, Bev explains: “We were approached and asked if we wanted to take it over – and Bruce even went a..
Fleet Focus - April 2020
If trucking companies had theme songs, Greymouth-based Trans West Freighters would only need one line from an old David Bowie smash-hit. You know, the one that goes: “Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.” Yeah, never mind what the rest of the song’s about….that line is Trans West, to a T. I mean, it is an exaggeration to say that for 60-odd years Trans West has been in a state of constant change. But…man alive, this is an operation that, over those six decades, has been rearranged, reshaped…even revived. Some of the changes are lost in the mists of history – some of it gone with the fading memories of old men…some of it already taken to the graves of others. And yet Trans West still lives – 62 years after it was first officially registered, with the late Barry Hurley and Peter Gurr listed in the NZ Companies Office as its directors. ..
Fleet Focus - March 2020
Ayna & Angel
Ayna Amima was just 19 when her father convinced her to forget about her fledgling nursing career…. And to instead change tack completely – and join him in starting a trucking company. Initially, she says, “I thought I wouldn’t say yes.” It was, after all, an industry she knew absolutely nothing about. The closest she’d come to anything vaguely related to road transport was back in the Shamim’s former homeland, in Fiji – where her Dad, Mohammed, had run a taxi company. And the young Ayna sometimes “used to take calls from customers.” Still, as she reasons now: “I guess he thought I had the personality to communicate with people.” Regardless of her qualifications seeming to be a world away from helping run a truck company in Auckland, she reckons: “I only took one night to change my mind!” ..
Fleet Focus - February 2020