Fleet Focus

Ch-ch-ch-ch- changes…

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

As tough as you make it…

There are a few negatives that come as part and parcel of Don Wilson’s line of trucking business. They come in the form of compliance demands, regulations…..and more compliance demands. And more regulations. All areas of road transport, of course, are subject to these increasing compliance demands, as Don sums up: “The extra things you have to do each day to make your business operate is getting harder and harder.” Don, the boss of Pukekohe’s OnRoad Transport, is the chairman of the National Road Carriers Association – and knows full well how much compliance stuff that NRC does to assist its members, across the industry. But then, if you want to carry livestock – OnRoad Transport’s specialty – the compliance demands ratchet-up dramatically: “Our compliance nowadays is a lot harder than it was 20 years ago. &ldquo..

Fleet Focus - December 2019

Profitability from connectivity

American trucking company exec Ron Hall’s job is to know his trucks…inside out. Actually….no – his knowledge goes way, way beyond that: He knows them in extreme detail. In order to extract the best fuel economy out of giant Utah carrier C.R. England’s fleet, he knows, for instance, exactly what “the sweet spot” is when it comes to diff ratios (2.16:1), engine horsepower (455 horsepower)…and precisely what speed to allow its trucks to run to. That’ll be 65 miles per hour (the equivalent of 104km/h) on cruise control…or 63mph with the foot on the throttle pedal. That’s anywhere between five and 20mph lower than legal limits across the US. He knows that running super-single tyres might help fuel economy…but they don’t stack up when it comes to return on investment. Understands that driver-facing camer..

Fleet Focus - November 2019

Jack-of-all-trades Jukes

Gisborne carrier Trevor Jukes reckons the key to it – how the family has managed to stay in business for 100 years – is simple. “By diversifying as fast and as hard as you can! We’re not too proud to do the shitty jobs.” Within a whisker of his 78th birthday, the man who’s spent almost 60 years in the family biz, happily provides more detail: “Let’s say you’re Charlie with a truck. You’re working for Fred – who’s got a job to cart some product to supply someone. “If the supplier decides he doesn’t want the product, Fred’s out of pocket – and you’re in deep shit. All because one of the people in the link decides to change the thinking. “So the trucking guys are very vulnerable – unless you have a secure base, secure workflow and utterly trustworthy people you wo..

Fleet Focus - October 2019

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