NZ Transport Imaging Awards

 
A colour scheme conundrum

A colour scheme conundrum

NZ Transport Imaging Awards

 August 2021   

What happens when one iconic regional transport company is taken over by another – both of them with well-known names and standout colour schemes?

Does the new owner keep the name and the colour scheme of the company it’s purchased…

Or does it rationalise things – gradually phase out the acquired name and livery, absorbing the operation into its 

own business?

That question arises with Wairarapa Livestock Transport and its electric blue trucks, with their sharp red, silver and white stripes.

It’s a good-looking livery that’s been a common sight on roads and farms in the Wairarapa for 40 years – the colour scheme staying largely unchanged through a couple of ownership and name changes.


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What happens when one iconic regional transport company is taken over by another – both of them with well-known names and standout colour schemes?

Does the new owner keep the name and the colour scheme of the company it’s purchased…

Or does it rationalise things – gradually phase out the acquired name and livery, absorbing the operation into its 

own business?

That question arises with Wairarapa Livestock Transport and its electric blue trucks, with their sharp red, silver and white stripes.

It’s a good-looking livery that’s been a common sight on roads and farms in the Wairarapa for 40 years – the colour scheme staying largely unchanged through a couple of ownership and name changes.

But for the past 18 months or so, WLT has been fully owned by the well-known Martinborough Transport Ltd (which had been part-owner of the business since 2018).

Since then, what to do about the future of the WLT name and branding has been up for discussion, confirms Jared Hawkins – Martinborough Transport’s co-owner, along  with his brothers Joshua and Daniel.

Martinborough Transport has a spectacular, iconic dark green colour scheme – with a fleet of 17 trucks making it the biggest livestock and cartage company in the Wairarapa.

And Jared says that eventually WLT’s blue trucks and its name might be phased out – but adds that really, that’s as yet undecided: “It’s a hard one. We haven’t really made that call or set it in stone yet.”

On the side of keeping the WLT name and livery is continuity: “We’ve kept them blue because we don’t want to lose that brand as such. It’s a well-known brand in the area and we don’t want to lose touch with our WLT clients to be fair.”

Jared confirms that, for both operations, “image is very important for us. We believe that if you’ve got clean, tidy and smart-looking trucks then they’ll do a good job. So we pride ourselves on that and our drivers have a respectful manner too.”

He believes that clients enjoy seeing either the blue WLT or the green MT trucks turn up: “They all look the part, which is the main thing.”

If there is to be a change in the name and colours of the WLT fleet – currently featuring 10 trucks….a mixture of Freightliners, Scanias and Kenworths – it will be “still a long way away from happening,” as Jared points out.

“We just put three new Scanias plus a Kenworth on – so there’s around another 10 years before the blue would be fully phased out.”

And, he adds: “We might get another truck next year….and decide that we still want a blue one.”

Given that, in one form or another, Wairarapa Livestock Transport has been servicing the Wairarapa’s meat and farming industries for decades, it’s fitting that its livery was based on a meat company’s colours.

Former owner David Pope started the company as David Pope Transport in 1981, specifically to work for the Richmond meat company in Masterton – so he decided to use Richmond’s red, white and blue colours for his trucks.

Coincidentally, he and Martinborough Transport founder Trevor Hawkins (the father of Jared, Joshua and Daniel), had both been working for Richmond…and both started their trucking businesses at the same time, Hawkins opting for green trucks.

Pope went to Rob Walker Spray Painters in Masterton to come up with a design and to paint his trucks: “All I really knew was that I wanted blue trucks, but Rob came up with the livery – the blue with red and silver stripes.”

The company name changed to Wairarapa Livestock Ltd around 2011 – after Pope sold his business to a couple of guys who’d been working for him, Stuart Taylor and Henry Bunny.

Says Pope: “They ran for about a year with Pope on the side and then changed to the WLT initials logo – Wairarapa Livestock Transport is too big for the crates.”

Pope is happy that the colour scheme has stood the test of time – although it was modernised with a smoother curve to the stripes about four years ago.

Jared Hawkins says that to keep both fleets’ imaging consistent, MT uses Reon Madden at Supreme Automotive Refinishers in Masterton for the paintwork on all of the trucks and Jason Ngatuere at Signs & Tints in Masterton for all the graphics and pinstriping.

The two fleets do now have similarities in their logos – with each business name on the doors surrounded by a red circle. On the aerofoils and the livestock crates on the trailers, the circles surround WLT and MT signage.

The truck that earns WLT its status as this month’s poster truck in the New Zealand Transport Imaging Awards is a 

Scania S620 8x4 truck recently put on the road by owner-driver Michael Bingham.  

Gallery

NZ Transport Imaging August 2021
NZ Transport Imaging August 2021
NZ Transport Imaging August 2021
NZ Transport Imaging August 2021
NZ Transport Imaging August 2021
NZ Transport Imaging August 2021
NZ Transport Imaging August 2021
NZ Transport Imaging August 2021
NZ Transport Imaging August 2021

 


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