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Left: The company has its own multi-bay workshop complex at its Wiri headquarters

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Above: One of 16 DAFs in the fleet tips off a load of metal at a Long Bay residential subdivision

“We were based in Waiuku, and Don had one truck based in Auckland at the time, so we’d spend our time running between there and here and kept things moving… and things slowly started picking up. After the diagnosis, rather than giving up work, Dad was even more relentless: Apart from the bad patches with the chemo, he was hellbent on growing the business. Don was also concerned about what was going to be left, so they had some challenging conversations. “I eventually settled down, got my head around the opportunity and got to the point where I wasn’t controlled or influenced so much by Dad.” Around that time, another longterm employee Terry (Turtle) Marshall joined the company: “I can remember the day I started: 27 July 1993. It was a Tuesday,” the 53-year-old reckons. “They had good looking gear, so I rang up Mr Brian Gleeson, and he asked me if I could back, spread, jackknife and use a Roadranger…and then told me to start at 7am the next day. “I beat James (into the company) by a year, but when he started, we met in an odd way. I’d had a bit of a slow day and was asleep in my cab….James knocked on my door to say he wasn’t suitably impressed. We’ve progressed from there, and we’ve worked together

ever since. I was driving for about five years, then ran dispatch for nine years, until I left on good terms.” He returned in 2012 as an onsite co-ordinator – a role he explains: “Before we start a job, we visit, take photos and draw up a site inspection form, and all the pics get downloaded into the company computer, which is then sent to the truck drivers’ tablets, so when they start a job, they read all the notes, see all the photos and know exactly where to go. “We used to do everything on paper… then in 2007, we started with a system called Jobplus. Within a week it was rocking – from pen and paper to computer. The work that Paul Holdom (the company’s IT project manager) has recently done on the tablet system is unbelievable: You can push a button and it shows up in the truck. It’s a major advance and has been running for three years – it’s a very simple system to use.” In Turtle’s time with the company “we’ve had some huge jobs: When I started we were doing the extension widening at Mangere (for the Southwestern Motorway), then the Sunset Road (Northern Motorway) offramp. We had the Puhinui Rd (Southwestern Motorway) interchange upgrade – that was a huge job, with 40 of our own trucks plus up to 100 subbies. We dug the hole for the base of the Sky Tower….that took two years. It was a hell of a hole!” Truck & Driver | 59

NZ Truck & Driver Dec/Jan 2018  
NZ Truck & Driver Dec/Jan 2018