I always wanted to be a log truck driver and ultimately own my own truck,” says Ray Beale as we watch the newest addition to his fleet, a stunning new Kenworth T659 arrive at a skid site north of Napier.
Owning a fleet of trucks was never part of the plan. But following several years of growth, R & L Beale Log Transport owners Ray and Louise Beale now have 10 trucks working throughout Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa.
So where does this all begin? Trevor (Ray’s dad) recounts times when he was a driver and would take young Ray out in the truck with him. Trevor says that from an early age, Ray showed a natural talent for working with machinery.
“At three years of age he comes out on a job with me - of course it was quite okay in those days - and I was driving an old Foden and I got the truck stuck out at Akitio. So I said `come on boy, hop into this machine here, when I toot the horn you push this lever up and when I toot the horn again you let it go’.