It's been spectacular – career truckie Mike Mathieson's rise.
Just seven years ago he was a dispatcher for a Waikato livestock operation, continuing to learn his trade in the industry he's been hooked on since he was a kid.
Now here he is, the boss (with wife Paula) of his own thriving trucking company, with 11 trucks running under his Nationwide Livestock banner (albeit with four of them owner/driver vehicles).
His trucks aren't just old clunkers either. Far from it – they're standout vehicles. So good-looking, in fact, that the baby blue truck and trailer units, with their silver and orange striping, earned Nationwide last year's annual PPG Transport Imaging Award – much to Mike's delight.
Mathieson, introduced to trucks and trucking by his Dad Robin – who's been in the industry for his entire working life – is living out his boyhood fantasies. Dreams formed in the passenger seat of the Leyland Crusader and Volvo FLs his Dad drove for Provincial Transport (and predecessor Sarjents before that) in Paeroa.