Fleet Focus


Big Time Success | Fleet Focus

When now major-league North Island logtruck company Aztec started up, there were some in the industry who didn’t give it much hope.

The thing is, the three drivers who created Aztec Forestry Transport Developments were not exactly in a big way back in 1997: Between them, Peter Phillips, Ken Angus and Steve Segetin owned just four trucks.

They were modest owner-operators….rather than bigtime operators.

But – apparently to the annoyance of others in the industry – these guys together had something that timber manufacturing supplier (and then forest owner) Carter Holt Harvey liked…

And so it made the three-way partnership one of an exclusive group – given the status of one of just a dozen or so log transport “key suppliers.” 

Says Peter Phillips of that milestone (which made the formation of Aztec possible): “I think from the bigger players, there wa...

Fleet Focus - March 2021

The Accidental Towie | Fleet Focus

When Auckland towtruck business owner Evan Watson died 11 years ago, for wife Pam things could hardly have been worse.

In two harrowing years she’d seen him slowly, inexorably lose his battle with cancer.

Now she was facing, alone, the fight of her life – forced to push aside her grief and focus everything on saving their business.

It demanded the 47-year-old step up from her past role looking after the admin side of Southern Districts Towing, to fully take over running the whole show.

The challenges of being a woman boss in the male-dominated towing industry scarcely rated – not compared to what else she was confronted with.

The rent on SDT’s sprawling Manukau City base was an eyewatering figure per year…and while Evan had been terminally ill, the towing industry, the country – in fact, the whole world – had plunged into a recession, thanks to the Glo...

Fleet Focus - February 2021

Passion Projects | Fleet Focus

There were moments in West Auckland transport operator Richie Malam’s education that he really enjoyed: Like watching all the trucks go past his school. LOL.
During lunchtimes and intervals, “I used to stand at the fence and watch Barry Butterworth go past in the Black Bitch.” Yep, the black Kenworth W924AR tractor unit owned (and given its now totally un-PC name) by the legendary Kiwi “outlaw” speedway racer and truckie.
With Richie being a Westie, some of the locals were among his favourites: The Lendich and Antunovich Contracting trucks, for instance. And other contractors like Ian Spedding, the Lipanovichs and their Macks and the R.E. Jackson trucks. In fact, Richie’s first ride in a Kenworth was in Spedding’s first KW, in the mid-1970s.
The thing is that Richie is not only the son of a truckie….he’s also proudl...

Fleet Focus - December 2020

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