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 boyh...
School was quite an inconvenience for a young Jamie Ellison: He only ever set his sights on one goal – owning a truck.
Still, as single-minded as he's always been, he's even surprised himself with his success – having now progressed to being, at 36, the proud owner of not just one truck... .but a fleet of them!
He's even got a few Kenworths – his dream trucks. And there's another one due next month.
The owner of Wairarapa's Ellison Cartage – a nine-truck rural bulk cartage operation based just out of Carterton – says he "started young" with his passion for trucks.
And he's not kidding: His earliest memories of an involvement in trucks and trucking date back to when he was just four or five – growing up on the family farm at West Taratahi, about six kilometres north of Carterton. Waipapa Farm is a property that belonged ...
If Kevin McKay was a bullshit artist, he'd tell you he knew it from the start. He'd reckon that his decision to quit his owner/driver contract – carting containers and bulk liquid tankers in the Bay of Plenty – buy a tipper and head for the back-blocks of the East Coast was all carefully planned.
Perfectly timed to put him smack-bang in the middle of things, just as the current East Coast logging boom began. Primed and ready to work – carting metal for forestry and rural roads – just as the harvesting of the Coast's long-talked-about Wall of Wood ramped up.
But just two days spent with the 43-year-old McKay is time enough to convince you that he's one of the nicest, most down to earth, honest, strictly-no-bullshit blokes around.
And so he says candidly that, oh no, the life-changing decision he and wife Megan made back in 2006 was just dumb...