Southpac Legends


Southpac Legends -

Whether it’s on the road or on the racetrack, the Uhlenberg name is hard to miss. They are a tight knit group that share a passion for the ‘big gear’, Speedway and stay true to their family virtues - and for that, they are this month’s Southpac legends.

Uhlenberg Haulage was founded in 1966 by Mike and Carol Uhlenberg, but its origins extend back further to Mike’s father, James (Tim) Uhlenberg, and his 80-acre dairy farm in Mangatoki.

“Tim was a farmer but had a love of machinery,” says Daryl Uhlenberg. “He always had engines and cars like DeSotos and big American V8s, and that rubbed off on dad.”

Mike Uhlenberg was born at Eltham in the Taranaki in 193... ... 

Southpac Legends -

Based in the ‘Naki, Sandfords Rural Carriers has been in business for nigh-on a century.

This is obviously something of a monumental feat all by itself, however, what’s more impressive is the family run business has also remained under the control of the founder’s direct descendants throughout. It’s for this reason, plus the loyalty they have amassed in the Auroa area and wider South Taranaki, that Phil Sandford is this month’s Southpac Legend.

Sandfords as a transport company started with a single truck in 1923, when Phil’s grandfather, Mr E.F. ‘Ebby’ Sandford began carrying general goods upon returning from the Western Front in World War I.

“Ebby’s fi... ... 

Southpac Legends -

It’s been said that ‘dreams are for those that sleep’. Martinborough Transport’s founder Trevor Hawkins would beg to differ. Not only did Trevor set his sights on owning a transport company but his hard work and diligence is proof that dreams can in fact become a reality. It’s for that reason (plus a few others), that Trevor is this month’s Southpac Legend.

“It was always my dream as a young kid to get into trucking,” says Trevor and this goal grew to owning one of the region’s biggest transport companies at that time, Martinborough Freighters. Ultimately Trevor managed to achieve both objectives, but his success certainly didn’t happen overnight.

“I left sch... ... 

Southpac Legends -

Ken Holmes is a familiar name to many in the forestry industry for his work as a harvesting contractor. However, in the past decade he’s also gained a well-respected reputation for the trucking business he’s created.

Ken’s trucking endeavours started with one logging truck and grew to 120 trucks at one stage, servicing forestry customers in the central North Island and Northland. Today, Holmes Group has a head office in Whangarei and a fleet of 50 trucks operating around Northland.

“I bought my first truck off Noel Galloway from Murupara back in the `nineties, when we were still logging in Kaingaroa,” says Holmes.

“It was a Mack off-highway double, and ... ... 

Southpac Legends -

Having spent over half a century carting on and around the notorious roads that cover NZ’s Coromandel Peninsula, ‘simply surviving’ is arguably justification enough for being a Southpac Legend. However, when you add to this an earnest desire to inspire young minds, a keenness to expand NZ’s driver network, and a heartfelt love of trucks, the true picture of Puriri based trucker Graeme ‘Gunner’ Wright of Graeme Wright Transport Limited, really begins to emerge.

Graeme says that it was his father that gave him the ‘Gunner’ nickname due to the fact that he was always ‘gonna do this and gonna do that’, and although he says that it was a moniker that he found initially ... ... 

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