Southpac Legends


Gone the Distance
Legends - September 2021

With a truck driving career that spanned over half a century and his last truck clocking up over 2 million clicks, Carl Urlich has certainly gone the distance. An inspiring mentor to many, professional, reliable, loyal to a fault but always a true gentleman, farewell Carl Urlich, you Southpac Truck Legend.

Carl left school at the early age of fifteen and started his working life as a butcher in Puketaha, however, the moment he turned eighteen his real career started, which was behind the wheel of a truck. 

Carl’s first driving job was with Puketaha Transport where he transported general goods and took to it immediately. In fact, according to all, truck driving was mor... ... 

Farewell 'Fearless' Fred Burling
Legends - August 2021

Straight talking ‘fearless’ Fred Burling was not only a pioneer in the trucking industry but his work ethic was deemed ‘salutable’ by those that knew (or knew of) him. With a massive 60-year contribution to the freight and farming industry, not only from the Wairarapa area but throughout New Zealand, Fred really was a legend.

To say Frederick Allan Burling ‘Fred’ came from ‘humble beginnings’ is an understatement of epic proportions. Born in Hastings in 1940, his early life was fraught with difficulties, essentially a combination of hard times for the family and of course World War II resulted in Fred and his five siblings being placed into the Methodist Children’s home orphanag... ... 

Fizzing about the transport industry - Willie Malcolm
Legends - April 2021

From cleaning fizzy drink delivery trucks as a kid to meticulously repairing crashed Kenworth cabs, restoring the old and modifying the new as an adult, Willie Malcolm’s attention to detail and buzz about the industry has not only brought him a truck load of ardent admiration from his peers but his enthusiasm has been passed on to future generations to come - that’s why he’s a Southpac Legend.

Although Willie was born in Rotorua, his parents hailed from Sterling in Scotland. His father took up a role as a branch manager of a soft drink company that produced brands such as Schweppes and Coke, and that’s where Willie’s love of trucks began. He says, “As kids we went to work with D... ... 

Putting back in
Legends -

With a ‘working lifetime’ of experience within the transport industry, Road Transport Hall of Famer Graham Sheldrake has essentially seen it all. He’s been a mechanic, a truck driver, a truck owner-operator and business owner, but it’s his ‘putting back into the industry’ mantra that makes him a Southpac legend.

Sheldrake was born in Great Yarmouth, England, however his family emigrated to New Zealand in 1956, when he was just two. Of course he doesn’t remember the trip but says that he has seen early photos of them on the Captain Hobson coming through the Panama Canal.

“Because my dad was a so-called ‘10 Pound Pom’, we came into Wellington and they sent us to Patea. Dad w... ... 

Making noise in the Trailer industry
Legends - July 2021

With his father Dave heavily involved in trailer building since the 1960’s and growing up immersed in and around the industry, it could be said that Transfleet’s Chief Executive Officer Matthew Gillies was destined to be in trailers - but it’s his dedication to his team, his industry influence and his big voice on the TTMF that makes him a Southpac Legend.

“I’m second generation, born into the industry so to speak. My father was involved in the 60s and 70s with Domett Fruehauf and helped set up the branch in Mt Maunganui, that’s where I was born.”

Gillies says that the family relocated back to Auckland and his father became a shareholder with Gary Domett in Domett/Fruehauf... ... 

Search Articles

NZ Truck & Driver Magazine
Read Now