NZ Truck & Driver News

 
Ex-workers new owners

Ex-workers new owners

NZ Truck & Driver News

 June 2019   
New Zealand Trucks' Christchurch operation, which includes one of the biggest and most modern heavy transport workshops in the country, has been sold – two of the three new co-owners former employees.

Former branch manager John Mason describes himself as a little shellshocked, bemused even: Having left NZ Trucks 11 months ago, after 14 years' service, this month's return as a part-owner is "f***ing bizarre," he says. 

"We never dreamed this would happen – to walk out as workers and come back as owners!"
He and business partner Sheldon Close, formerly the foreman at the NZ Trucks branch, left to form MC Transport Repairs with the third partner in the buyout, Taranaki's Ross Graham – who also has a long background in the road transport industry.

MC Transport Repairs has been operating a successful five-bay workshop (three drive-throughs and two singles) in Christchurch, employing 10 mechanics, since June last year.

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New Zealand Trucks' Christchurch operation, which includes one of the biggest and most modern heavy transport workshops in the country, has been sold – two of the three new co-owners former employees.
Former branch manager John Mason describes himself as a little shellshocked, bemused even: Having left NZ Trucks 11 months ago, after 14 years' service, this month's return as a part-owner is "f***ing bizarre," he says. 
"We never dreamed this would happen – to walk out as workers and come back as owners!"
He and business partner Sheldon Close, formerly the foreman at the NZ Trucks branch, left to form MC Transport Repairs with the third partner in the buyout, Taranaki's Ross Graham – who also has a long background in the road transport industry.
MC Transport Repairs has been operating a successful five-bay workshop (three drive-throughs and two singles) in Christchurch, employing 10 mechanics, since June last year.
But several months ago they were offered the opportunity to buy the NZ Trucks Hornby operation – the flagship of the NZ Trucks network.
The owners, says Graham, "know us and thought we might be in the position to do what we've done."
The opportunity appealed, says Mason, because of the first-hand involvement he and Close had with NZ Trucks: "Experience – we've been there. We ran that business, in that particular building, for a year. 
"And, previous to that, we'd built the business from 18 staff – up to 95 when we left. So we've been through that journey the whole way through," says Mason.
The company will continue to operate under the NZ Trucks name, "since people know it," says Ross Graham.
He and John Mason say that, as from the June 1 handover, "in many ways it's business as usual…but we aim to be leading service providers to the NZ road transport industry.
Says Mason: "We're really pleased to buy it. We want to put it on the map as a big workshop – probably the biggest workshop in NZ – and we're looking to grow it.
"We've got auto sparkies, engineering, mechanical, parts, CoF – a one-stop shop. Just come in there and the whole job's done – all brands."
MC Transport Repairs will be absorbed into the NZ Trucks business and workshop facility. The purchase effectively scales up the existing MCTR business four or five-fold, with 48 mechanics and 25 workshop bays – 16 of them drive-throughs.
Adds Graham: "Christchurch is the transport hub of the South Island and we'll be looking to grow the facility. Staffing is a potential hurdle, but we'll be starting an apprenticeship programme. It's good for them and good for the future." 
When former owner Equipment Holdings moved its NZ Trucks and AB Equipment Christchurch operations into a new 30,000-square-metre, purposebuilt base in Hornby almost two years ago, it said that it was one of the largest single sites for commercial machinery and truck sales, service and support in NZ.
NZ Trucks, which can trace its roots back to the establishment of International Harvester in Christchurch in 1912, said that the Christchurch branch was the biggest facility in its network – and a one-stop-shop model for the development of others.  


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