NZ Transport Imaging Awards

 
From anonymous... to awesome

From anonymous... to awesome

NZ Transport Imaging Awards

 August 2019   

A trucking company that just a few years ago was running plain (almost anonymous), mostly-white trucks, has been judged the best-looking fleet of the year in the annual PPG Transport Imaging Awards.

In a classic example of the transformative powers of a good fleet livery, Bombay-based N&J Wood's bulk tipper business has boomed since Neil and Joanne Wood bought their first new truck in 2013.

And Neil happily reckons that it wouldn't have happened if not for the fact that Joanne loved the look of the retro hotrod-styled International LoneStar that was arguably THE star of the 2013 Transport & Heavy Equipment Expo at Mystery Creek.

It prompted them to scrap their plans to buy a sensible (but boring) Inter 7600…and order the LoneStar instead.


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A trucking company that just a few years ago was running plain (almost anonymous), mostly-white trucks, has been judged the best-looking fleet of the year in the annual PPG Transport Imaging Awards.
In a classic example of the transformative powers of a good fleet livery, Bombay-based N&J Wood's bulk tipper business has boomed since Neil and Joanne Wood bought their first new truck in 2013.
And Neil happily reckons that it wouldn't have happened if not for the fact that Joanne loved the look of the retro hotrod-styled International LoneStar that was arguably THE star of the 2013 Transport & Heavy Equipment Expo at Mystery Creek.
It prompted them to scrap their plans to buy a sensible (but boring) Inter 7600…and order the LoneStar instead.
The iconic retro-styled conventional just happened to be painted in a spectacular turquoise colour, which had been enhanced for its starring role at the THE Expo with distinctive white, silver, navy blue and black/blue striping by Truck Signs in Mount Maunganui.
And that paint and striping package became the N&J Wood livery – with the striping extended back from the cab, along the side of the tippers' bulk bins, broken by a big V-shaped space that accommodates a new N&J Wood logo.
The standout look now graces 13 trucks (most of them bought new). The lineup comprises six makes (Volvo, DAF, Mack, Peterbilt, Renault and International), 10 different models, a mix of cabovers and conventionals…..and the livery looks spectacularly good on all of them!
So good that Neil Wood says straightout that "in all fairness it HAS transformed the business. If we hadn't got the LoneStar we probably wouldn't be where we are now."
The point is, the Wood trucks are unmissable – and that's brought the business "to the fore in people's minds." 
Be they the members of the public and truck enthusiasts who "are always ringing up" the N&J Wood office to find out where its trucks are – so they can take photos of them….
Or the companies that "we now work with – relationships that have come about because they like the good gear….and then our drivers are intelligent, so we get more and more work."
The colour scheme is good enough too that all five judges in the annual PPG Transport Imaging Awards have voted it their top choice of the 10 2018/2019 finalists. 
The judging saw the Wood livery score 46 out of a possible 50 points – well clear of the judges' second choice, the eyecatching orange and white colours of the Christchurch-based RAC Group. 
Fellow Canterbury operation SML Logging, the Bay of Plenty's Brett Marsh Transport and Northland's Douglas Logging were all close behind RAC, in that order.
PPG Industries New Zealand's David White summed up the N&J Wood livery succinctly: "Bold and beautiful," he said.
Road Transport Forum technical manager Kerry Arnold gave it a 10 out of 10, commenting: "Very dramatic colours, with great flowing characteristics."
NZ Truck & Driver publisher Trevor Woolston said it has "outstanding colours" and is very recognisable, while PPG's Mark Brearley felt it is "a very modern, sleek look."
And editor Wayne Munro rated it "a standout livery that shows exactly how powerful a good-looking colour scheme can be." 
Neil and Joanne Wood say they're "chuffed" with the PPG Award, which carries with it a commemorative trophy and a $2500 travel prize: "We're very honoured. Very proud."
Before the LoneStar and the standout livery, N&J Wood was barely noticeable on the Auckland trucking scene, he concedes: "We just sneaked around I guess….we just left them in white, and put a touch of colour on them.
"It's just that LoneStar….it just stood out like crazy! And everybody thought that colour was awesome."
If not for the change, six years later, he reckons that still, "no-one would know who we are." 
The original striping work for the livery was done by Truck Signs' Cliff Mannington, then (with Mannington's blessing) for subsequent trucks Joanne's brother Ron van Dam – an Auckland airbrush artist and signwriter – extended the design to the bins.
Transvisual Spraypainters painted the next few company trucks, but most recently the paint has either been factory-applied or done by Independent Truck Sprays in Auckland.
Ron van Dam has modified the striping to suit each new body shape and style and has also done airbrushed murals for most of them.
There has been one recent deviation from the super-successful N&J Wood livery – in the form of the salmon pink and black branding of good customer Rock and Rubble on the bins of a new Volvo FM unit.
Since buying the LoneStar and adopting its colour scheme, says Neil Wood, the business has been on "a very interesting ride, if you want to call it that."
He reckons that, until six years ago, he never would have believed the reaction that good-looking trucks would have on the public – and on business: "And it's still going. We just keep adding and keep adding."
The Woods will, for instance, have another new truck (he's not saying what it is) on the road in time for the Bombay Truck Show on February 1 next year. It's the Woods' local show and it'll have six trucks there…including the mystery newcomer.  

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