NZ Transport Imaging Awards

 
The same….only different

The same….only different

NZ Transport Imaging Awards

 March 2019   

To most people, Temuka Transport's distinctive two-tone green and white livery has probably looked much the same for decades.

But, as operations manager Gutsy (Garry) Aitken points out, the look of the fleet is actually constantly evolving – most notably of late by way of swooshes on the cab doors replacing the former zig-zag stripes.

The swirls/swooshes, which are a stylised version of the company logo, were introduced in 2014 – in a branding revamp that also included a new treatment for the company name on the side of the cab. Gone was the old horizontal stripe, framed top and bottom by the company name in the shape of an ellipse.

Ever since then the new look has been gradually introduced – each new truck given the revised treatment as old trucks have been replaced (usually at one million kilometres, or maybe 1.2).

The constant in the colour scheme has been the unusual shade of green that's been the main colour on the company trucks since 1987, when Temuka Transport bought its first Volvo – the make that has long since become the fleet favourite.

For the previous 20 years, following the purchase of Temuka Transport by Rowdy Aitken and three fellow drivers in 1967, the trucks had been painted primarily blue and white, sometimes with a green stripe.


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To most people, Temuka Transport's distinctive two-tone green and white livery has probably looked much the same for decades.
But, as operations manager Gutsy (Garry) Aitken points out, the look of the fleet is actually constantly evolving – most notably of late by way of swooshes on the cab doors replacing the former zig-zag stripes.
The swirls/swooshes, which are a stylised version of the company logo, were introduced in 2014 – in a branding revamp that also included a new treatment for the company name on the side of the cab. Gone was the old horizontal stripe, framed top and bottom by the company name in the shape of an ellipse.
Ever since then the new look has been gradually introduced – each new truck given the revised treatment as old trucks have been replaced (usually at one million kilometres, or maybe 1.2).
The constant in the colour scheme has been the unusual shade of green that's been the main colour on the company trucks since 1987, when Temuka Transport bought its first Volvo – the make that has long since become the fleet favourite.
For the previous 20 years, following the purchase of Temuka Transport by Rowdy Aitken and three fellow drivers in 1967, the trucks had been painted primarily blue and white, sometimes with a green stripe.
When the company was purchased in '67 it had gone into receivership. And the trucks, Rowdy recalled a few years ago, were a motley collection – in appearance, age and mechanical condition. He thinks that probably only 11 of the 20 trucks in the purchase were actually runners. 
"They were hard times – working all the hours God gave to get the business back on its feet. But we eventually got it under way," he told New Zealand Truck & Driver in 2012.
Back in the day, Temuka Transport was very much a traditional rural trucking company, servicing the local sheep, cattle and grain farmers. It also used to pick up cheese from four small factories and deliver it to the railways.
Around 1971, Rowdy and the only remaining partner of the original quartet split the business up – Trevor Walsh taking over the contracting and earthmoving operation, while Aitken held onto Temuka Transport and its rural carrying business.
The 1983 deregulation of road freight transport saw the cheese factories requesting delivery direct to Christchurch – and Temuka Transport began to spread its wings.
To suit the new long-distance runs, the company looked to new trucks, including the very first company Volvo – an F12 bought new in 1987. 
With the help of a local signwriter and painter, the green base colour was adopted, with a white stripe and white on the upper cab and stock crates.
The colour scheme has served the company well over the 32 years since, says Gutsy Aitken: "It's a unique brand. Our 'South Island green' is well known."
The Aitken brothers – Gutsy, Slim (Brian) and Brendan – who now run the family business, have worked with Peter Taylor and Andrew Gibbs at Timaru Signs & Graphix for about 30 years on the branding – modifying things to keep it up to date.
"They've helped tweak the livery and logo," says Gutsy: "We change things about every 10 years to keep it current and fresh."
The 2014 redo was prompted by the arrival of the first of the company's Version 4 Volvo FHs – the swooshes on the door introduced to better suit the contours of the new cab, Gutsy explains. They also carry on the theme of the Temuka logo – designed and introduced around 1990. 
The company now has 94 of its fleet of around 100 trucks in the latest colour scheme, which is shown off perfectly by the 2016 FH 540 Volvo which is the poster truck this month – as Temuka Transport becomes our latest PPG Transport Imaging Awards monthly finalist.
Good as the livery is, improving it is an ongoing effort: Gutsy says he's not entirely happy with the logo and the company name as they currently appear on the aerofoils on top of the cabs: "We're still working on that to get it right."
It helps the uniformity of the company colour scheme that around 95% of the fleet is Volvo – with just some bulk groundspreaders and a couple of small runabout trucks from other manufacturers.
The Volvos, says Gutsy, were chosen for the style and image they could give the company as well as their comfort and safety. The I Shift automated transmission also makes them easy to operate in the stop-start running through towns that's part of the South Canterbury road transport scene.
Temuka is a major transport supplier to Fonterra – carting milk, milk powder and milk solids, packaging and coal for the giant co-operative.
It also carts stock feed to bulk storage facilities and still transports livestock, with the emphasis in recent years on dairy cows – a result of widespread dairy conversions in the region.
The Temuka Transport Group runs two other transport operations acquired in recent years – and has steadfastly kept their original names and colours. 
Temuka-based MacKenzie Supply Services and Fairlie's Barwood Motors still run in their own liveries – blue and white and red and white respectively. MacKenzies does rural and refrigerated freight, while Barwoods focuses on livestock, bulk groundspreading and general freight around Fairlie and the Mackenzie Basin.
Says Gutsy: "When we bought into them we respected their identities and the family values they represented."
Collectively MacKenzies and Barwoods have added another 50 trucks to the group's fleet.
"We now cover the ocean to the Alps," says Gutsy. Temuka and the other companies operate primarily in the Canterbury/South Canterbury/North Otago regions, but work does take the trucks all over the South Island and occasionally across Cook Strait.   

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