Don Wilson - A lifetime in livestock
Posted: 13-May-2021 |
What with increased compliance demands, driver shortages and angry bulls, the livestock industry is hard enough at the best of times, however, not only does ORT’s director Don Wilson run a successful livestock transport business in Pukekohe but for the past eight years he’s also worked tirelessly behind the scenes at the NRC, assisting other operators and paving the way for a better industry.
According to Don, had things turned out differently he’d have been a diesel mechanic but the long and short of it ‘trucking is in his blood’. His father had a carrier's business (general and livestock) and he say's “that’s just the way it is.”
But don’t think for one moment he’s not a passionate and willing participant.
Wilson got his HT licence at eighteen and hit the road almost immediately, first doing general freight as a relief driver and then jumping into a stock truck and driving full time.
Around 2014 Wilson began ORT (OnRoad Transport).
He recalls, “we had six trucks when we split and two owner-drivers and now we employ around seventeen drivers on staff, have a fleet of fifteen trucks and we also have seven owner-drivers.”
ORT predominantly works as livestock carriers, and the 57-year old Wilson still hits the road in a part-time capacity when required “If I’m needed to fill in for a day or so.”
Around a similar time to when ORT began, Don joined the board of the NRC, his motivation was simple.
“Putting something back into the industry I work for. A lot of people complain about the industry but the only way to get something done is to get out there and do it, and you can’t win a fight or gain any traction by being an individual, you have to do it as a group. If you have a problem, you ring your association, they can lobby the problem for you. If it’s local we use the NRC and if it’s a nationwide issue then we use the Forum (RTF) to fight our arguments.”
You can read more on this story in the latest issue of NZ Truck and Driver Magazine