Mark McCarthy well remembers the long days sitting at Raetihi School with thoughts firmly focused on his father’s and uncle’s logging trucks deep in the Waimarino native forests.
Little did he realize that, with the formation of his father and uncle’s partnership in 1948 carting sawn timber from Trunk Sawmill to the rail head at Erua and the expansion into log cartage 1959, they were laying the ground work for his family business today.
1971 to 1976 saw the death of his uncle, his father buying out all shares, downsizing from 4 trucks to 1, the start of “subbies” use and the beginning of the first sustainable circuit loading for the company.
1978 through to 1988 began with the very first load of logs delivered into Winstone Samsun’s Pulp Mill in Karioi and is continuing to this day. The untimely passing of Mark’s parents in 1997 left a huge void and determination for him to achieve the vision his father and himself shared over a beer.
Mark went into partnership with McAlpine Mill and Warwick Wilsher, taking over Transport North Canterbury logging fleet and forming a new company MWT of which he took sole control in January 1988. In 1997, the Log Transport Safety Council was formed and Mark was a founding member.
Mark was the first operator to design and build a drop chassis trailer and, to his pleasure, these have evolved to be one of the safest trailers on our roads. This innovation has continued throughout his career. He is a true engineering pioneer and is always thinking of ideas to create efficiencies for all stakeholders.
In 1989 a considerable volume of cartage was tendered moving pine products from Karioi Forest to Carter Holt Harvey Tokoroa and Tasman Pulp & Paper at Kawerau. In 1994, Paragon Haulage was started at the request of NZ Forestry Corporation. That business grew and in 1996 Mark purchased another business in Northland. Rural Haulage in Winton was part of the group meaning he had NZ covered.
Mark then grew MWT and set up in Nelson working beside Duncan Borlase to cart for CHH Forests servicing the local mills and Port. MWT was sold to Steve Murphy in 2003 and in 2004 Fearon Logging from Masterton was purchased.
Like many, Mark has made poor investments, with a sawmill almost sending him broke. However, through grit and determination he pulled through and being a true gentleman he made sure all accounts were paid.
Mark has helped other transport operators out over the years. A silent partner in TanzCarr, Dave Carr, remembers over a quiet beer he needed some help to invest in specialised equipment for the Taharoa Iron Sands Project. The next day Mark called to say he would like to help so a trip with Dave to Mexico to purchase the trailers took place and a hands-on approach to moving the Ironsand Plant was a highlight for Mark in specialised heavy haul.
Mark now oversees a group of companies that employ over 240 staff moving around 2.2 million tonnes of logs and is proud to have the 3rd family generation involved. He epitomises the company’s values of “Proud People Loyal Service”