Archiving NZ Trucking History Media
Born in Portsmouth England in 1941, Mike travelled to New Zealand in 1950, arriving on his 9th birthday. The next five years were spent living in various military camps before finally settling in Tauranga. From an early age, trucks and machinery were never far from Mike’s mind, a passion that continues today. On leaving school his first jobs involved driving trucks. At the age of 20, in 1961, Mike purchased his first truck, a 1959 Bedford C6 and so began his life long journey.
Mike married Judy in 1962 and has been fully involved in the business during the ensuing years. The log trade industry remained their primary focus and despite many ups and downs in the industry they slowly increased the fleet. An offer came in 1967 for the purchase of one of the first Kenworth trucks in the country. Since then, around 200 units have been purchased. Many opportunities arose in 1980’s for diversification prompting Mike to set up several new companies, mostly relating to the forestry industry in the region with all staff employed as working shareholders. These included Kinleith Log Stackers Ltd for NZ Forest Products Ltd, Kopuriki Log Transfer Ltd at the Murupara rail head, Quality Marshalling Ltd at the Mount Maunganui wharf, and log chip handling for Wood Export Ltd which included Mike’s most passionate purchase, a Caterpillar D11.
In 2006, after 45 years in business, Mike and Judy sold most of the companies, allowing Mike to retire and spend time on his collection of Caterpillar Tractors, refurbishing them one by one. Mike served as President of the Tauranga County Licensed Carriers Association from 1968 to 1971.