Re­al­ity beats dreams

New Zealand Truck & Driver - - News - Story Hay­ley Lei­bowitz Pho­tos Ger­ald Shack­lock

e new Ken­worth T610 SAR heads for a fer­tiliser stock­pile at an aerial top­dress­ing strip high in the hills around Bide­ford, about 37kms north­east of Carter­ton

SCHOOL WAS QUITE AN IN­CON­VE­NIENCE FOR A YOUNG Jamie El­li­son: He only ever set his sights on one goal – own­ing a truck. Still, as sin­gle-minded as he’s al­ways been, he’s even sur­prised him­self with his suc­cess – hav­ing now pro­gressed to be­ing, at 36, the proud owner of not just one truck….but a fleet of them!

He’s even got a few Ken­worths – his dream trucks. And there’s an­other one due next month.

The owner of Wairarapa’s El­li­son Cartage – a nine-truck ru­ral bulk cartage oper­a­tion based just out of Carter­ton – says he “started young” with his pas­sion for trucks.

And he’s not kid­ding: His ear­li­est mem­o­ries of an in­volve­ment in trucks and truck­ing date back to when he was just four or five – grow­ing up on the fam­ily farm at West Taratahi, about six kilo­me­tres north of Carter­ton. Waipapa Farm is a prop­erty that be­longed to Jamie’s grand­par­ents….and then his folks, David and Bernadette, af­ter that.

“Dad al­ways had one truck on the farm. I can re­mem­ber my first ride in the truck with my fa­ther.

“It was tak­ing some of our stock to the (now closed) Wain­gawa Freez­ing Works at Master­ton in the D Se­ries Ford.”

That, as he says, “is where it all be­gan.” From then on, “ev­ery time there was a job to do in the truck, I was there.”

School was just some­thing that got in the way: “I used to be pretty dis­ap­pointed when I couldn’t go out and had to go to school.”

By the time he left school at 16, he al­ready knew how to drive the D Se­ries – had even sneaked-in oc­ca­sion­ally (dur­ing hay­mak­ing, for in­stance) driv­ing it the kilo­me­tre be­tween the two farms the fam­ily had at the time.

And, as far as what job he’d do…there was never any doubt: “That was it – all I ever wanted to do was drive trucks.”

He filled in time by work­ing on a lo­cal dairy farm for about 18 months – till he could get his HT (heavy traf­fic) li­cence as soon as he turned 18.

The day he started work for Carter­ton’s Pin­fold’s Trans­port, driv­ing a lit­tle four-wheeler Isuzu stock truck, was a day “with all sorts of emo­tions,” he re­mem­bers.

About 18 months later, he shifted to David Pope Trans­port in Master­ton – step­ping up to a Mit­subishi Shogun 8x4 truck and trailer unit, also on live­stock.

He was still with Popes when, at the age of 22, his Dad loaned him some money to help him buy his first truck – a three-year-old 450 horse­power Isuzu Giga drop­side tip­per, plus a sec­ond­hand split-tip­per four-axle drop­side trailer to go be­hind it.

Why a bulk truck? “At the time around here there wasn’t any­one into that work,” says Jamie.

Ini­tially he put a paid driver into the Isuzu, so he could con­tinue driv­ing for Popes – with a guar­an­teed wage to help pay off the truck. Af­ter the Isuzu’s silage sea­son con­tract ran out, he took the truck over him­self.

At that point, he reck­ons, “I was on my own – so I had to go out and start cre­at­ing work. I just door­knocked re­ally – went around all the lo­cal farm­ers.” It heIped that “we’re a pretty well­known fam­ily around here.”

The work he picked up was cart­ing hay, baleage, ag­gre­gate, fer­tiliser, tim­ber…. “even a bit of ma­chin­ery and that.”

His par­ents never doubted that he’d suc­ceed. Says Bernadette: “Right from the time he was very small it was quite ob­vi­ous to his Dad and I that he was never go­ing to be a farmer.

“He’d drop his school bag and run down to see what was go­ing on with the truck. That’s the way it al­ways was.”

David El­li­son agrees: “It’s in the blood. Jamie’s grand­fa­ther was a worker. I’ve al­ways been keen on trucks. My un­cle had a twoman truck busi­ness in Lower Hutt, which he started af­ter World War 2. Trucks have been in the fam­ily.”

There was a bit of a break­through a cou­ple of years into El­li­son Cartage’s his­tory – when Jamie be­gan pick­ing up quite a bit of work out­side the Wairarapa – cart­ing straw up to the Waikato, for in­stance, and bring­ing back fer­tiliser…or what­ever other loads he could find.

Like a load of onions that he picked up from Pukekohe – and dis­cov­ered, late on a cold win­ter’s night on the Desert Road, that a one-tonne bag was on a lean…be­gin­ning to spill onions on the high­way! And in dan­ger of fall­ing off.

With no help at hand, on his own he had to jury-rig enough straps and strops to keep the rest of it on­board.

About the time Jamie bought his first truck he also met his wife, Kelly Laing – from a Mart­in­bor­ough farm­ing fam­ily…and some­one who also loves trucks. In fact, when he met her, she was driv­ing a 580hp Sca­nia tip­per for Welling­ton’s Kiwi Point Quar­ries. As she says: “We used to pass each other on the Rimu­takas back in the day – and look where we are now.”

Kelly had three truck driver broth­ers but didn’t re­ally know what she wanted to do when she started work – and ini­tially found her­self work­ing in ad­min (and then driv­ing) for Mal­neek Con­trac­tors in Mart­in­bor­ough.

“I used to just watch the trucks com­ing in and out and I thought ‘I’d love it. I wanna try it.’ So I was for­tu­nate enough to be put through my li­cences – and I did that for sev­eral years.”

At the time they got to­gether, Jamie con­cedes, there was “a bit of talk about how she had a 580hp truck” – while he only had a 450.

Jamie, now 36, says they’ve got to where they are now largely be­cause of fam­ily: “Dad gave me a small amount of money to get my first truck and I paid that back – and this is where we are to­day. I’ve al­ways said I like to do things off my own back – but at the end of the day, with­out fam­ily you can’t al­ways achieve your dreams.”

The busi­ness also grew, he agrees, “be­cause I’m de­ter­mined.

If I see some­thing, I want to give it a crack – whether it’s right or wrong.”

Kelly says she’s not sur­prised that Jamie has done so well: “I kind of ex­pected it. It’s fan­tas­tic.”

And Dave El­li­son says he never doubted that his son would be a suc­cess­ful trans­port op­er­a­tor: “If he does some­thing he gives it 110%. I al­ways thought it would get big­ger – two or three….maybe half a dozen trucks. It’s taken hard work and long hours and the work has changed over the years.”

There was, he points out, plenty of room in the yard when

Jamie started – but now the fleet’s out­grown it.

It has also eas­ily out­grown Jamie’s own am­bi­tions: “I never re­ally ex­pected to own a fleet….the dream was to own me own truck. Only one! But as it turns out, I’ve said yes too many times!

“I’ve got a friend in the in­dus­try and we al­ways used to say ‘if you get a client ring­ing and he wants a job done, you just say yes to it – and you worry later about how you’re gonna do it.’

“And that hap­pens all the time, you know. I don’t like giv­ing work away. I just like to try to do ev­ery­thing we can.”

Thus he bought a se­cond truck within a year of the first. As he ex­plains: “The work just kept com­ing in.” He was lucky, he says, that “we had a lot of lo­cal guys who wanted to sup­port us.”

Lucky too that crop­ping was be­com­ing a big thing in the Wairarapa – with the re­sult that El­li­son Cartage was get­ting more and more maize, peas, bar­ley and other bulk crops to cart out of the re­gion.

Jamie thinks it was prob­a­bly only an­other 18 months be­fore he and Kelly – by then mar­ried – had bought an­other sec­ond­hand truck, a 380 Hino 8x4.

And still the work de­manded more. But, he says, “we were grow­ing the busi­ness a bit quick – and I couldn’t re­ally af­ford to keep buy­ing trucks. Not as fast as we had been.”

So his Dad helped out – sub-con­tract­ing with the In­ter­na­tional T-Line he’d bought for the farm.

An­other new job – cart­ing waste pa­per away from the lo­cal tip to Welling­ton – turned into a load a day…and war­ranted an­other Hino. The 700 Se­ries was still sec­ond­hand, but with only about 50k on the clock.

And then, in 2011, an­other Hino 700 be­came El­li­son Cartage’s first brand-new truck – boost­ing the fleet to five. Driv­ing the growth at that point was the op­por­tu­nity to run to Taranaki and the Waikato, tak­ing ag­gre­gate, grain or what­ever out, and

bring­ing back fer­tiliser, palm ker­nel and other stock food.

The work, says Jamie, “just kept com­ing in….we had a lot of lo­cal guys who wanted to sup­port us re­ally,” he says grate­fully.

De­spite the pos­i­tive sum­mary, it hasn’t been all plain sail­ing though, Jamie stresses: “We’ve had hard times like ev­ery­one. We’ve had sac­ri­fices we’ve had to make.

“When I was young and my mates were out par­ty­ing and kick­ing-back on the week­ends, I’d be out work­ing – do­ing some­thing ‘cause I knew where I wanted to go and I had to make sac­ri­fices to get there, you know.”

Much of the com­pany’s growth has been down to the ex­pan­sion of dairy farm­ing in the Wairarapa, with its at­ten­dant de­mand for stock feed sup­ple­ments – to the point where it now ac­counts for about 70% of El­li­son Cartage’s work.

“The other 30% is our own work for our own clien­tele. We rarely rely on other car­ri­ers giv­ing us work, but we do use sub­con­trac­tors from time to time, to fill gaps.”

On the other hand, when the dairy in­dus­try slowed down a few years back the com­pany was forced to con­sol­i­date: “We had no choice, be­cause that was a big part of our work then.

“In the last three to four years it’s boomed again and the econ­omy’s been sta­ble, so we’ve been able to grow the trans­port as well.”

Grow it to the point where the fleet’s out to eight trucks – most of them less than four years old…and many of them bought brand­new. And yes, that has in­cluded some of his beloved Ken­worths – a K200 and a T610 SAR, with an­other new K200 due next month.

The early em­pha­sis on Ja­pa­nese trucks – Isuzus and Hi­nos pri­mar­ily – has switched to North Amer­i­can mod­els. There are two DD15-en­gined 2017 Freight­liner Ar­gosys, a 2015 Coron­ado, an older Ar­gosy, a 2004 Western Star 5864SS, a 2007 T404 Ken­worth and the 1995 380 Hino he bought years ago. One of the two newer Ar­gosys is a nine-wheel HPMV unit, run­ning on a 58-tonne per­mit.

The fam­ily in­put into the busi­ness has been a con­stant in help­ing get El­li­son Cartage to where it is now, says Jamie:

Be­cause of the long hours he was work­ing, he reck­ons that at times Kelly was “a fa­ther and mother at once (to their three kids – Ja­cob, now 10, Brooke, five and Khloe, two) while I was build­ing the busi­ness.

“We never spent as much time as we should have or could have to­gether. Now I want to make a point of spend­ing more time with the kids.”

Dave isn’t cur­rently in­volved day to day – but he is, as Jamie puts it, “on the out­skirts.”

Kelly and Bernadette though are (and long have been) heav­ily in­volved in the busi­ness – tak­ing care of the ad­min work (now with help of the newly-em­ployed Jill Swan­son).

Bernadette ex­plains that with a back­ground in bank­ing, she’d al­ways done book work, so ini­tially when Jamie was out driv­ing and needed help on the ad­min side “ob­vi­ously I was go­ing to do it.”

When Kelly came on the scene Bernadette stepped back for a while and “let them just run their busi­ness.” But as things got busier and Kelly was tied up look­ing af­ter the kids, “it made sense for me to step back in.”

Now Kelly works mostly school hours – “but I can be much more flex­i­ble and sit in when nec­es­sary,” adds Bernadette, who is a direc­tor of the com­pany, along with Jamie.

Kelly ad­mits she does miss her truck driv­ing, now she has her hands full with the chil­dren and the busi­ness: “I miss it yeah, yeah. It’s hard to go back to it with the kids, but ev­ery now and then I’ll get the op­por­tu­nity. Jamie might say ‘jump in a truck and take it some­where’ and I will still do that. I love it.”

She says she has never en­coun­tered any prej­u­dice in this male­dom­i­nated in­dus­try, even when she was the only wo­man at a

quarry – work­ing with 30 guys: “Fe­males can do this – they can. You know ev­ery­one’s al­ways for it. I’ve never had any back­lash and yeah – it’s al­ways good to see fe­males out driv­ing.”

Jamie does still drive most days, along with seven full­time driv­ers: “I still en­joy driv­ing but I’m try­ing to run the com­pany from the seat too, which is a chal­lenge at times.

“At the end of the day I’m a go-to per­son. It is hard run­ning it from the truck and you don’t en­joy it all the time. But at the end of the day if I don’t do it – if I don’t keep it run­ning – then there is no job for any­one else here, you know.

“So yeah, I want to get out of it….well, I’ve got to get out of it full­time. But I like to drive too – so you’re sort of torn be­tween the two.”

One thing’s for sure: Work isn’t hard to come by now that the com­pany’s es­tab­lished, he says: “A lot of it’s word of mouth.

Ev­ery day I get a new client ring­ing for bulk trans­port. We still look af­ter our lo­cal clien­tele be­cause they’ve got us to where we are to­day.

“But, in say­ing that, we’re cov­er­ing the whole North Is­land now and we’re do­ing a lit­tle bit of in­ter-is­land work. We don’t do a lot of it be­cause it takes the truck out of the loop for too long, es­pe­cially when we’re busy.”

Keep­ing up with de­mand is made eas­ier these days with the re­li­a­bil­ity of the fleet – with most of the cur­rent lineup bought new and with a re­newal pro­gramme in place for the past three years – un­like the early days with their sec­ond­hand trucks.

“I def­i­nitely pre­fer new. I’ve built the com­pany on re­li­a­bil­ity: If I say we’re gonna do some­thing or turn up at a cer­tain time, the last thing I want to do is ring a client and say we’re run­ning late be­cause of trucks breaking down.

“I’ve had to do it in the past but I don’t like do­ing it. Now we’ve got newer gear we’ve got the re­li­a­bil­ity.”

Of course, it’s a bonus for Jamie that three of the eight trucks are Ken­worths: “They’re the cream of the crop – a dream truck for any en­thu­si­ast. They’re built stronger, more durable. They can do the dis­tance, cov­er­ing big mileages each year, and the re­sale value over a mil­lion K is still good.”

Over the years the fleet has moved from ver­sa­tile drop­siders and flat­decks into straight bulk tip­pers: “The fleet was set up as a mixed fleet, with flat­decks and drop­siders. As time has gone on we’ve gone more into bulk. Bulk units are lighter in tare weight so can carry more pay­load, whereas drop­siders are heav­ier…”

A typ­i­cal day for Jamie starts around six – ei­ther in the of­fice or be­hind the wheel of a truck: “I’ll just check the load plan and add any jobs that need do­ing that day for the trucks. At the mo­ment, ‘cause I’m still driv­ing, I’d go and do my ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing the day (from the truck). We’ve al­ways got some­one in the of­fice an­swer­ing phones.”

El­li­son Cartage uses lo­cally-de­vel­oped com­puter pro­gramme My Truck­ing to man­age the trucks: “I load the jobs in for each

ve­hi­cle. The driver’s got a tablet in his truck and as soon as I en­ter the job here, I send it through to the nom­i­nated truck and they see their work.

“I can swap them around de­pend­ing on which area the truck’s go­ing to and if one be­comes a pri­or­ity.” The sys­tem has made dis­patch­ing a lot eas­ier and also au­to­mates “the in­voic­ing side…. It can be billed out straight away, so we’re not wait­ing for the end of the month for ev­ery­thing to hap­pen.

“I can be here till eight o’clock at night some nights. So the days are pretty long….post­ing the next day’s work, ring­ing a cou­ple of clients. You know, for­ever on the phones.”

Driv­ing-wise, do­ing bulk work comes with its own chal­lenges: “A lot of peo­ple think it’s easy, but there’s a bit more in­volved. More skill.

“Back­ing into tight places and bins to tip off, for one: Driv­ers have to be aware…there’s al­ways a risk of tip­ping a trailer over. So they need to be on solid ground.”

Five trucks work out of the com­pany yard, but two are now based in the Manawatu and one in Hawke’s Bay: “At the start when we were grow­ing the fleet I was get­ting calls from po­ten­tial driv­ers who lived in the Manawatu and I was a bit re­luc­tant, but it’s worked well be­cause that’s where our work area is. So it doesn’t mat­ter if they start here on a Mon­day or there on a Mon­day.”

The busi­ness is suc­cess­ful and busy – but Jamie isn’t bust­ing for more ex­pan­sion: “The log­ging boom around here at the mo­ment is pretty strong and I’ve had that kind of op­por­tu­nity – but I’m not pre­pared to take that risk.

“I’ve al­ways be­lieved in do­ing what you do and do­ing it well. What if the mar­ket crashed overnight? You can’t cart any­thing else with a log­ging truck. Plus we’d have to out­lay for sec­ond­hand log­ging gear to do it.”

And then there’s the driver short­age: “We could have two more trucks on the road now but be­cause of the driver short­age I’d rather just fo­cus on what we’re do­ing and keep the trucks busy than have trucks parked up. I hate a truck parked up.

“The work’s there, the econ­omy’s pretty strong at the mo­ment for this type of work…But, like I say, the driv­ers aren’t there and there’s no sense in putting more gear on if you can’t get driv­ers.”

In fact, he rates the driver short­age his big­gest chal­lenge in busi­ness these days: “There are no young guys com­ing through the in­dus­try now. It’s a real con­cern.” He says he hasn’t had to ad­ver­tise for driv­ers in the last eight to 10 years – but it is get­ting harder and harder to find skilled peo­ple.

He’s pretty clear on the best way to ad­dress that: “We look af­ter our staff the best we can. We pay them well I think. They’re driv­ing good equip­ment. Find­ing skilled driv­ers is some­thing I’ve taken pride in. I’ve had driv­ers come through here who’ve been told: ‘Go see him for a job – he’s a good boss. He looks af­ter you.’

“I like to get my pound of flesh out of them – but I like to think I look af­ter them too.”

In re­turn he has the likes of Bill Curtis – the long­est-serv­ing driver on the staff, at 10 years: “He’s loyal, he goes out of his way to do the job right, pleas­ant….just an all-rounder.

“You can have a beer with him at the end of the day and he’s al­ways got our best in­ter­ests at heart. He’s an am­bas­sador for us.”

A cou­ple of the other driv­ers ar­rive to of­fer their two cents’ worth. Ge­off Field has been with the com­pany for five years, hav­ing come from farm­ing and driv­ing log trucks. Log­ging, he says, “was a lot eas­ier. There was no try­ing to get units into tight places. We just went from the skid to the sawmill. Here, I think

you need more skill. It’s dif­fer­ent ev­ery day.”

Martin (Olly) Oliver agrees. He had been driv­ing stock trucks…. since he was 17. This, he reck­ons, is “my retirement job. It was a good move.”

His big­gest gripe now? “Weather’s a chal­lenge. Rain’s a nui­sance, but I’m still here, so it must be al­right.” With a wife and three grown kids, two of them po­lice­men, he laughs and says that at El­lisons they never do any­thing dodgy: “He’s pretty good, the old boss.”

Just back with the com­pany is one of its ear­li­est driv­ers – re­turned af­ter nine years away: Re­gan Jones, a cousin of Jamie’s, reck­ons that “my teacher said ‘you’ll never get any­where look­ing out the win­dow boy!’ Now I get paid to look out the win­dow.”

Phil Beale is an­other new ar­rival, who’s carted ev­ery­thing as a ru­ral driver and says sim­ply: “I like trucks. I like go­ing to dif­fer­ent places. In this job I’d say un­load­ing at dairy farms is a chal­lenge.”

Fred Lee has been with the El­lisons just over two years and they reckon he “just gets on with it and is a plea­sure to have around.”

And new­comer Cam Walker is fit­ting in with “a great bunch of driv­ers who are al­ways more than will­ing to go out of their way to get jobs done,” says Bernadette.

Jamie is sure that among the rea­sons there aren’t more driv­ers like these blokes are the cost and time in­volved in get­ting into truck driv­ing…and pre­vail­ing at­ti­tudes these days.

“It’s too ex­pen­sive now for a young guy to get his truck and trailer li­cence. And it takes a long time – about two years. When I got mine I did it all in one hit. I think the time and ex­pense to do your li­cence is the big­gest gate­keeper.”

Also, the younger gen­er­a­tion “just don’t want to do the work now. Why do 70 hours a week when you can earn the same wage do­ing a 50-hour week?

“The in­dus­try’s got harder. The hours are long, with nights away. It can be hard for a guy with a young fam­ily.”

Then again, he says with a smile, there are the pos­i­tives: “We get to see a lot of the coun­try­side, drive a nice truck….and, de­pend­ing on what part of truck­ing you’re in, the work can be quite plea­sur­able.”

Bernadette reck­ons her boy does “a mar­vel­lous job. He’s a great boss I will say – a fan­tas­tic boss. And he’s fair – and he doesn’t ever fly off the han­dle. He’s not that sort of per­son.”

Jamie him­self reck­ons: “I’m pretty hard. I guess I have pretty high stan­dards and I ex­pect the driv­ers to look af­ter their gear and take pride in it, which they do. We sup­ply all the wash equip­ment and they’re ex­pected to wash the trucks at least once a week.”

He’s prag­matic about this ap­proach: “Im­age is a big part of our ad­ver­tis­ing. I’ve al­ways be­lieved if you’ve got good gear run­ning

around the coun­try­side peo­ple are go­ing to think, ‘they do their job prop­erly.’ ”

The dis­tinc­tive El­li­son Cartage green, white and red colour scheme is part of this prom­ise. A re­cent brand­ing move has been to paint the bulk bins sil­ver – be­cause the paint is eas­ier to keep clean and look­ing good than al­loy.

Says Jamie: “Sil­ver goes with any colour scheme, but the idea started with a new trailer we bought. The driver was load­ing fer­tiliser as his very first load and a bit of fert fell down the side, stain­ing the bin.” Be­sides, he adds, al­loy goes dull over a pe­riod of time.

“That was a big in­cen­tive to start paint­ing the bins. They stay clean in most weather and are eas­ier to clean – in just 20 min­utes at the end of the day, rather than an hour.”

For the past four years the sign­writ­ing on the trucks has been done by Cliff Man­ning­ton’s Truck Signs in Mount Maun­ganui: “Cliff does a lot of de­tail and it just fin­ishes the trucks. A lot of pin­strip­ing and scrolling.”

While the look of the units is very im­por­tant to the busi­ness,

Jamie has no il­lu­sions that com­pet­i­tive rates are key: “The big­gest thing is to keep our rates where they should be. We keep com­pet­i­tive by work­ing a bit smarter. Back­load­ing is cru­cial. We do very lit­tle empty run­ning on the trucks. They’ve al­ways got a load to go from A to B – and that’s what clients are af­ter now. The client wants his prod­uct moved at the best price.”

To help make this pos­si­ble, El­li­son Cartage deals in some of the bulk prod­ucts it car­ries, in­clud­ing wood chip, saw­dust, wood shav­ings, bark, ag­gre­gates, calf bed­ding… “I buy them all, we can trade them and it keeps our rates where they should be.”

All in all, Jamie El­li­son is pretty happy with the state of things in his truck­ing busi­ness: “At the mo­ment it’s a size where I can man­age it. I can man­age ev­ery­thing – the day-to-day run­ning, the bit of main­te­nance we do our­selves on the gear. I know how it runs.”

It’s also a man­age­able size – any big­ger and it’d need a trans­port man­ager. But then, he adds, “you can lose touch with your core busi­ness.”

He says that he has tried bring­ing in some­one else to run the place, but it didn’t work be­cause “they can’t think like you do.”

And so he in­sists: “I don’t want to grow it any­more. That’s enough.”

Es­pe­cially since it means that he’s now able to spend some valu­able time with Kelly and the kids: “We’ve been mar­ried seven years and to­gether dou­ble that – so I think now that it’s all pay­ing off, I owe it to them to now spend a bit more time with the fam­ily.”

As for the fu­ture of El­li­son Cartage – he’s think­ing in terms of more of the same: “If I moved out of this in­dus­try to­mor­row I don’t know any­thing else – so I don’t know what else I’d do.”

Given that truck­ing has al­lowed him to achieve some­thing way be­yond his one-truck dream, does he want his kids to fol­low in his foot­steps? “No, there’s no money in this,” he says, smil­ing.

“But Ja­cob would leave school to­mor­row. He’s keen on trucks – al­ways drawing trucks. He’s a nut. But I want to see him get a trade first…”

And then maybe he re­alises how much it sounds like him as a kid, and he adds: “But, at the same time, he’s got to do what he’s happy do­ing. If he does want to be­come a truck driver….” T&D

Above: Jamie still en­joys driv­ing, but in­creas­ingly nds him­self in the o ce in­stead

Top right: Kelly too loves driv­ing – wishes she had the time to get out more than her oc­ca­sional ll-in role Right: Jamie and Kelly with their kids (from left) Khloe, Brooke and truck-mad Ja­cob

One of the com­pany’s two 2017 Freight­liner Ar­gosys tips o feed at a Carter­ton pig­gery

Top left: e only H unit in the eet runs at up to 50 tonnes all-upBot­tom left: is Ford D Se­ries is the truck that got Jamie’s love of trucks startedAbove: Kelly El­li­son reck­ons she and Jamie used to pass each other on the Rimu­takas. She had the more pow­er­ful truck

e com­pany’s Western Star tips o at Sharpes Stock Feeds in Carter­ton

Above: e Ken­worth K200 (soon to be joined by an­other) de­liv­ers palm ker­nel to a prop­erty at Ko­hutara, south of Feather­stonLeft: Dave El­li­son put his In­ter­na­tional T-Line to work for Jamie’s oper­a­tion in the early 2000s

Geo Field, who’s been with the com­pany ve years, drives the T610 SAR

Top: Seven of the eight El­li­son trucks early this year. e Columbia (far right) went when the new Ken­worth K200 ar­rived....and the old Ar­gosy (far left) is be­ing re­placed this month by an­other K200. e old Hino is miss­ing from the lineupBot­tom left: Jamie cred­its the sup­port of wife Kelly and Mum and Dad, Bernadette and Dave, in mak­ing El­li­son Cartage a suc­cessBot­tom right: Early days, be­fore there was an El­li­son liv­ery – the trucks sim­ply left in the colours of their former own­ers

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