Marking 80th birthday with family, truck reunion
When Joe McNicol‘s dad Jim had an accident, Joe started driving his truck at the age of 16, a career which did not finish for 58 years.
Events and trucks changed over time and in recognition of Joe’s 80th birthday last week family members organised a reunion of family plus a reunion of trucks.
Joe’s dad Hilton (known always as Jim) started H I McNicol and Sons in 1934 with an early International, replacing it with the 1952 Bedford bought second hand from Maharahara Dairy Company, changing it from a milk tanker to a lime spreader.
Joe vividly remembers the heat and dust liming paddocks in the Bedford — a far cry from the air-conditioned mostly automatic monsters of today.
As each son left school a truck was bought for them and the company expanded. The 1975 Fiat 6847J was one of them.
Over the years the company went from local trucking to travelling all over the North Island, butter, cheese and even milk heading to Wellington in the early morning to keep it cool and wool going daily to Napier.
There was also a huge amount of general freight, every trip different, according to Joe.
Joe worked long hours leaving at 6am and not returning before 8pm six days a week travelling up to 1300kms per day. Suzie said they hardly saw their dad except on Sunday unless he was haymaking. As the family grew up the sons continued the tradition of driving trucks, Kyle still driving in Australia and Glen locally.
The company was sold to Warren Brausch 10 years ago and has continued to grow as AWE McNicol.
Four generations of the McNicol family met to celebrate Joe’s 80th birthday.
Joe with daughters (Angela and Suzie) and sons Kyle, Glenn and Beatle.
Joe with the 1952 Bedford he spent a lot of his working life driving.