Trucks gath­er­ing

Mark­ing 80th birth­day with fam­ily, truck re­union

Bush Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By DAVE MUR­DOCH

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.

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