80/ PPG Trans­port Imag­ing 81 Awards

New Zealand Truck & Driver - - Contents -

Recog­nis­ing NZ’s best-look­ing truck fleets…. in­clud­ing a gi­ant pullout poster of this month’s fi­nal­ist

HOW’S THIS FOR A SHIN­ING EX­AM­PLE OF WHAT’S POS­SI­BLE FOR young go-get­ters in the road trans­port in­dus­try. Roy Van Gef­fen’s a po­ten­tial poster-boy for the in­dus­try – a role­model who’s made it to own­ing his own truck and trailer at the age of 25….with a lit­tle help from his friends in truck­ing.

Van Gef­fen had been a despatcher with Peter Baker Trans­port (PBT) in Auck­land since 2012.

While he liked the job – en­joyed the con­tact with all the driv­ers – he set his sights on fol­low­ing his father’s foot­steps and be­com­ing a truck driver.

With help from PBT, Roy con­tin­ued in his job in despatch AND man­aged to progress from a Class 1 li­cence, through to a full Class 5 – in just 18 months.

Dur­ing that time, he was able to build up his ex­pe­ri­ence in PBT’s South Auck­land yard by mov­ing trucks and con­tain­ers around with any avail­able side­loader.

That ex­pe­ri­ence helped Roy form an opin­ion on what sort of rig he’d like to run – if and when he was fi­nally able to buy one of his own: “I op­er­ated a few side­load­ers over the last year – mainly on the week­ends and do­ing the odd shift as a re­lief driver – and I re­ally got to like the HAMMARs,” he says.

“They’re easy to learn, easy to use and felt a lot safer than any­thing else I’d used. They’re quick. They’re re­li­able and rarely break down. And if there is any­thing wrong, the HAMMAR yard is only just down the road and the guys down there are re­ally friendly.”

That’s all very well, but own­ing his own truck and trailer might have been just a pipedream for the am­bi­tious young man, ‘spe­cially con­sid­er­ing that he doesn’t own a home, so had noth­ing to put up as col­lat­eral for a loan to pur­chase a truck.

Roy ex­plains what hap­pened next: “As a new driver start­ing out, fi­nance is al­ways an is­sue, but Fred from HAMMAR (man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Fred Sand­berg) had enough faith in me to act as a guar­an­tor for the trailer and another con­tract driver helped me with the trac­tor unit.

“A lot of peo­ple have a lot of faith in me and I’m go­ing to re­pay that faith. I don’t own a house, just a truck and trailer, but it’s a good start.”

He bought a brand new UD GW 25 420 trac­tor unit and a new HAMMAR 195 S model side­loader, which he fig­ured would be ideal for his ev­ery­day work with PBT: “The ma­jor­ity of my de­liv­er­ies are pointto-point, so I don’t need to do any trans­fers or stack­ing of con­tain­ers – so this model is def­i­nitely suited to the Auck­land area.

“A lot of sites are get­ting smaller and smaller and there’s not a lot of room to swing a con­tainer off any­more and this works well,” says Roy. The slid­ing chas­sis on the 195 S model al­lows him to pick up 20ft or 40ft con­tain­ers to a safe lift­ing ca­pac­ity of 36 tonnes.

Fred Sand­berg is a be­liever that giv­ing young peo­ple like Roy a help­ing hand to make their place in the in­dus­try is “some­thing we re­ally need more of…. new young driv­ers, with no his­tory in the busi­ness but with the right spirit and great en­thu­si­asm,” get­ting the chance to set up on their own ac­count.

“That is one thing I saw with Roy – his en­thu­si­asm.” It is, he adds, “im­pos­si­ble not to be im­pressed” by it.

He points out that HAMMAR founder Ben Hammar strug­gled to scratch to­gether enough funds to build his first trailer as a young man – then went on a sales mis­sion in his VW Beetle to sell it…. sleep­ing in the car.

When he fi­nally sold it to a Gothen­burg truck­ing com­pany, the funds went straight into build­ing the next HAMMAR. Now, says Sand­berg: “Here we are – more than 40 years later – with the sale of about 350 units a year, into….114 dif­fer­ent coun­tries.” T&D

Roy Van Ge en has made it to own­ing his own truck and trailer at the age of 25

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