David Hunt (left) and Matt Jeffrey had just parked up on the bypass in Otorohanga when Ange Richards caught up with them. Both men drive Peterbilts for Eltham-based Uhlenberg Haulage, the rigs resplendent in the company ’s distinctive green livery.
David normally drives a Western Star and reefer unit but was helping out with the seasonal demand of LPG. Today ’s ride was ‘Maiden America’, a 2007 378 Peterbilt with a Unibilt sleeper cab, running a 550 CAT and an 18-speed roadie.
Having always wanted to be a trucker, David said,“At the age of 32 I went for a ride in my brother’s truck and was hooked! The best part of being in the industry is being out there cruising... and my teacher said I’d never get a job staring out a window – ha!”
David doesn’t have any problems. Having been with Uhlenberg’s for around nine years, he considers himself sheltered from the industry and working within a great company. Choosing vexing question six, after truck number six, David’s head-scratcher was League or Union? “I’m a fan of both,” he says. Matt has been with the company for less than a year and was at the helm of ‘Cocked ‘n’ Loaded’, a 2007 378 Pete, also running a 550 CAT. The unit tows a Lowes Industries’ LPG tanker and at the time Matt was headed for Morrinsville in the Waikato. Having 18 years experience, including 10 years trucking around Europe, Matt ’s first taste of driving was in an old MC Mack. “My girlfriend’s father at the time was doing a boat run from The Mount to Te Poi. I had to learn quick and drive up the Kaimais.” “ The best thing about driving is not knowing what you’ll see next.”
Matt considers the recruitment of young drivers into the industry as a problem area. “It’s hard these days, they can work in retail for the same wage for less hours, and be home every night.”
Matt ’s not so vexing question was Ford or Holden? “I have one of each but I’m a Holden man.”