Hovering around Stag Park in Taupo, Ange Richards caught up with Johnny Wanoa, an owner-driver for Mainfreight.
Born and raised in the industry, Johnny has fulfilled his destiny in the trucking scene, from starting at the bottom in a metro van around Auckland, to owning more than 10 trucks in his 28-year driving career.
A father/son design turned a 2015 Fuso into the only unit of its kind in the country. Johnny ’s dad, Rangi Teremauri Wanoa, died in September last year, leaving Johnny determined to finish the project as a tribute to his legacy.
The Fuso, rightly named ‘Puff Daddy’ after Rangi, carts general freight for Mainfreight’s Taupo-Metro Division as well as other short-haul work.
The truck is powered with an inline 6-cylinder, 12-litre engine, coupled with a 12-speed INOMAT-II gearbox. Extras include four exhaust pipes and an extra air intake; all designed to help maximise fuel efficiency.
The Wanoa whanau are huge rugby supporters, hence the special paint job of the World Cup and the Kapa o Pango (All Blacks haka) flag. These small yet important additions lead Johnny to “Always be customer focused, their smiles make my day”.
“ Yeah, I do have an issue with the industry, our very own industry is the issue. Too many drivers cut that centreline when there is no need for it; you can drive safely within your lines.” Having been asked the vexing question, “ W ho would you least like to meet and why?” Johnny, looking rather bemused, replied, “ That b@#$h on Facebook, Cassidy Boon, who was bagging our haka and discriminating against us New Zealanders.”