Born in Invercargill, Derek Dumbar joined Europa Oil (NZ) Limited in 1973. In 1976 he went to Taieri Carrying Company and in 1979 when the company purchased the Rotorua-based Maramara Products Limited, which became TD Haulage Limited, he moved to Tauranga as general manager, a position he still holds.
In 1979 he organised the NZ Heavy Haulage Association conference and in 1988 he formed Road Transport Research. A year later he became vice-president of the Bay of Plenty Road Transport Association, and was also elected as a director to the board of the NZ Road Transport Association (now RTF).
In 1993 he was chairman of the NZRTA conference committee and in 1994-95 he formed Export Transport to lobby for increased weights on New Zealand roads. In 2008 he was founding chairman of the Road Transport Trust.
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