Craig Andrews bailed up HWR Group’s Bernie Halford near the end of his shift after refuelling in Milton. Bernie spends his days driving this 2014 500hp Mack Granite carting bulk cement anywhere south of Oamaru. The Granite has recently clocked up 1,000,000 kms and it’s a truck he is no hurry to see the end of. Carting cement for Bernie started back in 2000 and since then he has had six new Macks. clocking up nearly 2.5 million kilometres on this work.
Bernie started 42 years ago on an A5 Bedford working as a beekeeper. Since then he’s worked for FW McDowall on a Leyland Super Comet spreader, McDougall’s in Winton driving an F86 Volvo carting tractors, a stint with Jim Dynes on a TW51 Nissan carting logs, time in Rotorua with John Dynes at TD Haulage, four years as an owner-driver delivering milk for NZ Dairy, and from there to Williams and Wilshier. “I got my first new truck there. An 8-wheeler K100E Kenworth with a 425 Cat in it.”
From there Bernie found himself back down south at Peter McDowall’s, this time driving one of his lightweight Freightliners on bulk work, and from there it was to his current job in 2000.
“I enjoy the freedom and being in charge of your own day. I learnt early on that if you do a good job then the boss will leave you alone. I can sit back and enjoy the scenery.” Bernie didn’t have many gripes but did mention there could be more done to get young people into the industry, and that road maintenance is struggling to keep up with the weight of the trucks.
“And too much health and safety. We did need some improvement but H & S has developed into its own industry with much of the so-called safety improvements now making it harder to operate safely. Having bollards fitted around worksites that make manoeuvring a truck, loader or forklift near on impossible sometimes as an example.” Bernie spends his spare time appreciating classic cars and has two of his own, a Rover 90 and a Nissan 350Z. He also enjoys his trucks and travelling.
His vexing question was tea or coffee? “Both... Black, I’m not fussy.”
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