Heading back from the Road Transport Forum conference in Taupo, Faye Lougher stopped to chat to Hanes Villaverde, who was behind the wheel of a 2004 Hino FS with a snowplough attachment. Originally from the Philippines, Hanes works for Downer monitoring the Desert Road north of Waiouru. In winter his truck is used to clear snow, while in summer it’s used as a construction truck. Hanes began his working life as a machine operator, but says if there isn’t much machine work on, he hops in the truck and does a shift.
He’s been in New Zealand for about six and a half years, originally working for Higgins, but says he found Downer offered better opportunities. “I love the variety – some days I am clearing snow, some days I am applying grit, and some days spreading metal. Today I’ve got the snow attachment on.” Hanes is pretty happy in his work and says he can’t really think of any issues in the industry. Not surprisingly, when Hanes got the ‘should your curry be mild or hot’ question, he smiled and said “hot!”
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