When our Northland writer Mike Isle caught up with John Buckley, the truckie was taking a well-earned break in the forecourt of the Kaikohe sales yard.
The previous day, the Otorohanga-based owner-driver had made the 400km trek from his hometown to Kaikohe, and had spent the day picking up a mix of sheep and cattle from various farms in the Far North. Now he was waiting for a last load to be transferred from another truck before heading south to the abattoir in Auckland. Tomorrow he would be back in Otorohanga.
John drives a Mercedes Actros with a 448kW (600hp) engine and 12-speed AMT transmission. Driving is in his blood. His father was a transport operator and John has enthusiastically followed in his footsteps for the past 30 years.
He says what he loves about driving is the scenery and seeing different places. What he hates about driving is the driving of others. “There are a lot of idiots out there,” he says. “And they are getting worse.” Amen to that.
When invited to answer our vexing question, we asked John to nominate a superpower he would like to have.
“I reckon it would be X-ray vision, mate.” Neither John nor Mike were prepared to elaborate on that.