Photo: Mike Treloar
The transport industry lost one of its real characters with the passing in September of Pacific Haulage’s Mike Treloar.
Mike, along with partners Calvin Paddon and Graham Manson, formed Pacific Haulage in 1985 with four trucks based in Gisborne and a contract to cart logs from the Patunamu Forest to the new Pacific Pine Mill. Despite the mill going into receivership, Pacific Haulage continued. Mike, Calvin and the crew based themselves – perhaps deliberately, certainly fortuitously – at Napier’s Westshore Hotel.
From the outset Mike’s role in the company was managing the day-to-day despatching, repairing, paperwork and, whenever he could, driving.
Mike, Calvin and Graham steered Pacific Haulage through the good times and the bad – and there was quite a bit of both. In 2007, Graham sold his shares to Warwick Wilshier. The partnership grew the company from four trucks in 1985 to the successful enterprise it is today, with a fleet of 40 and a new purpose-built facility to support the fleet.
A hard worker, Mike would appear at the company assiduously each day – even when circumstances and, later in life, ailing health, suggested he would be better off at home. Workmates recall him turning up each day with the morning papers – always checking the death notices for his name and then declaring to staff that he must be okay because “[his] name was not there”.
He also had a great liking for magazines – New Zealand Trucking among them – and sometimes the company’s tearoom table would bow under their weight. Even in his declining years, Mike was a strong man. He was able to swing a large sledgehammer with great accuracy. The sledgehammer was a gift from Graham and while it may have served few useful purposes, the ‘big man’ used it as a test of his strength – even to the end.
The sledgehammer is still in the workshop today. Mike passed away at his Gisborne home on September 8, less than a month before his planned retirement. He was aged 67. Mike is survived by two adult daughters and four grandchildren.
New Zealand Trucking magazine extends its condolences to the family.