The arrival of Liam Hawthorn’s new Kenworth K200 meant he was able to tick two big things off his bucket list.
Liam Hawthorn typifies everything that’s great about Kiwi blokes; he’s genuine, humble, good
Son of well-known Northland truck driver and diesel mechanic Greg Hawthorn, 31-year-old Liam was truly born with trucking in the blood, never missing a chance to ride around with his father when he drove for Bachelor Log Haulage, SEMCO, and United Carriers. After leaving Kamo High School Liam worked for a year at the Carter Holt Harvey LVL sawmill near Marsden Point before taking on his first driving job at Kaitaia Transport."
I was only 19 at the time and I started out on a 390hp flat- deck Mitsi going anywhere from Whangarei to Auckland and even Gisborne. It was full on.”
A year or so later Liam went to Te Kauwhata Transport, based in Whangarei, for a short stint and then his first job on a log truck with Paragon Haulage Ltd, again based in Whangarei.
“Paragon was a great job, I really enjoyed my time there,” recalls Liam.
As with most young folk the OE called and Liam headed for Australia to try his hand over there. He got a job with Brisbane company Armesto’s Transport Pty Ltd, driving a Freightliner Columbia truck and dog combination on local tip work, with the occasional interstate general freight trip in a Kenworth B-double thrown in.
After a year Liam came home, taking a job with Steve Bachelor’s Aotearoa Haulage driving a 420hp Scania initially, then a 470, progressing on to a Western Star.
“Steve’s a great guy and I have huge respect for him. I’ve known him all my life since Dad drove for him back in the day at Bachelor Log Haulage.”
Three years at Aotearoa and it was time for another stint
Three years into the adventure Liam received a call from Steve Bachelor offering him a position as a subcontractor in his Aotearoa Haulage operation. Liam took the plunge, buying
A change in workflows found Liam needing to spread his net further in the hunt for work. He contacted Northland operations manager for Aztec Forestry Transport Developments Ltd, Ian Newey.
“Ian was a tremendous help and extremely supportive. Another top bloke.”
That was two years ago. Liam was taken on as a contractor early last year in their Northland operation. In
his own words, “I’ve not looked back. It’s a great company with a really good team culture. It’s going really well.”
Following their investment in him, Liam returned the gesture, retiring the old Freightliner and commissioning the new Kenworth and trailer under his NLH Ltd (Northland Log Haulage) banner. That fulfilled the first of his two bucket list dreams. The truck was bought
“It’s a bulletproof spec all the way through. The advice I got was not to try anything too fancy and innovative, just get something that’s proven, so that’s what I did, and it’s paid off, with the odometer approaching 93,000 trouble-free
Spec on the Kenworth is the venerable Cummins e5 engine rated at 461kW (615hp), 18-speed Roadranger manual gearbox on Meritor 46-160 axles and KW 8-bag Airglide suspension. The truck tows a brand new Patchell 5-axle trailer on Hendrickson running gear. Chris Stanley in Silverdale saw to the shiny bits and Darryn Caulfield in Rotorua worked his magic on paint.
A normal day’s work sees Liam carting two loads of export out of the Pouto Forest to Marsden Point.
And as for the second tick,