THE MOUNTAIN KING

Thursday, March 18, 2021

If you were to compile the definitive ‘Icons of New Zealand Truck Photography’ list, without a doubt Mike Beesley’s name would appear somewhere at the top. This humble, unassuming, nice guy has dedicated his life to New Zealand transport not only behind the wheel but also patiently recording a pictorial history with a strong emphasis on moving truck photography. Much of his work is in the Bay of Plenty, Waikato, and central North Island, and it would be fair to say a Mike Beesley image often has a signature look, immediately recognisable as being his. He is also a passionate fan of North American trucking and has made many trips to the United States and British Columbia, compiling an amazing collection of images and making many friends in the process. One of Mike’s favourite locations in New Zealand is SH29 over the Kaimai Ranges and some of us joke that he was standing there with his camera, waiting for them to build the road. Knowing Mike is a guy who shuns the limelight, we thank him sincerely for treating us to this sample of his work, taken on the ranges in 1972 and 1973.


Photo: A Mike Lambert K-model Kenworth logger, Cummins-powered, coming down what is now known as Swaps Corner.


Photo: A New Zealand Lumber Company Mercedes Benz 2620 with A-train nearing the summit with a load of milk powder.


Photo: Connolly Transport from Tokoroa, a Cummins-powered International RF 195 about to get passed by a Trailways K-model Kenworth with a higher-powered Cummins engine.


Photo: A couple of New Zealand Forest Products loggers, a Cummins-powered LW Kenworth, followed by a Detroit diesel-powered International RF 195.


Photo: Tidd’s Inland Tanker Service, Bedford cabbed custombuilt truck, with GM 8V53 and 16-speed Spicer.