Aaron Burgess – A posthumous story

In May 2022, Back Down The Road A Bit2 MinutesBy Ken BellJune 25, 2022

The late Aaron Burgess grew up in the Western Southland town of Ohai. Here, he watched heavy machinery working the open- cast coal mine and the trucks that came and went. Aaron’s hero and mentor was his uncle, Tommy Taylor. Uncle Tommy introduced a young Aaron to trucking and allowed him to ride around the mine site with him in the Tulloch Transport trucks he drove.

Aaron watched the local rural carriers going about their day-to-day activities and, after leaving school, worked for Transport Services. He first drove a Mercedes-Benz 1113 4×4, then a couple of Mercedes-Benz 6×4 tippers, moving on to an International S-Line tipper.

In 1994, Aaron moved to Lumsden and worked for Northern Southland Transport Holdings, driving a Mercedes- Benz 2235 bulk truck, carting fertiliser, lime, grain and coal to as far away as Dunedin. Aaron and I would often travel around the countryside while living in Lumsden, capturing photos of trucks and machinery and socialising along the way. The big guy had a great sense of humour and a nickname for everyone.

Aaron left Northern Southland Transport and went to work for Tulloch Transport, driving one of the trucks previously piloted by Uncle Tommy. He did a mix of bulk cartage with all types of rural work and general freight. No two days were the same, and the variety of work was exciting. This inspired plenty of film action in the pre-digital age.

Sadly, Aaron died in July 1998.