In Short Story October 2021, Kenworth, Tests, October 20215 MinutesBy Carl KirkbeckNovember 29, 2021

With a dad driving trucks day in, day out, and an older brother mad keen on trucks, it was natural that young Jarvis Harrison would get hooked into the industry.

Some of Jarvis’ first memories also go back to the good old days when you could go to work with your dad and learn the craft firsthand – before today’s health and safety roadblocks.

“My first memories of driving with Dad are when I was about four years old,” says 37-yearold Jarvis. “We were in No.91, the old LW Kenworth. Dad was driving, Storm was in the passenger’s seat, and I was standing behind the gear lever against the back wall of the cab. Dad would get me to change gears – that’s how I learnt,” he laughs. “Dad was the one that really trained me up. I was about seven years old when he went owner-driver with Pan Pac and bought the T-line. I was sort of around it all, up through the trucks as Dad replaced them. So I learnt through the fleet.

“I went to Aussie after leaving school for a few years and came back for my 21st birthday, and it was then that I started driving for Dad fulltime, on the Mitsi Fuso doing the port run. At that time, Dad was running the Scanias on logs, so whenever I got the chance, I’d jump on one of them and do a few loads to learn as much as I could. I bought the Mitsi from Dad, and that was the beginning of Cuzzin Transport.”

That name is an interesting anecdote. Storm, with a good laugh, had revealed the origins earlier.

Proudly at the wheel. Photos: Harrison collection.

“When we were youngsters and our cousins came over to play Matchbox toys, our uncle would join in with us, making depots for us all over the lounge. He would give us loads to run between the depots and ask, ‘What’s your trucking company’s name?’ And we were like, ‘Cuzzin Transport’ because we were all cousins playing together. Then he’d tell us, ‘This load is worth $10,000. I get $9000 for being your freight broker, and your truck needed $999 worth of repairs, so you get one dollar.’ There’s some truth in that lesson somewhere.”

When it was time for Jarvis to set up a company to start operating the Mitsubishi and he needed a name, he didn’t even have to think about it. Cuzzin Transport was the immediate answer.

Jarvis wanted to break into the logging side of the business, so placing a driver on the pulp run in the Mitsi was the first step, freeing him to take on a full-time job with Jason Taylor on a self-loading log truck.

“I had a K100G there that had 2,000,000km on the clock, and it was still a beautiful truck to drive. It had a C15 Cat with a BrakeSaver, and that’s when I realised that the K-dubs are really built for the job.”

From here, Jarvis purchased his own log unit, an older K104 that served him well, followed by a new Freightliner Argosy in 2012. He ran that unit for four years around Gisborne before returning to Napier and selling the truck.

On his return to Napier in 2016, Jarvis contract-drove for two years again on a selfloader. Then an opportunity to purchase back his old K104 came along, and once again log in and around Hawke’s Bay. It was an opportunity he grabbed, working the truck hard to get where he is now. His latest ride is a new Kenworth T909 called ‘Renegade’.

Renegade’ is the right pedigree for the task at hand, but it also represents a massive amount of pride. The fleet colours are those that his father Ellie ran on his own trucks. The forestry fleet number – 291 – pays homage to Ellie’s old No.91, the Pan Pac LW Kenworth, the truck in which Jarvis spent those early years changing gears and looking down the hood.

It is important to Jarvis that a bonneted Kenworth log truck conveyed these family memories, and mana.

Jarvis has encapsulated much of the family’s trucking history and mana into his new ride, Renegade.