Class is eternal – No regrets

5 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 7, 2018

No regrets
“There must be some enormous holes under the ground in the Middle, East,“ laughs Shane McFarlane as the fuel tanker whizzes past heading the other way “That‘s the trouble with this bloody job, you think too much about stuff.” The cab fills with laughter.
This 48-year-old Gisborne son has been resident in Hawke‘s Bay since he and wife Amanda moved their family down in 2003 for work, the lifestyle, and opportunities for their three girls.

“It was a good move. I took a job with Matt and Heather Purvis at Total Transport; that got me all over the place, Whangarei, everywhere. Total was a great place, but it wasn‘t the same after the sale. Eight of us left on the same day. I went to Pan Pac for a couple of years and have basically been here with Bev ever since. It‘s great. We were going all over the place, Gisborne, Wellington, Mount Maunganui, New Plymouth, but it‘s been more local of recent. Suits me. What‘s the point of having a great missus, kids and house if you‘re not there to enjoy it.” Again the cab‘s full of laughs. This most likeable man from Poverty Bay was born a trucker. His father, Basil, worked at Gisborne Transport, initially as a driver and later operations manager.
“Mum shoved us in the truck with Dad and a few other uncles and cousins pretty much when we could open gates. We were sheep dogs, drawbar ‘lifter-upperers‘ – everything,” he laughs. “That‘s the problem, they don‘t start training until after they leave school today. Thanks to all who had the patience and time to teach me their skills …much appreciated, you know who you are…cheers.
“If you want to learn, start at a rural carrier. You‘ll learn everything; wool, hay, fert, chaining, covering, there‘s nothing you won‘t be able to put on the back of a truck.” And that‘s exactly what Shane did. He started out at Gisborne Transport doing all of the above. From there he moved on to log truck driving for a local owner-operator before a regional crisis in the forest industry meant the work ran out.

That initiated the move south to Hawke‘s Bay, a job with Total Transport Ltd, and eventually on to Satherley Logging.
“I think the trucks and cars nowadays are half the problem. When I was a kid we piled into the HQ and if it was cold or frosty outside you knew it. The old man would be wiping condensation off the windscreen. You drove accordingly. If it was this cold inside then it must be bloody awful out. Now the inside is a perfect twenty-two degrees and the windows are crystal clear. You don‘t know it‘s icy or greasy. There‘s no connection between the inside and the outside – next minute ‘whoosh‘, they‘re gone.
“I‘ve always loved trucks and driving. My brother, Mark, drives too, up in Gisborne still. I remember hearing those RFL Fusos as a kid, the ones with the Jimmys in them, the old V8 Perkins‘ in the Dodges, and the big Jap V8‘s winding up from the intersection down the road. We‘d run and watch them.

“I enjoy the job and the variety. Wood lots mean you go to new places no one else sees. There‘s always a challenge.
“I‘ve only recently started travelling, in the past few years. I bought a house when I was young so that kept me pinned down. I went to Melbourne and watched this [the Legend] being built, that was a good trip. I think Aussie‘s me limit.
I can sit in a truck for hour after hour but three in a plane and I‘m at me limit, haha.
“Nah, I have no regrets, it‘s been great.”

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