Class is eternal – Paid to work

8 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 7, 2018

Paid to work
“Ya know, I get a sick of hearing about the driver shortage thing. As long as we have a country where people are paid to sit at home on their arse and do nothing then we‘ll have a shortage everywhere. It‘s our own fault. We‘ve done it to ourselves.” Bevan Satherley shakes his head in disbelief. And it‘s understandable.
Young Satherley comes from a lineage of ‘give it a go,‘ and ‘get stuck in and work for it people‘. The Satherley name is synonymous with endeavour and self-belief that goes back to Bevan‘s grandfather, Jack, and probably beyond that. There‘s a fierce individuality and strong work ethic that‘s entrenched in this Dannevirke surname.
“People ask me, ‘Oh, why‘d you buy that for?‘ Um, because I could. Because it‘s my money,” says Bevan in typical dry Satherley fashion, tinged with a chuckle.

It fits their work profile and he wanted one. What more reason do you need? Bevan and Tania Satherley‘s T900 Legend will work as hard as any other truck in the fleet

“Why not? It fits what we do. It‘ll work just like any other truck, it‘s a great ad for the company…and I wanted one.” Bevan‘s father was Wairarapa earthmoving identity Malcolm Satherley. Bevan has two brothers, Hayden and Toby, and first cousin Barry is well-known in the heavy haulage industry. When asked how he came to be in logging, you again get the classic Satherley reply: “We couldn‘t all do earthmoving!” Legend! But then he continues, “Nah, I sort of always liked the trucks. I‘d love to get one of the old man‘s LWs back. Now that would be epic. I think one‘s a camper somewhere. Nah, but Hayden does earthmoving, Toby log harvesting, and I‘ve done the trucking.” After driving transporters and an OE working on trucks and machines in Australia, 2004 saw the 24-year-old Satherley line up an ex-Danny Seidel (Gordon Gallagher prior to that) Kenworth T650 to put to work as a transporter. A friend then asked if he would be interested in doing a log haulage job near Bulls, and plans were diverted, the truck becoming a shorts log unit instead.
“I don‘t know whether to thank him for that or not,” laughs Bevan.

After the Bulls job there was a native Rimu block in the Wairarapa and the logs had to go all the way to Mount Maunganui. Bevan needed some help and the prudence of a good business heritage came to the fore. Bevan made a load share arrangement with Steve McDougal and it was a win-win for both parties.
“That‘s one of the things I‘m most proud of, our ability to work with anyone. I don‘t understand why all these people want to try and piss off the big boys. We‘ll work with anyone.
It‘s better for everyone in the long run.

We have corporate work and private work. There‘s no reason you can‘t work with people rather than against them. It forces rates down and no one wins.” The business continued to grow after the native job, with trucks being added, but Bevan cites the purchase of a brand new Mack CH in 2006 as being the truck that stood him up on his feet.
“That truck did nine hundred thousand and never had a spanner put near it.” But Satherley‘s quick to point out the two Isuzus in the fleet also. At a time when growth opportunities outstripped cashflow, Bevan and his father bought an Isuzu each. “Both those 530s are still in the fleet. They‘ve never missed a beat in six hundred thousand. I mean, if money was no object you‘d have a yard of 659s [Kenworth T659s). They‘re a simple, unbreakable truck, but from a business point of view the Japanese gear is tough to beat.” In 2013 Bevan and Tania established their own logging crew working for Forest Owner Marketing Services, specialising in wood lot harvesting.
“I like the logging. I think every truck owner should have a logging gang and every logging gang should run a truck. They‘re two totally different things, and both parties need a better understanding of each other‘s needs.

Photo: Not a bad ‘ole‘ memento to have on the mantle is it? 

We run the stocks high at the gang to provide continuity for any glitches in the trucking operations.” Today the Satherley Logging business runs 17 trucks and the logging crew and both Bevan and wife Tania say they have great staff in the business currently. Tania runs the day-today administration and keeps the incomings and outgoings coming in and going out, and Bevan‘s quick to acknowledge the role she plays in the business‘ success. Dean Jones runs the trucking operation from the company site on Pakowhai Road in Napier and Bevan rates the value he brings to the business highly also, saying Dean does a great job for them.
Like any business they‘ve weathered some tough times and the Satherley traits of prudence and resourcefulness have always seen them through.
As for the future? It‘s keep on keeping on, and although he‘d rather little Emma didn‘t get into logging or trucking, in true Satherley style Bevan says, “She‘ll do what she wants I guess.” Doing just that is a very a Satherley thing.

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