Daryl Uhlenberg

In Just Truckn Around, November 20222 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineDecember 26, 2022

We rarely catch a director of one of the country’s longest-standing names in trucking when they’re behind the wheel. Recently, however, Gavin Myers spotted none other than Daryl Uhlenberg as he was taking a break at the BP Truckstop, Taupiri.

Daryl had just picked up the latest addition to the Uhlenberg fleet from Adam McIntosh at Southpac Trucks in Auckland, a new Kenworth T610. He and the as-yet unbranded tractor unit were on the way back to Uhlenberg’s hometown of Eltham, where the T610’s drivers Buzz and Ian were awaiting its arrival.

“This is fleet No.37, the second of identical spec – 36 went on the road about six months ago,” Daryl explains. No.37 joins the fleet as a dangerous- goods unit, running a 24-tonne quad- axle LPG tanker predominantly between Eltham and Auckland.

“It’s pretty much a standard 8×4 configuration for a DG tanker, with a Cummins X-15 up front and 18-speed Roadranger,” Daryl says.

Daryl runs the family-owned business, started by his parents 56 years ago, with his brothers Tony and Chris. “I’m usually driving the desk, so I enjoy the opportunity to get on the road and do these one-offs every now and again. I do enjoy being out on the road. For my retirement job, I want to go truck driving,” Daryl says with a laugh.

Naturally, Gavin had to ask Daryl the usual JTA questions, and in response to some of the industry’s challenges, he says: “Definitely the poor condition of roads and infrastructure. We are faced with almost third-world conditions to operate in, and funding is either not being spent wisely or completely misdirected. The condition of our roading is the most escalating problem we have. You can’t put sugar on it.”

As he’d just picked up a meal, Daryl’s vexing question was McDonald’s or KFC? “You can’t beat a good serving of KFC. However, if any of my family reads this, please tell them I was having a salad and a bottle of water, not this Big Mac and coffee. I’m meant to be watching my diet!”

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