Daya Vala

In November 2023, Just Truckn Around3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineDecember 23, 2023

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On a recent Saturday morning trip to Hamilton, Carl Kirkbeck caught up with Daya Vala at the Schick Civil Construction yard in Te Rapa. Carl found Daya busy with the wash brush and sponges, cleaning the new Western-Star 4864 bulk unit he pilots.

Daya’s interest in machinery and trucks goes back to his childhood. “It has been in the blood my entire life. So, it was straight into it as soon as I could. I started out in general contracting, spending a chunk of time at Tauwhare Contractors on the tractors, which eventually became driving Isuzu stock trucks for R&K Brunt.”

In February 2024, Daya will celebrate 30 years with Schick Civil Construction. “They are a really good crowd to work for. Pat Peoples [Schick Civil Construction’s director] is a great boss. Yeah, it’s a really enjoyable job. I just get on and get the job done.”

The new Western Star replaces an older 5864 model Daya used to drive. It is his pride and joy, and he is renowned for spending a good 10 hours a week keeping his charge in immaculate condition.

Daya shares his philosophy: “If you look after the gear, it looks after you. Keep up with the regular maintenance, and you will keep it looking right. If it gets away on you, it just takes longer to bring it back. Use your time productively. If work gets quiet, then get out there and use that time to do the maintenance, so when things get busy again, you are set to go.”

In something of a two-for-one JTA interview, Peoples also bestows praise on Daya. “He reflects the work ethic and professionalism cemented in Schick’s core values at the very beginning under Lyndsay Schick 50 years ago. In the 23 years I’ve worked with Daya, I can’t recall him missing a day of work or being late. He can put his truck and trailer where many can’t. He works the gear hard but looks after it like it is his own. We’re fortunate to have Daya in our team.”

Daya’s vexing question was, ‘What’s your preference, tea or coffee?’ He replied: “Coffee, but I would prefer a large bottle of Lion Red.”


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