3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 8, 2020

With a faultless career spanning close to three decades, Don Beattie has exited the cab of an Uhlenberg gas tanker for the last time.

Photo: An exemplary career of some three decades, now it‘s time for some R&R. Don Beattie has retired from his role at Uhlenberg Haulage.

Don Beattie retired during the latter part of 2019, ending a significant driving career at Uhlenberg Haulage Ltd. Don‘s employment at Uhlenberg‘s spans nearly 30 years of continual service, however his association with the Uhlenberg family is much longer, with Don working alongside company founder Mike Uhlenberg when operating his own agricultural contracting business in the 70s and 80s. Don sold the contracting business in the late 1980s and soon after, he and wife Bev moved off the dairy farm they had worked for many years near Eltham. Don felt that he was not ready for retirement at that point in life, so began work making local rural and factory deliveries for Mike and Carol Uhlenberg. As well as the local driving work, Don was also responsible for reloading LPG tankers prior to their line haul journeys, a task that involved driving the tankers to the gas fields and loading numerous bulk loads each afternoon or evening, often six days per week. This job saw Don handle tens of millions of litres of LPG per annum for many years, all without incident.

Don has been a great work colleague of many throughout his years at Uhlenberg Haulage, and was always popular with staff. He has been a fastidious operator who kept everything that he operated in tip-top condition. He shared trucks with all of the line haul drivers on a regular basis, and was always popular for his ability to leave the gear as clean as, or cleaner, than he found it. Don reduced his hours of work over the final year or so, however he was still as punctual and reliable as ever, according to his employer. “Don was always early, ready for work, and has not let the Uhlenberg family down in the span of two generations,” says Daryl Uhlenberg. “It was interesting to watch the reactions of visitors to the depot when a man who is nearing 80 years old briskly walked to his next tanker, climbed aboard a high productivity LPG unit, and headed off on his next trip with ease. “Enjoy your well-earned retirement Don, and thanks for the great memories from the team at Uhlenberg‘s.”

Photo: Trucks have certainly come a way since Don started making local rural and factory deliveries for Mike and Carol Uhlenberg in the late 80s.