Good Hearted Woman

In November 2023, Million Mile Club4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineDecember 27, 2023

Our second new member into the Bridgestone Million Mile Club this month is a unique bit of kit that started out within a unique fleet. New in 2003, it hit the road for Eltham-based Uhlenberg Haulage. The 378 Peterbilt, like the rest of the Uhlenberg fleet, was a showstopper.

Daryl Uhlenberg explains: “The Highwayman, UHL24 as we knew it, was a great truck for us, and is sister truck to UHL23, which we still have. They were a solid spec, pre-ACERT Cat C15 engines with 18-speed manual Roadrangers … bulletproof. The Highwayman spent most of its life with us based in the Waikato on the Hamilton-Gisborne LPG run. It was a solid truck and I do wonder why we ever sold it so early, seeing as we have some in the fleet now nearing 3,000,000km.”

From here The Highwayman found its next home in the Leif Blair Transport fleet, based out of Wiri. The tractor unit spent its time within the LBT fleet mostly as a backup unit within the fuel tanker side of the business.

“It was a great truck,” says Leif Blair, director of LBT. “We did our fair share of maintenance on it keeping it up to spec, but yeah, a great truck.” But about two years later, with ongoing fleet replacement, The Highwayman was in need of a new home again. Enter once more the Johnstone family of Brenics’ fame in Christchurch.

In Brenics fleet colours, the 378 Pete, now known as Good Hearted Woman, definitely still has the look. Photo: Brett Flower

With a laugh, Brendon Johnstone explains: “We saw it for sale, and my brother said to Dad [Gary], ‘You should buy this, it’ll get you out of the office.’ So we jumped on a flight to Auckland, caught up with Leif, negotiated a deal, and drove it away there and then – straight to the signwriters, just that simple. Dad was stoked. We bought it really as a toy for him to play around with. It is what he likes, and it was a way for him to fill his jollies.

“But, as soon as it was ready for the road, we had a solid-sider quad hooked up to it, and not before too long Dad was doing one a week in and out of the North Island, living out of it and sleeping in it. He did that for a bit over 12 months. So, yeah it worked out real good really.” Now known as Good Hearted Woman, it has continued as a solid performer within the Brenics fleet, only really requiring routine maintenance.

“It has had a power divider and it did need a new fan hub assembly. Oh, and a window winder handle just broke 5000km away from rolling over 2,000,000km,” says Brendon with a laugh.

You really cannot ask for much more than that, and judging by what Daryl Uhlenberg says, Gary is going to be busy behind the wheel of his pride and joy for a while yet.