Great truck, amazing bloke

In Short Story June 2023, June 20236 MinutesBy Dave McCoidJuly 12, 2023

Yet again, we stumble across a humble, kind, and genuine person, shunning the limelight, and doing great things in the community.

Titus managing director Clint Rolfe describes Scott Parker as “one in a million”. Forty-one-year-old Scott, his wife Gina and their four girls live in Rotorua. Although Scotty was born in and spent his formative years in Waikato, he says the bulk of his upbringing was in Rotorua in the sunny Bay of Plenty, and he considers that region home. The pair operated a courier business contracted to New Zealand Couriers for nigh on 15 years.

“Now there’s a job that has you running from dawn to dusk! She’s a full-on game that one,” says Scotty.

Around five years ago he decided to follow in the footsteps of his father and uncles and leave the chaotic courier life for something a little meatier. Scotty’s dad has driven furniture trucks for the bulk of his driving life, and his uncle owned and operated Skoglund Transport in Palmerston North.

“I’ve always loved big trucks but just hadn’t made the leap. I’m glad I did. I love it. I wouldn’t go back.”

Securing his class-2 licence through a tertiary training provider, his first foray into trucks proper was for Bidfood. However, he soon realised it was more a job you need truck for than a truck- driving job, per se. From there, he went to work for Grant and Mark Darrah at Reliance Transport in South Auckland, a company he rates as a great place to work and where he gained his additional licences and undertook a wide variety of work.

“What killed that was just cost of commuting, and living in Auckland during the week,” says Scotty. “Auckland’s not a cheap place to live in, believe me.”

Returning home again it was to Toll, first in the fleet and then for an owner- driver, a job that ended in a linehaul floating gig when his boss made the jump to independence under his name Naco Haulage.

“That was a learning experience also, finding your way around the country. It was challenging and rewarding at the same time. Cellphone maps were in their infancy, and you had to make sure you weren’t being given a bum steer,” Scotty says with a laugh.

One year ago, Scotty began work for an owner-driver with Titus Transport and recently he came across to the fleet trucks. “It was purely a change in life circumstances, nothing negative or anything. It was a great job. I’ve never left a position on bad terms, never will. You should never do that. It’s a thing of mine.”

But all that barely touches the true Scotty Parker story. This quietly spoken gentle bloke has far more going on behind the scenes. Following the unbelievable tragedy of losing two of his own siblings to suicide, Scotty and Gina chose to reach out and support others. The husband-and-wife duo produce ‘conversation starter’ T-shirts and with the proceeds they make support and gift packs to take to people they think might be in need of a pick-me-up or support. They also started a Facebook page called Talk to the Bro, and most evenings this angel of the night chats to someone who makes contact because they need a friendly ear and supportive voice in the midst of their own dark moments.

A sufferer of anxiety and depression at different times in his own life, Scotty devotes the bulk of his spare time to the couple’s cause.

“I enter lots of events and use them as personal challenges, and at the same time they raise money and promote mental health awareness,” he says. “Twenty-four-hour walks and things like that…” Then he chuckles. “Last year I did a 24-hour ‘silence’ where you stay quiet for an extended period of time, but I got to Bulli Point and couldn’t call up, so I had to pull over and wait for a truck, then followed him in and he called us both through.” The cab erupts with laughter. “Yeah, you don’t think of these things and then you’re like, ‘Oh heck! Now what?’

“It’s my passion, that’s all I can say. I want to help. I know where they’re at and I want to help.”

Scotty and Gina’s goal is to set up a charity and continue to progress this incredibly selfless part of their life.

Need to talk? Go to Facebook and search Talk to the Bro.