Guided by determination

In Short Story February 2023, February 20237 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMarch 4, 2023

I believe that the struggles you go through make you the person you are and make you appreciate even more the rewards you are blessed with. It is when we really struggle to gain something in life and finally achieve it that we appreciate it.” This sagacious perspective on life is straight from the mouth of 34-year-old Mac Moradi.

Mac’s guiding truth was the driving force that led him in 2005, as a barely 17-year- old young lad, from Iran to our fair shores. “For me, it was my quest for a better life, a chance to look for better opportunities. It’s the things you take for granted in New Zealand every day that are real luxuries in other countries – like Iran. We used to read about New Zealand in geography classes at school – its location on the planet, its weather and history and all that. It was a place you dreamed of.

Mac did it tough when he arrived, for sure, but he persevered. “I am proud of every step of my journey. I was in the country I wanted to be in, and that’s what mattered most. You pursue what you want in life, and back then, I was doing anything I could to earn a dollar – painting, cutting lawns, anything that would pay a bit of money and put some food in my tummy. Life teaches you very fast. But I truly believe that if you are a good person, in time, good things will come to you – especially if you are after it and you are prepared to work hard for it.”

Mac’s interest in trucks was ignited as a young fella of about eight growing up in Qom, about an hour south of Tehran. “I first wanted to be a pilot, but I had two uncles who were both truck drivers and my dad also had his heavy-truck license (though never used it). Yeah, it was my uncles who introduced me to truck driving, and as I grew older, I knew I wanted to drive trucks and machinery. This did not sit well with my parents; Mum wanted me to be a doctor and Dad wanted me to be an engineer… But, too late, I liked trucks.”

With a bit of support from home, Mac got his New Zealand driver’s licence and was off. “I got a job delivering courier packages – doing that for a few years and working my way into the industry. I moved on to getting my class 2, and as soon as I had that, I found work driving, doing air and sea freight. Eventually, I passed my class 4, which really opened the doors for me. I had to jump between companies a bit to get the experience, but this allowed me to get my hands dirty and learn the ropes. In 2012, I finally got my class 5 and started driving big gear. It’s just a passion of mine – anything with a steering wheel, I want to drive it, and the bigger, the better,” Mac says with a grin.

Through it all, Mac progressed at his own expense. He also did his wheels and tracks and recently got his BESS (Bridge Engineering Self Supervision) license. “It has been a real journey. We are always learning – like, a few years ago when I was at work, an older driver in the company came into the yard and performed a jackknife manoeuvre with his truck and trailer. I couldn’t believe what he did, and I thought, ‘I want to be able to do that.’ So I begged him for two days to teach me how to do it and – full credit to him – he took the time and showed me how. I am not scared of manning up and saying, ‘I don’t know how to do that, can you teach me?’ I just want to learn. I love it. It really is a passion – it is certainly not just a job for me to be able to pay my bills. It is a whole lot more than that.”

Mac joined Reliance Transport eight years ago when he came across the opportunity to work night shift, which he did for almost five years before asking to move to day shift. “It’s great work. There’s always something different. I don’t mind stepping into other roles when needed, like if someone’s off sick – even jumping into the office to help with dispatching. That works well, too, because as a driver, you know the challenges other drivers are likely to face, so you can help them with local knowledge if needed.

“I really appreciate the help and assistance that I have been given on my journey so far,” says Mac. “So, I enjoy passing on whatever knowledge I can by helping out with training within the business. It sure can be scary starting out. So, for me, it is all about sharing the knowledge because we have all had to start somewhere.”