“It‘s what I do”

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 12, 2017

Graham Ross. Born to drive, and after four decades still loves doing what he knows best.

It‘s great to meet a 40-year veteran still enthusiastic about the truck he drives, and still loving the job. Graham Ross simply says,“It‘s what I do”.

Although his dad was a painter and decorator, Graham had diesel in the veins from the outset.

Born in Rotorua, Graham relocated to Pahiatua at an early age and remained in the Wairarapa town until the ripe old age of 17. Upon leaving school he started on a mechanic‘s apprenticeship but the hankering to get outside and work was too much.

From there he headed for the bright lights of Palmerston North and a job with Child Freighters, driving a TK Bedford around town.

“I started back in the days when you started at the bottom and worked your way up.”

Since then driving has consumed this amiable man‘s life and although he‘s put his hand to most aspects of the profession, driving tip trucks has consumed the bulk of his driving life, including a good stint at Regal Haulage carting anywhere and everywhere.

In 2008, aged 50, Graham went to Australia to do a spell in the big land.

“I loved Aussie, it was great. When I went to get my road train licence I was driving a triple and the instructor beside me asked how long I‘d been driving road trains. ‘About 3 km,‘ I said.

After his initial shock we kept going. When we got back he told the guy handing out the licences, ‘He‘s a keeper‘.

“I had two jobs in the time I was there, both driving ore trains. One was on a Kenworth with a gas powered C15. If they were tuned right they went real well, but they had so much safety retarder kit on them they were hard to keep right. They were scared of them going bang,” laughs Graham.

“The job was fly-in fly-out, it was great. I came home every four weeks.” Two and a half years ago it was time to come home. Graham and his partner live on a smallholding just out of Masterton. “I‘m an old bugger now but still enjoy the job. It‘s a good job and a great bunch of blokes.”