One man‘s dream

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineNovember 12, 2017

The days you get to tick off something on your bucket list are truly the best. John Andrew behind the wheel ‘livin‘ it lovin‘ it doin‘ it.‘

Following Heyden Alderson‘s nomination of Mainfreight contractor Kevin Judge for the October Good On Ya Mate award, we absolutely had to know more about the backstory.

(From left) Kevin Judge, John Andrew, Toby McLean and Heyden Alderson.

A frightfully wet Saturday in September provided not just a fantastic day for John Andrew, but also for everyone who was there to share the moment.

John Andrew started driving trucks in 1975 aged 24. He spent fours years behind the wheel for Coca-Cola and Farm Products in Frankton before a short stint in grocery retail. Inside wasn‘t where he wanted to be so it was back behind the wheel. A friend had suggested Railways Road Services. Two weeks later he started with them, training for his bus licence.

The rest is history as they say, and John has now spent 38 years driving buses and coaches, both regionally and on national tour work, taking people and their processions to every far-flung corner of the country. He‘s driven everything imaginable including the biggest luxury coaches, and even had a decade as an owner-operator of a tour coach.

But John‘s had something that he‘s wanted to do his whole life, and a recent health-related wake-up call spurred him into action. He‘s been a Kenworth ‘nut‘ – as he puts it – his whole life, and yet never had the opportunity to drive one.

That‘s where son-in-law to be Heyden Alderson stepped in and put out the Facebook plea that resulted in Kevin Judge and his driver Toby McLean springing into action. Kevin provided a truly magnificent K108 for this jovial, humble man to tick the unticked box in his life.

Taking in the moment before heading off.

Southpac Trucks didn‘t hesitate to get involved either. Service manager at the new Hamilton facility Tom Pickford was there on the day with some mementos that would make the event something to remember.

Tom Pickford from Southpac Trucks presents John with a gift to help mark the day.

For those who were there, watching John pull out of the depot in the Kenworth and head off was certainly something special.

“I‘m planning to retire in the next year or so, and finish my career with a bit of relief driving on trucks,” said John. “A very special thanks to Kevin Judge who trusted me not to dent his KW. An awesome, awesome day and thanks so much to Southpac and all involved for making the day so special.”