Phil Airey

In Just Truckn Around, April 20222 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 17, 2022

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While on a road-trip north, Mike and Alison Verran met up with an old mate, Phil Airey, at Tomarata, a stone’s throw from Wellsford. Phil drives a 510hp DAF CF85 for Wharehine Contractors, based on SH1 in Wellsford. The bulk of his work is carting aggregate in the Wellsford/Mangawhai/Matakana area, mainly stockpiling at the Firth concrete plants.

Phil has been interested in trucks from a young age, driving them on and off for 33 years.

“I was mates with Craig Michael [aka Daggy] at school [Hauraki Plains College]. We would push-bike from Ngatea to Mangatarata at 2am, throw our bikes in a drain and go for a ride with the guys from Scotts Transport at Tahuna. We would collect our bikes and ride home at the end of the day. It was hard to not be around trucks when you were friends with Daggy!

“My teacher said I would never be anything because I spent my time just looking out the window… But look at me now! I’m out there, enjoying the freedom of being on the road.”

Phil is disheartened by the roads “being stuffed” these days. He is also concerned about the lack of young drivers coming through the system. “We can’t take them with us to learn, the way we learned back in the day.”

Alison was curious to know Phil’s answer to the vexing question: pie or quiche? “Actually, quiche! I love my bacon and eggs.”