Steve Bettin

In Just Truckn Around, June 20222 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 18, 2022

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Carl Kirkbeck and Gavin Myers had stopped at BP Bayview, about to head home from the Hawke’s Bay, when Waikato son Steve Bettin rolled up to the pumps in his new Scania R620.

Gleaming in East Coast Transport livery, the truck had been on the road only seven weeks and is the Ashburton fleet’s flagship – hence the graphic of the German battleship Bismarck on the sides of its cab. “The Bismarck was the flagship of the fleet, and I wanted something that doesn’t represent me but the fleet in case I leave one day,” explains Steve.

It’s kitted out with crates by Nationwide Stock Crates on top of a Jackson Enterprises deck and trailer. “It’s all good gear this. The trailers are super low to the ground and crates so deep,” says Steve.

A Euro man having come off a Volvo FH, Steve’s impressed with the Scania. “It’s a nice unit. The only thing the Volvo’s got is a bigger fridge. Other than that, everything else on the Scania is mint. You don’t get tired of driving it.”

Steve had just come from Taupo and dropped off a shipment of calves for export at the Port of Napier. He says it frustrates him how people get upset about the calves going overseas. “They have no understanding. All of them are bobby claves; farmers have kept them for this exact reason. If it wasn’t for the export… You know? I’ve had many arguments about it at the side of the road. They’re going over for a better life; they’re cherished and adored.”

Work currently takes Steve all around the country. “I love working. I love being up and down New Zealand,” though, he adds, the downside is leaving his family behind. “I was last home three weeks ago. I thought, ‘If I’m away this long, I’ll have their [his family’s] names on it’. The kids are over the moon to have their names on the truck.”

Steve’s vexing question was a steak and cheese or pepper steak pie? “Definitely steak and cheese, the old classic,” was his choice.