Toby McLean

In June 2023, Just Truckn Around2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 28, 2023

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As he drove past Z Bombay, Gavin Myers couldn’t miss the North Western – Graham Redington’s iconic Kenworth K104 2.9m fat cab – parked up and looking spectacular. He swung around without delay to have a yarn with its minder, 26-year-old Toby McLean.

Toby had made a quick stop on his way to do a swap in Taupo for the Foodstuffs arm of the business.

“I mainly do the Ontour side of the business, transporting equipment for concerts etc, but I’m happy to fill in with other bits and pieces when I’m needed – stuff like this,” he says.

Toby has been driving for Graham for about two years now, and he’s been lucky enough to have had the keys to the big Kenworth since he started. Until recently, North Western was liveried in the iconic white and green Northchill colours. It’s just clicked over 2,000,000km and, after a full refresh, gleams as though it’s just rolled off the production line.

“I do my best to keep it clean… when the weather’s good,” Toby says with a laugh, as the unpredictable autumn rain starts up again. “It’s got the 620 Cummins Signature and 18-speed Roadranger. I love it; it’s a favourite.”

Toby’s driving journey started at 19 when he joined Hall’s, which helped him get his licences. He then moved onto Mainfreight, running up and down the country for about five years. “My favourite part of the job is cruising along on a nice day,” he says. “Negatives? People in cars can do stupid things…”

As a younger bloke in the industry, Toby imparts some sage advice for people wanting to enter the industry: “Find a small company that will give you a chance and stick with them. It might be boring at the start, doing the same thing, and it might not be what other people can do, but just stick it out, stick with it. Eventually, you’ll get there, and being with a company for a couple of years means they’ll respect you a lot more than if you move around.”