Willie Reid

In Just Truckn Around, August 20222 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 23, 2022

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Alison and Mike Verran caught up with a Taranaki legend behind the wheel of a Kenworth Legend. Willie Reid drives for JD Hickman, based in New Plymouth, and has the pleasure of steering his 2017 Kenworth T900 Legend – No.158 in the Legend Series.

Willie carts containers between Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay and the Bay of Plenty. Alison and Mike saw him at Sulphur Point in Tauranga as he was about to return to New Plymouth. Willie had his daughter, Sammi, riding with him.

“When the kids were little, I would put a sheepskin on the floor of the truck, and they would come with me. They were usually asleep about 10 minutes out from the yard.”

Sammi is now 25. “I still go with Dad when I can. I love the conversations we have when travelling together,” she says.

Willie has always been interested in trucks. “I always drew trucks at school. I thought, ‘One day, I’m gonna drive one of these.’ Both my fathers were truck drivers – my biological dad and my adopted dad. One drove trucks in the army and then went on to loggers; the other was in general heavy haulage. I didn’t really ride with them much but always wanted to drive one.”

Willie has been driving trucks for 43 years. “I started at 15 years old, driving in a quarry. After a while, they would get me to go and spread down a farmer’s track. Each time, I would try and drive a bit further down the road!”

“I love getting out, doing my own thing and listening to the radio while I do it.”

Willie reckons he has a long list of issues with the industry these days, with the main one being other road users. “They don’t know how to bloody drive.”

Willie’s vexing question was: ‘Beef, pork, lamb or chicken?’ “Pork. Whenever I go to a roast shop, it’s definitely pork roast for me.”

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