The white and red predominantly Kenworth fleet of Nelson-based Austin Transport Services Ltd are regular visitors to many parts of New Zealand. Milly McCauley sat down with administrator Sheryl Holt, at the company’s Nelson headquarters to learn more.

Who owns Austin Transport?

The company is owned by Brian and Lisa Austin. Brian also drives one of the company’s trucks, while Lisa is the health and safety coordinator and looks after the human resources side of the business. Lisa and Brian also take an active role in their community by sponsoring many events such as the Pork Pie Run, which is a car run open to any Mini owners. The event is a fundraiser for KidsCan.

How long has Austin Transport been in business?

Lisa and Brian began Austin Transport Services in 2007 and have continued to build the company into what it is today for the past 16 years.

Where do you have trucks based?

The main depot is in Richmond, near Nelson. We have a Christchurch depot and a depot in Auckland which is shared with another company.

How many trucks does Austin Transport operate?

The company operates 32 trucks.

Bryan Austin co-owns Austin Transport Services Ltd

What makes of trucks do you have and how many of each?

Kenworths are owner Brian’s favourite make of truck, so most of the fleet is made up of Kenworths. There is also a Hino, one Scania and a couple of Freightliners.

How many people do Austin Transport employ?

There are 32 employees at Austin Transport.

What type of loads do you cart?

The company carts all sorts of general freight, timber, containers, and machinery. Our tip trucks mainly haul gravel and roading material.

Where are the main areas you operate in around New Zealand?

The company operates New Zealand-wide.

What is your title at Austin Transport and what are your responsibilities?

I am the administrator and work mainly in finance for the company.

Did you always think you would work in transport?

I never thought I would work in transport.

How long have you been involved with the business?

I have worked for Austin Transport for 10 years.

General manager Dennie Capell and operations manager Blair Tootell

What’s your favourite thing about working in the industry?

My favourite part of working in the industry would be working alongside the team of drivers at Austin Transport.

What things would you like to see change for the transport industry over time?

To see the roads around New Zealand improved.

Do you have a favourite truck in your fleet?

It would have to be one of the fleet’s Kenworths.

What would be some advice you would give to any young people who want to start a career in transport?

l would advise anyone to just get involved, to get to know the industry, and work up from the bottom to the top.

Can you tell me a fun or interesting fact about Austin Transport?

A number of the fleet’s trucks are named after trucking songs by famous Australian entertainer Slim Dusty. This comes from when Brian spent time driving long-haul across Australia and would pass the time by listening to Slim Dusty songs.