Stuart Drummond Transport

In our regular Meet My Fleet feature, Milly McCauley catches up with a transport operator to learn about their company and fleet of trucks. This month, she met up with Brodie Drummond of Stuart Drummond Transport from Richmond, near Nelson.

Who owns Stuart Drummond Transport?
Stuart Drummond Transport is a family-owned company, founded by Brodie’s dad Stuart, and today owned by the Drummond family.

What type of loads do you cart?
Stuart Drummond Transport is a solely log cartage company. They cart to sawmills, an MDF factory, and to the ports at both Nelson & Picton, where the logs are exported overseas.

How long has the transport company been in business?
The company has been in business for 36 years.

How many trucks are in the Stuart Drummond fleet and what brands do you have?
Stuart Drummond Transport operates 55 trucks, and their fleet consists of 18 Kenworths, 11 Freightliners, 2 Western Stars, 5 Scanias, 8 Hinos and 11 DAFs.

How many people does the company employ?
Stuart Drummond employs 70 people over their management, administration, workshop and driving fields.

Did you always think you would work in transport?
Brodie says growing up around his dad and trucks meant he always knew where he wanted to be. With his childhood involved in transport, it was an easy choice to make.

Where are the main areas you operate in around New Zealand?
Stuart Drummond Transport operates all over the top half of the South Island.

What is your title at Stuart Drummond Transport?
Brodie is the general manager of Stuart Drummond Transport.

How long have you been involved with the business?
Brodie has been involved with the company for 14 years. He started in 2007 and has worked his way up to general manager.

What’s your favourite thing about working in the industry?
The best thing would be meeting all different kinds of people.

What things would you like to see change for the transport industry over time?
Brodie says he would like to see more young people getting into the industry. He says succession within the industry is important, with many older, experienced drivers reaching retirement age in the next few years.

Do you have a favourite truck in your fleet?
The company’s Kenworth T900.

Can you tell me a fun or interesting fact about Stuart Drummond Transport?
The company is on track to travel 4.4 million km this year and cart more than a million tonnes of logs.

What would be some advice you would give to any young people who want to start a career in transport?
Start early with getting your licences, get the ball rolling. The transport industry is a great opportunity for young people to get ahead, as long as you are prepared to do the work.

Are all your trucks based in Richmond or are there other locations?
Stuart Drummond Transport has trucks based throughout the top of the South Island as well as on the West Coast and in Marlborough. Their main yard, workshop and headquarters are in Richmond.

Truckers, Rocks and Diggers!

Our friend Kaitlyn got to spend the day out and about with Christchurch-based Road Metals, a company that works with gravel, sand and other products for lots of roading and construction projects.

My name is Kaitlyn Stewart and I am 10 years old. I got the opportunity to go out to Road Metals in Rolleston to see what goes on out there.

We were met by Aaron McGrath, who told us how Road Metals work with aggregates and are involved in the production of sand as well.

He showed us around the museum of the firm. He has been working for the company for one year.

I got to sit in the trucks and diggers in the museum.

We really enjoyed the museum and learning facts about the company.

Aaron offered to take us out on one of the trucks to see what they do. We went with Marty Grainger, who has worked for the company for 10 years. We got to pick up 14 tonnes of aggregate and go for a drive out by McCleans Island to the branch there.

It was such a nice day and Marty told us all about the buttons and what they did. I got to push the engine button that helped slow the brakes down. They have a system where they are tracked with their speed. They can’t go over 90kph or a red truck comes up on the screen.

I saw how they dumped the aggregate and we picked up a fresh load. Marty told us it costs about $600 a day to fill the truck. We couldn’t get out of the truck due to health and safety.

When we were coming back we got stuck in sheep traffic. I had so much fun learning about trucks.

Thank you Road Metals for the experience and merchandise!

Most epic day of my life!

Saxon, who wants to be a truck driver when he grows up, recently went on a visit to Martin’s Stock Haulage where he was shown around the workshop and went for a drive in one of their trucks.

Hi, I’m Saxon Oldak- er and I’m 10 years old. I live in Kilcoy, Queensland.

When asked what I want to be when I grow up, it was always a police officer. That is until I discovered cattle trucks a couple of years ago.

I don’t just want to drive cattle trucks. One day I really want to own my own truck company. I even have the colours picked out to paint all my trucks.

Saxon will remember this day forever

I was very lucky enough to recently get a tour around one of my favourite company’s depots – Martin’s Stock Haulage at Oakey. I met up with Adam, their manager on site who took me for a drive in one of their trucks before a tour of the workshop and checking out what maintenance they were currently carrying out on their trailers.

I didn’t want to leave – I was having one of the most epic days of my life! The experience really made me more determined to work hard at school so I can sit in that driver’s seat when I grow up. It will be a day I remember and be forever grateful for their kind gesture.

Some interesting facts about Martin’s is that they have 100 trucks in their fleet, spread between their two depots – Oakey in Queensland and Scone in New South Wales – and all are Kenworths. The biggest trip they make is from Perth to Armidale, carting cattle. They also cart sheep and have carted goats and deer as well.

Technology and Trucking

Many industries are changing the way they do things to help the environment. Globally, transportation accounts for between 15 and 20% of emissions each year. In New Zealand, big freight trucks account for nearly 25% of New Zealand’s road transport emissions. Greener, efficient and smarter trucks can help reduce the transport industry’s carbon footprint.

Here, we look at ways the transport industry is using technology to make a difference.


Most trucks run on diesel. Many companies are changing the types of fuel they use that are better for the planet, such as electricity, biofuels and green hydrogen.

Better efficiency

Efficient practices such as using vehicle space more efficiently or reducing freight demand can reduce freight emissions. Many different types of technology are used within trucks and at depots to help manage logistics, the workloads of truck drivers, and track freight.

Electric trucks

Many transport companies are introducing electric trucks to their fleet. Many governments around the world are providing financial incentives to encourage businesses to make the switch to electric vehicles.

Better driving

Skilled driving not only has a direct impact on safety, it can also result in better fuel consumption and a lighter carbon footprint. Many trucking companies have introduced software onto their trucks to help their drivers with speed, maneuverability and to see where they can make improvements.

Let's get cracking! A day in the truck with Dad!

Jackson got up early to spend a day with his dad in his Kenworth T909, transporting some cattle through some small towns in New South Wales, Australia. Did they meet their tight delivery deadline? Read on to find out!

Our day started early for me – much earlier than it would if I had to get up for school. We woke at 6am and had brekky, and made sure we had our supplies for the day ahead.

We left Dubbo in the truck at 7am and headed to Gilgandra to load. My dad has a Kenworth T909 producing 620hp from a Cummins ISX, EGR motor. I love Dad’s truck. Today we were towing B-double rhino cow crates.

At the farm, we loaded 78 head onto our truck and another truck that was coming along with us today. It was a bit slow loading cattle – they are huge and very heavy. We had a deadline to meet of 3pm at the feedlot today, so we had to ’get cracking’ as Dad would say!

Our trip down to the feedlot took us through some small towns like Narromine, Condobolin and onto West Wylong and eventually ending up at Springdale. As our schedule was tight, we couldn’t stop at Dad’s favourite takeaway shop, so we ate a meal mum had made for us from dad’s freezer – it was a yummy curry casserole.

We just made our deadline in time. We unloaded both trucks of cattle safely at their destination and made our journey back home to get ready for the next day’s work.

Max is mad about Truckin'

Max Brighouse and his granddad Dave Matich are not just family; they’re great mates.

If you want to find 15-year-old Max Brighouse on a Satur- day morning, he’ll be around one of the gorgeous trucks owned by his grandparents Dave and Colleen Matich.

Max is a young trucker to the core, and he is already living the dream. During the week, Max attends Raglan Area School, but come the weekend, he gets a different education, learning the finer points of cleaning, servicing, operating, and polishing ‘big iron’.

He spends every spare moment he can with grandad Dave, and they’ve travelled the country from top to bottom. In fact, when Dave bought his K200 Kenworth last year, he spec’d the 2.8m aerodyne with a double bunk, pretty much so Max had somewhere to sleep too. What a guy!

If you see the big green TSMS Kenworth thundering along, give it a huge wave. The driver waving back will be Dave, and the big wave coming at you from the passenger side will most likely be the super-friendly Max Brighouse.

Max’s quick questions!

What are you going to do when you grow up?
“Get my licences and drive trucks.”

What do Dad and Mum do?
“My dad Sol is an oil-rig worker in Taranaki; my mum Sandra is a midwife at Waikato Hospital.”

Brothers and sisters?
“One sister, Esme.”

Does she like trucks too?
“She likes them, but I don’t think she will drive them.”

Favourite thing about trucking?
“Driving everywhere, seeing the country, and the chats and talks that Grandad and I have as we roll along.”

Favourite jobs around the trucks?
“I like polishing, especially the wheels – it keeps them shiny.”

Favourite thing you like about TSMS trucks?
“I like the throwback to Senton Sawmills colours. I think that looks really cool.”

Keeping safe on the road

There are a lot of things to consider when driving in any vehicle, and trucks are no different! Rugged landscapes and changing weather can catch out the most experienced drivers. But driv- ing a truck can be fun and stress free if the driver has done their homework, understands the road rules and takes care on the road.

These days, trucks are equipped with lots of features and equipment that help truck drivers stay safe. Here, we take a look at a few of the things truck drivers need to consider when hitting the road.

Safety check!

• When you’re leaving
Wear your seatbelt, check surroundings (blind spots and when reversing out), drive slowly.

• When you’re driving
Gap check, passing lane, speed limits, road hazards.

• When you’re arriving
Slow down, safe reversing and spotting, check blind spots.

• And remember…
Take breaks and drink plenty of water!

Wheels Wheels Wheels

Our mate Thomas loves heading out on his dad’s truck, and when they get home, it’s his job to wash all the wheels.

Hi! I’m Thomas, I’m 7 years old and I live in Maffra, which is in the state of Victoria in Australia.

I love trucks, and Kenworth is my favourite type of truck.

I have always been around trucks, and my dad drives a Kenworth T409. When I go out trucking with Dad, I get to see heaps of trucks – Kenworths, Western Stars, Peterbilt. And when Dad brings his truck home, I always help him wash it – my job is to do the wheels. There are 10 wheels on Dad’s truck, and on his B-double trailer setup, there are 24 wheels on the trailer.

All my life, all dad’s friends have been truck drivers, and they have always let me sit inside them, which is really cool. When we’re out trucking, Dad and I always wave at our fellow truckers.

I also have a lot of toy trucks, so I can pretend that I am in a real truck. When I grow up, I want to be a truck driver with two trailers carting cattle around Australia. I like trucks because inside the trucks look so cool and big.

Lots of laughs with Dustin and Roger

Dustin was lucky enough to spend the day out in a truck with his mate Roger from GVT Landline, transporting fertiliser to a couple of farms.

Hi my name is Dustin Wright. I’m 12 years old and I live in Hawarden, North Canterbury.

I recently went out on a truck trip with GVT Landline, a transport operator. That spring morning, I woke up and had my breakfast - I needed to be at the end of the drive early for the day ahead.

Roger drives a 320hp Mercedes-Benz 4x4 Fert-Spreader

I was picked up by Roger Marsh from GVT Landline at 7:30am, and we were going to spread some fertiliser. Roger drives a 320hp Mercedes-Benz 4x4 fert spreader.

We went down to the quarry to pick up the fertiliser. Roger got in the loader and warmed it up and then loaded up the truck as his trailer was getting fixed. After loading the truck we went to a dairy farm and put the fertiliser on the land.

After finishing at the dairy farm, we went to our next location - this time it was a sheep and beef farm. We went up quite a steep hill - even Roger didn’t like it too much! At the quarry, the loader took one and a half bucket loads to load the truck.

I really enjoyed my day, with lots of laughs along the way.

The loader took one and a half bucket loads to load the truck

A day in the life... Riding Shotgun with Gundy

We spent a day with Will Gunderson from Gundy Transport in Palmerston North and his 2021 Kenworth K200 Fatcab!

It’s 11.30pm when I arrive at Foodstuffs, Palmerston North ready to ride shotgun with Will Gunderson, owner of Gundy Transport. Tonight, we are in his very cool 2021 Kenworth K200 Fatcab! With 600 horsepower, run by a X15 engine and an 18-speed Road Ranger gearbox, this tractor unit and 14.1 metre semi-trailer is well equipped to get the job done.

I am a tad early so I join some other staff on their break where I meet Jordon. He works in the office doing the night shift and invites me in to wait for Will. I am told the truck is already loaded and ready to roll. Will arrives and grabs his paperwork. This includes all tonight’s deliveries – places we are going and what is going to each destination. Before we can head out onto the road, a vehicle inspection is done and log book started — now we are ready to roll!

2021 Kenworth K200 FatCab

First stop

It is 12.30am when we leave Foodstuffs, heading south to Wellington loaded with chilled goods. We arrive at Foodstuffs, Grenada North at 2.40am, back into the loading dock where we are greeted by a forklift driver who unloads five pallets containing what they call small goods. These include things like processed meats, chicken and pre-packaged salads that are then distributed further on to different shops.

Next stop is New World, Thorndon and we arrive there around 3.30am. Here we drop off six pallets and get six empty pallets to return to Foodstuffs, loaded and unloaded by the forklift driver who also checks the items we have delivered are correct. Each pallet is assigned a number and the items are listed and scanned into the system. Before leaving, Will grabs a trolley and moves the pallets for our next delivery to the rear of the trailer.

We arrive at our next destination early at 4am. We are now at New World, Courtney Place in Wellington City. Here Will catches up on paperwork while we wait for the shed to open. Seven pallets are unloaded and then we are off again! Exiting this supermarket can be quite difficult during busier times of the day with heavy traffic going by, but lucky for us most people are still fast asleep.

Forklift driver unloading at Thorndon

Taking pride in our gear

Kilbirnie Pak’n’ Save is our fourth stop and again we arrive early at around 5am. With an hour before the gates open and we are unloaded, now is the perfect opportunity for polishing the truck’s wheels. Taking pride in the gear is a big part of being a truck driver. The gate eventually opens and we reverse in, eight pallets are dropped here then we head to New World in Miramar. This is our last delivery before leaving Wellington and heading back towards Palmerston North. It is now 7am, the sun has risen and it’s daylight! Here we grab ourselves a coffee in the staffroom while the forklift driver unloads the last four pallets in the trailer.

On our way back, we stop at Fresh Pork NZ, Levin. Here we get fully loaded with pork legs, belly, and various other bits. The trailer is quite heavy now with each pallet weighing anywhere between 200 and 800kgs. Our trailer has the capacity to carry 24 pallets (20 tonne).

Middle of the night at Thorndon

Back to Palmy

It’s about 10.30am when we arrive back in Palmerston North, where we stop at Premier Bacon to unload the pork, which will then be carted to Premier Bacon in Carterton for processing by another truck. Once unloaded we head back to Foodstuffs. Here, we back into the loading dock ready to be reloaded for the next driver to do his deliveries. For us, it’s now time to go home and sleep!

I had an awesome time tagging along for the ride and getting a wee insight into what goes on in the world of refrigeration truck transport.

Thank you Will for having me!