A day out with Dad

I started the morning by attempting to mirror my father’s normal daily routine. A 4am wake up call, breakfast, preparing for work and then the drive to Swanson from Mangere.

My dad Kiripati is the general freight manager for Swanson Transport Ltd. General freight handles and transports a wide variety of goods that can be transported in many ways. They can either be transported in containers, vans, trucks and trailers and sometimes even specialised vehicles.

The general freight trucking industry provides a number of key services such as local pickup, local sorting, destination sorting and local delivery. Communication and planning plays a pivotal part in performing his role. The numerous emails and phone calls received can vary from internal and external customers, new customers requiring freight services to drivers who will require location confirmation and any special delivery or pickup instructions.

Order and truck allocation is key to ensure that the right vehicle is sent to perform the right job. Certain truck operators hold different class licences, so my father needs to identify these special jobs and select the right operator to perform the duty.

Every day is different, so planning ahead to keep on top of the ever-changing schedule is important to ensure things run smoothly for himself and his team. My dad’s role requires him to work in the office, ensuring that he is always available to tend to his customer and team needs. He is very hands-on and will happily assist if need be in the warehouse, operating the forklift and loading trucks.

Swanson Transport has their own mechanical workshop for their trucks on site, as well as their own wash bay. There are many trucks, all different types and sizes that perform special jobs. Some trucks have a fitted crane at the back, which allows them to lift extremely heavy and large loads. There are also pilot utes that guide larger trucks – they are responsible for alerting the truck driver of any possible issues ahead and ensure other road users are aware that a large heavy load follows.

Safety is taken very seriously at Swanson Transport, certain safety gear is required to move around the workplace. All visitors are required to sign in on arrival and access must be given to enter the work site. Hi-vis vests, hard hats and safety boots are to be worn, most importantly being aware of your surroundings and recognising possible danger.

I have enjoyed my time at Swanson Transport, witnessing first hand Dad’s work day and the pride he takes in his work.

I had the privilege of meeting the owner of the business, Mr Jeff Smith, who has been part of this business for many years. I also met general manager Mr Nick Longuet-Higgins, as well as the office staff who were all very welcoming. Now that I’ve had an insight into how the transport industry operates, next time I see a truck on the road I’ll definitely be giving it a wave! Thanks to Dad and everyone at Swanson Transport for showing me around.