Logging is the be all and end all for Ian Newey, he knows nothing else.
He and his wife Shelley own IK and SM Newey Transport, based at Ruakaka, and have built up the business over the last 19 years.
In a classic case of stick to what you know, the company is 100% logging and has the fleet of 30 trucks, 18 owned by the couple and 12 with contractors.
The majority of business is through North Port, just 7km down the road from their office and headquarters. “Our office and workshop is at Ruakaka, that’s the hub, but we have a satellite yard leased in Whangarei for drivers based there, as a parking depot.”
The Neweys cart logs from Hokianga in the far north down to Kerikeri, with a big chunk of the business being logs through North Port for export. The company can shift between 75 – 80 loads a day.
Ian and his wife Shelley are directors of the company and have grown the business to the point where they now provide support to management. “We’ve done the grind and we’ve built it to where it is. We’re the support network, the glue that holds it together. If I need to drive a truck or swing on a spanner and fix gear, I do. We fill the gaps and keep it all together.”
Ian is vice-chairman of the National Road Carriers Association and also acts as co-ordinator for the Share the Road programme, run by the Northern Wood Council, which is about taking trucks into schools and teaching children about safety awareness around trucks.
“It’s about giving back, teaching young people about safety awareness around logging trucks and heavy vehicles. We also teach them about wood – wood is good. It’s an opportunity to promote the product.”
Ian sees these roles as a chance to give back to the industry he’s passionate about. “We find ourselves now in a position to be able to give back to the industry and make a difference.
“We’re passionate about it. I left school at 16 and went to stack logs in the far north. I then went to Auckland and started in logging, working my way up to running crews. I bought my first logging truck at 24. I know nothing else. It’s our passion, our drive and our focus. We are loggers.
“We’ve put everything into it and now we’re in a position to be able to give back to the industry too. We try to look after our staff and do the best by them. Logging, for us, is the be all and end all.”
The Neweys have been with MyTrucking for just three months, but Ian is already singing its praises.
“It was great to have the no obligation trial and get a feel for it. I can see why they do it, because it sells itself. I was sold on it pretty much straight away and could see the efficiencies we as a team, and business, could gain from it.”
Already, their dispatcher is able to dispatch trucks remotely from a tablet in his home. “We’re doing 75 odd loads a day and he’s the point of contact for 30 drivers and 10 logging crews. To be able to take a portion of his job, take it remotely and put it into an app system has made everyone’s job easier.”
Accurately capturing data from drivers is a huge plus and Ian says the efficiency gains are huge. “The workload in the office has dropped. Sign off at the end of the month is quick. It’s remarkable how it’s changed the office and admin staff’s lives, and taken the pressure off.
“MyTrucking has proved itself. I really like that it’s a kiwi company too, I think that’s important. They have made it simple, and simple for drivers, which is the key.”
Favourite truck? It’s got to be a Mack. I have a fleet of Macks. My grandfather had Macks, my father had Macks, it’s in the blood. It’s a running joke, I tell people I’m not prepared to jeopardise my inheritance! They have been fantastic trucks for us.
Favourite place to get a pie? I’m not a pie man. I like a bacon and egg roll from Madame B’s caravan at North Port.
Favourite MyTrucking feature? I’m not using it day-to-day, but from a driver’s perspective, it’s the simplicity of the app for drivers.
Favourite trucking route? Anywhere in Northland, it’s such a scenic place.
Favourite gearbox? It used to be a Roadranger, now it’s an mDRIVE 12 speed auto. It used to be manual, but the new technology is just insanely good.
Favourite way to acknowledge a truckie? With a massive wave halfway across your windscreen.
Favourite saying or catchphrase? Just relax.
We wrote this article for NZ Trucking Magazine.