MyTrucking’s story: Nine years on

MyTrucking's story: Nine years on

Nine years on

We often talk about how MyTrucking was created to help out some mates. But we’ve never really told you the story of how it all happened. To celebrate nine years of MyTrucking, Sam and Sara recently took four very special people away on a trip to celebrate what they helped create.

Stu and Em Taylor, and Henry (affectionately nicknamed Bugs) and Tori Bunny were the first-ever customers of MyTrucking. And if it hadn’t been for Stu and Henry purchasing David Pope Transport, MyTrucking may never have existed.

Going out on their own

In 2010 longtime friends and brothers in law Stu and Henry joined forces to purchase Wairarapa-based transport company David Pope Transport, owned by David Pope. The newly named Wairarapa Livestock Transport Limited was a new venture for the duo but a challenge they were hungry to meet.

Henry, who had worked for David straight out of high school, was working as a stock agent for Silver Fern Farms with David doing much of the transport. Wife Tori was working as a personal banker for ASB.

Stu, after doing some stints over in Western Australia he and Em decided it was time to head back to NZ.  He took up a dispatcher and later driver role for Martinborough Transport, while Em was working as an early childhood educator.

After 30-plus years in the business, David Pope was ready to put his trucker hat into retirement and sell up. Henry immediately saw an opportunity, and over lunch discussed it with Stu and Em. By the end of lunch, a partnership was formed and a plan made.

The coming months saw countless meetings with banks, lawyers, accountants and everyone else in between to pull off the sale. With the help of some generous terms and conditions from David, and the tremendous support of Em and Tori, Stu and Henry officially bought Pope Transport in 2010.

Mt Holdsworth of paperwork

The paperwork that came with taking over the day-to-day operations of the longstanding transport business was not for the faint-hearted. Day sheets, physical diaries and notes on paper had always been the way a transport business operated. It was something Stu and Henry quickly decided needed dealing with more efficiently.

Enter friend, Sam Orsborn. Sam’s a Wairarapa lad through and through and was the co-owner of Sharpes Stockfeed with his parents Alastair and Nicky Orsborn. With a sideline interest in modern technology and its impacts on business efficiencies, he was Stu and Henry’s first port of call to help.

The trio got together with a whiteboard and started working out a solution. Many whiteboard markers later and pushed on by a desire to get rid of an endless paper trail, Sam went away and created the first version of MyTrucking. Built-in Microsoft Access, it could load jobs into the computer, allocate trucks, print run sheets, and assign delivery times and dates. A job could be updated as it progressed and once a job was in the system it could never be lost. It was simple and easy to use.

There were hours spent going back and forth and lots of thinking ‘What if it could do this?’ and ‘Can it do this’. While it wasn’t perfect and still required the occasional bit of paper or a laptop with Microsoft Access (the cloud system was but a pipe dream at this stage) the result was one Sam was proud of. 

Thinking that was the end of that and feeling pleased with doing something to help his mates, he went back to life as normal for a few years while Stu and Henry enjoyed a work life with less paperwork.

And then the phone rang: The birth of MyTrucking as you know it

“That thing you built for the boys at Wairarapa Transport Limited – we want it too” was the call from Martinborough Transport.

So Sam set to work, duplicated what he’d made for Stu and Henry, and set it up. What came then was an influx of businesses wanting the ‘Orsborn solution’ to all things paper. When Heikell Transport came calling, alarm bells started ringing, and Sam and Sara realised there was an opportunity presenting itself.

Recognising that they had to be quick, Sam and Sara started working with Masterton developer Dave McKinley to redevelop the programme, not only improving the underlying architecture, but allowing it to be fully cloud based, enabling clients to log in anytime and anywhere.

Starting off with just Sam and Sara (and their kitchen table), they worked on developing the business and spent countless hours visiting clients, cold-calling prospective clients and doing customer support. From their kitchen table, to a small cabin next to the Sharpes office, to a portacom, farmhouse and eventually a repurposed shipping container, MyTrucking grew quicker than anyone would have believed. 

Joining Xero as an add on partner and their subsequent invitation to the Xero conference in Melbourne, Australia in their start up alley got their foot in the door to expand across the ditch early on. And it’s been ‘put the pedal to the metal’ ever since.

9 years later…

In 2020 Stu and Henry decided the time was right to move on from Wairarapa Transport Limited and sold the business to Martinborough Transport. Stu and Em have set up a handyman extraordinaire business which sees them get stuck into everything from gardening, landscaping and digger work through to fencing. Henry is the operations manager for the newly named Moa Transport, and Tori is a sales representative for DB Breweries. 

So, if it hadn’t been for Stu and Henry (with the massive support and encouragement from wives Em and Tori), MyTrucking might never have come into fruition. Those hours and days spent brainstorming with Sam ensured the programme was fit for purpose – made by truckers, for truckers.

 As our first customers, constant supporters and dear friends to Sam and Sara, the entire MyTrucking team want to say a great big thank you to them for kicking off the journey of a lifetime. And here’s to the next nine years.

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