Infrastructure out of step with loads

Infrastructure out of step with loads
Wairarapa Livestock Transport has been steadily investing in new trailers capable of carrying larger weights since the Government increased truck load weights from 50 tonnes to 44 tonnes but co-owner Henry Bunny says local councils have been slow to upgrade bridges in rural areas capable of handling the heavier weights.

Since the government increased truck load weights to 50 tonnes from 44 tonnes, Wairarapa Livestock Transport has been investing in new trailers capable of those larger loads.
The frustration has been that local councils have been slow to upgrade bridges in rural areas so they are capable of handling the larger weights, says Henry Bunny, owner of Wairarapa Livestock Transport.
“We can’t take advantage of these heavier load weights as much as we’d like to, as we need to travel a lot on rural roads. The sooner infrastructure catches up the more economically viable for our customers livestock transportation will become,” he says.
Henry owns Wairarapa Livestock Transport with business partner Stu Taylor. The pair both grew up on farms and worked for the company before purchasing it in 2010.
Henry says it was a way for them both to continue to enjoy the farming industry without needing to own a farm, something that is increasingly out of reach of many of the younger generation. Based in Masterton, Wairarapa Livestock Transport only undertakes livestock transportation.
By focusing solely on this service Henry feels the company is able to offer most value and the highest expertise to its dedicated client base.
Being locally owned and operated they are very familiar with the area their customers operate in meaning efficiency and timeliness on jobs. “This also means we know how to work jobs in together for the most economic outcome and result for our customers,” says Henry.
Wairarapa Livestock Transport is also a proud supporter of many community groups and events.
At its Masterton base Wairarapa Livestock Transport has yards, a workshop, offices and a truck wash facility. There is also a truck based in Dannevirke and another in Paihiatua. The company generally covers the lower North Island but can go further afield depending on the job.
By undertaking their own engineering repairs in the Masterton workshop, as well as investing in contract maintenance for more specialised mechanical repairs, this ensures trucks are well maintained at all times.
“Especially with livestock you can’t afford breakdowns. It’s very important our trucks are maintained to a high level and any unexpected problems dealt with quickly. We run a comprehensive replacement policy to ensure modern and reliable gear to help minimise downtime,” says Henry.
Larger vehicles are complemented by small trucks that can quickly whizz around and pick up smaller loads to bring them back to the yard for loading onto larger trucks.
Henry says this makes things extremely efficient as well as economic. Wairarapa Livestock Transport employs a team of 10 staff and its own team of drivers.
Henry and Stu run the day-to-day operation as well as
driving when required. Henry says this keeps them grounded and in touch with both their customers and staff.
“We talk to our clients on the phone but we also get out there and shake their hands and meet them. We are also on the road doing exactly what we are asking our staff to do. That’s important.”
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