Turners Truck and Machinery Show 2019

By: Lyndsay Whittle, Photography by: Lyndsay Whittle

It may have been raining in other parts of the country and the weather gurus had predicted thunderstorms for the Auckland region on 8 December, but the sun was shining on the Turners Truck and Machinery Show

Paul Andrews and Glenn Kendall, better-known as ‘Sludge’ and ‘Yogi’ from the popular TV series Outback Truckers, were the major attraction at the event.

The big rigs are always a crowd-pleaser

Their appearance at the show was sponsored by West Auckland company EasyMoves House Movers Ltd who also had a display of some of their pristinely presented rigs on show to delight the truck-loving crowd.

There was a wide range of things to see and do at the event, including taking a few fast-laps around Pukekohe Raceway in a genuine race truck.

Event promoter and manager Karen Black still had a grin from ear to ear an hour or two after she’d climbed out of the passenger’s seat of one of the trucks.

EasyMoves House Movers Ltd’s pristine fleet. The company sponsored Sludge and Yogi’s attendance at the event.

"It was an unbelievable experience," she says. If being strapped into a speeding bullet isn’t your thing, then there was plenty of lower-paced activity going on at the tractor pull or watching contestants manoeuvre eight-tonne Kobelco excavators onto four stumps the operators had to strategically place before attempting the stunt.

One of the judges, DOW tester Josh Simpson, said that the skill level of the contestants through the wide range of disciplines was high and showed that the industry was turning out skilled professionals.

"Some of the contestants are quite young but show a level of skill you would expect to encounter with more experienced operators," he says.

Chris Skelton, Mimico’s Auckland sales representative, said that he was working late into the night before the event, preparing the props for the five-discipline event, which included the previously-mentioned task, along with picking up tyres with a rock bucket and placing them over a two-metre-long length of steel vertical rod.

The hole in the middle of the block is only 32mm in diameter, so a steady hand is required here

He’d also devised a similar task that kept even the most hardened operators on their toes; only this time, it was a series of blocks of wood with a 32mm hole drilled in the middle. The small tolerance between the steel rod and the small hole made for some very interesting viewing.

Sixteen competitors took part in the MIMICO-sponsored event and the top three places were taken out by owner-operators:

  • First place: Murray Nash
  • Second place: Daniel Smith
  • Third place: Micheal White

Other truck-related competitions on the day gave the brave-hearted the opportunity of showcasing their skills in front of a live audience in the form of a semi-trailer reversing contest and a tyre changing competition.

The top three placings in both competitions listed below show that there are obviously some people out there who we’d all love to hate for their ability to do well at more than just one thing.

The TR Group Truck Reversing Competition

  • First place: Dean Wallbank
  • Second place: Haydan Poutai
  • Third place: Edward Watford

Wheel Changing Competition

  • First place: Dean Wallbank
  • Second place: Edward Watford
  • Third place: Jodie Leitch

Promoting health and safety in the sector and promoting the trucking industry as an attractive career path was the NZ Trucking Association’s Safety MAN rig that was driven up from the South Island especially for the event.

‘Sludge’ and ‘Yogi’ took centre stage

"It was great to have the NZ Trucking Association to come up from Christchurch in support of their sister organisation, the Auckland-based National Road Carriers Association (NRC), who were one of our important show sponsors," says Karen.

"The NRC helped out a lot on the day and behind the scenes leading up to the show, as well as running the registration tent on show day. Their support means so much for events such as the Turner Truck and Machinery Show."

Officers Frank Louie and Ryan Hoogenberg from NZ Police’ CVIU and Waitemata Road Policing were on hand for a portion of the day in support of road safety initiatives.

Fast laps in race trucks were very popular on the day

The Women in Road Transport (WiRT) stand was well-patronised over the course of the day, with its chairperson Meryn Morrison saying the event provided a great platform to promote the many roles that women can play in the transport industry.

"Our purpose is to promote woman, youth, and anyone who wants to be in road transport; promote it as a good image, somewhere where you can progress. You can start on a forklift, but you can end up in IT, despatch, accounting, design engineering; there’s a whole raft of jobs within road transport," says Meryn.

Aside from being a great family day out, the truck and machinery show provided an opportunity for exhibitors display and demonstrate their wares.

Running and maintaining a fleet of trucks and machines is a time-consuming affair, and any device that’s designed to make life easier is always appreciated by owners and operators alike.

Damian from Shiny T&T Rims demonstrating part of the wheel polish process

One such device being demonstrated on the day was Shiny T&T Rims Limited’s Aussie Rimshine portable truck wheel polisher.

Shiny T&T Rims’ director Ray Brown told DOW that his company provides a mobile service to carry out wheel polishing on-site without the need to remove the wheels from the truck.

The polisher and associated compounds can also be purchased from Ray’s company. Someone who’s become a fixture at truck shows was Andy Slater from Cloud View Cameras.

Andy Slater has become a fixture at truck shows

Andy has a passion for devices that are designed to make driving safer and is usually the first stand to open and the last to close. I must ask him one day if he ever takes a break.

Now in its fourth year (its second year at Pukekohe), the Turners Truck and Machinery show continues to gain momentum, with Karen saying the team and herself are always making slight tweaks to make the show bigger and better each year.

If you look closely, you might see a little Kenworth behind ‘Gooserooter’ and his happy fan

The MC for the 2019 event was Robbie ‘Gooserooter’ Shefford, imported all the way from Geraldine.

Robbie’s infectious enthusiasm and commentary throughout the day, coupled with the mild weather provided by the weather gods, combined to make the day a huge success.


Best Fleet Terence Howard & Sons Ltd
People’s Choice

Hart Haulage Ltd, Josh Hart

Best Presented New Truck NorthChill Ltd, Neil Powell
Best Visual Impact J Swap Contractors Ltd, Brodie Murray
Best Classic LW Bonney & Sons Ltd, Mike Vesley
Best Tractor Unit NorthChill Ltd, Neil Powell
Best Curtainsider/Flat Deck Waharoa Transport Ltd, Dylan Clothier
Best Hiab/Crane/Side Loader RPC Logistics, Jody Leitch
Best Tipper Rudsits Transport Ltd, Josh Rudsits
Best Livestock/Logger Kane Holdings Ltd, Les Comer
Best Heavy Haulage/Tow/Transporter Tranzcarr Ltd, Hayden Poutai
Best Specialised/Miscellaneous Hydrovac Ltd
Best Company Ute/SUV EasyMoves Ltd

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