Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage

By: Dean Middleton , Photography by: Dean Middleton


Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage An impressive partial fleet line-up of Eastern Transport in their yard at Gore in the early ’90s Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage
Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage International T-Lines were a common brand on rural duties back in the ’80s and ’90s Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage
Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage A C57 ERF, which sounded every bit as impressive as it looked Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage
Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage A 112H Scania on dropsider duties Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage
Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage ‘Silent Stalker’ was a 4350 Foden and was one of the big guns of the Eastern Fleet back in the day Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage
Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage Isuzus became a popular brand in the fleet back in the late ’80s and early ’90s; these two stockliners were typical examples Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage
Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage This CXH Isuzu was engaged in refrigerated duties Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage
Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage Ross Transport was another local transport company that combined to make Hokonui Haulage Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage
Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage So too was Gore Transport Services who were metallic blue and red Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage
Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage The beginning of the end for the Eastern Transport Livery and also for the green and cream of Ross Transport Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage
Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage The beginning of the end for the Eastern Transport Livery and also for the green and cream of Ross Transport Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage
12 The Hokonui Haulage livery was introduced as seen here on an S108 Foden 12
Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage A tidy International T-line pictured at the 2007 Gore Truck Show Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage
Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage ‘Silent Stalker’ in her new livery Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage
Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage A CXH Isuzu fresh out of the paint shop Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage
Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage A Mitsubishi Shogun on tipper duties Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage
Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage This FY Hino was on dropsider work Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage
Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage This pre-loved CH Mack was purchased for a general freight run Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage
Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage One of two E Series ERFs, this one was on general/tipper duties Old School Trucks: Hokonui Haulage

Deals on Wheels writer Dean Middleton checks out the impressive fleet of Hokonui Haulage

It was the early ’90s on a South Island road trip with the girlfriend when I stumbled across Eastern Transports yard in Gore. I say stumbled because the main industrial part of Gore (where most of the truck yards were) was on the south side of town and Eastern Transport was just a block up from the main street on the north side.

Needless to say, we took a quick U-turn after the line-up of red and white trucks caught the corner of my eye. Eastern Transport was a reasonably typical Southland rural transport company of that time and they certainly had some classic truck brands of the era in the line-up.

International T-Lines, ERFs, and Fodens ensured this truck enthusiast was kept happy walking the yard with camera in hand. Isuzus had been among the most recent purchases and these CXH models dominated the livestock division back then.

Another local rural transport company at the time was Ross Transport who also ran Isuzus among other brands in their green and cream livery. Gore Services Limited and Mackay and McCall Transport (also local transport companies) then amalgamated with Eastern Transport and Ross Transport in 1996 to form Hokonui Haulage Limited.

So there was a mixture of makes and models in this now varied fleet and for some time, the yard was a myriad of colours derived from the previous transport companies. When the dust had settled, a smart new livery of bright white and dark green with bright yellow ‘Hokonui’ signwriting across the fronts of the truck cabs ensured the brand was instantly identifiable.

Through the paint shop and natural attrition of some of the older gear, the fleet colours were standardised, and by the turn of the century, Hokonui Haulage trucks had become a familiar sight in the Southland area and further afield with the Livestock and general freight trucks.
Next month, we feature more from the green and white fleet and the transition from one company to two.

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