Old School Trucks: Banks Peninsula Transport

By: Dean Middleton, Photography by: Dean Middleton

1 6 A 142M Scania, which was one of the few 8x4 configured units in the fleet back in the ’90s 1 6
2 6 Six-wheeler trucks were prominent over 8x4s because of some of the renowned tight access rural roads of Banks Peninsula 2 6
3 6 A 113M Scania pictured waiting to load at the Addington Sale yards in Christchurch on sale day 3 6
4 7 There were trucks that entered the fleet with a white and green stripe livery; one was this lone F12 Volvo 4 7
5 6 This 143M Scania was another truck to wear the white and green livery 5 6
6 7 Japanese trucks also graced the fleet, and this Isuzu CXH was a typical example 6 7
7 8 A six-wheeler truck and trailer tipper, which spent much of its time spreading metal on the upkeep of shingle rural roads 7 8
8 7 New-generation Scanias began to join the fleet; this 124G model was photographed unloading at the Belfast freezing works near Christchurch 8 7
9 7 The sister truck looked somewhat different with the crates being a similar colour to the cab 9 7
10 7 Versatility is the name of the game for any transport company and with the tourist town of Akaroa over the hill from the main depot at Little River, a crane truck is a critical part of the fleet 10 7
11 7 An 8x4 Scania 124G and four-axle trailer meant a higher payload in eight-axle units where access permitted 11 7
12 7 A P420 Scania (facelift model), which was one of the last trucks to wear the older Banks Peninsula Transport livery 12 7
13 7 Seen here on the same truck, it was a huge transformation from the former fleet livery to the new 13 7
14 7 Bright yellow cabs and lime green crates were not only a stark contrast from the old livery, but it was also a paint scheme that mimicked no other recognisable transport company in the land of the long white cloud 14 7
15 7 A brand-new and yet-to-be-registered G480 Scania pictured back in April 2012 15 7
16 7 An R500 Scania 8x4 pictured when near-new back in 2007 16 7
17 7 A quiet weekend line-up at the Little River depot back in 2016 17 7
18 7 No prizes for guessing that the Banks Peninsula is a close relative to Ellesmere Transport in this photograph 18 7
19 7 A frontline Scania R620 nine-axle unit, which has since been joined by new-generation Scanias in the fleet 19 7

In this month's installment, Deals on Wheels takes a closer look at the Banks Peninsula Transport fleet

Banks Peninsula incorporates Lyttelton Harbour, Akaroa Harbour, and many well-known and frequented bays in between. Let’s also not forget the small town of Little River nested between both harbours, and while in recent years the township has been a hot tourist spot, it’s also home to Banks Peninsula Transport.

Back when my interest in trucks was gathering momentum in the early 1980s, two transport companies wore the same livery: Governors Bay Transport (Governors Bay is a bay within the Lyttelton Harbour) and Banks Peninsula Transport (BPT), which was a sister company that was to become one and the same.

Formed by volcanoes, Banks Peninsula is home to a large rural community with some of the most challenging access roads in the country, and this led to BPT being largely a six-wheeler fleet with three- and four-axle trailers.

Needless to say, the livestock trucks left their trailers at a suitable spot to tranship the sheep and cattle. Better steering locks in the 1990s led to more 8x4 twin-steer trucks in the fleet, however, six-wheelers are still utilised to this day in the tightest of applications on the Peninsula.

As a kid I remember photographing an International T-line back in the early 1980s, however, that picture is currently lost within the collection and the Scania brand is where we start with this feature, and there were plenty.

Japanese trucks also graced the fleet and a lone Volvo F12 also did some hard yards back in the 1990s. Fast forward to the mid-2000s and the Righton family of Ellesmere Transport acquired BPT, culminating in a livery change, which, in my opinion, was one of the largest contrast changes for a transport fleet that I can remember.

To be fair, the original livery was not overly inspiring to the eye, but the change to bright yellow and lime green certainly changed that perspective.

Ellesmere Transport has long been supporters of the Volvo and Mercedes-Benz brands, however, Scania has remained the dominant brand of choice within the BPT fleet, which no doubt helps the sister companies ascertain long-term efficiency comparisons between the Swedish and German brands.

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