In the media
By John Cohen-Du Four
2017 saw the retirement of two of Nelson Forests’ longest-serving drivers – Gary Gardiner of Waimea Contract Carriers and Pete Friend from Stuart Drummond Transport.
With a combined total of ninety four years on the road, there’s not a lot these two haven’t’ seen. And while many changes have come and gone, one thing has never wavered: their infectious love for a life behind the wheel.
Gary first hit the road as a twenty-year old in the mid 1960s. “I cut my teeth with Sollys in Collingwood. They had a fleet of Bedfords and I drove every one of them.”
In the 1970s Gary began driving for Irvines. “They were different times back then,” he laughs. “Like when the rail was out – we’d put in 18 to 20 hour days! I once did a run from Nelson to Christchurch, to Blenheim, to Christchurch, to Invercargill, and back again to Christchurch.”