Going over and above the call of duty is an everyday occurrence for Matamata based father and son truck drivers Morgan and Durham Pauro.
J Swap Contractors Ltd. are currently celebrating 50 years of Fieldays by honouring some of their long serving staff, including the Pauros.
Having spent 40 years with the business, Morgan is an old hand at driving and his son Durham has been around for around half of the time his father has, currently in his 21st year driving with J.Swap as his first and only employer.
Unlike many drivers you talk to, driving wasn’t in the blood with Morgan, he started driving on a whim.
“Driving trucks looked like a good opportunity” Morgan says casually. “I wanted to drive a truck, so that’s what I did.”
Durham on the other hand grew up around trucks: “I used to ride in the cab with dad when I was young, I always wanted to drive trucks,” so that’s what he did.
Boss Ian Wilson couldn’t speak more highly of the pair: “They are the kind of guys that are always obliging and easy to work with. They never kick up a fuss, look after their gear, have a great work ethic and are always there to help.”
Both Pauros also help J.Swap educate newer drivers. Whilst not being driving instructors themselves boss Ian says they aid new class five drivers with further education.
J.Swap actively recruit new drivers with a fresh class 5 licences and help them learn good driving habits the first time. According to Ian: “Morgan and Durham both help to teach [new drivers]. Durham and I were both green drivers once too and we were taught by experienced drivers like Morgan to do things right, we want to continue that tradition.”
Not only that, but the pair are ready and willing to take up any new challenge that presents itself says Ian.
“He adapted really well into the new HPMV weights…. It can be harder for some guys to pick up new stuff…. He had no worries…. He takes everything in his stride.”
Through their time at J.Swap both father and son have had their fair share of trucks. Both currently drive identical T409 Kenworths hauling 57 tonnes at a time: Morgan’s seventh and Durham’s fifth truck with the company.
“It was a joke at the time when [Morgan] got his first new Kenworth. The bosses said, ‘get him a Kenworth’ and people joked that it would be his last truck. He’s had three brand new Kenworths since then,” laughs Wilson.
Despite his age, Morgan is only in ‘semi-retirement’ and shares his truck four days on four days off mostly carrying aggregate and still loving it.
“Yeah mate still enjoying it. Nah not going into retirement soon, not yet bro,” he says.
He continues to drive for a good reason, as he says: “It keeps you busy, there is something different every day, no two days are the same…. You get to see and go new places…. The first time I went to the South Island was in a truck, that was a good run, its not one I do often but it was great scenery.”
Durham is on the road most days carrying everything from stock food to fertilizer to aggregate around the North Island but reckons he prefers to cart local.
“The job is really varied, it never gets boring. I did a lot of driving going up and down the line, but I got sick of that, I prefer doing local work these days,” he says.The road is long but never weary for this trucking family and as far as retirement goes, neither can see themselves stopping any time soon.