When Blake Noble bought Warkworth’s Transcon in 2015, he had a vision for what he wanted the business to be.
Not from a transport background, Blake knew there were things he didn’t know, but he’d also experienced freight and logistics from a customer perspective, had a passion for trucks and could see there was an opportunity to build on the foundations of his predecessor.
Six years on, it still says Transcon on the curtain but on the inside it’s a refined local transport operation servicing a wide range of selected customers between Whangarei and Auckland.
“Our ethos is pretty simple,” says Blake. “We do business locally with people we enjoy working with and we actively seek that in our sales activity. We are more than just a general freight company to most of our customers, many have quite specific needs, we listen to those and formulate solutions.
“As such, they become heavily reliant on us as a critical cog in their operations, which is why four or so years ago I made the decision to only buy new trucks. For my own peace of mind, I just need our trucks to work.”
Taking on 13 FUSO trucks of varying ages as part of the business acquisition, Blake quickly built a relationship Keith Andrews Whangarei. Keith himself, and salesman James Hudson-Owen, saw him into his first new truck, a FUSO 6x2 Fighter FU2328, which was soon followed by two new 6x4 HD FV2447 Hi Top tractors.
“When I first met Keith and James, I thought they were just nice people. They quickly gained my trust and I was happy to buy trucks from them – the relationship really counted.
“Not long after we bought our second HD, FUSO launched the Enduro range, which was perfect for us. Enduro has a Mercedes-Benz driveline and all the benefits of a new truck, including a three-year warranty, for not much more than a second-hand unit.
“They’re slightly harder riding and the gear box is a bit different but the guys will take the additional power and torque they offer over that any day”
The second Enduro Blake bought was one of Keith Andrews’ ‘Built Ready’ units straight off the yard.
“One of our older units got written off and I needed a truck the next week. There was one at Keith Andrews in Auckland and it was on the road by the time we needed it,” says Blake. “I’ve bought a few Built Ready units since.”
Transcon now has five Enduro FJ2528 6x2 curtainsiders on the road and Blake says “they’ve done really well for us”.
“We also added a Canter last October, so we could start bringing some young drivers through. Then in December, we put our first Shogun FS3146 8x4 curtainsider on the road, which is a pinnacle truck for us.
“The technology and the transmission in the Shogun are everything we were led to expect. The driver just loves it – especially the adaptive cruise control, which has helped him make a significant improvement in his EROAD score!
“We’ve still got two Fighters in the fleet that have done over 1,000,000km. They look their age for sure, but they still work every day and that gives me a lot of confidence in the reliability and dependability of the brand.
“While it’s true that, for what we do – which is pretty low kilometres; say 60,000km to 65,000km per year – second-hand trucks would probably do the job. But our customers are relying on us and we’re relying on the trucks, so I’m just not prepared to take any chances with that.”
Across the FUSO range, and in his relationship with Keith Andrews, Blake has found a trusted combination he knows he can count on.
“We’ve got service at a personal level and product that is reliable and fit for purpose across the business – why would we look anywhere else?”