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PIAKO Transport Engineering Ltd and NZH’s association started when an NZH sales engineer cold-called on owner Colin Richardson one day soon after Colin started up his new business. Eighteen years on, this business relationship has grown into a strong friendship, based on, in Colin’s words, “impressive product knowledge, good quality at the right price and excellent backup right from the first visit to today”.
Colin started up the Morrinsville-based Piako Transport Engineering in 1989. “At the time, I was contracted to my father-in-law, maintaining and manufacturing truck bodies and trailers for his company, Piako Freighters, and it just sort of grew out of that,” he recalls.
He was well prepared for spreading his wings. In1980, he obtained the NZCE qualification from Waikato Polytechnic, and in 1983 completed his apprenticeship. Over the years Colin’s wife, Tarnia Richardson, has managed the office and administration, to where the couple today runs a busy operation that employs six staff and produces around 30 truck bodies and trailers per year.
PTE truck bodies and trailers can be seen on the roads across New Zealand, and customers include iconic Kiwi names such as the TR Group and Porter Hire. “And all the time NZH has been there, always ready with good advice, always at hand with good after-sales backup. I’ve seen the company expand in terms of product range, but the basics are the same – good customer service. I recommend NZH to my customers without reservations,” he says. Over the years, he has seen many changes in the transport industry in New Zealand, mainly the dimensions of trailers. “Everybody wants them lighter, and still as strong as possible…the rule is you usually have to sacrifice a bit of weight for strength, but with all the new technological advances, things are changing. I’m researching new possibilities in this regard right now,” he says.
Colin’s newest bodies on the road are a 4x2 260hp 6-speed Hino fitted with a 135.2 A4 Terex Knuckle Boom crane for Don Chapman Builders from Morrinsville and a 6x2 280hp Isuzu FVR900 fitted with a 105.2 A4L Terex Knuckle Boom crane for Penrose-based TR Group.
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