Hall of Fame Inductee 2022

Glyn Tyler-Davies

Glyn Tyler-Davies was born in Warkworth in 1940 and lived at the yard next to the rail head at Kaipara Flats until around 1954, when the family moved to Orewa.


After attending boarding school at Mt Albert Grammar, Glyn went to work in admin at Tasman Pulp and Paper, before joining the family business, Smith and Davies, in 1958. At 18 years old he got his heavy traffic licence and started driving a 953 OLB Bedford tipper.

In 1966, with the construction of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Smith and Davies moved to premises in Northcote where Glyn steered the company into contracting, with earth-moving and bulk metal cartage becoming the core of the business. He began to apply his philosophy to the business, one he sticks with today - “go after jobs that are different – cart rock, cart scrap steel, do the harder-type work – there’s money in it”.

Under Glyn’s direction, Smith and Davies’ first major contracting job involved all the earthworks for Auckland’s first shopping mall, LynnMall in New Lynn. About the same time the company bought the first of many Mercedes – a little 1418. By 2000, Smith and Davies had over 60 trucks, all Mercedes. The company reaped the benefits of a one-make fleet being familiarity and a stock of interchangeable spare parts in the workshop.

In 1970, Smith and Davies added log transport to their operation beginning a 29-year relationship with Carter Holt Harvey. In early 1980 the company purchased additional land in Albany which was developed into commercial units. Eventually the company was working in some way on just about every major construction project in Auckland including the Manukau wastewater treatment scheme, northern motorway extensions and the removal of contaminated landfill. A successful diversification of the business was dredging work, making mud-crete for the America’s Cup, reclaiming land at the waterfront for Fletchers and stabilising mud at the Bayswater marina.

Glyn was an active committee member of the Auckland Regional Transport Authority from the late 1960’s through to the mid 1990’s, when he was finally exhausted talking about containers and passed the mantel on to his nephew Graham.

Over the years Glyn and Noleine attended some 29 consecutive conferences and made a huge number of lifelong friends and contacts all around the country. They made a conference comeback in 1999, the year they won the BNZ Road Transport Business of the Year award.

Glyn sold the Transport and Civil Engineering business to Graham & Bob Grove in 2004 through a management buyout and retained the yards and other property assets. At the time the fleet consisted of 80 Heavy vehicles and 55 items of mobile plant.

Since retiring from road transport, Glyn has actively developed and maintained his commercial property interests and is a landlord to a number of transport operators and fleet service specialists.

Glyn & Noleine have 3 children who work in local government, software design and commercial construction administration, plus six grandchildren and now a great-grandson.

David Conroy
Ian Patchell