Hall of Fame Inductee 2020
Warwick Wilshier was born and brought up in Otorohanga by a family immersed in the timber industry.
Warwick’s grandfather ran a native sawmill, but Warwick was more interested in the delivery trucks and how it all worked. This lead him to a mechanical apprenticeship at Statecraft Waipa Mill and then to an opportunity to purchase an existing unit carting into the Waipa Mill – a highly sought-after contract in those days.
Warwick has been an owner operator in his own right since 1982, stepping into fleet ownership in 1984, and then multiple fleet ownership from 1989, operating in both the North and South Islands.
A partnership with Gary Williams led to growth into a fleet delivering logs to Kinleith Kawarau and McAlpines in Rotorua.
Cyclone Bola slowed the work in the Bay of Plenty, so Warwick shifted to Canterbury to take on an opportunity with McCarthy and Wilshier Transport – MWT – as it was known.
Paragon Haulage was next, putting shelf loader trucks into Kaingaroa with the experience gained in operating self-loaders in Canterbury. Then came Rural Haulage in Wyndham as forests came on stream.
Paragon sold out of Rural in 1998, and Warwick shifted home to Rotorua to help with the huge incremental growth in Northland and the East Coast. The opportunity to invest in Pacific Haulage arose, resulting in Warwick becoming the director of finance for a company that has doubled in size since his involvement. The original fleet has grown to 100 plus trucks with all the attendant requirements of staff compliance, training and operation matters.
Warwick has been the Chairman of the Log Transport Safety Council for 20 years. Dedicated to the industry, Warwick has spent hundreds of hours at his cost in Wellington and throughout the country fighting for change to improve the terrible reputation the log trucks had for accidents. He has made an outstanding contribution to transport safety including things like Static Roll Threshold, Share the Road, Sleep Apnoea testing, and Fit for the Road. He received recognition from the Institute of Road Transport Engineers of New Zealand (IRTENZ) with the presentation of the Outstanding Industry Achievement Award for service to Log Truck Safety.
Only Warwick knows how many people (and the are many) he has helped, treating all with respect and courtesy. Warwick’s commitment to the industry has sometimes involved confrontation with members and compliance people especially, but Warwick has the innate ability to focus on the point and achieve common ground with respect and integrity, a trait not that common in the transport world. Warwick has a clear view of industry direction and is called upon daily for assistance from many people, from drivers to forest managers to fellow carriers to Transport Agency to Transport Forum, all given freely and honestly in a warm and generous manner. Warwick has truly been a leader in his field.