A LONG AND SUCCESSFUL ROAD TRAVELLED

Greg Sheehan (Left) accepts the Gus Breen Memorial award for Outstanding Achievement.

From humble beginnings delivering the New Zealand Herald on a bicycle, Greg Sheehan, Company Director, has carved out a long and successful career in the transport industry. Highlights include receiving the Gus Breen Memorial award for Outstanding Achievement and an Award for Excellence presented to Greg’s company, Sheehans Transport Assistance Limited, by the Minister of Defence for their work transporting 10 Seasprite helicopters.

While Greg has had many successes in the industry, it’s the camaraderie that has kept him in the industry all these years. “We’ve had a lot of fun in the transport industry, particularly heavy haulage. Every truck driver on the road seems to give each other a wave as they go past. It’s a wonderful industry to work in.”

There have also been a number of firsts for Greg. He was the first oversize-load pilot member to be Board Chair of the New Zealand Heavy Haulage Association and the first in New Zealand to obtain a National Certificate in Heavy Haulage. Greg was just pipped to the post at being first to finish MITO’s Commercial Road Transport – Mass and Dimensions Micro-credential. However, he can claim to be the oldest! “I've had my 75th birthday so I'm the oldest person to have achieved this micro-credential, although a driver trainer beat me by only a couple of weeks to achieve it. Otherwise, I could have been both the first and the oldest!”

The Commercial Road Transport – Mass and Dimensions Micro-credential provides the foundation knowledge required to understand vehicle mass, dimensions and High Productivity Motor Vehicle (HPMV) permits for drivers. “It did certainly help me with my knowledge surrounding HPMV permit applications and also increasing my general knowledge of the requirements of vehicle dimensions and mass permitting (VDAM) in heavy haulage.”

Training and upskilling have always been important to Greg. “I never stop learning. Particularly anything to do with heavy haulage. I like to keep abreast of any rule changes.”

Greg’s long career, spanning 55 years, has held many memorable moments, but one that stands out was transporting 10 Royal New Zealand Navy Seasprite helicopters from Auckland wharf to the Royal Airforce base in Whenuapai. The move was supposed to be carried out with a degree of security surrounding the trucks’ movements, but before they made it out of Auckland, an image taken by an enthusiast made it through the grapevine to a friend in Canada and back to one of the truck drivers. “Less than an hour from leaving the wharf! That was a funny part of that move,” laughs Greg.

Since 2007, Greg has lent his focus to heavy haulage training and, in addition to his company’s piloting and permitting work, he works as an independent MITO assessor. Always happy to share his knowledge, Greg makes himself available for questions from previous trainees. “I get great satisfaction out of guys ringing me because it means that they do respect you as a trainer and assessor. They know that they can come to me with confidence to get the right answers to the things that they need.”

Now transitioning into retirement mode, Greg’s passion for the industry and training new talent will certainly leave a lasting legacy.

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