Business South May 2021

40 | Steve Murphy Ltd TRANSPORT Family business in for the long haul T Richard Loader Contact 0800 - 723376 | Safety Plan, ICAM & Audit, Locum Services, Dust, Fume & Noise Workplace Health and Safety Services Proud to supply & support Steve Murphy Jono Clark 027 857 0129 Your stockist of the most comprehensive range of fasteners in the South Island Contact your Local Sales Representative “Even though the trucks are a heavier weight it’s distributed evenly over a longer axle group, therefore the impact on the roads is not as severe.” A passion for what you do and a family spirit sits behind any successful compa- ny and North Canterbury logistics and transport company Steve Murphy Ltd (SML) is no exception. Travelling Canterbury roads from forest hubs to ports to local sawmills, SML has evolved to have one of the largest fleets of logging trucks in the region. Established over forty years ago by Steve Murphy with one truck, the business has grown organically with its customer base and as new business opportunities presented. The company built its reputation and brand transporting logs out of Canterbury’s major forests estates, which are now owned by Matariki Forests. When an opportunity arose to secure the full contract with Matariki in 2008, Steve Mur- phy seized the day, purchasing another log transport company along with its fleet of vehi- cles, blending the two businesses together. Steve’s son Chris joined the business 28 years ago when there were just six truck units and has helped steer the business through significant growth and the implementation of the company’s systems. The business now operates a modern fleet of 45 vehicles, including 36 logging truck and trailer units. Eighty six percent of SML’s fleet are HPMV units (High Productivity Motor Vehicles) capa- ble of carting loads between 50 and 54 tonnes gross. ‘The industry introduced HPMV units to increase productivity, carting more weight with less vehicles,” explains Chris. “Even though the trucks are a heavier weight it’s distributed evenly over a longer axle group, therefore the impact on the roads is not as severe. “There’s also less impact on other road stakeholders like the general public because there are less logging trucks.” The HPMV units can only travel through specific routes stipulated by the regional councils by way of permits. “Just to get to one sawmill we may have to travel through the Hurunui District Council, the Waimak District Council, Christchurch City Council and the Selwyn District Council and they all have different views as to what their pathways should look like.” Strategically located in the same Kaiapoi base for the last 32 years, SML’s fleet of trucks routinely travels a radius of 160km, collective- ly clocking up significant kilometres each day, five days a week, 240 days of the year work permitting. “We go as far north as Hanmer. Timaru would be the furthest south we would go,” says Chris. “We don’t go to the West Coast very often but there are occasions when that might hap- pen. We’re very focused on our local hub. “Our work is primarily carting logs from the forests to the sawmills or to Lyttelton Port for export. “Six of our trucks are bulk carrier units which are high capacity tip units that service the local sawmills, taking wood chip to the Daiken MDF plant in Sefton, for New Zealand Pine Processors.” Chris says that in the Canterbury region the bulk of the logs go to local sawmills with around a third of the total exposure going to export. “Sutherlands, Stoneyhurst, McVicars, Mitch- ells, McAlpines and Shands Road sawmill, are the main sawmills we feed into — all family owned companies that have been operating for many years.” Chris places much value on being a family owned and operated business and the ben- efits that has on the business, his team and customers. “Everything our staff do they’re doing on our behalf. They represent the business every time they go out to an estate. So we want to ensure they’re equipped well, trained well, have the right gear and look sharp because they’re the face of the business. “We’re very black and white and that keeps everything on track with our overall perfor- mance.”