By morning smoko Wattie Te Amo may already have driven more than 200 kilometres.
“You have to get to every site that needs you and the crews tend to start early,” says the Quality Roading and Services fuel tanker driver.
“You can't let a machine be out of action because it's run out of fuel, or that holds the entire job up.”
After 15 years in the meat industry, followed by a period as a road worker, Wattie Ngāti Kahungunu joined QRS in 2016, starting at the Wairoa landfill before being offered a job driving the fuel tanker.
Across the massive catchment area covered by QRS – reaching down towards Napier and sometimes up to and beyond Gisborne -- he routinely visits more than a dozen sites a day and says he's yet to get lost.
“Wherever there is machinery in action, that's where I have to go,” says Wattie (57). “You just have to make sure you plan your route and your visits for the best possible efficiency.”
Fuelling QRS's multiple sites is a big responsibility – as well as good driving skills and effective time management, Wattie has to make sure every drop gets to where it is needed and it is all accounted for at the end of each day.
And Wattie loves the work. “You might leave home in the dark but by the time you're on the road you get to see some of the best views around,” he says.
But when he’s not at work…”I’ve had enough of it and my wife does the driving!”
21 July 2020
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