Started back in 1949 by Jack Reid and his son Ken, Reid’s Transport Ltd has occupied the site on the corner of Pyke and Rangiotu Roads in Rangiotu since its inception. Coming from a farming background, Jack and Ken started in the trucking business as general carriers including stock, hay and metal cartage as well as hay pressing and local farm work. Don, Jack’s second son joined the business about ten years later and left to pursue farming in the early 1970’s.
Back in those days, you could not apply for a new transport licence so the Reids bought out Arthur Sawyer & Co. This gave them three transport licences as well as a Rio and an International truck. They also used a 1942 Chev truck, which is still in the shed today. In the early 1960’s they started Farmers Transport in Shannon in conjunction with Mel Everley and Dave Locke, primarily carting all the stock.
As young boys, John and Ray, Ken’s sons, used to cut hay on their Farmall tractors, spending many a long summer’s day out in the paddocks or going with ‘Pa’ or ‘Dad’ to a job in the trucks. So, it was inevitable that they would join the family business. In 1970, Ray bought into the company when Reid’s purchased Petersen’s Carrying Co. in Foxton.
At that time work was quite diversified, involving road and street construction in Horowhenua, stock-bank protection for the Council as well as hay and fertiliser cartage. When Don left the company, John bought his shares and the business began a new venture line-hauling fresh vegetables and potatoes to Auckland.
Jack was driving trucks until he died at the age of 84 in 1984.
In the late 80’s John left the business and Ken and Ray continued to run it. Line-hauling expanded into cartage of general freight and Sanitarium products up and down the country from Auckland to Christchurch. In this operation there were 18 units with depots in Auckland and Rangiotu and a total staff of up to 28. Ken retired from active management in the early 90’s and passed away in 2016 aged 91.
The line-haul operation was sold to Linfox in 1995 who then moved that part of the business to Palmerston North. Ray tried his hand at retirement for six months and then returned to Rangiotu and continued a bulk-haulage operation which he and his wife Fiona still run today.
A huge part of Reid’s business involved aggregate cartage to New Plymouth and Palm Kernel back to the Manawatu area. However, this part was sold to Bulklines in 2015 along with half the fleet.
Present day business is focussed on cartage of product from their quarry, ZMR Aggregates, taking aggregate products to various ready-mix plants in Wellington and Taranaki, as well as supplying local businesses with their aggregate requirements. They also cart cow-race rock from Ohau, to supply the farming districts with product for their cow races, and boulders from Taihape back down to the local region.
Today the fleet consists of nine Kenworth truck and trailer units serviced by their own workshop and still operating out of their iconic site at Rangiotu.