Hokonui Rural Transport Ltd
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BOLD... and a winner - 1st Aug 2017

ONE OF THE PRIMARY FUNCTIONS OF A TRUCKING fleet’s colour scheme is to highlight the company’s brand, and this is what the winner of the 2016/2017
PPG Transport Imaging Awards achieves in style. On the road,
the trucks of Southland’s Hokonui Rural Transport are hard
to mistake. Even from the front, where many colour schemes
can be anonymous, the yellow ‘HRT’ and its bold under-flash
make for instant recognition.
And from the side there’s no confusion at all, courtesy not
only of the company logo repeated large on crate or body
sides but also the ribbon-like yellow stripes that adorn the
cabs. In contrast to the aerodynamic swoop of most side
stripes, these are bold, geometric...and impossible to mistake.
Tis characteristic gained across-the-board approval from
the Awards voting panel, comprising PPG NZ’s general
manager Dave White and the company’s commercial vehicle
manager Mark Brearley, the Road Transport Forum’s Mark
Ngatuere, Allied Publications managing director Trevor
Woolston and NZ Truck & Driver magazine editor Wayne
As Mark Brearley put it in his judge’s comments: “Te bold
yellow lines and logo make for a very clean looking scheme.

I believe the new look HRT has the right blend of an old
school look and a modern twist. Te yellow stripe really
makes it stand out.”  
His thoughts were echoed by Trevor Woolston: “It’s bright
and stands out well,” he commented.
Dave White was impressed by the design’s white, yellow
and sea green primary colours: “It’s a nice combination, and
offers up a good looking livery.”
For Wayne Munro, the fundamentals of the HRT scheme
lie in its visual strength: “It’s not the most beautiful livery,
but certainly one of the most striking, with bold branding to
the front and sides.”
Te HRT scheme emerged a winner from the strong
feld of monthly fnalists that have been featured over the
past year, heading off Rorisons RMD and Switzers Valley
Transport, who tied on the voting tally.
HRT’s manager, Adam Waghorn, credits Cliff
McDermott from Invercargill’s McDermott Signs with a
lot of the inspiration for the current design, the result of an
extensive makeover in 2013. Te company was formed in
2001 when the rural part of Hokonui Haulage was split off,
to become a member of the HWR Group, with Hokonui
Haulage continuing as an independent entity. At the time
HRT dropped the yellow chassis colour that’s still a Hokonui
Haulage trademark, but retained the three main colours

with white above and below a broad central blue-green band,
and narrower yellow keylines. ‘Hokonui Rural’ replaced the
‘Hokonui’ across the front, in very similar lettering.
Te 2013 redesign dropped the front Hokonui Rural
name, leaving only the logo above, and made the yellow side
stripes much more prominent, with sharply defned central
flashes, plus a vertical arc at the back of the cabs encasing
more of the green. Suddenly, the fleet had a unique and very
distinctive identity.
However, the boldness and comparative complexity of the
design carries its challenges, admits Adam Waghorn: “With
each different truck model it needs quite a bit of work to
get just right. With the Space Cab DAF CF85s we put on
recently we were worried there might be too much green...
but in the end I think we got it right.”
Te process with each new model is a collabarative one
with Cliff McDermott, he explains: “I do some doodling,
Cliff comes up with a basic design, and we put the ideas
together. Ten he marks it all out on tape on the truck, and
we go down and have a look and a discussion. We fnd that
hands-on approach gives you a really good idea of how it
will look.”  
Bold doesn’t mean the details are overlooked, either. Te
trucks all carry discreet scrollwork and pinstriping, in the
same grey colour used on the chassis.
For all the cleverness and impact of the colour scheme’s
design, Adam reckons it would be wasted if the trucks
weren’t kept clean: “It’s a credit to our staff. Tey take pride
in keeping the trucks looking good. Tat’s not easy with stock
work, but they put in a real effort, and it shows.”
HRT’s success in this year’s Awards has many echoes of
last year’s winner, Ryal Bush Transport. Both are Southland
frms, both owned in partnership with the HWR Group...
and both fleets use McDermott Signs for their signwriting
and the neighbouring Bob Christie Ltd for their painting.
Proof of the adaptability of the HRT scheme can be
seen in its successful application not only on three different
highway cabover models currently in the fleet – Freightliner
Argosy, DAF CF and Kenworth K200 – but also the
company’s Mercedes-Benz Axor sowers. With the sowers’
limited cab side space the stripes could have tipped the looks
into caricature, but they work well.
And given the range of brands already within the fleet,
Adam’s not ruling out having to go through the finetuning process again sometime soon if the
next new truck is from another brand
yet again. 
Courtesy of Truck and Driver

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  • Gore 9710
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