NRC Member Profile

Baillie Transport, making the most of NRC membership

John and Janet Baillie have made the most of their National Road Carriers membership to help develop their business.

John started out in the road transport industry 32 years ago as a wage driver with a general carrier in Wellington then with deregulation moved onto linehaul work. He became an owner driver in 2006 and recalls his uncle who once owned a large transport business telling him that one of the first things he needed to do was join an association.

Baillie Transport Ltd joined NRC while contracting to Waste Management in Auckland carting 30m rubbish compactors from transfer station to landfill with a truck and trailer combination.

With that five-year contract completed they then took on a contract with Foodstuffs North Island where they currently run three semi-trailer combinations carrying chilled and frozen foodstuffs along with produce out of the Foodstuffs North Island Distribution Centre in South Auckland. They employ three drivers and John is still out on the road covering his pm shift along with all the annual leave, sick days and rostered days off

It was during this period that the NRC membership really proved its worth. Initially when they joined, the Baillie’s made the most of the discounted fuel and other reduced business costs that they could access through NRC but as John points out, association membership is a lot more than just using the fuel deal.

The main payoff came when they had the opportunity to expand and needed good sound advice on issues he and his wife had not dealt with before. “As soon as we put the second truck on we became an employer and the whole business dynamic changed,” said John.

“Employing staff was all new to us but NRC’s advice and assistance through that period was a great help especially during all the changes to the Health and Safety laws.”

John and Janet used NRCs access to legal, financial and business management resources to assist them through the growth period their business was experiencing.

The same situation applied when they put a third unit on the road and they utilised their membership benefits to the max. John and Janet certainly recognise the value in belonging to NRC and all the work that goes on behind the scenes on behalf of its members whether they are an owner driver with one vehicle or a company running a large fleet.

“Road transport is constantly evolving and it’s hard to keep up with all the changes” said John, who firmly believes that the association needs to be supported by its members and that NRC ticks all the boxes.

Wanting to become more involved in the association, John started attending the various sector committee meetings to better understand the workings of the association with a view to standing for the NRC board.

He stood for election in 2014 but was unsuccessful. He was co-opted onto the board in 2016 to allow him to see first-hand the workings of the board and to be mentored with the option of standing in the future. John was nominated for the 2017 board and has just been elected at the annual general meeting.

John’s time spent on the board during 2016 has made him appreciate all the behind the scenes work that goes on which NRC carries out on behalf of its members.

The major positive is all the lobbying and advocating the organisation does on behalf of its members, sorting out silly rules and regulations before they get introduced.

‘It deals with councils on local roading issues,” said John. “And it is talking to all the regulatory bodies and government departments either directly or through the Road Transport Forum”.

The NRC is regularly consulted by local, regional and central government on infrastructure issues and the introduction of new regulations, so they can be managed for the benefit of transport operators and the public.

It is a rationale that David Aitken, the Chief Executive Officer of the NRC endorses. “Helping members with discounts on fuel, phones, insurances and tyres is pretty straight forward.”

“It’s the help we can provide with Contract Advice, Employment Relations Advice, Health and Safety advice, Work Relations/ Environmental Advice, First Tier Finance packages, Legal Issues and Telemetry Solutions that can really make a difference for members,” said Mr Aitken.

He said the advocacy and lobbying work was the cornerstone of the NRC’s activity.

“It’s constantly on-going, but what we achieve makes it easier for all our members to carry out their businesses.”