From horses to Horsepower.
The Company of DT King and Co has been operating in the Western Southland area since 1938. Originating in Pukemaori, a small township inland from the coastal town of Tuatapere, the company has grown to include numerous bases around the deep South.
The first loads this carrier delivered were by horse and cart, and sometimes bullock and cart. As load demand grew, trucks were purchased and the carrying company was established.
Coal, flax and general goods starting off as the mainstay for the young company, however its entrepreneurial owner had bigger things in mind. He had already established a general store, installed petrol pumps and was soon carting live stock as his son in law, Algie Rayner, built some stock pens for his trucks. Also with buildings being in short supply in the fast growing Southern regions, unused sheds, houses and halls found themselves on the back of a DT King lorry.
The early fleet was a collection of British Bedford’s, Internationals, GMC’s, Commer’s and Fords also featured. In the later years Nissan Diesel and Mercedes now make up the fleet.
A family legacy
Growing a successful business was not Dave Kings only priority, he wanted to firmly establish the business into local ownership, so whilst he included his own children in the shareholding, he also sold shares to key staff ensuring they were included in the success of DT King and Co.
His vision has worked well as his family are still involved today with his great grandchildren working in the company and the children and grandchildren of the initial shareholders also still involved in the company.
Come forward to today and stock cartage, gravel, bulk fertiliser sowing and logging have now become the mainstay for this busy country trucking firm. An interest in forestry and ownership in a South Island truck franchise means that Dave King’s entrepreneurial vision is still alive and well.