History - Transport through time

By: Jenny Schollum

Schedewy’s Transport began with Martin Schedewy, who emigrated to New Zealand with his parents as a two-year-old. The Schedewys settled on land in Puhoi. Martin and his wife, Lena, took over the farm when Martin’s father retired. Martin was also the manager of logging and the rafting of logs on Puhoi River. This would have involved work with bullocks and wagon. When logs were washed out to sea in a flood, Martin had to take a boat and retrieve them. Martin and Lena’s sons were Joe and Bill. They worked with their parents on the farm. After their parents died, the land was divided between them. They entered a number of horse riding and sheepdog competitions in the Waitemata (Waiwera) and Rodney (Warkworth) A&P Shows from 1916 to 1929. Their riding skills would have been useful in driving the stock to the venues.

Martin Schedewy transported logs using bullocks and wagon.

Bill did some work on the boats that brought freight from Auckland to Puhoi before starting his carting business in 1920. He first worked with horses and wagon, picking up cream cans from Pukapuka and Puhoi farmers and delivering them to Ahuroa Railway Station, to be taken by train to Helensville.

When a truck took over this run, it often got stuck on the muddy, deeply rutted tracks. The drivers relied heavily on the timber jack. When the truck’s narrow, rear tyres lost traction, the driver would put it in low gear, wind on the hand throttle and get out to place the timber jack against the rear of the tray and wind it forward. Hopefully, the tyres would find enough bite to get underway again.

Bill’s first truck was a Chev which carried about 1½ tons, then a 1920s Reo, Rugby and a Dodge. In 1928, Bill took on permanent drivers for these trucks and began carrying general freight to Auckland. Throughout the 1930s, in addition to his general carting business, Bill carried the Puhoi Rugby team to its matches in Port Albert, Wellsford, Warkworth and Kaipara Flats. He built an iron frame to support a canopy over the deck of the truck and provided bench seating. They always stopped at Tony’s Fish Shop in Warkworth on the way home.

In 1936, Bill bought a brand new Reo for £760, followed by a Dodge Artic. The Reo has done over a million miles and is still in working condition and in the care of the family. During the war years, the Army commandeered the Reo but because the cream run was considered essential, the truck retained its civilian colours for the cream run in the morning before the Army had the truck in the afternoon. Travel was restricted to save fuel. Schedewy’s had a special permit to travel from Warkworth to Auckland three times a week.

In 1947, Bill became ill. His son Kelvin left college to help out and never went back. Bill’s other son, Ian, joined them some years later. The company ran 14 trucks at its peak in the mid-1980s. Their slogan was the familiar, “You call, we haul”.

Jenny Schollum, Puhoi Historical Society


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