“Aitken’s” began in 1940 when Russell commenced working part-time for P.A. (Perce) Griffiths and then full-time from 1941. Following Perce Griffiths death in 1948, Russell managed the business for the Griffiths Estate until he and his brother Errol took over in 1952 and began trading as Aitken Brothers Ltd, dealing with livestock and general cartage, servicing mainly the Eastern Taranaki area.
Russell’s three sons, Rod, Barry, and Chum, also became involved in the business. Chum commenced his driving career in 1966 and became a shareholder in 1972. Following Russell’s retirement in 1976, Rod and Chum continued to run the business a partnership until 1989 when Chum decided a change in direction was needed and he moved on.
From 1989 Rod operated the business on his own, trading as Aitken Transport Ltd. The fleet consisted of seven trucks, three of which belong to Aitken Transport Ltd and the remaining four belong to owner-drivers.
Peter Bonner joined the staff of Aitken Bros Ltd in 1972 and became an owner-driver in 1980. Ron Wheeler joined as an owner-driver in 1986. In November 1994 Peter Bonner and Ron Wheeler purchased the company from Rod Aitken, changing the trading name to Aitken Transport (1994) Limited.
The presentation of Aitken Transport Limited trucks has always been important to the company, with the distinctive red as a stand out colour for the many “outback” roads that are often travelled and the yellow pin striping breaking the red. A clean appearance both inside and out is essential and they are washed out at least once every day.
In April 2017, Aitken Transport again changed hands, and has added a couple of bulk trucks to the fleet in order to provide further services to our customers, in addition to livestock.