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CONTENTS Issue 207 – November 2017 2


50 Fleet Focus

The latest in the world of transport, including….Kiwi driver wins global Volvo fuel challenge; European Commission truckmaker cartel fines rise to $NZ6billion; GM and Toyota develop fuel cell electric trucks

22 Goodyear Big Test It’s the truck that lifts MAN up and into the bigger-is-better league – the German make’s first entry into the 600 horsepowerplus market in New Zealand. So, question is….is it really better? We spend time with NZ’s first 640hp MAN TGX, its owner and driver to find out

41 Transport Forum Latest news from the Road Transport Forum NZ, including…..operators are right to stand down obese drivers, RTF CEO Ken Shirley believes; the popularity of the highly-successful Rollover Prevention Safer Journeys Programme continues to grow; NZ’s disjointed port network is ripe for a through reorganisation, says Ken Shirley



Trevor Woolston 027 492 5600 Trevor Woolston 027 492 5600 Hayden Woolston 027 448 8768


Wayne Munro 021 955 099

Editorial office Phone

PO Box 48 074 AUCKLAND 09 826 0494

Associate Editor

Brian Cowan


86 Out of America

The trucking members of South Taranaki’s Mack family have, it seems, always been ones for spotting a good opportunity in business and seizing it. The kind of thing like current owner Chris Mack not only carting hay…but also setting up in business storing it. And selling it. Just like his Dad Peter did with logs. And then there’s the secondhand trucks Chris is always buying….and doing up… and selling. We meet these Okaiawa opportunists

FEATURES 71 Five good men

North American correspondent Steve Sturgess attends the first North American Commercial Vehicle Show…..where the emphasis is heavily on fuel saving

95 Pioneering cadet driver programme A new driver training programme has been launched in Otago, with two companies involved in fast-tracking 40-something cadet driver Alan Bagley towards his Class 5 licence

80/ PPG Transport Imaging 81 Awards Recognising NZ’s best-looking truck fleets….including a giant pullout poster of this month’s finalist

The NZ Road Transport Hall of Fame awards see five more industry figures inducted

81 To the rescue

98 TRT Recently Registered

Fire and rescue personnel from NZ, Australia and Hong Kong recently attended the 2017 Australasian Rescue Challenge in Hamilton

Gerald Shacklock Dean Evans Steve Sturgess Keith McGuire Robin Yates

ART DEPARTMENT Design & Production Luca Bempensante Zarko Mihic EQUIPMENT GUIDE AUCKLAND, NORTHLAND, BOP, WAIKATO, CENTRAL NORTH ISLAND Advertising Don Leith 027 233 0090 AUCKLAND, LOWER NORTH ISLAND, SOUTH ISLAND Advertising Matt Moir 027 491 1110

New truck and trailer registrations for September

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NZ Truck & Driver Magazine

Net circulation – ended 31/03/2017


Truck & Driver | 1


Temuka truckie global

champion Johnny Baxter – world-beater

TEMUK A TR ANSPORT TRUCKIE JOHNNY BAXTER WAS chuffed enough when boss Garry (Gutsy) Aitken pushed him to enter the Volvo Trucks New Zealand Fuelwatch Challenge. Says the Dunedin-born 27-year-old: “I thought ‘righto a trip to Feilding for the weekend....see what happens.’…and yeah. I thought if I make the finals that’ll be a pretty good achievement for a young fella. “But umm, well there weren’t really any expectations put on me by myself. And, I mean, Gutsy didn’t put any pressure on me. He just sort of sent me there as a bit of a learning curve.” When Baxter was announced the winner of the NZ contest, he reckons: “I thought ooh…strange. This is interesting. And so she all unfolded.” By that he means he was off to the Fuelwatch global finals in Gothenburg, Sweden….where he became the first Kiwi and one of the youngest drivers ever to win it outright! Volvo says the Challenge is “a testament to the fact that skilled driving can have a direct impact on safety, fuel consumption, profitability and carbon footprint. “The results are a showcase for the opportunities driver development opens up for change and progress for drivers, haulage operators and society as a whole.” Baxter didn’t just win a competition that 4280 drivers had contested in 13 countries….he blitzed it! In winning the on-road contest against 10 other finalists, driving on an 8.5 kilometre closed-road course, he used 10.1% less fuel than the runnersup! It’s a measure of how good his performance was that the offroad division winner, South Korean Taehun Kim, used 4% less fuel than the runner-up. Baxter’s reaction to the win?: “Yeah, nah – she was pretty good…pretty exciting times actually.” His aim had been simple: “I thought ‘oh well, I’m just gonna go out there and drive the truck pretty much like I do every day.” Which is to say “I let the torque of the truck get me along the road more than the power. Yeah, so you’re not just revving the truck out and burning 2 | Truck & Driver

fuel for no reason. “Volvo has a very low-torquey motor, so you don’t actually need to thrash them or cane them to get them to go anywhere.” With 65,000kms on the clock, his Temuka Transport Volvo FH 540 curtainsider truck and trailer unit “is sitting on 2.3kms per litre over the life of the truck – so that’s not too bad,” considering it’s loaded around 65-70% of the time…often on permits to 54 tonnes. He drives it with the I-Shift in automated mode 99% of the time and makes a point of using the truck’s Eco-Roll freewheeling function at highway speeds, for 10 to 20% of the time. In the contest “there was a wee bit of pressure – of course a few nerves, but I was just trying to suppress them as best I could and not let on. There was a time limit on the test drive, so “you couldn’t exactly muck around, which was good – it replicated real life. Well, you don’t come to work to just sit on 40k all day and fluff about, do you. You’ve got to get the job done.” He shared the podium in Sweden with the sole woman finalist, Australian Kerri Connors, who was third in the onroad contest. Another Aussie, Cameron Simpson, was second in the offroad section. Volvo Trucks Australia VP Mitch Peden says that “yet again, drivers from Down Under are dominating on the world stage! What’s particularly pleasing to me in this year’s competition is the professionalism and skill coming from such young drivers.” Back home in Temuka, Baxter’s bosses and workmates were “over the moon. It was a bit weird actually – I come home and all I wanted to do was just jump in me truck and go back to work, but every person you saw, it was congratulations and shake the hand. It was amazing – don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t want to come home and get put up on a pedestal.” Baxter’s prize is a trip to South Africa as a special guest of the truckmaker at the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Capetown. He credits experienced truckies Stu Mowat, Brendan Blair and Allan Anderson at Fulton Hogan in Dunedin – who he started work with as a “lollipop boy” 10 years ago – for teaching him how to drive. T&D


Cartel fines hit $6bn….damages pending Fines totalling over $NZ6billion have now been imposed on six European truckmakers by the European Commission

SCANIA SAYS IT WILL APPEAL A DECISION BY THE European Commission to fine it €880.5 million ($NZ1.45billion) for participating in a cartel between 1997 and 2011 – fixing truck prices and colluding on how to pass on the cost of new exhaust emissions control technologies. The EU says that Scania engaged in a cartel with five other truck manufacturers – MAN, DAF, Daimler, Iveco and Volvo/Renault – each of whom settled with the EU in July last year, for a record fine that, between them, totalled €2.9bn ($NZ4.78bn). But Scania, part of the VW Group, has denied any wrongdoing – saying it “strongly contests all the findings and allegations made by the European Commission.” It has, it adds, “co-operated fully with the European Commission by providing it with requested information and explanations throughout the entire investigation period.” Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager says that the Scania fine decision “marks the end of our investigation into a very longlasting cartel – 14 years. This cartel affected very substantial numbers of road hauliers in Europe, since Scania and the other truck manufacturers in the cartel produce more than nine out of every 10 medium and heavy trucks sold in Europe. “These trucks account for around three quarters of inland transport of goods in Europe and play a vital role in the European economy. Instead of colluding on pricing, the truck manufacturers should have been competing against each other – also environmental improvements.” The Commission finds that Scania engaged in a cartel relating to coordinating prices at “gross list” level for medium and heavy trucks in the EC, on the timing for the introduction of emission technologies for

medium and heavy trucks (to comply with increasingly strict European emissions standards) and on passing on to customers of the costs for the emissions technologies required. The Commission says that because “Scania chose not to co-operate with the Commission during the investigation” it misses out on fine reductions accorded the other manufacturers. The five other cartel members’ penalties were reduced, based on when they applied for leniency and their level of co-operation with officials during the settlement process. As the whistleblower in the case, VW-owned MAN avoided its entire €1.2bn penalty. Other members of the group had their fines reduced by 1050%: Volvo/Renault paid €676m, Daimler €1bn, Iveco €465m and DAF €753m. In setting the Scania fine, the EC says, it took into account Scania’s sales of heavy trucks in the EC area, the “serious nature of the infringement, the high combined market share of all participating companies, the geographic scope and the duration of the cartel.” The Commission points out that its fines leave the way open for “any person or firm affected by anti-competitive behaviour” that occurred in this case to seek damages in civil actions. The United Kingdom’s Road Haulage Association, which has initiated damages claims from truck buyers around Europe against the manufacturers in the cartel, says there are 600,000 haulers around the Continent, most of them small businesses. It’s seeking €4.38bn ($NZ7.22bn) in compensation from the six truck companies in a case before the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal – in the form of €6743 ($11,111) for each of the nearly 650,000 trucks sold in the UK between 1997 and 2011. T&D Truck & Driver | 3


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Focus on fuel cells TWO MANUFACTURERS BETTER KNOWN FOR CARS and utes have come to the fore in the United States in the development of fuel cell electric trucks – Toyota taking the lead with real-world testing of a Kenworth-based heavy-duty tractor unit with a hydrogen fuel cell. While General Motors has shown off a fuel cell electric truck platform, which is just that – a platform, which it says can be adapted in size and body format….for use as a light or medium-duty truck, a military vehicle, a ute, a mobile emergency backup power generator...or for many other purposes. GM says its Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS) vehicle, which has the capability for operation as an autonomous vehicle, aims to solve some of the toughest transportation challenges, created by natural disasters, complex logistics environments and global conflicts. SURUS, shown for the first time at a meeting of the Association of the US Army, uses the latest version of GM’s Hydrotec fuel cell system, which also powers the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 military utility truck currently being tested by the US Army. The company says it delivers high-performance, zero-emission propulsion – with benefits including reduced human exposure to harm (in combat zones), quiet and odour-free operation, offroad mobility, field configuration, instantaneous high torque, exportable power generation, water generation and fast refuelling. GM says that fuel cell technology is a key component of its zero emission strategy – able to be scaled to large vehicles with heavy payload requirement and long-distance operation. SURUS is designed to form the foundation for a family of commercial vehicles, using the same power system and a common chassis. Unlike the futuristic SURUS, Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell electric truck looks like any other Kenworth T680 tractor unit (Toyota engineers used a

Kenworth glider kit as the host for the development, dubbed Project Portal) – except for the fact that what looks at first glimpse to be a sleeper cab is actually storage for hydrogen tanks. The custombuilt prototype has gone to work as a drayage truck in Southern California, hauling imported Toyota parts from the world’s two busiest ports – Los Angeles and Long Beach – to warehouses and distribution centres up to 160 kilometres away. The drayage trucks pass through densely-populated coastal areas – the I-710 freeway corridor in and out of the ports nicknamed “cancer alley” because of its high exhaust emissions levels. They have resulted in a ban on port expansion. Two electric motors mounted under the cab generate 1796Nm/1325 lb ft of peak torque and the electric equivalent of 499Nm/670 horsepower. Refuelling takes 30 minutes but that can be reduced by chilling the hydrogen. The test is designed to develop operating cost and reliability data to support Toyota’s belief that fuel cell electric trucks are an economically feasible alternative to both standard diesel drayage trucks and battery-electric trucks. “We’re excited to start the world’s first test of a heavy-duty fuel cell truck,” says Andrew Lund, Toyota’s chief engineer on the project. He says that Toyota has been testing the truck under varying load conditions around the ports for several months – and it’s proven capable of taking on hills at up to 36 tonnes all-up. GM says that its SURUS fuel-cell vehicles could be used in autonomous (or partly autonomous) convoys and in military deployments – its low heat signature and quiet operation reducing the likelihood of it being detected. The platform boasts two advanced electric drive units, four-wheel steering, a Lithium-ion battery system, a hydrogen storage system allowing a range of over 650kms, advanced electronics and an advanced “industry-leading” suspension. T&D Top: The Kenworth T680-based Toyota hydrogen fuel cell electric truck is now undergoing real-world testing in California


Left: The GM SURUS is a fuel cell-powered electric truck platform that can be adapted to take a wide range of different sizes. It has the capability to operate autonomously

10:32 AM

Truck & Driver | 5


Pacific Fuel Haul GM Matt Horan (right) receives his award from sponsor Suzuki’s Steve West

Pacific Fuel GM wins safety award A NEW ZEALAND ROAD TRANSPORT OPERATOR HAS been recognised for its safety performance in the third annual Australasian Fleet Safety Awards hosted by international road safety charity, Brake. Pacific Fuel Haul’s general manager Matt Horan won the Road Risk Manager Award – the company also highly commended in the Company Driver Safety Award. Steve West, AM fleet manager for Suzuki, sponsor of the award, congratulated Horan “on his dedication to the role and commitment to addressing road risk and improving fleet safety within his organisation.” Horan says the award is recognition of a team effort “for safety initiatives over the last three years by the whole Pacific Fuel Haul team: “Those initiatives have led to positive safety results in areas like leading the industry reducing speeding incidents, and include the establishment of new vision and values statements, cardinal rules and new performance-measuring systems. “Through our performance conversations within the whole Pacific Fuel Haul team, we’ve created safety development plans, policies and employee engagement initiatives that are having tremendous results around safety.” Andy Stanley, CEO of the company, which has a fleet of over 200 tankers and 400 Dangerous Goods vehicles, has thanked all the company’s managers, supervisers, support people, customers and, “especially….all our driving staff who engaged in, and adopted these initiatives and policies to make NZ a safer place to drive in.” The awards, presented by Brake – the national road safety charity that works to prevent road deaths and injuries and support people bereaved and injured in crashes in NZ and Australia – recognises the achievements of those working to reduce the number of road crashes involving at-work 6 | Truck & Driver

drivers and celebrate best practice in managing road risk. Horan says that as a team leader in a white-water rafting business in his early 20s, he “learnt about safety-first, maintaining a calm presence and knowing what to do in volatile situations.” Now, in his work with Pacific Fuel Haul, he says: “Safety is top of the list – it’s your licence to operate. “Having grown up with a safety-first attitude, it’s a key part of a company’s performance record.” Caroline Perry, Brake’s NZ director, says that the awards celebrate “the great achievements of companies and individuals who are striving to make a real difference in the world of fleet safety. Congratulations to all the award winners and highly commended entrants for their impressive work over the past year: It’s further proof that there is a lot happening in the fleet safety field.” MiX Telematics has gained recognition in the awards for its work in Australia with global logistics giant DHL to help improve customer service and improve fleet safety, winning the Company Driver Safety Award and highly commended in the Fleet Product Safety category. MiX’s Fleet Manager solution allows clients to optimise delivery routes to reduce fuel and maintenance costs, while identifying and correcting unsafe driving habits. Users have access to actionable data plus activity timelines to illustrate utilisation patterns in their fleet to boost efficiency and safety levels. When adding MiX Vision – a fully-integrated camera solution that provides forward and in-cab facing cameras, plus two optional externallypositioned cameras – users are also able to use visual evidence in the event of an incident to facilitate driver coaching, repudiate claims and obtain an accurate inside view of their fleet operations. T&D

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The new wide cab models come with vehicle stability control as standard

Wider, safer Hino SAFETY COMES FIRST WITH THE NEW HINO 500 Series wide cab model, says Hino New Zealand – as it’s making vehicle stability control standard. Hino says that the wide cab model will be the first medium-duty truck in NZ to offer “the potentially lifesaving” system as part of its standard spec. “Safety is one of the top priorities for our customers, and it’s the top priority for us,” says Hino general manager Michael Doeg. He points out that NZ Transport Agency research shows that around a third of heavy vehicle accidents in NZ involve rollovers and adds: “Hino’s new technology works to minimise the likelihood of this by sensing when a loss of traction occurs, and automatically stabilising a vehicle through responsive four-wheel braking to reduce slippage.

“NZ has some very tricky road conditions and errors are easily made,” says Doeg: “Vehicle Stability Control helps ensure that small mistakes don’t become deadly ones – for our drivers and for others on the road.” The VSC becomes part of a package of safety features on the wide cab model, including ABS, anti-slip regulator (ASR), ECE R29-rated cab strength and a driver SRS airbag. Microphone-enabled reversing cameras are an option. The wide cab models are powered by engines ranging from 260-350 horsepower/193-260 kilowatts, using Hino’s recently-developed SCR system, which eliminates any need for an additional EGR system. New engine technology offers increased engine revs and compression ratios and improved cooling. T&D

EGR engines backfire on Navistar NAVISTAR, MANUFACTURER OF International trucks, has been ordered by a United States court to pay $US30.8million in damages over the troublesome Maxxforce EGR engines it sold five to seven years ago. In a case that’s just the first of dozens of lawsuits filed in the US over the engines, a Tennessee jury found that Navistar had committed fraud and violated state law in the process of selling 243 Navistar Prostars with Maxxforce engines to a Tennessee trucking company. The company, Milan Supply Chain Solutions, had told the court that Navistar knew when it launched the Maxxforce that critical engine components had quality problems and a 20%

shortened life-span. These problems were not disclosed to customers like Milan, who purchased the Maxxforce engine between 2010 and 2012. Eventually Navistar switched emissions control technologies from the EGR system on the Maxxforce engines to the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology used by other US truckmakers. But problems with the EGR engine resulted in a reported hundreds of millions of dollars of warranty costs for Navistar – and losses on the resale value of the Maxxforce-engined trucks for customers like Milan. The trucking company presented evidence in court that it had lost over $US35,000 per truck

on trade-in values over the last few years, which became the basis of $8.2m of the jury’s award for compensatory damages. The jury specified that damages awarded to Milan were in the form of $US10.8m in actual damages and $US20m in punitive damages. Milan alleged that Navistar knew that its testing programme had flaws and was incomplete and “put the trucks into customers’ hands knowing that the customers would end up becoming the de facto test fleet” for its 2010 model engine. Former Navistar senior vice-president of North American sales, Jim Hebe, testified that Navistar failed to follow industry standards and never tested the final version of the engine before selling it. T&D Truck & Driver | 9


Volvo says its new LNG models deliver low to no emissions, with no compromise in performance

Volvo, Iveco turn on the gas VOLVO HAS INTRODUCED NEW HEAV Y-DUTY TRUCKS that run on gas, with the same performance, driveability and fuel consumption as diesel-engined models…but with 20-100% lower CO2 emissions The new FH and FM LNG models, which run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) or biogas, will go into production next year, with 420 horsepower/313 kilowatts or 460hp/343kW variants targeting heavy regional and long-haul operations. “With our new trucks running on liquefied natural gas or biogas, we can offer an alternative with low climate impact that also meets high demands on performance, fuel efficiency and operating range,” says Volvo Trucks director environment and innovation Lars Mårtensson. Iveco reckons its pioneering Stralis NP (Natural Power), with a gas engine delivering 400hp and 1700Nm, is the first natural gas truck specifically designed for long-haul operations. It’s also currently the only truck running on CNG or LNG delivering “the power rating, comfort, transmission technology and fuel autonomy to suit long haulage missions,” it says. Volvo says that instead of the usual Otto cycle engine, its gas engines use diesel cycle technology – meaning that an operator choosing gas “can do so without compromising on driveability, fuel efficiency or reliability.” The 460hp gas engine delivers maximum torque of 1696 lb ft/2300Nm, while the 420hp version produces 1548 lb ft/2100Nm – the same as Volvo’s equivalent diesels. Fuel consumption is also on a par with its diesels, but is 1525% lower than for conventional gas engines. The engines use either LNG or biogas (bio-LNG), the latter reducing the climate footprint by up to 100%, whereas with LNG, the reduction is 20%. To maximise the driving range, LNG is stored on the trucks at 4-10 bar pressure and at a temperature of -140 to -125 °C. The biggest fuel tank gives the Volvos a 1000 kilometre range. In operation, the fuel’s warmed up, pressurised and converted into a gas before it’s injected into the engine, where it’s ignited with a tiny amount of diesel added at the moment of injection. To achieve a 100% reduction of CO2 emissions, fossil diesel is replaced with hydrogenated vegetable oils (HVO), combined with bio-LNG. Volvo says it’s working with gas suppliers and customers to expand the LNG 10 | Truck & Driver

refuelling infrastructure in Europe – a development supported by many EU governments. The tractor unit and rigid model options run to 4x2s, 6x2s and 6x4s, with gross vehicle ratings up to 64 tonnes. The G13C gas engines use SCR and a particulate filter to achieve the Euro 6 exhaust emissions standard. Meantime, Iveco has shown off its Stralis NP natural gas production model in a 5500 kilometre demo run through 12 countries, from Spain to Russia – taking part in a rally promoting natural gas as a fuel for the future. En route the rally participants took part in discussions with the gas and trucking industries and various governments on technological and legal aspects of natural gas use in transportation as well as the environmental, economic and social benefits of natural gas. The rally’s arrival in Russia coincided with the St Petersburg International Gas Forum. The Stralis NP has a 400hp Iveco Cursor 9 LNG/CNG engine that Iveco says is “as good as diesel in terms of performance, payload and versatility and guarantees the same or better total cost of ownership.” The NP has a range of up to 1500kms. Iveco says it’s the only manufacturer currently offering a full range of natural gas models, from light commercial vehicles to heavy-duty long-haul trucks. T&D Iveco has Stralis NP gas models already in operation


Gough’s Ho Hogg: An “exciting progression”

COMPETITIVE PRICES TO HELP YOU COMPETE To compete you need to make sure you’re paying what you should be. Throughout our network of fuel and diesel stops we offer competitive prices and our fuel cards offer great value for vehicle fleets. And because we are located in many of the places where the oil giants have left, you’ll find dealing with us to be very convenient.

Gough adds SANY concrete equipment

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THE GOUGH GROUP HAS BECOME THE exclusive New Zealand and Australian dealer for the concrete equipment produced by Chinese-based global giant SANY. The representation has been taken up by a new business unit, Gough Industrial Solutions….which has evolved from Gough Engineering. SANY describes its concrete equipment ranks as the world’s best, with a range of truck-mounted concrete pumps, trailer pumps, line pumps, placing booms, truck mixers, batching plants and mortar pumps. The equipment, says Gough Industrial Solutions, delivers “exceptional quality in performance, ease-of-operation, adaptability, efficiency and reliability in demanding environments throughout the world. “SANY is the world No.1 concrete machinery manufacturer. Currently it has 25 manufacturing bases and over 100 offices and 8000 suppliers worldwide.” In China, it has established six industry parks and it has R&D centres and manufacturing bases in the United States, Germany, India and Brazil. Its products are sold in 150 countries. Gough Industrial Solutions business manager – concrete products, Ho Hogg, says that the creation of the new business unit and the SANY dealership agreement are “an exciting and natural progression for the Gough Group. “It will enable our team to offer leading-edge, 360-degree solutions to the local concrete and infrastructure industries. “Gough Engineering was well-established as leaders in the truck concrete mixer segment with a reputation for superior technology, operator-friendliness, reliability, precision and safety, and this now carries over to Gough Industrial Solutions. “SANY shares these attributes and we’re proud to deliver and support these solutions for the benefit of the NZ industry,” says Hogg. The new Gough division has bases in Christchurch, Auckland and Melbourne, with sales and technical support available nationally and Hogg says that the SANY deal “will deliver exceptional local expertise, global technology and lifetime support and parts backup.” Gough has added two SANY staff to support the product here. Adds Hogg: “For our customers, this new partnership will assist in maximising productivity and profits while eliminating unnecessary cost in their businesses longterm.” T&D

We’re competitive ourselves, so we will always offer competitive prices to make sure we all stay ahead.



The new car transporter in operation – Picture Andrew Geddes

Legless and holey…and clever A PIONEERING NEW KIWI-BUILT double-deck car transporter breaks new ground – as much for what it leaves out, as for the features it includes. As in the absence of posts supporting much of the upper deck….and computer-designed cutouts in the steel structure of the trailer, designed to minimise tare weight. The holey transporter is the work of Dunedin company TL MacLean – commissioned by the transport arm of Southland and South Canterbury car sales operation HVS and its partner Kirk Haulage. A legless upper hydraulic ramp, a remote control run through a smartphone app and 3D computer-designed lightweight technology all feature in the new HVS transporter, which can be configured to take five large cars, utes or SUVs or up to seven smaller cars. TL MacLean managing director Barry

Armour says that the new-design two-axle trailer has “got some features that other car transporters don’t have. The hydraulic lowering bottom deck is pretty normal for a transporter, but the key feature of this is that the top deck doesn’t have any posts, which hydraulically lock in the top deck. “So when the deck’s down, it’s free: There’s nothing sticking up or in the way, so you can put something bigger through there like a truck with duals, because the posts aren’t in the way. The removal of the posts has been a big thing: You don’t hit doors, or mirrors. They’re always a pain and they stress-crack, because the top deck’s leaning on them. And they add weight.” It took almost 18 months to design the transporter and three or four months to build and test it: “The whole thing is done on a very clever computer programme that retains the structural integrity,” says Armour of the cutout design. “The size and location of the holes is all

worked out by TransTech Dynamics (transport engineers). The weight is taken out of the right places, with a virtual stress analysis system, so it doesn’t create a stress point, and it’s relieved of structural issues: It still has strength where it needs it, but you take out every bit of weight you don’t want or need. “We’ve been using this system for quite some time….we have a similar, computer-designed trailer that’s been running for over 10 years – but this one is all new and the biggest we’ve done.” Operation of the upper and lower ramps is controlled by a conventional remote, while a new Knorr-Bremse intelligent trailer access point (iTAP) app for Apple and Android smartphones wirelessly raises or lowers the trailer’s air suspension and reads axle weights. Says Armour: “It’s a bit new for NZ…we’re one of the first to run the new iTAP remote control.” T&D

Trucks & Trailers salesman takes top award MERCEDES-BENZ VAN SALESMAN FOR Auckland dealer Trucks & Trailers Vijay Chhagn has won a trip to Austria – for being the make’s top van salesman for the second consecutive year. His prize was attending the exclusive launch of the new Mercedes-Benz X-Class ute – the first of which are due at the Manukau City dealership next year. Trucks & Trailers has been an M-B van dealer in the North Island for 17 years and says it’s looking forward to adding the new ute to its model range. It’s already taking deposits for the ute – and is planning a state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz van and ute showroom at its Manukau base. T&D 12 | Truck & Driver


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Terms and conditions: The advertised recommended selling price of $64,900 applies to the Fighter FK1025 (H) wheelbase model (4,270mm) and excludes GST and On Road Costs. On Road Costs to be advised upon contacting your dealer. Offer available until 31 December 2017, or while stocks last, from participating dealers only. For full terms and conditions or to find out more, talk to your dealer. †Finance offer available to approved business customers only and not available in conjunction with any other offer. Only available on the Fuso trucks displayed in this advertisement. Daily payments are calculated by 12x monthly instalment/365 days. Payments are to be made monthly. Max term available is 60 months. Standard Fuso Financial fees, credit assessment and lending criteria apply. Vehicles must be registered and settled by 31 December 2017 to qualify. ‡Nominal payload.



NEWS VW Group make Scania is already running an operational trial using electrified trucks that can run on power from overhead lines on a 2km stretch of Swedish motorway....and on diesel or battery power elsewhere

VW switches on VW SAYS IT WILL SPEND $1.4BILLION EUROS ON electric trucks and buses and other new technology. Andreas Renschler, head of Volkswagen Truck & Bus, says autonomous systems and cloud-based software will also be part of the programme, which will see a medium-duty Navistar electric truck launched in North America in 2019 and the VW e-Delivery electric truck begin production in Brazil in 2020. The VW Group’s MAN and Scania makes will also begin production of electric buses next year – adding to their hybrid, natural gas and bio-diesel models already offered. “We believe in a wide range of alternative powertrains and fuels, depending on local availability, social and local demand and customer requirements,” says Renschler. That makes it crucial, he adds, that policymakers “adopt a technologyneutral approach” in regulations for the new-era commercial vehicles. He says that electric trucks for metro deliveries will probably exceed a 5% market share by 2025 – with better battery technology the key to making electric trucks more attractive by lowering operation costs, says Renschler. The

issues to be solved with batteries are their high cost, recharging challenges and the fact they are “heavy and room-stealing,” thus reducing payload capacity. “With city buses, we are just hitting the break-even point compared to conventional solutions,” says Renschler, and adds: “Electric distribution trucks are expected to turn positive in 2020-2025.” Electric long-haul heavy trucks will be “late” in turning a profit for their owners. On autonomously-operating trucks, Renschler says that VW Truck & Bus’ approach is focused on closed environments, such as transport shuttles on set routes at factories, snow-plows at airports and the like – and it will be ready to begin commercial production of such models within two years. An autonomous Scania mining truck present at the VW commercial vehicles boss’ media conference “is ready to be shipped to the first customer overseas after this event,” he says: “This truck is not a vision. It’s real stuff – here and now.” Renschler says that in its aim of becoming a global truckmaking powerhouse, VW is keeping all options open – including a possible share sale, upping its 25% stake in China’s Sinotruk held by MAN, and widening cooperation with GAZ in Russia and Navistar in the US. T&D

Decongestants needed for traffic ills

David Aitken 14 | Truck & Driver

SMART THINKING IS NEEDED TO SCORE “some quick wins” in the effort to reduce Auckland’s traffic congestion and its billion-dollar annual lost productivity cost to the New Zealand economy. That’s the belief of National Road Carriers CEO David Aitken, who says the problem can’t wait for the positive longterm solutions that are in the pipeline – the city’s main arterial freight routes need to be decongested now, for the benefit of all road users. “Using existing roads better is the key to a quick fix and a solution for all road users,” Aitken believes, adding that the situation needs “some new ideas.” Major infrastructure projects like the East West Link are still required, he says, along with public transport improvements to get single-occupant vehicles off the roads. The organisation’s focus is on interim

improvements on main arterial roads between industrial and commercial areas throughout the city and those roads servicing the port, inland ports and container parks. Aitken has already suggested no-parking zones on such routes and giving trucks access to bus lanes. He says dedicated freight lanes on key routes could also be part of the mix: “Now there are only freight and T2 lanes on several of the motorway onramps. And at times they get jammed up with single-occupant vehicles.” Examples of freight routes needing decongestion, he says, include Great South Rd, Onewa Rd, Ti Rakau Drive, Puhinui Rd, Saleyards Rd, Church St, the eastern end of Remuera Rd to Greenlane Rd East and St Johns Rd. Some reports suggested Dominion Rd was a no-parking target, but Aitken insists it’s not – it doesn’t rate as a major freight route. He says there’s evidence already that such decongestion does work: Since no-parking and clearway zones were extended and an overbridge removed on Neilson St, Onehunga, the traffic flow is 15% faster, despite the traffic volume increasing 8.5% (in the seven months from August last year). T&D


A prototype of Deutsche Post’s autonomous e-minivans is shown off at the announcement of the 2018 test programme

Self-driving e-minivans for trials THE R ACE TOWARDS RUNNING FULLY AUTONOMOUS commercial vehicles has picked up pace, with automotive component supplier ZF and the Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL) announcing that they’ll deploy a test fleet of them next year. Revealing their plan in Germany, they showed off a prototype – one of DHL’s StreetScooter e-minivans, equipped with six cameras, a radar system and a LIDAR (light detection and ranging) 3D laser camera. ZF says that DHL, one of the world’s largest mail delivery and logistics companies, will equip a fleet of the small vans using its ProAl artificial intelligence brain and surround sensor technology – for transportation and delivery, including last-mile applications. DHL has 3400 StreetScooters currently in operation. Deutsche Post now owns the company that designs and builds them and its autonomous test announcement coincided with news that it’s building a new factory to double its electric minivan production capacity. The self-driving system is made possible by new, powerful computer chips made by Silicon Valley graphics chipmaker NVIDIA. It says that the third generation of its Drive PX automotive chips, code-named Pegasus, are the size of car number plates….with data centre-level processing power. They can handle 320 trillion operations per second – roughly a 13-fold increase over the calculating power of its current PX 2 chips. They are, says NVIDIA, the first computer chips with the processing power for truck and car manufacturers to “begin developing truly autonomous vehicles.” The sensors on the e-minivans will feed critical information on a vehicle’s environment into the ProAI system, which then analyses the data to plan a safe path forward for the vehicle...or even have it park itself. In preparation for next year’s autonomous van deployment, DPDHL

has already equipped its central data centre with the NVDIA DGX-1 AI supercomputer, which will run deep-learning models on the trucks’ NVIDIA Drive PX platform. “Research and development of ecological, economical and efficient transportation will bring dramatic changes to the logistics industry,” says Jurgen Gerdes, member of Deutsche Post’s board of management: “Partnering with NVIDIA and ZF will enable us to responsibly support this development, benefit from it and to reinforce our position as the industry’s innovation leader.” ZF CEO Stefan Sommer says that its ProAI “is the brain between our autonomous driving sensor, set to detect and understand the environment, and our motion control based on outstanding mechanical competence – the entire system follows our ‘see – think – act’ approach.” NVIDIA automotive director Danny Shapiro says that it already has 25 customers working on autonomous vehicles using Pegasus chips – focusing on robotaxis for dedicated routes, logistics vehicles on private roads within freight centres or for long-haul trucking in dedicated lanes: “They are not replacing the drivers, but making the drivers more efficient and safer”. NVIDIA says it has 225 customers working on projects using its current generation Drive PX2, including car and truck makers, Tier 1 auto suppliers, high-definition mapping companies, startups and research institutions. Deutsche Post says its new StreetScooter plant will be capable of producing 10,000 e-minivans a year. A high-performance version of its current model will have a range of 200 kilometres (up from 80kms) and a top speed of 120km/h (currently 85k). It’s testing StreetScooters with fuelcell drives with a range of over 500kms, and developing a new 3.5 tonne bakery van version. T&D Truck & Driver | 15


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NEWS The standard Discovery automatic hauled the Kenworth and its seven-trailer roadtrain for 16kms on a closed highway

Land Rover

roadtrain! A UNIQUE SEVEN-TR AILER ROADTR AIN HAS TAKEN to the highway in Australia….behind a Land Rover Discovery! The four-wheel-drive Disco Td6, with a three-litre diesel engine delivering 258 horsepower/189 kilowatts and 600Nm/442 lb ft of peak torque, shrugged off its 3.5-tonne towing rating….and hauled the 110-tonne, 100-metre-long roadtrain for 16 kilometres. Land Rover carried out the impressive publicity stunt on a closed stretch of Northern Territory highway, to help launch its 2018 model Discovery – continuing a tradition of taking on extreme towing challenges to show off the four-wheel-drive SUV’s abilities. With Alice Springs roadtrain operator John Bilato at the wheel of the Land Rover, the Disco – equipped with a standard eight-speed automatic – hooked up to the monster roadtrain’s Kenworth prime-mover, using a factory-fitted towbar attachment… And eased away, gaining a modest speed and pulling the roadtrain along the Lasseter Highway. Bilato, co-owner of G&S Transport (which was featured in the November 2010 issue of New Zealand Truck & Driver) says that “when Land Rover first got in touch, I didn’t think the vehicle would be able to do it – so I was amazed by how easily the standard Discovery pulled a 110t roadtrain. “And the smoothness of the gearchanges under that amount of load was genuinely impressive. These roadtrains are the most efficient form of road haulage on the planet and using the Discovery made this the most economical of all! “No-one doubted the horsepower, with the reduction you can get in the low range. The traction to the ground was the one thing that everybody doubted it’d be able to do.” Quentin Spottiswoode, Land Rover product engineer, says that towing capability “has always been an important part of Discovery DNA and the raw weight of the roadtrain tells only half the story here.

“Pulling a rig and seven trailers, with the rolling resistance of so many axles to overcome, is a huge achievement. We expected the vehicle to do well but it passed this test with flying colours, hitting 44km/h along its 16km route.” At Land Rover’s request, 10t of ballast was even added to the trailers in order to achieve the 110t target weight. The huge combination – almost double the regulated 53.5m maximum – was allowed only under special government permission…and on a closed road. The manned 12t tractor unit was retained to brake the roadtrain when required. When the original Disco was launched, in 1989, a Discovery 1 was used to pull a train. Last year, Land Rover continued the tradition by having a Discovery Sport premium compact SUV tow a trio of rail carriages 26m above the Rhine River. Land Rover reckons that the Td6, with its 600Nm of torque, has “improved responses, refinement and efficiency” courtesy of a single turbo, low-pressure exhaust recirculation and a two-stage oil pump – making it “well suited to pulling heavy loads.” They didn’t help on this occasion, but the new Disco’s features include what it reckons is “market-leading towing tech” in the form of its Advanced Tow Assist, which aims to “take the stress out of reversing by providing responsive trajectory lines on the rear camera feed to the central touchscreen. This allows the driver to steer the vehicle using the rotary Terrain Response 2 controller on the centre console, while the system calculates the steering inputs required to achieve the desired outcome.” The driver can also test trailer lights without outside assistance, lower or raise the rear of the vehicle to make hitching a trailer simple and check on the weight on the towbar to avoid overloading. A hitch assistance system guides the driver to the trailer hitch point by displaying trajectory lines on the touchscreen and a trailer stability assistance system detects trailer sway and cuts the Land Rover’s speed to allow the driver to regain control. T&D

Truck & Driver | 17


Port wrong to hit truckies with extra charges TRANSPORT OPERATORS DELIVERING OR PICKING up freight at the Port of Napier are wrongly being hit with new charges to cover its increased insurance costs, National Road Carriers says. The charges, says NRC CEO David Aitken, should either be absorbed by the port, or passed on to its customers – the shipping companies. “The road freight transport industry is not a customer of the port,” says Aitken. It is simply a service provider. “Our members are simply delivering or collecting containers and other freight on behalf of importers, exporters and the shipping companies.” Aitken acknowledges that the Port of Napier and other ports around the country are facing increased insurance premiums in the wake of the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes and the cost of repairing the damage to the ports at Lyttelton and Wellington.

The Port of Napier, he says, is charging $8.95 for every 20-foot container that enters or leaves the port area, or 50 cents for every tonne of bulk freight. That amounts to a considerable imposition, given that “some of our members who work the port regularly will have trucks there hundreds, if not thousands of times a year.” Aitken says that the port has claimed that the global shipping climate means shipping companies are under extreme distress and have no ability to pay, but he likens the charge to supermarkets suddenly charging trucks to deliver freight if the supermarket’s internal costs increase: “The Port of Napier should be charging its customers – not our members.” And he adds: “The Port has picked on small local trucking companies as the line of least resistance. The local road freight transport industry is extremely competitive, with very low margins.” T&D

EROAD wins project award ELECTRONIC ROAD-CHARGING, compliance, driver behaviour and vehicle management specialist EROAD has been honoured by the Project Management Institute of New Zealand at its annual awards. It took the Project of the Year award for the development of its electronic logging device (ELD) to help customers in the United States’ trucking industry meet new regulatory requirements for recording drivers’ hours of service electronically – a move designed to improve road safety. Earlier this year, EROAD became the first provider to deliver an ELD that was independently

verified as compliant with US Federal requirements. EROAD chief executive Steven Newman says that the company is delighted to have won the award, not least because of the high calibre of the competition: “Our ELD was delivered on time and within budget and was by far our biggest and most complex research and development project so far undertaken by EROAD. “It’s a credit to the whole team, and complements the very positive response we’ve had from customers for this service.” The ELD uses EROAD’s Ehubo2 in-vehicle device, and was developed to meet US regulations that

require 4.3 million North American drivers to record their logbook records electronically using an ELD. Newman says the project took around 10 months and involved more than 100 team members in Auckland and in the US – and not only was it the first to market with an independently verified, comprehensive invehicle tax and ELD platform, it also delivered “a market-leading product in terms of quality. “It’s one thing to develop quickly, but a real achievement to do so at the very highest quality – that’s something we’re very proud of,” Newman adds. T&D


EROAD project manager Cherie Murray with PMINZ president James Dobson (left) and Bruce Aylward, CEO of award sponsor Psoda

18 | Truck & Driver


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New key exec for Iveco IV ECO TRUCKS NEW ZEALAND has made two new exec appointments – and says there will be more coming soon. As part of its “continued growth,” the company has appointed Robert Woods as its new truck sales manager. Woods was a dealer principal in South Africa and was involved with Iveco general manager Ian Walker in the used truck business in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Walker says: “Rob has all of the skills available to ensure our growth continues

in NZ, while at the same time challenging our processes to ensure we deliver fantastic service.” Richard Field has also been appointed as the Daily van and bus sales consultant for Iveco in the South Island, based at the new NZ Trucks truck and van workshop in Christchurch. Walker says that Iveco “continues to seek quality talent” and expects to further expand its personnel “as the new year clicks over. Watch this space.” T&D

Rob Woods

Isuzu celebrates…with presents ISUZU TRUCKS IS CELEBR ATING ITS 17TH STR AIGHT year of New Zealand market leadership – with a present for customers. A new promotion is offering everyone who buys an N Series, F Series or Giga truck before the end of the year, the chance to win places on an exclusive customer tour to Japan, the home of Isuzu. “Isuzu Trucks have been helping Kiwis change the way they do business,” says general manager Colin Muir – that accomplishment

recognised by its No. 1 status in the overall new truck market since 2001.” Three winners will each get to take a travelling companion to Japan for a VIP guests’ visit to the Fujisawa Isuzu factory, plus exposure to iconic tastes of Japanese culture – including a sumo wrestling tournament, a samurai experience and a ride on the Shinkansen bullet train. T&D





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20 | Truck & Driver



CDL clocks 50 CDL founder Wayne Butler (left), with Peterson CEO and president Don Armacost Jr TRUCKING INDUSTRY LIGHTING supplier CDL Autoparts has notched-up 50 years in business – the last 17 of them as the New Zealand distributor of American-made Peterson LED lights. MD and principal shareholder Wayne Butler, who founded the company in a small Newmarket workshop in 1967, expanded from carburettor and electronic fuel injection into transport industry lighting in 2000.

ALD0515 NZ Truck Driver 147x210 FA.indd 1

Recognising the potential in the heavy transport industry, Butler attended a United States trade show – “and did a deal on the spot to distribute Peterson LED lights in NZ. And we’ve been with them ever since.” Back then, Peterson’s local brand exposure was limited, but over the years it has become CDL’s fastest-moving product line, says Butler – and it’s now the core of the company’s day-to-day business.

“Peterson’s the most copied light in the world,” Butler reckons. Its range takes in truck lighting and bulbs, heavy duty LED lighting, LumenX and Piranha LED lights. Peterson president and CEO Don Armacost Jr has visited NZ many times to support CDL, and promote Peterson LED lights, meeting many CDL customers and supporting Butler at the Transport & Heavy Equipment (THE) Expo. “We’re always trying to continually improve the quality of our service, for the benefit of both customer and company,” says Butler. Consistency of staffing, he says, has been one of the most valuable resources for CDL – citing employees as key reasons for the company’s growth, “as their extensive industry knowledge allows them to know about and talk the same language as the customers.” Several have been with the company for over 10 years – and two have been there over two decades, “leading to an immense accumulation of product knowledge, and customer relations. “This is particularly vital when it comes to some of the Asian imports,” says Butler: “There are often no catalogues available in NZ for imported vehicles, so CDL relies more on accumulated industry knowledge and experience. That’s the advantage of having industry experts, rather than just salespeople.” T&D

22/12/16 2:53 PM


0800 4 CARTERS 22 | Truck & Driver

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MAN Story Dean Evans

Photos Gerald Shacklock

Lightly loaded, the high-tech, high-power MAN eats the central North Island hills

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0800 4 227 8377 Truck & Driver | 23

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4/10/17 9:36 PM

Pulling out of Palmerston North, bound for Auckland – as it does every 48 hours


IGGER IS BETTER. IT’S AN ADAGE THAT’S often countered in this downsized, fueleconomy-conscious, more efficient age. But MAN, with its new TGX flagship, is reinforcing the old saying – with a big new addition to its engine lineup. Feedback from the owners of New Zealand’s first MAN TGX powered by the German truckmaker’s 640-horsepower/471 kilowatt D3876 Euro 6c engine supports the belief that big is good. Freight Lines contractor Jaz Singh should be in a good position to know, given that his Palmerston North-based Diwan Transport already had two MAN 540s and a 615 horsepower Cummins-engined Kenworth K200 before he and close friend Vickram (Vick) Singh together bought this new king in the MAN empire. “Many have this misconception that a bigger engine equals a bigger cost, which is partly why we bought the MAN 540s,” he says: “Then we bought the Kenworth with the Cummins 615hp, which is actually better on gas than the 540s... and this 640 is even cheaper.” It’s hard to argue against the big-engine cause when the initial cost is being gradually compensated for at each tankfill – and with Diwan’s experience in the first month of the big MAN’s life, Jaz is certainly happy with his decision: “We’re getting around 1.85-1.90 for the 540s,” he explains. “And the first 5000km with the 640 were around 1.85kms per litre. We’ve seen an improvement



almost every trip…we’re at 16,000kms now, and already up around 2km/l. The other day we had a very light load, around eight or nine tonnes, and we went to Wellington and came back to Auckland, and used 2.5km/l. Obviously it depends what you carry, but this is the most economical truck in our fleet!” AdBlue consumption is also better – with the 540s’ use averaging around 2.7 litres per 100kms, while the 640 is averaging 1.8 l/100km – a 32% reduction. The new MAN flagship is a “very significant” addition to the make’s offering here, as Dean Hoverd, national truck sales manager for Penske Commercial Vehicles NZ points out: “It’s the first time MAN has ever had a truck available in NZ in the 600-plus horsepower range.” And that, in this new world where regulation is embracing high productivity, is pretty damn important, as Hoverd explains: “HPMV and 50MAX regulations have driven the growth in the high horsepower/torque segment, as operators look to maximise the productivity gains that the increased mass and dimensions provide.” Given that MAN has had this high-horsepower model in its European lineup since launching the new D38 engine platform in late 2014 – albeit only in Euro 6 and, more recently, in the Euro 6c spec in the Diwan truck – it was logical, says Hoverd, to bring it here…even given that it means going to the toughest current exhaust emissions standard way

TED Truck & Driver | 25

9:36 PM

TGX 640 co-owners Vick Singh (left) and Jaz Singh (right), share the driving of the newcomer with Palmerston North-based Terry Cornforth

before it will be legislated here. “The major selling points of the 640 TGX are performance and efficiency,” says Hoverd, adding: “The most important customer benefits of the TGX D38 are fuel consumption, payload and reliability. Its eminently competitive pricing rounds off the MAN offer, making it unbeatably cost-effective.” Going to the latest Euro model means that the new MAN not only comes with the D3876 engine and the new-generation 12-speed MAN TipMatic automated manual transmission, but also new technology including highway freewheeling to save fuel and automated emergency braking – in a package that Hoverd reckons “provides extraordinary performance.” He’ll get no argument from the Singhs (good friends but unrelated) on that. NZ Truck & Driver meets up with them and the new TGX in Palmerston North, where Vick arrived in from Auckland with the six-axle B-train loaded with general freight around 3am. While he headed for bed, Palmy-based Diwan driver Terry Cornforth took the unit on to Wellington, unloaded then returned via Levin, where he picked up the load of produce now on board. Now, mid-afternoon, Vick’s well-rested and ready for the run back up to Auckland – with Jaz, who does the run once or twice a week as the backup driver – also joining us for the trip. They’ll be back in Auckland around midnight, or in the early hours… where Vick will get a 17or 18-hour break before heading south again tomorrow night. Diwan Transport has been with Freight Lines for two and a half years – Jaz buying the two MAN 540s and the K200 when he decided he needed a change of direction after a stint doing bulk tipping in 26 | Truck & Driver

Auckland with a 530hp Isuzu AMT that was, he says, “a pain in the butt…..nearly made me bankrupt!” After “floating” for a year for Freight Lines, Diwan’s trucks were shifted onto set runs – like this Auckland-Wellington one. Initially Jaz tried this run with one driver, but soon decided “there was too much pressure.” Having Terry take over in Palmy makes it easy: “If you’re going to be in transport for a long time, you don’t want to stress the drivers. And I’m always there as backup if they need a day off. We’ve all got families.” With the choice of 10 truck makes on the NZ market offering models with 600hp or more (up to the 750hp FH16 Volvo, closely followed by Scania’s R730), what pushed Jaz towards the MAN? Fuel efficiency was important – but driver comfort was the No. 1 requirement: “Comfort. Definitely the comfort side,” he says. “We started off with the smaller cab, and we never had any problem with it, but this is an absolute luxury for me.” Vickram, who has driven for years – most recently for Turners & Growers, was convinced that the answer was the 640hp TGX, says Jaz: “He was the main reason we got this MAN. He was helping out every now and then with the 540s and he just felt so comfortable in the cab. And I think he got excited by that 640 number. It was entirely his decision – and I think it was a good one.” The quality of what Diwan bought into with the TGX is immediately obvious as you climb up into the XLX cab, using the three big, well-positioned steps and thick grabhandles. The second-tallest cab in the TGX range, there’s 182cms between the largely flat floor and the roof and – aided by the

The new model gives MAN entry into the popular high-horsepower market – in demand because of the HPMV regulations

beige interior – it offers a feeling of spaciousness. The head height is 21cm short of the 203cm offered by the range-topping XXL Cab, but the XLX is still more than tall enough for Jaz: “I’m almost six-two, and you can do yoga in here it’s so big!” We settle into the suede-like alcantara ISRI seats, which offer an array of adjustment that makes it easy to get comfortable. We spend a minute to mould the seat, ensuring all the lumbar, rake and adjustable damping settings are fine-tuned to really make the most of what the ISRIs offer for our trip ahead, including dual armrests and heating for both seats, plus cooling on the driver’s version. Woolston’s quickly settled in, and immediately comfortable in the existing settings. The cab layout combines form and function, with the clean and logical instrument cluster offering two conventional large dials for revs and speed, each underlined by a pair of auxiliary gauges, plus a centre digital info display. To the left is a segregated panel for MAN’s multi-media seven-inch colour touchscreen audio/navigation system, and below that another one for the climate and auxiliary controls – both similarly-shaped to keep things complementary. Making the cab even better is the number and various sizes of storage pockets throughout – from card and phone holders, to rubber-lined flat trays big enough for wallets, keys and a phone, small bins with lids and three large overhead storage bins with spring-loaded doors. It’s extremely practical and accommodating. There’s even a storage area under the sizeable bunk – also accessible from outside. A 36-litre coolbox between the seats pulls out from under

the bed, and fits three 1.5-litre bottles in an independently-opening section, its top is covered with a non-slip mat for even more flat storage. A sunroof, roller blinds and all-around curtains, courtesy lights, nets and an alarm clock-radio in the bunk all impress – endowing the MAN with the kind of quality and equipment that puts it up there with its top Euro rivals. The only aftermarket addition is a simple one. “We do a get a lot of mud and soil,” adds Jaz, “so we put in matching carpets that are removable and washable.” The leather-bound steering wheel is adjustable for both height and reach, and equipped with buttons for audio, phone and cruise control, plus interaction with the driver display menu that shows everything from cruise control info, fuel use, to axle loads. The 640 is perfect for running at 50t all-up, but today we’re only at just shy of 38t, with a 17.5t load on the Freight Lines-owned refrigerated curtainsider B-train trailers – so we’re mindful of not forming skewed opinions, and tap into the resources of Jaz and Vick who are ideal sources for comparisons between the 540 and 640 engines. The loads typically range between 15t and 24t – well within the unit’s 29.6t payload capability. The 6x4 tractor tares at 9320kg and the two-yearold, six-axle, 34-pallet Domett B-train weighs in at exactly 11t (5680kg for the first trailer and 5320kg for the second). Predictably, it does it easily, says Jaz: “It doesn’t struggle up the hills. It just cruises along and does it all effortlessly, where the 540 sometimes labours. The big engine doesn’t work as hard… and you never know, the next load could put us at 50t (all-up), and Truck & Driver | 27

The dash display and major controls are logical and functional, combining conventional dials and digital displays

those extra fuel bills can kill you. “One big clear difference (compared to the 540) is the shift…it’s much smoother in the new 640,” says Jaz, “especially from first gear.” Woolston nods in knowing agreement: “MAN had problems with the early TGX transmissions, but they’ve made some fixes and got it sorted with the new range. They’ve sped up the shift, which puts less strain on the transmission and driveshafts.” Within a few kilometres and minutes, he’s already enthusing about the MAN, comparing it to the Ranui Haulage Mercedes-Benz Actros that NZ Truck & Driver tested a few months back, coincidentally also in Freight Lines colours. He quickly declares himself happy with the visibility from the driver’s seat – and the quietness inside the cab: “And the noise level is very good, very quiet…somewhere between the Merc and Kenworth T610 (also tested recently).” As he’s assessing the sound, we run over some heavily broken tarmac: “The ride is very absorbent over that rough road…it’s every bit as good as the Merc and up there with the best.” Whatever minimal bumps make it past the parabolic springs and stabiliser bar on the front axle and the ECAS rear air suspension, through to the cab (which is suspended on coil springs) are further absorbed by the air-suspended seats. And, of course, power and torque isn’t an issue, as Woolston comments: “We’re only on a light load, but that’s the beauty of these engines – the weight doesn’t affect them that much.” He needs to make minimal inputs into the steering wheel as the unit tracks nicely at highway speeds. He straight-lines a slight curve and there’s 28 | Truck & Driver

a buzzing from the left side of the lane departure system – in MAN terminology, its Lane Guard System IV. Designed for monotonous sections of highway and motorways, the system sounds a warning buzzer from whichever side you’ve strayed over a white line – at speeds above 60km/h. The defaulton system’s fourth generation offers fewer undesired warnings, and is asymmetric, allowing drivers to drive a little to the left and away from oncoming traffic, along with adjustable volume…but all that still doesn’t stop Diwan’s drivers automatically reaching for the off switch on the route this truck drives. It’s probably the only piece of technology that the guys don’t use, or at least like. Luckily the TGX has plenty more technology that IS used. From auto wipers and lights, to a speed limiter, adaptive cruise control, freewheel roll and automatic emergency braking, it’s almost a case of anything Merc can do, MAN can do as well. We hit the first decent hill just south of Ohingaiti, as the gearbox chooses to downshift at around 1200rpm. We’re down to ninth gear and up and over reasonably effortlessly, unsurprisingly given the modest weight we’re hauling. Just north of Mangaweka is our big hill challenge. With a semi-feathered throttle and 1100rpm, Trevor resists the urge to kick down on the throttle pedal – it’s a steep, long climb to the top, but revs remain strong at a touch above 1000rpm, powering up the steepest parts in 9th gear. The lightly loaded MAN turns this mountain climb into a molehill. The D3876 inline six produces its 640hp/471kW peak at 1800rpm, but has over 600hp/448kW available from just above 1400 revs. Better still,


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its 2212 lb ft/3000Nm of peak torque is produced all the way from 930 to 1350rpm. It uses a combination of selective catalytic reduction (SCR), exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and continuously regenerating trap (CRT) technologies to achieve better than the Euro 6 exhaust emissions standard. On the downhill that follows the Mangaweka climb, Woolston selects stage four of the six-stage auxiliary braking – combining MAN’s 456hp/340kW exhaust valve brake (EVB) with a ZF Intarder transmission retarder – via the steering column stalk. It holds 80km/h all the way without even thinking, the fan cutting in once to remind us at least some things are working hard. From the cab, it all just feels natural and easy. As we stop on the north side of gumboot capital Taihape, he’s happy with his 110km analysis and jumps out with the comment: “Mild climbs feel more like a flat than a hill. I barely felt like I had it flat the entire drive.” Jaz now takes a turn behind the wheel. Given we’re in a town, the subject of the speed limit comes up, Jaz explaining that the truck is electronically speed limited to 90km/h – “not just for health and safety, but for minimising fuel bills.” But for towns he likes to set the cruise control to 50k: “I can just drive and relax and not worry about accidentally speeding.” Complementing the driver-operated technology are MAN autonomous technologies, such as the fuel-saving EfficientRoll system. Similar to other truckmakers’ systems, EfficientRoll kicks in when conditions allow – such as cruising on a slightly downhill gradient. It shifts the transmission into neutral, reducing drag losses and fuel consumption, until such time that the speed drops (1-2km/h) or rises (2-4km/h) from the set speed, when the gearbox

Inline six delivers prodigious peak torque, over a 420rpm range

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The D38 uses a mix of SCR, EGR and CRT technologies to achieve better than Euro 6 emissions control

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“But I’ve done a run from Auckland and only had to use the brakes into Taupo”

The new MAN cruises up the Desert Road in the late afternoon sun

engages a suitable gear. From this, MAN claims a fuel saving of up to 0.3%. The system works almost imperceptibly, with just a slight reduction in engine noise entering the cab. The adaptive cruise control is, on the other hand, definitely perceptible. It’s a big step towards autonomous driving, using a radar located just under the front numberplate to receive information about the vehicle in front and maintaining a constant and safe following distance. The ACC works at speeds above 25km/h, and displays the current setting in the dash, with a metre reading to the vehicle in front, the MAN’s set cruise control speed, and the speed of the vehicle in front, all presented in a graphic that’s quick and easy to visually digest. The gap can be adjusted by a button on the steering wheel. As if on cue, we gradually reel in a slower car in front that the ACC detects and slows us down accordingly, knocking 10km/h off our cruising speed. It’s gradual but noticeable, and like the EfficientRoll system is marked as much by the reduction of decibels as the speed. There are five different distance steps, as we watch the car in front dictate our speed at step four’s 71/72 metres gap. The distance is held as the car – and, consequently the MAN, increases speed up to 80, 85. As the car clears off into the distance, we’re back up to 90km/h again.

Vick points out that the system indicates on the dash display “that the truck recognises the vehicle (ahead) and gives you a warning….it helps reassure you as a driver that the truck will back you up.” He says he uses adaptive cruise all the time, but Jaz hasn’t spent enough time to build confidence in it just yet: “I’m not too tech savvy. I tend to trust my foot. But I’ve heard Terry uses it all the time from Palmy to Wellington….he reckons it should be on every car on NZ roads, and it’d help reduce the toll. You can pretty much drive the truck from the steering wheel and the truck does everything else.” In the same autonomous line, there’s the truck’s second-generation Emergency Brake Assist 2 – a fully automatic braking system that uses radar and video to monitor and measure moving and stationary vehicles in front. In the event of an impending collision, it alerts the driver with a series of escalating visual and audio warnings, then if required, it automatically applies the brakes – moderately or heavily, as the situation demands. Which prompts the question of Vick: Has the EBA ever come into play? “It has, actually!” he says enthusiastically: “When it came in the first time, it scared the shit out of me! I was climbing the Bombays from Auckland and this car passed me and cut in front – and the truck threw the brakes on! I wasn’t aware of the tech….I thought I’d damaged something, but then it picked up again and was Truck & Driver | 33

The cab is comfortable, spacious and with heaps of storage, including document nets, shelves and lockers above the windscreen, trays and more lockers and a pullout coolbox draw under the bunk. Driver-friendly features extend to putting controls for many functions at the fingertips, on the steering wheel

fine.” Jaz is a big fan of MAN’s BrakeMatic electronic braking system, which – with a mere tap on the service brakes on a descent – effectively sets the chosen speed, and the truck uses whatever combination of the brakes, the transmission, MAN exhaust valve brake (EVB) and the Intarder to maintain it. Says Jaz: “It works best at anything over 45-50 tonne. But I’ve done a run from Auckland and only had to use the brakes into Taupo. These things are bloody good!” MAN says that the EVB alone offers 340kW/455hp of retardation. Of course, the gearbox is also a star of the MAN show – even if it doesn’t make any fuss about it. The ZF 12 TX3021 with Intarder plus MAN TipMatic software forms a very clever combination. Efficiently and effortlessly sliding through the ratios, there’s a short pause between shifts, but it’s all smooth and quite fuss-free, evidenced by Jaz and Vick’s lack of complaints. Frankly, the gearbox is barely thought about during the test; it’s smooth and efficient, but hardly being tested with today’s haul. The gearbox’s TipMatic software also features EasyStart, basically a hill-hold function from standstill that needs to be activated via a button on the dash, and operates for two seconds to 34 | Truck & Driver

reduce rollback and excessive wear on driveline components. The advanced technology in this truck just keeps on coming. As well as ABS, anti-skid reduction and electronic stability programme, it has disc brakes all around. And still one of the things Vick loves most about the TGX is something more primal than all of that. As we pull away from roadworks that have stopped us for a few seconds, he suggests I roll down the window and listen to the real star…the 640hp engine: “It’s got that Scania V8 sound to it – but you can hardly notice it with the windows up.” For Jaz too “trucking is in the blood: My Dad used to have tankers in India, carting oil from the plains in northern India....they’re the highest altitude highways in the world. He did that for around 25 years…we moved to NZ in 2006. I’ve always been around tankers and trucks, and I’m 30 now. But my Dad passed away just last year, at age 54. “My Dad was against me going into trucking, but I can’t think of anything else I’d like to do. Every time I went past a truck in Auckland, I’d look to see what it was…I’ve been driving for six years now, and I’m still the same.” Vick has been driving around five years, starting in a van for a year, then on to a Class 2 truck, then



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Above right: Steps and a grabhandle aid access onto checkerplate decking behind the cab

Above left: Mirrors do create a blind spot at intersections, but provide excellent rear vision Left: The MAN comes with a 490-litre fuel tank

doing some earthmoving and tipping work around Auckland: “Jaz told me to get out of Auckland and have a look outside and I started driving big trucks – and I loved it. And that’s part of the reason I’m doing this. If there’s something on your mind you’re stressed about, you jump in the truck and all that tends to go away.” We cruise past the incredible views along the Desert Road and carve through the mix of tighter corners south of Lake Taupo…and NZ Truck & Driver’s journey with the Diwan crew comes to an end in Turangi. They’re continuing on to Auckland – where Vick will have his 18-hour break….and start the return trip again tomorrow night. With the truck turning over 4000km a week, its 60,000km service intervals mean that, barring any issues, the truck won’t be off the road for another

four months. Bigger, bolder and more powerful don’t always equate to more economic, more efficient....but for Diwan Transport, its new favourite truck is definitely the MAN to beat. Jaz and Vick are not alone in turning to the new MAN: In the first four months since this truck arrived in NZ, another two 640s have gone on the road – and six more have been sold. Penske’s Dean Hoverd says the company’s “happy” with this level of uptake of the new model at this early stage: “We’ll have our first 640hp demo truck on the road this month and have stock available to meet expected demand. We forecast sales of 20-30 units in the first year, increasing as additional models/configurations become available.” T&D Truck & Driver | 37


GET THE CALL-UP FROM PENSKE Transportation Group International: “We want you to do the exclusive test on the first 640hp MAN TGX in Australasia.” Well, what can you say to a request like that? Let’s get on with it! It seems to be a sign of the times that we’re jumping out of one big banger European truck and into another: Recently I’ve tested a 750hp Volvo, a Mercedes-Benz with 625hp and now MAN’s offering, with 640hp. It’s a sign of the times as operators are looking to higher horsepower to deliver reliability and fuel economy. That’s right, these big bangers are serving up improved fuel economy figures for the 50-tonne rated units, regularly doing better than 2.0 kilometres per litre. Today we’re running out of Palmerston

0800 4 CARTERS 38 | Truck & Driver

0800 4 227 8377

North with a load of produce bound for Auckland. We’re a bit on the light side with only 17.5 tonnes of freight on board, so it’s not going to be too hard a drive with 640hp under the foot. We catch up with owners Jaz Singh and Vick Singh in Palmy, for my afternoon drive. Climbing up into the high-floor cab is a breeze with three very large, well-spaced steps and grabhandles front and back of the door opening. All major instrumentation is right in front of the driver and most of the regularly-used functions can be accessed on the steering wheel and column stalks. Forward vision is excellent, with a giant windscreen and the mirrors are a real nice package – very similar to the Mercedes, with dual mirrors on both sides in a large

single housing. They do create a bit of a blind spot when looking out left and right that you have to be aware of, which I suppose is the price you pay for such large mirrors… but they certainly give great vision down the sides, right up to the side of the cab, so there’s no real blind spot that you can lose a car in when it’s coming up your inside. Heading out of Palmy, it’s an easy flat run to get a feel for the truck and it is certainly a nice ride. Journalist Dean Evans and I both feel that it’s very reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz we recently tested, with excellent in-cab noise levels and a smooth, soft ride – even over uneven surfaces. Up here in the cab on our ISRI seats, we’re floating along and not feeling any severe bumps at all.

The cab has a nice open feeling with the high roof, flat floor and generous bunk space… it’s a very roomy interior. MAN tells us that these new series trucks have an improved transmission that delivers smoother and quicker shifting and it certain feels like that as we climb up through the gears leaving Palmy. Once we clear Bulls on the road north, it’s time to try out some of the numerous driverassist features, so with a push on the steering wheel-mounted button, I dial up cruise control and set our speed at 90km/h and set the distance at which the active cruise control will slow us if we get close to any vehicle in front. Then it’s time to sit back and enjoy the ride. When we finally find some downhills, I engage the engine brake by the column mounted lever and set our downhill speed on cruise control –

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or simply touch the brake pedal and the truck will maintain the speed we’re at all the way down that hill. It’s all very effortless for the driver. All these functions are easy to use and have very straightforward marked switches to activate and operate them. On stretches of gently rolling roads our fuel economy is further assisted by the EfficientRoll function that disengages the engine when it’s not powering, dropping the revs back to idle until power or braking is needed. Our run to Mangaweka is done in cruise control with the only use of the brake to set descent speed and use of the throttle to override the active cruise control’s distance setting to overtake a slow-moving vehicle. On the long, steady climb out of Mangaweka, for most of it the MAN holds top gear, taking another gear about threequarters of the way up, when we drop to 1000rpm. It holds that up over the top. For most of the climb we’re at 80km/h, only dropping below that when it downshifts to 11th. It’s not surprising given that the MAN D38 engine produces 640hp along with 3000Nm of torque down close to 900rpm. Running down the other side, once again I leave the cruise control and engine brake to do its thing. The run through to Taihape has a few climbs and descents, but given our relatively light weight I never really get to try out the full power of the engine nor the effectiveness of the transmission…but everything we do encounter it tackles effortlessly. The steering is very positive, giving a good feel and needing almost no correction to keep the unit in a straight line. In fact, it tracks very nicely and doesn’t show any bump-steer from the rough road surfaces we encounter. The driving position is very good – the great ISRI seat giving a wide range of adjustment and excellent legroom. When you’re running in cruise control, there’s plenty of room to stretch your legs. A fully adjustable steering column will allow for even the biggest drivers to set themselves up with plenty of room. It is very similar to the Actros I drove recently – in ride and in driveability, which I suppose speaks of their German heritage. Jaz Singh says they bought this truck for comfort and fuel economy, and if our drive is anything to go by then they’ve got both: It runs effortlessly, which should indicate good fuel economy and you certainly couldn’t say it’s not comfortable. It rates right up there with some of the best of them. It’s been a great drive. T&D


Engine: MAN D3876 FLF09, Euro 6c (SCR+EGR+CRT) Capacity: 15.2-litre six-cylinder Maximum power: 471kW (640hp) @ 1600-1800rpm Maximum torque: 3000Nm (2213lb-ft) @ 930-1400rpm Fuel capacity: 490 litres (80 l AdBlue) Transmission: 12-speed ZF 12 TX 3021 TipMatic Ratios: 1st – 12.92 2nd – 9.98 3rd – 7.67 4th – 5.16 5th – 4.57 6th – 3.53 7th – 2.83 8th – 2.19 9th – 1.68 10th – 1.3 11th – 1.0 12th – 0.77 Front axle: VOK-09 dropped, disc brakes Rear axles: Hypoid HYD-1370, disc brakes Auxiliary brake: MAN exhaust valve brake (EVB), plus ZF Intarder transmission retarder and BrakeMatic electronic braking system Front suspension: Parabolic springs, stabiliser Rear suspension: ECAS air suspension, stabiliser GVW: 26,000kg GCM: 70,000kg Truck & Driver | 39

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The RTF supports Fonterra’s decision to put safety first

Operators right to stand-down obese drivers I by Ken Shirley Chief Executive Road Transport Forum NZ

T G O E S W I T H O U T S AY I N G T H AT employers have a responsibility to avoid discrimination in the workplace. However, when it comes to life and death on our roads there are situations where decisions need to be made that can easily be misinterpreted as discriminatory. This issue recently came to public attention following Fonterra’s decision to stand-down two of its drivers’ due to their weight. Commentators with little to no knowledge of the road transport industry immediately pitched in with their 2 cents worth, eager to skewer the big dairy corporate for discriminatory practice and being in breach of human rights law. The fact is that as long as proper and fair process was followed, Fonterra did exactly the right thing. Fonterra claims that the drivers in question were both heavier than the safety ratings for the seats inside the cab. As every driver and operator knows, the seats themselves are critical pieces of safety equipment on a truck. If a driver’s physique compromises the safety of the vehicle then it’s not only understandable that they are stood-down, it is in fact the only course of action appropriate to management. Notwithstanding the specifications around seats and safety belts there is also a large body of evidence proving that a seriously overweight or obese driver is a potential safety risk to themselves and other road users. Related conditions such as

sleep apnoea and fatigue are significant risk factors that we are now only truly beginning to understand. Various studies around the world have looked at the relationship between driving, weight issues and sleep apnoea in our industry. It makes for pretty sobering reading. The United States government’s National Institute for Occupational Safety reported findings in 2014 that claimed US long-haul truck drivers were twice as likely to be obese compared to the rest of the adult working population. In fact, 69% of drivers interviewed for the survey were obese. The statistics closer to home don’t get much better. A recent study in Australia put the level of obesity in the trucking industry there at 50% and in 2008 New Zealand’s Log Transport Safety Council (LTSC) commissioned a report into the health and fitness of log truck drivers and found that 39% of them were considered obese or very obese – and another 42% were overweight. Only 15% were deemed to be about the right weight. An interesting aspect of the LTSC’s work was that as a group, log truck drivers appeared to seriously under-estimate their obesity. When asked about their own thoughts about their weight nearly 90% of drivers believed they were about the right weight or just a bit overweight, which is much higher than the 57% who actually were the right weight or merely “a bit” overweight. Truck & Driver | 41


The Rollover Prevention Safer Journeys Programme includes a section on the importance of healthy eating




The fact is there is a direct correlation between a person’s physical health and their ability to concentrate behind the wheel While refusing to acknowledge your own personal health issues is a typically Kiwi male trait, it can have some very serious consequences when a 50-tonne high productivity motor vehicle doing 90km/h is involved. The LTSC’s report concluded that approximately 10-20% of drivers reported problems with sleep, sleepiness or fatigue while on the job. Considering how dangerous one moment’s inattention can be, this is quite a shocking finding. Another piece of Australian research found that 41% of truck drivers were suffering from obstructive sleep apnoea, 16% of them reckoned to be classified as severe. Of the 517 drivers interviewed and tested, 50% were considered obese. The fact is there is a direct correlation between a person’s physical health and their ability to concentrate behind the wheel. For that very reason Fonterra, along with many other fleet operators, attempt to put at-risk drivers through health programmes and run seminars on healthy eating, exercise and wellbeing. At an industry level, the Road Transport Forum has teamed up with the Accident Compensation Commission to produce a number of info packs regarding aspects of health and safety, including the importance of healthy eating and fatigue. These are available on our website ( Our associations also run various health and wellness seminars and communicate these issues to their members regularly. The Rollover Prevention Safer Journey’s Programme, which has as its over-arching objective, the aim of getting every driver home safely to their family, includes a section on the importance of healthy eating, 42 | Truck & Driver

exercise and the dangers of fatigue. Operators can get in touch with the Forum or one of our associations to arrange a seminar for their drivers. These initiatives are useful and very commendable, but until drivers are willing to address their health issues for their own sake it is a bit of an uphill battle. It must be remembered that considerations of physical fitness and physique are not unique to the trucking industry. The Police and the military are obvious examples where physical fitness or a certain body-type are a requirement. In my youth, I tried to sign up to join the Air Force as I desperately wanted to fly fighter jets. The recruiters took one look at me and determined I was too tall and that was that. It certainly wasn’t discrimination, it was just the practical reality that I physically was not capable of doing the job. As an industry, we convince ourselves of our professionalism – yet that professionalism is compromised if we allow physically unfit drivers behind the wheel. There can be no argument that the most important responsibility our industry has – as one of the few sectors that operates a commercial activity alongside the general public – is to do all we can to promote safety and mitigate the chances of a serious accident. I will always strongly advocate for the rights of operators to screen their drivers for physical fitness and competency to safely carry out their job. Considering the current workforce struggles our industry faces, standing down drivers is the last thing an operator wishes to do. The onus is therefore on drivers to maintain a reasonable standard of health and wellbeing and make sure they are capable of doing the job. T&D


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Jeff Fleury delivering a rollover prevention seminar to Foodstuffs staff in Christchurch

Rollover prevention programme rolls on N

EARLY TWO YEARS AF TER IT STARTED, THE Rollover Prevention Safer Journeys Programme shows absolutely no sign of slowing down and is now one of the most popular projects the road transport industry has ever run. Over 120 two-and-a-half hour seminars have been held all over the country, with nearly 6000 drivers, transport operators and industry stakeholders having participated. “The importance of the programme cannot be overstated,” says Road Transport Forum chief executive Ken Shirley: “New Zealand has historically had one of the worst rates of truck rollovers in the OECD, so we need to do all we can to provide our drivers with the most up-to-date information to help them prevent truck rollovers.” Each seminar is enthusiastically presented by the NZ Transport Agency’s Jeff Fleury – a highly-regarded vehicle safety specialist with over 40 years of experience…who’s seen first-hand how easily things can go wrong out on the road. Says Shirley: “Jeff ’s unique, down-to-earth style has been absolutely critical to the success of the programme and we are incredibly grateful for all the effort he has put into it. We can’t thank NZTA enough for making Jeff available to undertake these seminars. “It would be staggering to work out just how many kilometres Jeff has clocked up in delivering the programme across the country over the last two years. We may have to plant a forest to offset his carbon emissions,” he jokes. Fleury was awarded the road transport industry’s Outstanding Contribution to Training Award last year in recognition of his efforts in developing the presentation and workbook and delivering over 70 seminars during the programme’s first year. The RTF’s programme co-ordinator, Mark Ngatuere, says: “I don’t think we quite realised just how popular the programme would turn out to be when we started it. But once word got out around operators just how good the seminars were, it took off. “I think what amazed people when they first saw it was how well Jeff combined the hard-hitting emotive messages around speed and its

consequences with the realities of the physics, why things like static roll thresholds were important, as well as making the thing entertaining and interesting.” An important message and a theme of the programme is that more is expected of professional drivers than of other drivers out on the road. And Ngatuere adds: “The really gratifying aspect of this year is that as the programme has matured and become part of the fabric of the industry it has developed a life of its own. Operators are now contacting Jeff or the Forum directly and organising seminars for their staff. “We’re always happy to accommodate companies that wish to host seminars, even if it’s for only a small number of employees. Our attitude has always been that even if a seminar just changes the behaviour of one driver it’s well worth it. “We try to take advantage of Jeff ’s time the best way possible by organising a cluster of seminars in each region so it is helpful if operators can be flexible with their dates. We already have a number of operators keen on holding seminars next year, so please get in touch if you’re interested and we’ll work with you to find a date that’s suitable. “Two-and-a-half hours with Jeff may be the best investment of time you and your staff ever make.” The Rollover Prevention Safer Journeys Programme is a joint initiative between the Forum and the NZTA, supported by ACC and the NZ Police. Seminars around the country are organised in collaboration with RTF’s three associations – National Road Carriers, Road Transport Association NZ and the NZ Trucking Association. More information is available at T&D Truck & Driver | 45

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Port of Tauranga expects to become the first port in New Zealand to handle more than one million containers in a single year

The potential of a rationalised port network N

EW ZEALAND’S DISJOINTED PORT NETWORK and its ownership arrangements are ripe for thorough reorganisation, according to Road Transport Forum chief executive Ken Shirley – although he acknowledges that there are many hurdles that stand in the way. “We currently have 13 regional container hubs in some form of local government ownership and many that have plans to expand operations at great capital cost – at a time when competition for infrastructure could not be more intense,” says Shirley. “Rationalisation of these facilities is the obvious answer and you won’t find too many people who disagree with that, however the question of how best to achieve it is mired in ideology and the politics of having to deal with council-controlled ownership structures.” Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns said during merger talks with the Ports of Auckland in 2007: “In a country with a population of approximately four million people (similar to Sydney) NZ’s tax base simply cannot sustain the funding of high-quality road and rail infrastructure connections to all 13 ports. “The merger would also generate substantial public benefits: Reducing CO2 emissions; facilitating better opportunities for coastal shipping; and making a start on the inevitable port rationalisation that needs to occur in NZ in the future, with the advent of larger, faster container vessels,” Cairns added. The momentum for rationalisation stalled when the Auckland/Tauranga merger fell through and, while there have been strategic partnerships – such as that between Tauranga and PrimePort Timaru – further moves towards proper rationalisation have been fairly piecemeal. Shirley describes three competing philosophies as framing the current political debate in this area: “Firstly, there are the interventionists that favour a centralised decisionmaking system that enforces rationalisation on our ports – promoting a few ports as major ‘hubs’ and leaving the others as feeder ‘spokes.’

“Secondly, there is the view that prevails across most of NZ’s local-body politicians, which is that councils must maintain controlling stakes in port facilities due to the strategic nature of those assets. “Finally, there are those that promote moving our ports to an stateowned-enterprise-style model, or privatising them completely and allowing the market to naturally reorder their hierarchy through mergers, strategic partnerships and competition. Maintaining ports under council control makes this kind of free-market orientation far more difficult. “The interventionist position is very much an ‘Earth 2.0’ style proposition – if we could start again with a clean slate and design our port infrastructure from scratch then this is probably what we would do,” says Shirley: “The problem is that approach just isn’t that applicable to the present reality.” He points out that the NZ First party “made the most brazen case yet for such an interventionist approach when, during the election campaign, Winston Peters announced a ‘cast-iron commitment’ to legislate to move all the container and car imports from the Ports of Auckland to Northport. Regardless of the pork-barrel nature of this promise, the policy comes with some enormous unresolved practical issues. “Notwithstanding that legislating to prohibit goods from entering one port in favour of another is basically Stalinist – and setting aside the huge capital investment that would be needed to upgrade the infrastructure of Northport and the transport links from there to Auckland – the fundamental problem with Winston’s policy is that the Ports of Auckland are council-owned and I’ve yet to hear of any reasonable way by which central government could direct Auckland Council to significantly devalue its port.” Shirley is deeply sceptical of the argument that ports, and airports for that matter, are strategic assets that need to remain in the hands of local councils for the sake of national or provincial sovereignty: “There is frankly no good reason for it – it’s not as if a private owner can choose to uplift a port and move it offshore. Private ownership is the only way to properly realise the true value of the asset by making investment decisions based principally on Truck & Driver | 47



At the end of the day the road transport industry and the whole NZ economy relies on the efficient flow of products in and out of the country, Shirley points out

For further information: National Road Carriers Inc 0800 686 777 48 | Truck & Driver


“If only there was the political will to unleash the potential of these assets by unhooking them from the security blanket of public ownership and turning them loose into the market” commercial imperatives. “Predictably our two major parties don’t agree on the right way forward either. Labour has long supported the need to rationalise the number of ports in NZ, however it opposes any suggestion that public assets be sold off. National’s stance is a lot more hands off. They have stated that any privatisation of ports would be up to port owners themselves, not the government.” Both of these positions really only serve to further entrench the status quo, Shirley believes: “Labour’s policy could only be realised if the state actually forcibly bought the ports off local councils – similar to what Winston Peters’ Northport plan relies on – while, in leaving it up to the current owners, the National Party has basically just kicked the issue into touch. “The problem for both parties is that the councils who own these facilities are completely opposed to relinquishing any form of control. Local body politicians are far more interested in the politics of public ownership, subsidisation of rates and petty provincial parochialism than the nationwide benefits of running an efficient port network.” Shirley makes the point that, “at the end of the day the road transport industry and the whole NZ economy relies on the efficient flow of products in and out of the country, which means we all have a stake in seeing our ports run as efficiently as possible. “If only there was the political will to unleash the potential of these assets by unhooking them from the security blanket of public ownership and turning them loose into the market. Over time and through mergers and partnerships each port would find its niche – its competitive advantage – and together they could become a truly productive element of the freight network,” Shirley concludes. T&D

Road Transport Forum New Zealand was set up as a national body in 1997 to responsibly promote and advance the interests of the road transport industry and its member associations. Members of the Road Transport Forum’s member associations – NRC, NZ Trucking and RTANZ – are automatically affiliated to the Forum.

Road Transport Forum NZ PO Box 1778, Wellington 04 472 3877 Ken Shirley, Chief Executive 04 472 3877 021 570 877 National Road Carriers (NRC) Providing services that assist NZ transport businesses PO Box 12-100, Penrose, Auckland 0800 686 777 09 622 2529 (Fax) David Aitken, Chief Executive 09 636 2951 021 771 911 Paula Rogers, Executive Officer 09 636 2957 021 771 951 Grant Turner, Executive Officer 09 636 2953 021 771 956 Nicola Tapper, Executive Officer 09 636 2950 021 771 946 NZ Trucking Association (NZTA) Working for owner operators and the industry PO Box 16905, Hornby, Christchurch 8441 0800 338 338 03 349 0135 (Fax) David Boyce, Chief Executive 03 344 6257 021 754 137 Carol McGeady, Executive Officer 03 349 8070 021 252 7252 Women in Road Transport (WiRT) Promoting the sector as a preferred career option for women and supporting women in the industry

Road Transport Association of NZ (RTANZ) Formed in 2010 from the previous regional structure of the NZRTA National Office, PO Box 7392, Christchurch 8240 0800 367 782 03 366 9853 (Fax) Dennis Robertson, Chief Executive 03 366 9854 021 221 3955 Area Executives Auckland/North Waikato/Thames Valley Keith McGuire 0800 367 782 (Option 2) 027 445 5785 Southern Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Taupo/ Poverty Bay Dave Cox 0800 367 782 (Option 2) 027 443 6022 King Country/Taranaki/Wanganui/ Manawatu/Horowhenua to Levin Tom Cloke 0800 367 782 (Option 4) 027 446 4892 Hawke’s Bay/Wairarapa/Otaki to Wellington Sandy Walker 0800 367 782 (Option 5) 027 485 6038 Northern West Coast/Nelson/ Marlborough/North Canterbury John Bond 0800 367 782 (Option 6) 027 444 8136 Southern West Coast/Christchurch/MidCanterbury/South Canterbury Simon Carson 0800 367 782 (Option 7) 027 556 6099 Otago/Southland Alan Cooper 0800 367 782 (Option 8) 027 315 5895

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Enter your fleet colour scheme in the PPG Transport Imaging Awards: Just fill out this entry form (or a photocopy of it) and send it into New Zealand Truck & Driver. Be in with a chance to win in the annual PPG Transport Imaging Awards. Contact name name & position in company: ________________________________________________________________ Location:


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Please send a selection of photos of one particular truck in your fleet colours. It’s desirable (but not compulsory) to also send shots of other trucks that show off the colours. Make sure your images are supplied as large format files taken on a fine setting on a digital camera. The files must be at least 3MB. All entries become the property of Allied Publications Ltd. All entries property of AlliedIMAGING Publications Send yourbecome entry tothe PPG TRANSPORT A Ltd. S AWARD Send your entry to: PPG TRANSPORT IMAGING AWARDS 1642 or email to Allied Publications Ltd PO Box 112062 Penrose Auckland Allied Publications Ltd, PO Box 112062, Penrose, Auckland 1642, or email to (Remember do not reduce size of images to transmit by email, send two at a time on separate emails if large files.) (Do not reduce the size of images to send them by email – send large files one or two at a time in separate emails if necessary).













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N A WORLD AWASH WITH TRUCKS FINISHED IN EVERY possible combination of red, white and blue, with occasional fond nods to the past in dark green and blue, the deep bronze and dark brown combination of Mangonui Haulage is worthy of note for its uniqueness alone. But what on first hearing may sound pretty unappealing is to the eye not only distinctive, but surprisingly attractive – making it a worthy finalist in the PPG Transport Imaging Awards. This month’s poster truck, a newly-registered DAF CF85 6x4 tipper, shows off the Mangonui Haulage livery to advantage. The DAF is one of several bulk trucks on the fleet, the majority of which (over 30 units) are dedicated to logging, with an additional seven devoted to the livestock side of the business. Sean Sparksman is the co-owner and managing director of the company incorporated in 1980, when his father Denis and three other owner-drivers bought out the local carrying company they’d been working for. The original colours were green and yellow, but to mark the new ownership the quartet went for brown, with bronze on the cab roof. Those two colours are still at the heart of the design, but over the years it’s evolved to a broader stripe of the bronze through the middle, with that colour also repeating at bumper and mudguard level as well as on the cab roof. Over the years the livery has made the trucks quite iconic in Northland and, as Sparksman says: “They really stand out – you can’t mistake them for anyone else.” At the time the central bronze stripe was added, around 15

2 | Truck & Driver

years ago, the formerly brown crate colour on the stock units was changed to white, making them much fresher looking. Simplicity is the keynote to the design, says Sparksman: “We’re not rigid on the size and shape of the central stripe, but rather try to keep it simple and vary it according to the cab shape. With the Hinos that make up a lot of the fleet now we’ve settled on a design that works well, so we don’t change it at all with each new one we put on the road.” Conventional models, as always, demand a little more of a colour scheme – but here again the design has evolved with the emphasis on simplicity. He admits that there was a time when the stripe treatment on bonneted models was quite fussy, but with the latest conventionals added to the fleet this was changed to become a broad stripe running at midbonnet, with a turndown to guard level at the front. Something that distinguishes Mangonui Haulage from your typical trucking firm is the amount of work done inhouse. As Sparksman explains: “We’re two hours away from Whangarei, which means even small jobs carry an extra penalty in time off the road. You have to be quite selfsufficient.” Hence the big workshop, staffed by four engineers, and the fact that the company does all its own signwriting, having bought vinyl-cutting equipment 15 years ago when the local signwriting business shut up shop. Despite the freedom that stems from having your own gear, the same level of restraint is applied to the minor decoration as the main colour scheme, he explains: “We don’t go nuts with the scrollwork and pinstriping. Basically we


Picture (plus poster & opposite page, right) – Gerald Shacklock

Mangonui Haulage’s base colours have remained the same since the company was launched 37 years ago, but there have been additions and alterations over the years. Early Kenworth and Inter examples (above), had orange wheels and chassis. Tipper (top) shows off how it was 10 years back...and the Hino and Scania (opposite page) display the current look, in livestock unit and logger variants

look at the overall layout, and where there’s a fair expanse of brown we’ll drop a bit of decoration into that space, but the overall aim is still to keep things as simple as we can.” The real strength with having the signwriting gear onsite is the easy repetition it offers, he adds: “Take the Hinos. We have a standard profile loaded in the computer, and all we need to do with a new model is change the truck number, hit the button, and there it is.” In the wake of getting the signwriting equipment, the company logo and name on the truck doors was swapped from a fairly boring rectangular layout to a more elegant arched script. At the same time the orange colour used on the truck and trailer chassis gave way to black. As Sean Sparksman says, it’s the colour that truck chassis typically

come in, it handles the dirt better, and it doesn’t involve extra painting when units are new. New trailers are actually supplied with their frame unfinished, before being sandblasted and painted onsite. In fact, until recently the bodies of new trucks were painted inhouse as well. This has changed, since several brands can now supply the base brown ex-factory, and local distributors generally arrange the bronze to be painted on before delivery. In the case of the poster DAF, this job was done by Fleet Image in Auckland. Where the trucks come ex-factory in white, as is common with Japanese brands, Morgan Auto Painters in Whangarei looks after the job, working to designs supplied by Mangonui Haulage. Touchup paint work is still handled inhouse. T&D Truck & Driver | 3

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One of Mack Transport’s specialties is carting, storing and trading in hay, straw and baleage

Truck & Driver | 51



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Isuzu was the truck of choice for Peter and Chris Mack.... until it introduced a new engine and AMT for its flagship model. This 2016 8x4 is the first of the make to join the fleet since 2006



OUTH TARANAKI RURAL TRUCKING COMPANY OWNER Chris Mack is, quite clearly, a man who likes a good opportunity. Making the most of chances that come along cuts through so much of Mack Transport’s history – shows up in a lot of what this 42-year-old has achieved in his life. We’re not talking about randomly chasing anything and everything, willy-nilly. Far from it: Chris is, in fact, a man who says quite proudly that in recent years he’s “learnt to say no” – turning down work he doesn’t really want to do. But the horse-trader within him shows in so many different ways – whether it’s finding some work that’ll fit nicely with his Okaiawabased trucking business, something that dovetails neatly into that AND the family farm he now owns, or his personal gift for sniffing out bargains in secondhand (sometimes classic) trucks, rebuilding, repainting and using ‘em…then (more often than not) selling them on. There is, for instance, the 20-acre chunk of his farm that he leases to Osflo Fertiliser – for stockpiling and processing the “chook-shit” that it recovers from chicken farm sheds. His Mack Transport trucks deliver it for them and his farm tractor/trailer units spread it for them. His next-level approach sees him also selling a lot of it on their behalf as well. Here’s another example: He leases a farm block “up the road,” which he uses to grow maize and hay. Naturally, Mack Transport trucks cart it. Better still, Chris now also stores hay…and trades in the stuff. His instincts showed too when, at 21, he and a couple of mates took themselves off to England – not for your classic Kiwi European OE so much as for the opportunity to work 70-odd hours a week on a crop farm…and make big money. That gave him the opportunity to return home to Okaiawa with enough savings to buy a secondhand ERF and become an owner/driver for his Dad’s Peter Mack Transport operation. Another good opportunity presented itself a couple of years later, in 2006, when Peter offered to sell him the business. And then again, another three or four years on, when he also bought the

family farm off his Mum and Dad. There’s even more evidence, in the form of a 1988 R Model Mack – an ex-Southern Transport truck that he bought about seven years back from a Southland water carrier. Using the skills learnt in doing his time as an apprentice panelbeater, he’s given it a ground-up rebuild – just like the ’87 International T-Line that’s also part of the current fleet. They’re both still in regular work, whenever they’re needed – the Mack currently Chris’ personal drive. But they’re only two of a long list of project trucks he’s bought, refurbished and sold – some in the space of just a few weeks, others like a fondly-remembered Mack Ultra-Liner…which he used for years and still regrets selling. Likewise for a 1947 Ford Bonus pickup truck. It seems like this kind of wheeler-dealer tendency runs in the family: His Great Granddad Artie Mack, Granddad Jim and Dad Peter also displayed a penchant for a deal – and for guaranteeing themselves a bit of security by owning their own farms, as well as operating another business. For Artie and Jim, it was running the Okaiawa Hotel; for Peter and Chris – their trucking companies. As Peter tells the story, the family involvement as transport operators dates back to Artie, who became a bulk metal supplier in New Plymouth after returning home from World War 1: “He had a contract with New Plymouth City Council – they carted all the metal off the Waiwhakaiho River mouth with a horse and dray. There was an old steam crusher setup. They’d use poles to tip the drays to one side and tip the metal out.” That business stalled around 1928 or ’29: “He had a big heap of metal – but the council had no money, so he got the lease of the pub (at Okaiawa) and they just shut everything down.” Two or three years later, the council was looking for metal again. Did Artie have a deal for them! He took a bunch of Okaiawa locals up to New Plymouth “and they pulled all the lupin” off the stockpile… and sold it. “And then he had enough money to buy the pub – and he bought half of this farm.” Peter’s Dad Jim would eventually take up where Artie left off as the Okaiawa Hotel publican, but first he ended up with the 75 acres next door to his father’s 75-acre property – allocated to him as a Truck & Driver | 53

This page, clockwise from top left: Chris Mack (right), with sister Joe (left) and cousin Douglas, in the shadow of a 1978 Mack Bros Bedford VTZ.... Chris and wife Shona with (from left), their kids Brock, Kobe and Jenna....Chris (left) and Joe, with a Ford 2418 in the late ‘70s rehab farm when he returned from WW2. Peter was born at the pub in 1949 – was still living there in the late 1960s, when another one of those Mack opportunities came along, just as he was in the last throes of a truck mechanic’s apprenticeship in Hawera. It all started with the introduction of milktankers – and the need for farmers to put in tanker tracks. It just so happened that the family farm (Artie and Jim’s farms had been amalgamated into one) had a gravel pit on it, previously leased to the county council for roading metal. Also, fortuitously, Jim “had a bit of gear on the farm… an old Ford V8 truck with a hoist on it and a trailer, a tractor and other bits and pieces. “So we did our own tanker track. And, of course, a few neighbours said ‘hey Jim, can we get some metal?’ He said ‘oh the boys will help you.’ ” Word got around…and more and more local farmers had the Mack boys do their tracks. Peter and older brother John, who was driving a Thames Trader tanker unit for the dairy company, did the tracks on their weekends – initially without a transport licence. But by the time Peter was 18, they had a licence to carry metal from the quarry on the Mack farm – and the work was spinning-off off into other opportunities: In the process of picking up milk, John would be asked if they’d “bale a bit of hay,’ or ‘can you do this.’ ” Then their Dad heard that there was a bloke up the road at Kapuni, where a natural gas processing plant was about to be built – “looking for someone” to do some work. He had a motor scraper about to arrive and needed someone “to cut the hay and put it in a heap and burn it. “And the old man said ‘what the hell would you do that for! You 54 | Truck & Driver

may as well bale it.’ He said ‘I don’t give a bugger.’ So we met the guy, and that’s what happened: We cut all the hay there – took us about a week – and baled it and sold it. Lot of money in those days – I think we sold it for $1 a bale and we got about 3000 bales. So we were away.” John quit his job to go fulltime on their own business and Peter completed his apprenticeship….and immediately left, joining his brother: “That was virtually the start of it. It kind of got out of control because Kapuni just took off. “The same guy said ‘oh, can you pull that post out....can you shave that off a bit….can you get a couple of loads of metal.’ It just grew – and then we needed another truck and we bought a Hough 30 (loader). We bought a Sloper Commer with a petrol engine in it….and of course that wasn’t big enough, so we bought two ACCO Inters… One of the old Butter-box Inters had a Perkins diesel in it. The other one was the old 282 petrol.” Very soon the business expanded, with the purchase of a couple of old trucks from the Manaia Carrying Company – “little flat-tops… just for carting hay. We did a shitload of hay in those days.” They soon also bought out Kaponga Transport – adding a Ford D850, a couple of Austins and a new V8 petrol International. More importantly maybe, it also came with a licence to cart cattle down to Wellington. They did it “a couple of times a week. It was a route march in those days!” By the age of 21, Peter was married – and had bought the house that Chris and his family now owns…right next door to the current trucking company yard: “I didn’t have any bloody money…..but we got it for a thousand bucks. Mum and Dad lent me a bit of money and I paid them back $10 a week or some bloody thing.”

The old R Model Mack on baleage duty a couple of years ago

Jim Mack had himself driven trucks for a while – for his fatherin-law, who ran Hardy Brothers trucking company in Rotorua. So, as Peter says, trucking was “in the blood.” And, he adds: “We were fortunate in the sense that he never said ‘here’s 50 grand or anything like that, but he would back us….went guarantor at the bank.” Their Dad also allowed the boys to use “a big old garage out the back of the pub and a couple of acres there” as the Mack Brothers yard. For a few years “Kapuni was just all go….they’d drilled two or three well-heads and just capped them. And then, of course, they had to bring the gas to the plant – and then they started drilling more holes. We ended up carting a lot of pipe and drilling stuff.” In fact, they bought three big Allis Chalmers loaders with forks on them specifically for gas pipeline work. And the Kapuni demands didn’t stop at trucks and machinery, as Peter points out: “We supplied a lot of labour to Kapuni as they were building it. They’d want guys to shovel metal in under pipe racks and a lot of other places.” The Kaponga Transport buyout doubled the Mack fleet, to about 10 trucks – with John initially moving to Kaponga to run that side of the business….and then the whole operation following suit. It was partly because the brothers had secured a new quarry and metal crushing plant there. Then they did a deal to buy the livestock and bulk operation of Eltham Transport, while local Mike Uhlenberg took over its general carrying business. The growth came with its own challenges: “You’d go two or three months – ‘specially working with big outfits – and they didn’t pay

you, so you’d be running around… So it ended up I got more into managing things.” The buyouts boosted the Mack operation with a lot more general rural and livestock work: “We got to the stage where we were carting to Southdown in Auckland and we were probably doing four or five loads to Wellington a week. We bought the old Kaponga saleyards, so we could just pick everything up and consolidate it there – we had a couple of little OLB Bedfords running around. In those days you put 31 cattle on a truck and trailer and you thought you had a big load!” Peter shakes his head and reckons that “all the way through the ‘70s it kind of got out of control: We also took over EW Lines in Kaponga…” That added another six or seven trucks…and soon after that they also bought its spreader operation. The whole Mack operation moved into the bigger, better Lines depot. And the truck fleet? That had, of course, boomed in size: “You can imagine what we were up to now….I think it was 24 we got to. We had quite a few Mercs – 1418s, 1924s, 1319s and a Volvo or two.” Fortuitously, as “things started backing off with the Kapuni stuff – oh, they’d just built everything by then,” he explains – the Macks struck on a new opportunity. Not exactly close by, but never mind: They won a tender to cart rock out from the underground power station being built at Rangipo, as part of the Tongariro Power Scheme. “We ended up with five trucks over there for two seasons. It was a 4k haul up and away from 500 metres or so underground.” They bought three secondhand 350hp ERFs with bathtub bodies and converted an already-owned Ford D1000 and a D850. “The trucks all had big water mufflers on them – they had water Truck & Driver | 55

Above: The International T-Line, restored in Mack Bros colours, still works regularly – here toting a load of hay Right: A couple of T2670 T-Line Inters hauling native logs sometime in the late 1980s, during John’s sole ownership of Mack Bros

tanks behind the cab and the exhaust went through that, to clean it up.” The underground power station “was huge. It was like a little town down there.” The power station job was “a big deal.” The Mack trucks ran 24 hours a day, six days a week – with eight drivers spread over four trucks that were working at any one time: “You were always servicing one truck.” John Mack moved to Turangi to run the operation. When the project was over “we shut the operation down and brought everything back to Kaponga. We sold a bit of gear off…we had too many trucks. It was about then we’d got to 30 trucks.” Up to that point, says Peter, they’d mostly bought used: “We just used to sneak around and buy good secondhand stuff really. Oh we did buy a new Isuzu and we bought a new D850 – and an ACCO with a big petrol V8 in it…392 cubic inch. And we bought a couple of TK Bedfords. “But then we got to the stage where we needed bigger trucks – 56 | Truck & Driver

for the stock work. Well, 150hp for Taranaki was probably alright, because you were only carting 20 ton (and you probably weren’t legal at that, he concedes) – and you’d stagger home from New Plymouth with that on.” One abortive solution, tried around 1976, was having a KH70 Bedford repowered with a Detroit engine….and also fitted with an automatic gearbox: “Oh that was gonna be the bee’s knees, you know. But it was no good – it used to overheat the transmission all the time so we threw that out.” The Mack Bros business had changed “from where we were doing all the bulk stuff. We still had the metal crushers that were doing a bit. And then, of course, they built a urea plant across the road – and there was a bit of metal went in there.” But the fert, livestock and general rural carrying work had come to the fore. There were other differences – between the brothers. Says Peter: “Like any partnership, we’d had years together…..and too many chiefs, not enough Indians.” Around 1981, they had an offer to buy the Mack Bros’ fert and

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Above: The 1996 Mack MH525 UltraLiner that Chris restored, carting straw about three years ago. It’s since been sold Right: The Peter Mack Transport fleet in 1996

general business. Peter thought it was “a bloody good offer…. John didn’t think it was enough money.” So they struck a deal for John to buy Peter out – with Peter taking the agricultural machinery and one truck (an old Isuzu)….“and John took over what was left,” which included around 15 trucks – a mix of Volvos, Mercs, ERFs and Internationals. Peter leased his parents’ property and another farm and milked cows – using his truck to do his own hay and stock cartage. But a few years on, John Mack sold Mack Brothers, by then down to about eight Inters, all doing stock and general, to another South Taranaki carrier….who soon went broke. Peter ended up with one of the trucks – “and that’s how I got back into carting a bit of stock,” operating as Peter Mack Transport. Of his return to trucking, he says simply: “Well, it’s in the blood isn’t it.” Even though by then he’d consolidated his place in farming by buying his parents’ farm – and another 50 acres “up the road.”

It soon settled down into a modest one-truck operation – with a secondhand 1418 Merc and a secondhand trailer and crates – carting stock to Hawke’s Bay two days a week. But then, around 1989, he was offered the livestock side of Okaiawa’s R.A. Wallis: “And then of course I’m going over every bloody day of the week. In an old 1418, doing 85ks! I started buying TM Bedfords – I think I had about five of ‘em eventually.” Then he moved on to Isuzus. In the next four or five years he happily ran at around the same level, content not to grow the fleet, even though he still always had an eye out for one of those Mack opportunities – becoming a cattle dealer, for instance: “To keep the trucks full I started buying and selling cattle,” he explains succinctly. He also bought an old Volvo N12 logger – because there were a lot of trees on his farm that needed felling: “We parked it up after a while – and then I had people wanting logs, so I’d go and buy the trees, get someone to cut them and we’d cart them. Truck & Driver | 59

Above: Peter Mack leans on the old International T-Line bought and restored by Chris in a bow to the old Mack Bros days Top left: The R Model and the Ford Bonus that Chris restored....just before the Ford was sold Left: Mercedes-Benz trucks figured in the fleet during Mack Bros’ boom years, in the 1970s

“What I got annoyed with is as a carrier, you’re the last bugger in the chain to get paid, so I thought ‘hey, if you control the whole chain, you’ll get paid first.’ It was quite a good business for a couple of years. We could stockpile logs and then, when we had nothing else on, we’d cart it to a sawmill somewhere.” And that reminds him….that back in the early 1970s – and for similar reasons – “I actually owned a sawmill too, in Kaponga.” Chris reckons he’s been lucky in business, as measured by a few yardsticks: The initial breaks came in the form of fortuitous timing – first when he bought his own truck on his return home from England, around 1998, at the age of 24…the second about seven years later, when he bought the business from his Dad. The good fortune carried over to the third big financial move of his life – buying the family farm about seven years ago. The common thread between them was that they coincided with “the (dairy company) payout going up and dairy farming really expanding. It was just…ummm…well things went stupid eh.” Especially, he reckons, “from about 2000 onwards, when everyone started intensively dairy farming. “Just really lucky with the payout on the lift and farming around South Taranaki was changing. So we just went with the mode.” He makes it sound easy, but of course it wasn’t always – and Peter says he’s proud that Chris “makes a good job of running it. He’s got a good grip of business.” Chris also seems to have heeded some of the old man’s advice – little nuggets like: “Better to have five drivers sit in the smoko room all day playing cards, over a box of beer, than to work cheap. A lot of people, when they get low on work, cut their rates.” And more of the same: “Supply a good service, don’t rip anybody off.” And: “We all go through a stage where you have to borrow some money from someone, but don’t borrow too much.” 60 | Truck & Driver

That last one is advice that, Chris says proudly, he has been able to stick to: “We have been very lucky – I’m not going to skite or anything. It’s because my old man instructed me many years ago to not have much debt.” And he adds, appreciatively: “The transport has given me the opportunity to buy the farm – there’s no two ways around that. Otherwise I wouldn’t have had a shit show. Like a $3million farm? You’re not buying that and paying that off, as long as your arse points to the ground.” He reckons he was lucky too that farming in South Taranaki is pretty stable, profitable and diverse: Even when the payout’s been down, although “sure, you are limited to how much people are spending…there are a lot of well-heeled farmers around South Taranaki. “We’re pretty lucky around here. The average farm size is only around 280 (acres), so it’s not like we’ve got real big guys with huge debt loads – so it’s not like they can’t pay their bills. But hey, they certainly do tighten their belts ever so slightly when things aren’t as good. But it’s never gonna be doom and gloom in dairying too much, unless there’s a big outbreak of something or something goes drastically wrong in the world markets.” It’s also a helpful fact that, in the South Taranaki farming community, pretty much everybody knows each other – “and what they’re about. I could get my book out – and the same shit would have happened on the same day last year as what it will this year eh. So nothing really changes a great deal.” It’s fortunate too, Chris reckons, that Peter sold the trucks when he did – “because he ended up with a farm….and still had trucks again. And fortunately it’s not a big farm – or I wouldn’t have been able to afford to buy it. And probably the best thing – I didn’t have any brothers, or else I’d be fighting over the farm eh.”















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Above: Chris Mack has all the right branding...but has resisted buying any new Mack trucks Left, both pictures: The fleet is built on versatility – every truck on the fleet able to swap between stock crates, flatdecks and tipper bodies

But, as Peter points out, there were downsides for Chris in getting involved in the business as an O/D: It meant, for instance, “that if I wasn’t here, he was running the show. And after a while he said ‘well, this isn’t fair!’ “So I said ‘well, you chuck your truck back into the system and you have a third of the business – and you run it. And it’ll be a dollar down and a dollar a week – and in 10 years it’ll be your business. Well, it was a bit more (money) than that.” Chris fitted easily into the business. Although he’d done an apprenticeship as a panelbeater, he’d grown up around his Dad’s trucks and “I’d always done a bit of driving.” When he took over running the show, renaming it Mack Transport, it was just a handful of trucks – his ERF, a Nissan and a 430hp Isuzu…plus a couple of little four-wheelers. The business was mostly carting bobby calves and cattle for Silver Fern Farms….which spun off for a few years into also carting calves for AFFCO and, until about 12 years ago, also doing sheep. Initially, the Mack trucks were carting stock from all over Taranaki – from as far north as Mokau and all the way south to Wanganui. Peter reckons: “I think our best week we had 13 loads (to the Bay). It was a lot of work because you had to amalgamate all the loads.” Chris pretty soon decided that his time was better spent around Okaiawa organising things, rather than driving every day over to Hawke’s Bay: “Honestly, the Manawatu Gorge and that – every day! It’s good being the Larry Linehaul…but you do soon get sick of that eh. “And when you’re over there, you can’t be doing anything here.

And there’s a lot of work on your backdoor all the time. And there’s not always a lot of work out of there – like getting backloads out of the Bay.” In fact, says Peter, the Mack approach was always to resist the temptation to go hard-out hunting down backloads: “We formed some bloody good relationships with Johnsons Freighters and guys over there like that. We’d work in together, help each other out…we wouldn’t go cutting each other’s lunch.” Gradually the Mack work has evolved into the present situation, where “about 30% would be livestock, 30% bulk and then the rest of it would be made up with dealing in hay and straw and the Osflo work.” Since he took over the business, concentrating on business in and out of South Taranaki has always been Chris’ approach – “say from Waverley to Opunake, to Eltham. I try and stay in that area.” Except, that is, for major clients like the Parininihi ki Waitotara (PKW) Maori corporation, which has farms all around Taranaki. Chris reckons that he is actually on a mission to contain growth: “I want to do less – honestly. Yeah we just got too big here, probably about five years ago. I’m trying to do less all the time. We got to 11 trucks and a couple of spreaders.” In terms of keeping busy, “it was good – there was plenty of work there.” But he’s happier now: “I think there’s nine here. I run between sort of eight and 11, and I hire in a couple when we have to – when we do a lot of grass and maize, in September, October, November and again about February, March, April. It just takes the heat out of the system here a bit.” Truck & Driver | 63

Right: The Peter Mack Transport and Mack Bros fleets have been through a couple of Isuzu eras. This is from the mid-1990s Bottom left: The Hino-dominated fleet included two Macks two years ago Bottom right: A Mack Qantum with a load of barley straw about six years ago. It’s since gone...and another has been bought

Currently, the backbone of the fleet comprises 700 Series Hinos, plus a 2003 Mack Qantum, a 2016 Isuzu CYJ 460 and two oldsters – an ’87 International T-Line (with Mack Brothers branding) and the 300hp ‘88 R Model Mack that he bought about seven years ago as a tractor unit, “stretched it, rebuilt it, put a spare deck on it and a crate that we had. I use it as an everyday truck…although some days it won’t go out.” And he reiterates: “We don’t want to get any bigger. If anything we just want to retain all the better clients that we’ve got and do a good job for them – and don’t take any more on. I say no quite a lot.” The hay, straw and feed has been a big additional source of work, thanks to Chris’ buying, storing and trading of it, as well as the historic Mack involvement carting it: “We work in with a couple of other contractors. Over the winter months we deliver a lot of hay and straw…in late winter, typically we deliver 300 to 400 bales a week. “When you have those big droughts we’ve had, they’ve been big years eh. Like we’ve brought a lot up out of the South Island – some comes up on the train, some comes on Freight Lines. It’s like Freight Lines central around here – I’d have three or four trucks a night coming in from the South Island.” For a small company Mack also does a huge number of heifers and weaners: “We do about 14,000-15,000 over changeover date. Come the end of May it’s a juggling act between finishing off maize and getting the trucks on the road with their crates. “Every year that’s a massive part of what we do. I don’t do so many herd shifts. I hate them. They’re too demanding – for the fact that you’ve got 800 or 900 cows to do, and they want them done on the 31st…in a day. I’d sooner not do that…just pick the eyes out of all the easier work around at that time.” 64 | Truck & Driver

Chris has a different way of managing the demands of the bobby calf season – doing pickups every day rather than the usual once every second day: “So at the moment we’re up to 63 days in a row. So instead of having a peak of 450 calves (in one day), we just flatten it right out at about 250 a day. And it takes the pressure off everyone.” There is one annoyance associated with it, he reckons: “This new animal welfare law that’s been brought in isn’t really applicable to us….we didn’t need these big calf pens and everything…so it’s been quite frustrating for us that we’ve had to follow suit.” Whereas Peter had his trucks set up as either livestock or bulk units, a cornerstone of the fleet under Chris’ ownership is its versatility – with swap bodies for everything…even the little fourwheelers (which are flatdecks, with their own stock crates and bulk bodies). “We sacrifice a bit of tare weight here. So some of them aren’t the best stock trucks because they’re 1.5t heavier. But a truck can do livestock today and then they can whip the crates off and go to New Plymouth and do a bulk load. “A bin fits on the deck… fits any truck in the fleet. It can do offal, maize, silage. It’s not that heavy…and it fits everything. I’m not bullshitting – any truck in the yard, it’s probably say half an hour to get the crate off, swap body on….so you can do virtually anything with one truck.” A spinoff benefit, he reckons, is that “the guys never get stale on the one job.” It seems to work: Of his six fulltime drivers, a couple – Brendon (Hog) Kelson and Hemi Griggs – have been with him about 15 years and another has done a decade. They’re supplemented by a couple of part-timers, his farm manager Ross Mitchell, “and once in


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Top left: A company JCB tele-handler loads baleage onto one of the company Hinos Top right: Two of John Mack’s T-Lines on a job near Mt Ruapehu in the 1980s Left: One of the then-favoured Isuzus carting baleage around 1994

a blue moon I’ll chuck the old man in something if I’m really, really desperate,” he reckons with a laugh. Peter says drily that “a man who works for nothing is never without a job!” But Chris reckons he’s usually unavailable – either whitebaiting, out fishing on his boat, relaxing at his Urenui bach or breeding “slow racehorses.” Actually, Mack senior has had some success with his horses – one called Normanby Road won three big races in Aussie and was sold to England. But, he says ruefully, “the last couple of years, I’ve had two wins in two years! It’s like buying the wrong truck – I bought the wrong stallion.” Another key factor in keeping your good drivers happy, Chris believes, is having good gear: “Your best five or six trucks should be new. You can’t expect a guy to drive a heap of shit and do 100,000 a year.” The trucks don’t have to be expensive makes and models: “I could have a couple of K108s sitting out there looking nice and pretty. For what? For doing the same job as some Hinos can do. I always say that if you keep your trucks clean and tidy, that’s what it’s really about – you don’t have to have the flashest trucks. No-one cares to see a big fancy truck come up the driveway worth half a million dollars.” And, he adds: “Good old gear has got its place, as long as you’ve fixed it up properly. If I take my old R Series somewhere, you get people more enthused about that than if I turned up with a brandnew truck. Chris and Peter both reckon that staff make or break businesses – and credit their drivers, in both the Kaponga and now the Okaiawa eras, with being “a great asset.”

When it comes to the truck of preference, for many years before he sold the business Peter Mack bought just one make: “I can honestly say Isuzus made us. They were cheap, you could get 800,000ks out of them and they were still tidy – somebody wanted to buy them. You hadn’t beaten them to death.” He remembers the first new Isuzu he bought had a crate transferred onto it from another truck…“and we didn’t see Ross (the driver) till he’d done 8000ks. And that truck went on to do 800,000 and something. And we had one little hiccup with it. You can’t help but make money eh. So we just started buying more of them. “And then all of a sudden Isuzu changed their arse-ends, put in these automatic gearboxes. I said (to Chris) ‘don’t go anywhere near them.’ And, thank Christ, he didn’t.” Says Chris: “I think I bought nine new Isuzus in a row – from Moller Johnsons. Bought 400s, 430s and 460s. And then they started making those new ones with the shit motors. They wanted to standardise everything – they wanted their own gearbox, their own diffs. You could sort of see where they were going, but it was shit. So they burnt their bridges hard eh. I bought none of them. That’s when I went to Hino.” He reckons the NZ trucking industry would be better off with fewer makes and fewer models: “They over-complicate everything. They have all these variants – and we’re too small to have all this shit. We should have just three different makes in this country. All the parts….it’s just a nightmare.” Now, after 11 years of buying only Hinos (apart from the old Macks and the T-Line, a secondhand Mack Qantum and a few others that were quickly done up and sold on), he recently returned to Isuzu – Truck & Driver | 67

Left: Chris Mack creates extra work for the fleet by trading in straw and hay. This is a load of barley straw Right: Longtime driver Hemi Griggs trans-ships some bobby calves

“because you know what they’ve done eh: They’ve gone back to the 285 chassis and the 18-speed Roadranger.” There are no AMTs in this fleet: “Nah, nah – don’t believe in that….because we do a lot of work offroad. You just select a gear and you can get out of a paddock, whereas this automatic shit doesn’t think like your brain does eh.” Peter puts forward the traditionalist view: “Basically, if you can’t drive an 18-speed Roadranger you shouldn’t be a bloody truck driver eh.” In this instance, Chris is more moderate: “It’s horses for courses eh. I can understand why some have all this technology that comes in the trucks…but it’s not applicable for what we do. We need simple. And that’s where those Japanese trucks have met the market. They’re not the best trucks in the world by any means, but they’ve come a long way now eh. Like, you put in heated leather seats, reversing cameras – you know, tart them up a little bit – and they’re still a nice enough truck.” Mack Transport does all of its own servicing, and it’s got it down pat: “All the guys are mechanically-minded, so every guy can service his own truck. We can do a Hino service here in one hour, 20 minutes. They’re simple trucks eh – Isuzus are the same: No downloads, no ECUs to worry about…none of that shit.” Chris is just as forthright about HPMVs – reckons “they’re just not applicable to us,” and suspects that “too many people have over-commited to building all that big gear with high tare weights. To cart what – a few tonnes more? “They should have made them only from Auckland to Wellington to Christchurch – everything outside that should have been the old way. We should have gone 46-tonnes, seven axles and everyone would have been happy.” The eyecatching Mack Transport’s colour scheme has evolved from Mack Brothers trucks that were originally “just red: We could paint a truck ourselves in a day,” Peter recalls. “Then we decided we’d be patriotic – red, white and blue.” They added yellow back in the Inter T-Line days…and Chris, who does repaints and refurb jobs himself, added white “just to make the cab pop a bit more.” The grey used on the crates is clever: “It’s the same colour as road film, so when you’re really, really busy, if you just wash the wheels and the white your truck looks clean. It hides a multitude of sins.” This is one company that is definitely not into electronic management of RUCs, vehicle and driver monitoring, accounting 68 | Truck & Driver

and all that: “No, I don’t want all that shit – it’s just too much,” says Chris emphatically. Mack Brothers introduced a triplicate waybill book about 45 years back…and he prefers that, insisting: “You can still go back and find everything eh.” He reckons that it’s better, given the variety of work that each truck does: “We could be carting palm kernel, offal, maize – a guy can do 10 different types of job in a day. If you tried to put all that into a computer system and then get the rates in there…” He shakes his head at the thought of it. He likes the fact that “the drivers have to write down the people’s names they’re working for….it’s better. Otherwise half the time they don’t even know their names.” Wife Shona does the admin work. Yes, using an office computer – which Chris looks at with either distrust or contempt: “Nah, I don’t do anything on that. Shona does all that. And the system works good.” This Okaiawa family’s involvement in carting stuff now dates back almost 100 years – four generations ago….to Artie Mack’s horse and dray metal cartage. Chris and Shona’s three kids – 12-year-old Jenna, Brock (10) and six-year-old Kobe – are a long way off getting involved in the business, but Chris is sure some or all of ‘em will. A couple of No. 1 candidate Brock’s other options took a hit – literally – earlier this year, when he was riding his moto-x bike around the farm….and collided with a parked truck in the yard, busting his femur, a leg and a cheekbone, necessitating a rescue helicopter ride to Taranaki Base Hospital in New Plymouth. Says Chris: “It’s funny how what goes around comes around.” Just a couple of weeks earlier he’d taken his old T-Line up to the Taranaki Truck Show in New Plymouth – and was “stoked” at winning the Best In Show award and seeing how “a lot of people love that old shit…it brought back a lot of memories for people.” That was reward enough, and he donated the prizemoney to the Taranaki Community Rescue Helicopter Trust. The man he handed it over to was the pilot of the rescue chopper that came to pick up Brock. “He’s lucky to be alive,” Chris sums up: “He’ll recover. He won’t be playing league any more that’s for real. He won’t be a Warrior!” But he (and maybe the others), he says confidently, “will be running the joint one day. They better!” Roll on the fifth-generation of the Macks. T&D


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Five good men Story Brian Cowan

Hall of Fame founder Scott O’Donnell addresses the crowd


HE SIXTH ANNUAL NEW ZEALAND ROAD TRANSPORT Hall of Fame dinner, held at the Bill Richardson Transport World in Invercargill, saw five new inductees added to the 30 previously honoured. While three – Fleming McDowall, Mike Uhlenberg and the late Matt Purvis – come from a background of entrepreneurial fleet ownership, the other two are prominent in more technically-oriented fields….engineering design for TRT founder Dave Carden and transport regulations for the Road Transport Forum’s technical officer, Kerry Arnold.

Fleming McDowall’s career began at age 16, driving trucks for his parents’ transport business FJ McDowall, in the Southland town of Hedgehope – 25 kilometres to the east of Winton, on the road to Mataura. By the time he was 26, in the early 1950s, he’d gained enough experience to establish his own company, FW McDowall, with his wife Margaret. The new company’s location, in the tiny town of Browns, halfway between Hedgehope and Winton, might seem odd, but the local limeworks provided provided enough work for the GMC spreader truck and five-tonne Fargo flatdeck Truck & Driver | 71

Mike Uhlenberg reckons that trucking was never a job – more of “a hobby I was lucky enough to do every day.” Here he receives his award from Scott O’Donnell (left) and Gore District mayor Tracy Hicks

that were the first two fleet units. Lime from the works was either carted to the rail at Browns or spread on local farms, while coal was trucked from rail to the drying kilns at the limeworks. Rural work accounted for most of FW McDowall’s activities for the first 30 years, but the 1980s to 1990s saw a steady expansion into freight services, so that by the turn of the century McDowalls had 16 branches, 21 depots, 220 staff, and a fleet of more than 150 vehicles and was running scheduled services as far afield as Auckland. In the last few years the company has substantially returned to its rural roots. In 2014 McDowall Freight’s business was sold to Mainstream and the FW McDowall Limited holding company was placed into liquidation. The existing McDowall Transport became McDowall Rural Services and continues under the management of Fleming’s son Gordon. Visibly moved at the presentation of the Hall of Fame award, Fleming paid tribute to the support he’d received

from his wife during his career. Later, commenting on the differences between the transport industry now and when he started, he said in those days everything was far more relaxed, with even a big capital outlay like the sale of a new truck clinched on no more than a handshake. Mike Uhlenberg’s renown in the industry is based heavily on his pioneering work in trucking LPG from the Taranaki gasfields to centres across the North Island. Added to that is his love of the bonneted American trucks that still comprise the majority of the Uhlenberg Haulage fleet. Kenworth has long been a favourite, but during the 1990s privately-imported Peterbilts also featured strongly in the lineup, with several staying in service well beyond a million kilometres. Mike came from a Taranaki farming background, but decided early in life that wouldn’t be for him. Instead, he opted for an apprenticeship in printing, as a linotype operator. However he quite quickly decided he didn’t want to do that either, so when his time was up he started Truck & Driver | 73

Left: Heather Purvis, her son Mike (centre) and brother Tony Burling (second from right) receive the award on behalf of the late Matt Purvis from Scott O’Donnell (left) and Gore District mayor Tracy Hicks Right: The late Matt Purvis coined the phrase “On time, every time”

driving for a local dairy company. This was followed by a three-year stint in Australia which fostered his life-long passion for big American rigs. Returning home, he married, then in 1966 he and wife Carol set up Uhlenberg Haulage after they secured a contract to cart gravel for the Ministry of Works. An easing of the distance limits not long afterwards put Eltham within legal reach of Port Taranaki, allowing the company to cart bulk fertiliser to local stores, while during the early 1970s log cartage also contributed to its expansion. Mike retired several years ago, handing ownership of Uhlenberg Haulage over to sons Chris, Darryl and Tony and allowing him to indulge in his interest in restoring classic vehicles and bulldozers. Receiving his Hall of Fame award, he said he’d never seen trucking as a job, “...rather a hobby I was lucky enough to do every day.” He paid tribute to Carol, who was killed in a speedway crash in 1997: “For many years, Carol did all the hard bits – the administration and accounts and so on. I got to do the fun part, in the trucks.” Matt Purvis – who died in 2015 at the age of 69, had suffered ill health for several years, prompting his retirement in 2006. Before that, however, his energy and business acumen had seen Total Transport, the company he co-founded in 1977 with his wife Heather and business partner Paddy Collins, grow from two trucks to an operation that at its peak had 70 trucks and employed nearly 100 people. Purvis was involved in transport all his career, initially as a driver and subsequently as a dispatcher. Prior to setting up Total Transport, he was the manager for the Taupo branch of Nationwide Transport. 74 | Truck & Driver

Three years after Total’s inception, Matt and Heather took full control of the company when they bought Paddy Collins’ share. The couple retained ownership until selling up in 2002. The company initially concentrated on stock cartage and associated rural work, but during the 1990s carried an increasing amount of timber, this becoming the dominant load by the 2000s. By that time, bulk fertiliser was also an important cargo. Purvis was renowned as a straight shooter who didn’t suffer fools gladly, but was revered by staff and clients for his work ethic. For Total Transport, he coined the phrase: “On time, every time.” It became the company’s distinctive motto. The Purvises were active in supporting a wide range of activities in the Taupo area. The Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, the Taupo and Rotorua rescue helicopter services, the Life Education Trust and the Taupo SPCA all benefited from their generosity, either by way of cash donations or the supply of vehicles from Total Transport. In 2013, the couple also donated $250,000 to the Taupo District Council to extend a public walkway along the Lake Taupo shore from Wharewaka to Five Mile Bay. It’s said that Matt derived great pleasure from seeing people using the walkway and enjoying the bay. A flair for innovative engineering design has been a characteristic of Dave Carden’s career. One of the founders of Hamilton crane and heavy-haulage manufacturer Tidd Ross Todd (TRT), he worked originally as a marine engineer before switching to land-based occupations, first as a fitter and turner before subsequently training in precision welding, and then as a petrol and diesel mechanic. This wide range of skills was put to good effect when in 1958 he established his own engineering workshop in

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Putaruru, quickly gaining a reputation for the ingenuity of the equipment he designed and built. In 1967 he became a founding director of Jack Tidd Ross Todd, formed from the previous Transport Enterprises, and subsequently renamed TRT in 1992. Over the next 30 years Dave oversaw a raft of groundbreaking developments in the heavy haulage and crane sectors. These included the development of tag axles, specialised logging jinkers, the unique Tidd Crane Carrier, hydraulic trailer steer axles, central tyre inflation systems, hydraulic house trailers,

and platform low-loader trailers. TRT was also involved in building custom lifting and transporting gear for several major civil projects, including the Kaimai rail tunnel. In 1987 the Carden family assumed full ownership of TRT. After a period of growth in the late 1990s Dave stepped back from his role as managing director but, at 87, still remains a director on the board. Acknowledging the Hall of Fame award, he gave credit to the people he worked with in the industry: “I might have a flair for designing things, but it’s the people who come

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Opposite page, both pictures: RTF technical officer Kerry Arnold is recognised for his longtime work on behalf of the industry, particularly on new regulations

Left: Inductee Dave Carden (centre), flanked by Scott O’Donnell and Tracy Hicks, pays tribute to the people who come up with the ideas he engineered into reality

up with the original ideas and concepts who deserve recognition, because that’s what it all springs from.” His wife Jennifer also deserved praise, he said, not only for her support over the years but for a keen understanding of the fundamentals of a design: “Typically for an engineer, I would come up with a clever but complicated way of doing something. She would look at it and suggest a much simpler and more effective alternative.” Kerry Arnold has been a key player in the evolution of the regulations for heavy transport in NZ over the past two decades.

He grew up familiar with heavy equipment, his father being a bulldozer operator for the Department of Public Works, later to become the Ministry of Works. Kerry trained initially for a Certificate of Engineering, but then took on a mechanical apprenticeship with the MoW. Several years of his training was spent at the field workshop in Porirua, an establishment Kerry recalls as having distinct overtones of M.A.S.H. – staffed by a collection of larger-than-life characters. One such was his first foreman, whose regular instructions to the young man included: “Measure twice, cut once”…..“Do it once, do







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Left: Fleming McDowall reckons that back in the day even a big capital outlay like the sale of a new truck was clinched on no more than a handshake Right: Fleming McDowall receives his award from Scott O’Donnell

it right”….and “If I had own way I’d fire you, but I know your father, so I’ll let you stay on.” In 1987 Kerry took up a position as the technical officer for the NZRTA and in the mid-2000s took over the role as technical manager for the RTF. During three decades he’s been intimately involved with the changes to road transport rules, advising operators on the ramifications of proposed changes and lobbying government agencies on behalf the industry. He’s served on many technical bodies and is a member of the National Roads Board’s axle weights and loadings committee and the Institute of Road Transport Engineers NZ. In the early 2010s Kerry presented a report to the Australian Road Freight Advisory Council on NZ’s experience with operator rating systems and was involved with the investigation into axle loadings which has since evolved into the 50MAX permit rule. Commenting on his award, he paid credit to people in the road transport industry for his motivation: “The drive for excellence and the spirit of competition that runs right through the industry is inspirational, and makes it easier to keep reaching for better answers to challenges.” Since its inception the Hall of Fame movement has supported Proactive Drive, the youth driver education trust founded by the late John Osborne. This association continues, with Proactive Drive trustee Pater Anderson bringing guests at the dinner up to date with developments with the trust over the past year. The period has been one of increased co-operation with other groups in the sector, with the Proactive courses dovetailed into the RYDA programme developed and run by Road Safety Education and the Salvation Army’s 78 | Truck & Driver

Community Driver Mentor Programme (CDMP). It matches learners who don’t have access to a driving mentor with experienced drivers who volunteer to supervise their progress and help them become safer on the road. Anderson offered the audience some thought-provoking road safety statistics: “An analysis from 2014 showed that each fatality costs the NZ community $4.5million, and every serious injury crash an average of $474,000. On the basis of the 2015 statistics, that’s a total of $3.8billion.” Detailed studies also show that the difference between 50 hours of learner-driver training and 120 hours is a 40% reduction in subsequent crash rates for those drivers involved, he added. Programmes like Proactive Drive, RYDA and CDMP play an important part in not only ensuring that young drivers gain the extra hours of tuition that ensure that beneficial outcome, but also ensuring that they’re structured to engender the best possible safety attitudes. Introducing the evening, HWR director and Hall of Fame voting panel member Scott O’Donnell spoke of the ongoing success of Transport World two years on from its extensive redevelopment, the associated Motorcycle Mecca collection based in the centre of Invercargill, and the justlaunched Dig This attraction, in which the public are able to operate heavy excavators and dozers in a variety of activities. Posing the question of why a transport company would involve itself so enthusiastically in activities that have at best a peripheral connection, he said that it’s tied in with HWR’s connection with its home city, and the part it could play in enhancing the region: “We see Invercargill having a great future as a tourist destination – one that’s based on wheels.” T&D

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Rescue teams get the benefit of a demo on lifting and extrication techniques in a mockup of a trailer underrun accident


T SOUNDS LIKE A CATASTROPHIC CRASH SCENE IN Hamilton – with multiple cars and trucks involved…and 120 fire and rescue personnel in attendance. There’s a car that’s run under a trailer, a mangled truck cab is being prised open, people are being extricated from an overturned car and the roof’s being cut off another to access its occupants. Sounds bad…but it isn’t: Happily, it’s simply the staging of the 2017 Australasian Rescue Challenge at the city’s Claudelands Event Centre. The annual challenge and its associated symposium is organised by the Australasian Road Rescue Organisation (ARRO) – hosted this year by New Zealand’s United Fire Brigades Association (UFBA), with support from the NZ Fire Service and assistance from the Road Transport Association of NZ (which helped organise demo vehicles for the event). The four-day Challenge attracts 20 six-member teams of fire and rescue personnel – nine teams from NZ, 10 from Australia and one from Hong Kong. Another 80 people are

cGuire Story Keith M

involved – as members of support teams, officials, judges or local volunteers. The main objective, one of the organisers explains, “is to promote learning opportunities and skill refinement in the specialist area of extrication of casualties from motor vehicle accidents, while also pitting teams against each other to showcase these skill sets. “The learning opportunities to be gained by the teams, officials and spectators in this environment of rescue are never to be underestimated or undervalued and support our people in need of rescue nationwide.” Apart from the Challenge, with teams competing in various rescue and recovery scenarios, the event also features vehicle “show and tell” sessions, with Motor Truck Distributors supplying an FH16 600 Globetrotter and Volvo Group Australia’s interactive display semi-trailer, which features interactive screens showing videos of Volvo’s extensive safety development and its crash testing programme. Truck & Driver | 81

THE BEST JUST GOT BETTER “EROAD has so far brought down our over speed events from approximately 25,000 a month to about 1200. It’s reduced our overall fuel bill by approximately 20% and accident incident rates by 20%”

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Above: Two Volvos supplied by Regal Transport and a Mack Trident from Motor Truck Distributors provide Challenge attendees with an insight into how modern truck technology might impact rescue work Left: Challenge scenarios include patient accident scene assessment and stabilisation

It also supplies a 500hp Mack Trident 6x4 cab and chassis and Hamilton’s Regal Group provides several of its new Volvos – one an FM540 8x4 with its own designed and built high-capacity non-tipping bulk body – with a moving headboard and rolling mat floor that unloads its contents. They’re part of the symposium’s focus on heavy vehicles and give teams the opportunity to get a close look at some of the latest technology on new trucks, gaining an understanding about how their technology and safety features might impact their work in the aftermath of accidents. Each team receives a briefing on the vehicles, including lessons on disconnecting power, airbag deployment, pedal releases and AdBlue additives, with Volvo Trucks staff on hand to answer questions.

Underpinning the four-day event is a strong focus on learning, with the delegates and teams exposed to new information, cutting techniques, safety factors and patient access, extrication and care. Ultimately this knowledge is then taken back to the various brigades, regions and agencies with the aim of improving on-road response capability and patient care. Hamilton Tracked Parts NZ supplies three truck cabs that are used in demos. It also supplies a semi-trailer used in an under-run crash scenario, where ResQteq demonstrates various lifting devices, airbags and other associated tools, for use in this kind of situation. Equipment suppliers Chubb and Holmatro also put their gear to work, demonstrating their practical application on heavy motor vehicle cabs with Truck & Driver | 83

various cutters, spreaders, props and rams. Teams rotate through four sections, which comprise heavy vehicle relocation, ARRO extrication techniques, heavy vehicle extrication, safety and knowledge and practical aspect dissection with St John – using pig hearts and lungs, for their correlation with human anatomy. The Rescue Challenge sees the teams, comprising rescue and patient care personnel, competing in a series of mock road crash and trauma scenarios, along with workshop presentations and seminars, with a strong focus on heavy vehicle construction and rescue. The competition is not only time-based, but also assessed by ARRO experts. The Whitianga Volunteer Fire Brigade becomes the ARRO 2017 Australasian Rescue Champions, ahead of the Geraldine volunteer brigade and Wollongong Fire & Rescue. Australian teams take the two top spots in the

Trauma Challenge – Queensland Fire & Emergency Services, Brisbane, triumphing ahead of the Northern Territory Fire & Rescue Service and NZ’s Milton volunteer brigade. In the Extrication Challenge, the Rangiora volunteer brigade wins the time-critical rescue, ahead of the Linton Military Brigade and the Northern Territory team. The Wollongong team is first in the entrapped rescue exercise, ahead of the Milton and Whitianga brigades, while the Hawera volunteer brigade heads the Whitianga and Wollongong teams in the controlled rescue test – the Australian team also named the best technical team. The Northern Territory team wins the best medical team award, and Whitianga’s Spida Mangin is judged best team leader. The State Emergency Services Shield is won by the Victoria SES team from South Barwon, while the Linton brigade wins the Spirit of the Challenge award. T&D





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All pictures, clockwise from top left: A team works to extricate a casualty from a crashed car in one Challenge test; Volvo and Mack trucks are loaned to the Challenge to provide insights into new vehicle technology; new rescue aids are demonstrated; the Hong Kong team carries out a rescue from an overturned car during the Challenge; the competition and symposium attracts 20 six-man teams



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Fuel savers

Above: Fuso is the first manufacturer to offer an all-electric Class 3 through Class 5 light/medium truck in full production

Below: Western Star is making big inroads in the fleets with the 5700, an aerodynamic premium conventional that’s often the reward for top drivers in fleets

86 | Truck & Driver


steal the show

Above & top centre: MirrorEye reckons it can save 2.8% in fuel use by replacing rear vision mirrors with its cameras and multiple monitor screens in the cab. The only trouble’s illegal!


By North American correspondent Steve Sturgess

F YOU’RE A SUPPLIER WITH A FUEL ECONOMY technology, the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta, Georgia, is the place to be. It’s the first of its kind: A new truck show, organised in part by the same people who put on the phenomenal IAA Show in Hannover, Germany. And NACVS is projected to be the alternative exhibit platform on the off-years for that biennial Euro mega show. Does it succeed? Well, for suppliers that have something new, most definitely. For truck manufacturers, fuel economy is top of mind, with greenhouse gas legislation becoming more stringent starting 2021 – and getting progressively tougher through 2027. Anything that will shave a few percentage points off fuel consumption helps with GHG. So exhibitors promising new fuel-economy technology are swamped with fleet visitors and truckmakers alike. Thus everyone’s beating a path to the MirrorEye booth – to view its Freightliner Cascadia demo truck with no external mirrors and a claimed 2.8% fuel economy improvement. Instead of the usual door-mounted and bonnet-mounted mirrors – that have themselves become way more aerodynamic – the truck sports a sleek external camera system and tall monitors inside the truck, mounted to the A-pillars. An added sophistication is the down-looking camera on the passenger side with its own

dashtop mounted monitor. And there’s even a backof-cab camera view that, says system developer Glynn Spangenberg, automatically switches to a rear-facing trailer-mounted camera when a trailer is coupled-up. It’s very smart. It will follow the back of the trailer in sharp corners or when backing; it switches to infrared viewing at night (but with regular colour); the view remains crystal clear despite rain and road spray; the cameras break back if hit by tree branches, but automatically reset after. In addition to the fuel savings, there are safety savings, too. The most at-risk area around a truck or tractor unit is to the passenger side, forward of the door. This is no longer a blind spot for this camera system. The only problem is….such systems are currently illegal in America! The regulations dictate that there must be external mirrors on a truck. Currently, MirrorEye (along with others) is seeking a dispensation for fleets to trial the camera system to test the fuel savings. Already three fleets, Schneider National, JB Hunt and Maverick Transportation – all big and big on safety – are testing MirrorEye and comparing the system to conventional mirrors, says Spangenberg. But the only time I can get to talk to him is late on the last day of the show: Any other time every OEM’s engineers are thick Truck & Driver | 87

Above: Mack Anthem sports a new “bad-ass” bonnet and grille to drive home the Mack message. Behind is the Pinnacle axle-forward, which gets sharper grille treatment

Right: Meritor has electric vehicle drive axles that include an electric motor on the input of a rear axle for trucks and wheel motors and suspensions for lowfloor buses Far right: Allison is claiming significantly enhanced fuel economy with its new ninespeed launched at the show. Deeper, longer ratio coverage makes it a good choice for inexperienced drivers

around the demo truck. Another booth that sees interest from each and every truckmaker is Deflecktor, one of the earliest aerodynamic wheel covers used on the most aero trucks and trailers to prevent air from swirling in the well of the wheels. Invented by Jon Fleck (hence the odd name) and proven effective in wind tunnels and over-the-road use, the devices have not been liked by truck inspection officers as they cover up the lugnuts. So Fleck has come up with the simplest mounting to make the covers instantly removable without tools. He has also come up with a chromed Deflecktor which should make the custom rig community very happy. And he’s designed a hubcap that fits over the front wheel lugnuts, reasoning there’s an incremental saving there. FlowBelow also manufactures wheel covers as part of

its tandem axle aero setup. This adds a gap-fill fairing between the wheels of the tandem and a second fairing at the rear, for a 2.25% fuel saving when used with its wheel covers. FlowBelow’s news for the NACV Show is a quicklydetachable centre fairing so drivers can easily chain up tyres when winter conditions dictate. Last year, FlowBelow and Aperia struck a deal where Aperia’s revolutionary Halo air pressure device can be incorporated with the FlowBelow Aerokit to maintain air pressure in a dual pair or a super single. The rotation of the wheel actuates the self-contained pump within the Halo device. Aperia says that testing has shown 2% fuel savings from maintaining correct air pressure as well as a 15% increase in tyre life. No real surprise then that Aperia announces at this show that the giant leasing firm, Ryder, Truck & Driver | 89

Above:The first product from the Eaton Cummins joint venture is the Endurant 12-speed transmission. The company is betting on automatics for the future – there will not be a manual option of this transmission Right: The shiny Deflecktor wheel cover quick releases from four standoffs that attach to wheel studs outboard of the lug nuts. Clear plastic shows the steel plate that locks the cover in place Opposite page: International’s big engine is the A26, a 12.4-litre derivative from MAN’s D26. It features extensive revisions from the earlier MaxxForce 13 that proved a disaster for the company

will be fitting the Halo devices to its rental and leasing fleets. The FlowBelow solution has been adopted by most truck manufacturers for their most fuel-efficient models, with Freightliner the earliest adopter. In the never-ending search for better fuel economy, Freightliner introduces at NACVS a 6x2 with a lifting axle ahead of the drive axle. Volvo has been pushing this configuration under the Adaptive Loading banner, since the axle lifts automatically as the tandem unloads. The Freightliner system is much the same, though its setup is manufactured by Hendrickson. The 6x2 layout is not popular with US fleets as it’s generally believed that it hurts the value of a truck at tradein – and this offsets any fuel gains. The real issue though is that drivers don’t like 6x2, although their dislike is mostly based on the old-style 6x2s, where the trailing axle was the free rolling axle. Volvo’s work has shown that the newer “pusher” lift axle increases stability, addresses traction and improves partial-load ride. So, with two manufacturers in the new 6x2 mode, maybe its time has come. Volvo and sister brand Mack are both popular with show visitors because they both feature new trucks. The new Volvo VNL and VNR were launched back in the summer and Volvo had a before-show ride-and-drive event that showed off the features of the new models to the trucking press. The Mack Anthem was launched only 10 days ahead of the show opening and I was one of the cheap-labour drivers who moved a fleet of them from the Allentown, Pennsylvania launch site to Atlanta, Georgia…. which just 90 | Truck & Driver

happens to be where they’re put on show at the NACVS! Never mind – it was a decent 1300-kilometre drive (about 800 miles) to get to grips with the “new” Anthem. These two drives show that the Volvo cab is new, longer, a shade wider and more stylish. And full of great ideas as well as being a great driving truck, thanks to the addition of a roll bar on the front suspension. In contrast, the Mack Anthem is the same as the Pinnacle axle-back it replaces. There’s a new roof to create standing height at the driver’s seat and a lower bonnet sporting an aggressively Mack grille. There’s certainly no mistaking it as a Mack – and that’s exactly what the designers and marketers wanted. There is a new, traditionally-styled dash that’s very pleasant and the visibility is vastly improved over the bonnet, so it’s not a bad redo. But that is all it is. At International, things are getting sorted out, with the launch of four new models over the last two years. The show is the first opportunity to see the revised interior for the LoneStar premium long-nose. There’s also a new line for the construction industries, the HV. For many visitors it’s an opportunity to talk to the company about its relaunched big-bore engine – unveiled earlier this year as the A26. It’s an exceptionally lightweight revision of the 12.4 litre based on the MAN D26. Cummins also rolled out its NACVS star to the press several weeks ahead of the show. No doubt visitors to the booth are as shocked as we were to see the all-electric, battery-powered Aeos – a Class 7 (1.7 to 15 tonnes) twoaxle tractor unit. Cummins, like other show exhibitors, is talking about

electrification, connectivity and automation as the way forward. The company is predicting that electric motors will be under the bonnets of future trucks – whether they’re battery electric like this demonstration truck, or use some form of hybridisation. Cummins is even researching fuel cells as a range extender for battery electrics in linehaul operations, but they won’t be ready for a decade or more. The theme of Cummins presentations is that the company will be there with the right technology for each vocation and each customer. You can almost hear old Clessie (Cummins – the enginemaker’s founder) rotating in his grave. Cummins recently formalised its relationship with Eaton, moving from the shared technology on the SmartAdvantage engine/transmission combo to become a partner in Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies. At NACVS the JV rolls out its first new product, in the form of an all-new 12-speed automated transmission called the Endurant. It is a purposebuilt AMT, claimed to be the lightest, most capable for linehaul. It offers seamless communications with Cummins and PACCAR MX engines now – with more to come later. It’s been designed with a ratio coverage allowing the lowest cruise rpm. Smart features include a fluid pressure sensor, 430mm self-adjusting clutch, intelligent connect prognostics. And an oil life of 1.2million kilometres (750,000 miles). The partnership is still young so the development work on this was done by Eaton before the JV was formed. But future programmes are promised to leverage

the experience of both major corporations. Allison ups the ante in the medium-duty transmission arena at the show with a nine-speed torque converter transmission based on its six-speed Series 2000 transmission – but giving 50% more ratio coverage. It’s targeted at stop-and-go traffic duty in parcel carriers’ package trucks, in school buses and vocations such as roll-back car-recovery trucks. With closer ratios, it’s claimed to offer added fuel economy to meet the upcoming GHG regulations. Pursuing the electrification theme, Meritor previews for the press an entire suite of electric drive axles for bus and truck applications. Competitor Bosch also shows a variety or electric drives under the show theme: Automated, connected and electrified technologies. The Bosch eCity Truck is an innovative diesel hybrid system that allows easy integration of an electric axle into light commercial vehicles to enable the easy conversion of a traditional diesel truck platform to a diesel-electric hybrid truck. Further reducing fuel consumption, the eCity Truck platform can also seamlessly integrate 48-volt technology. The Bosch boost recuperation system enables the provision of 48V electrical accessories as well as energy recovery and smooth, efficient functions in stop-start applications. On the automation front, there are many conversations at the show about the introduction of driver steering assist systems. These have been in the news recently, with ZF making the most of its 2016 acquisition of TRW and relaunching the ReAX electric-over-hydraulic steering Truck & Driver | 91

All pictures, clockwise from lower left: Wabco is in the automation business, with electronically-assisted hydraulic power steering courtesy of its just-announced acquisition of the Sheppard family-owned US company.... Volvo’s new truck is the VNL, with a huge sleeper, enabled by an all-new cab from the B-pillar back. Truck bristles with good ideas and the latest technology to make it truly all-new... This is the Hendrickson-supplied suspension and axle that Freightliner will get exclusive rights to offer for a period. It follows current thinking, placing the freerolling axle ahead of the drive axle... Bosch is moving heavily into vehicle electrification. It shows outline of concept future powertrains and also announces it’s supplying the drivetrain for the electric Nikola heavy... The Cummins Aeos battery electric concept truck is a star at NACVS. The 140 kW-hr battery pack gives the Class 7 truck a range of 160kms (100 miles). Cummins plans to offer powertrain to truck OEMs


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This publication has been extremely successful with distribution going out every month to New Zealand High Schools along with NZ Truck & Driver Magazine. We have had nothing but extremely positive feedback from many schools with several requesting additional copies to pass out amongst school leavers. On the back of this the RTF is preparing a schools resources kit that can be used by the various trade launching the second edition of the Student Career Guide.

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associations and transport operators who visit schools to promote the industry. We are now in the process of

system. This is designed to help a truck or bus driver stay in lane using an optical camera to provide input to the steering gear to nudge the driver when drifting out of lane. Just before the show, Wabco announces its acquisition of Sheppard, TRW’s main competitor in North America. Sheppard is far along with its automated steering programmes and Wabco is now able to offer OnLane Assist, a very similar solution to ZF’s ReAX. And at the NACVS, Bendix shows a very similar product, enabled by its parent company Knorr-Brense’s acquisition of Steering Systems GmbH, a manufacturer of rack-and-pinion and recirculating ball steering gear systems – and also well advanced with automated steering for heavy trucks.

All three view driver-assisted steering as a building block towards the autonomous, self-driving truck. And that brings in the connected vehicle part of the three main talking points of the NACVS: Connectivity is mentioned at each and every truckmaker, component maker and supplier press event. Just as NACVS mirrors the huge German IAA, so the main talking points and exhibits also show advances in automation, electrification and connectivity that were the takeaways from the last show in Hannover. So, although the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle Show is small in comparison with IAA, it is a resounding success. The next one is in 2019 and will likely grow in size and attendance….and just as likely will see more overseas visitors. T&D

! W NE



RECRUITMENT SECTION We are launching a new Recruitment Section on our website.

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Recruiters be the first to advertise your job vacancies free of charge. Enter as many vacancies as you wish at no extra cost. Simply fill in our online form under the recruitment page on the NZ Truck & Driver website then submit the details and we will take care of the rest.

W. Truck & Driver | 93

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Alan Bagley is the cadet driver scheme’s first trainee

er o e. d he y.

Story Brian Cowan Photos Mark Walton

pioneering cadet driver programme A


VIABLE WAY FORWARD FOR TRANSPORT COMPANIES bedevilled by the driver shortage is playing out in Dunedin, where a co-ordinated multi-agency programme is seeing a cadet driver being fast-tracked to a Class 5 licence….and at the same time gaining priceless in-truck experience. And no, the subject of the scheme is not a youngster: Alan Bagley is in his 40s, with a heap of life experience. But, like many newcomers (young and old), who’ve looked for a berth in the industry, he has till now been blocked by the twin, almost insurmountable drawbacks: “No Class 5”…and “No experience.” There are several stars now aligning for Bagley: The company he’s currently driving with, Fulton Hogan, has an ideal mount – a Fuso Fighter FM1628 4x2 tipper that works productively in the Dunedin area on an aggregate supply run to concrete batching plants. He’s already picked up his Class 2 and 4 licences through the Dunedin Training Centre; and the Ministry of Social Development is supporting the training via a 15-week flexi-wage subsidy. Fulton Hogan is not even Alan’s primary employer under the scheme. That role is filled by Dunedin Carrying Company, a division of the Dynes Transport/HWR partnership, which has employed him as a cadet logtruck driver. There’s a formalised memorandum of understanding between the two companies that he will be sharing his time between them, accompanying the drivers of loaded Dunedin Carrying logtrucks and then taking over the wheel and driving the unloaded units back to TD26692

d d. e. y.

the bush. He’s yet to complete the induction processes for port and forest sites, so his time to date has been wholly with FH – but with less than three weeks behind him it’s early days yet. He’s also had the opportunity to familiarise himself, under supervision, with some of FH’s Class 5 units. Co-ordinating the whole scheme is Steve Divers, the director, career pathways – road freight transport for the Government-led and industry-supported Sector Workforce Engagement Programme (SWEP), set up to address the driver shortage. Divers says Alan Bagley’s story is proof that the problem can be successfully tackled with effective inter-group cooperation: “The two companies involved have been very enthusiastic, while Alan’s case worker at MSD, Keiron Kettings, has also been most supportive.” And, he adds, the Dunedin Training Centre “has also been pivotal in the success of scheme. Rather than merely getting their clients through a licence, Norm and Lisa Roos and their people are very keen to ensure they’re also fitting them to be effective in a career sense.” Alan Bagley buzzes when he talks about his new position. He reveals he’d gone through a bit of a crisis in his life and for the past couple of years had struggled to find work. Re-evaluating his life, he was unsure what career path he wanted, but when he was referred to the Dunedin Training Centre for a vocational course, the road transport one was suggested. Truck & Driver | 95

Dunedin Carrying Company is the primary employer for Alan Bagley (above) – giving him supervised experience behind the wheel of its logtrucks (top left)....on unloaded running into the forests. Fulton Hogan broadens his driving experience by allowing him to drive its Class 2 Fuso tipper (left)

The idea appealed: “I’ve always been handy with things mechanical, and even as a young kid I used to love watching the big trucks.” He’s enjoying the challenge of driving the Fuso on a regular run from FH’s quarry to the Allied Concrete plant at Mosgiel: “The ramp leading up to the bins is quite narrow, so you need to concentrate, but I’m getting the hang of it.” He reckons the nine-speed Eaton gearbox in the Fuso is a great introduction to the 18-speeders he’ll encounter eventually...and he has, in fact, experienced some of the bigger units under supervision: “All the people at Fulton Hogan have gone out of their way to help me and give me advice and tips.” From Fulton Hogan’s perspective, using the Class 2 Fuso as an introductory vehicle makes real sense, says the company’s construction and transport divisional manager, Grant Pellowe: “For the past decade or more it has been operated by an older, experienced driver. After discussions with Steve Divers about industry recruitment, I originally came up with the idea this could be a fantastic training ground, as it involves a small truck which remains local and does a lot of manoeuvring and tipping. Consequently, we agreed to open the truck up to the industry, along with our own

Fulton Hogan staff, for short-term secondments. “Steve, Owain Carter from Dunedin Carrying and I came up with a commercial agreement over a coffee and this has transitioned into Alan being the first candidate. Fulton Hogan are proud to support the transport industry by supplying an opportunity to gain experience in this vehicle prior to progressing onto Class 4/5 trucks.” For Carter the arrangement is ideal: “Dunedin Carrying runs only Class 5 units, so it’s more difficult for us to bring on trainee drivers. But we have put apprentice drivers through, and we believe that companies have to be prepared to absorb some extra costs if they want to handle the driver shortage. This agreement with Fulton Hogan is a very positive step.” As Steve Divers sums up, Alan Bagley is a good example of a potentially fruitful source of new drivers: “His age bracket is ideal. The median age for drivers in a lot of companies is close to 60, and there’s often a desire to get new people in at a young age. “But the mandatory wait between levels is high for the young ones, whereas adults are allowed to move through the levels more quickly. They also generally have a higher level of stability and maturity. This is definitely a segment for the industry to be targeting when looking to bring in new drivers.” T&D

96 | Truck & Driver

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5 OUT OF 8

This new UD Trucks GW26-420AS tractor unit and semi-trailer has gone to work for the Canterbury-based Moorpork NZ Pig Farm, carting its pigs from Aylesbury and Oxford farms to a Timaru processing plant. The 6x4 has a 420hp GH11 engine, an Escot AMT and UD rear axles on air suspension. Its 15.75 metre semi-trailer was built by TMC Trailers, with a two-deck Delta stock crate.


VERY MONTH IT’S THEORETICALLY POSSIBLE for New Zealand’s new truck and trailer market to set six new records – eight at the end of each quarter. It’s never happened – but the last two months have come close, September seeing five new marks out of the possible eight. And that followed a four out of six in August – driving home how much of a roll the market’s on this year. Official NZ Transport Agency registration data shows that September’s 487 registrations in the overall heavy truck market (4.5 tonnes to maximum GVM), just pipped the previous best for the month – 485 registrations in 2014. It also set a new year-to-date best at the end of September, the 3913 sales smashing 2014’s 3316 previous best mark. The September total was a 26% improvement on the same month last year and the YTD total was 98 | Truck & Driver

28% ahead of the same point last year. There was also a new Q3 record, with 1474 registrations 29% up on 2016 and 13% better than the previous record, from 2014. The trailer market also set a new September alltime best with 159 registrations. It narrowly beat the 154 previous best September total, in 2015, but was 19 up on the same month last year. The 1140 YTD total was 13% up on last year, but fell short of the alltime best 1158 from 2015. However, Q3 registrations were also at record level with 429 pipping the 423 previous best, from 2015. In the overall 4.5t-max GVM market, Isuzu’s remarkable run continued in September, hitting 125 registrations in a month for the second time in 2017. It pushed its YTD sales to 925 trucks – for a monthly average of 103. Market analyst Robin Yates, whose Marketing Hand consultancy

Recently Registered


Central Logistics Services co-owner Matt McCarthy has put this new Kenworth T409 logger to work out of a Levin base, hauling logs over much of the lower North Island. Mark Wakefield drives the 8x4, which has a 550-578hp Cummins X15, an 18-speed Roadranger and Meritor 46-160 rear axles on Hendrickson Primaax suspension. The five-axle trailer and the truck’s logging gear was built by McCarthy Engineering.

prepares this monthly report for NZ Truck & Driver, points out that despite Isuzu’s stellar performance…. “it has actually lost market share (year on year), for the first time since 2014. “The reason for this is the rebirth of Fuso – now in the hands of a new operation formed by long-established local dealer Keith Andrews.” Fuso’s 77 September registrations took it to 718 for the year – an average of 80 sales per month. In third place came Hino, with 498 YTD and 63 for the month. Following them came Mercedes-Benz (274/47) and Volvo (242/22). UD (197/25) overtook DAF (195/21) and Kenworth (170/20) overtook Iveco (169/18). MAN (121/25) caught up with Scania (121/8) for 10th-equal. In the 3.5-4.5t crossover segment, Fiat (219/30) increased its lead

over Mercedes-Benz (90/4). Ford (11/2) took over third spot from Renault, which didn’t register any new units. In the 4.5-7.5t segment, Fuso (368/38) consolidated its position over Isuzu (264/30) and Mercedes-Benz (186/37). Iveco (89/10) pulled clear of Hino (88/9), while RAM (40/1) and Fiat (32/3) held their places. Isuzu (369/45) continued to power clear of the rest in the 7.5-15t segment, with Fuso (175/15) and Hino (168/14) the closest of them. UD (52/6) was next, ahead of Iveco (17/2), which caught MAN (17/1). Mercedes-Benz (11/1) remained seventh, while Hyundai (6/3) pulled ahead of DAF (5/2). Yates notes that the “Other” listing in this segment was boosted by someone registering a Bedford! UD (57/9) regained the slightest lead in the 15-20.5t segment from Hino (56/8). Fuso (40/4), Isuzu (17/2), Iveco (15/3), MercedesTruck & Driver | 99




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Recently Registered

This new International WorkStar TST tractor unit is doubleshifted, carting shipping containers in the Auckland metropolitan area for Tapper Transport. Mal Robinson and Denver Williams drive the 8x4, which has a 475hp International MF13 engine, an Eaton Ultra Shift AMT and 40,000 lb Meritor diffs. It works with a Patchell quad Swinglift trailer.

Benz (10/3), Scania (7/0), MAN (6/2), DAF (3/0) and Volvo and Western Star tied for 10th with two apiece. In the 20.5-23t segment, only Hino (25/3) and UD (17/1) added to their totals. In the premium 23t to max GVM division, Isuzu (272/48) continued to increase its lead, taking almost 21% of the September market. Second-placed Volvo (240/22) was only third-equal with MAN (96/22) for the month – and was beaten by YTD fifth-placed Hino (161/29). However there was no change to the YTD order, with the PACCAR twins DAF (185/19) and Kenworth (170/20) comfortably holding onto third and fourth positions. In sixth, Fuso (133/20) had a good month but was still a long way behind the segment leaders – but Yates points out that historically both Hino and Fuso have enjoyed strong Q4 sales “so the scene is set for possible changes.” Scania (108/8) was still the only other brand to reach three figures

but MAN (96/22) closed in on the mark. Ninth-placed UD (71/9) was followed by Mercedes-Benz (66/6), Mack (51/5), Iveco (48/3) and Freightliner (42/6). Western Star was 10th for the month with seven registrations but, with only 18 regos YTD, is fifth from bottom – beating only Sinotruk, Caterpillar, Hyundai and “Other.” Heavy trailer market leader Patchell (144/17) was only second for the month, behind YTD second-placed Fruehauf (110/20), which moved further clear of the rest. The contest is close though for the rest of the top eight, with five trailermakers within 12 sales of third-placed Roadmaster (83/16). MTE (79/8), was fourth, ahead of Domett (79/8), which had a low month and dropped two places. Transport Trailers (73/10) gained one place, as did TMC (72/10) while Maxi-CUBE (71/7) lost two spots. Jackson (41/4) swapped places with Transfleet (39/2) and TES (24/4) remained 11th. Fourth for the month, with 12 registrations, was German newcomer Schmitz Cargobull. T&D

YTD Q3 five-year overall market comparison – 4.5t to max GVM Period Q1 Q2 Q3 YTD


2017 Truck 1118 1321 1474 3913

Trailer 330 381 429 1140

Truck 903 1026 1140 3069

2015 Trailer 310 344 356 1010

Truck 1024 1035 1133 3192

2014 Trailer 350 385 423 1158

Truck 963 1051 1302 3316

2013 Trailer 282 307 379 968

Truck 683 886 966 2535

Trailer 236 269 298 803

Truck & Driver | 101

Recently Registered Panpac contractor Nathan (Froddo) Nicol has this new Kenworth K200 2.3 flat-roof sleeper hauling logs to Napier from Hawke’s Bay, East Coast and central North Island forests. It has a 612hp Cummins X15 engine, an 18-speed Roadranger manual gearbox and Meritor RT46-160 diffs on PACCAR Airglide 460 suspension. It has Patchell logging gear and tows a matching four-axle multi-bolster trailer. Extras include a stainless drop-visor, extra trim and lights and custom-painted paintwork by Darryn Caulfield.


2017 Vol 368 264 186 89 88 40 32 18 7 2 1 4 1099

% 35.9 25.0 9.6 6.4 10.9 4.8 3.7 0.8 1.9 1.9 0.3 0.8 100.0

September Vol % 38 29.7 30 23.4 37 28.9 10 7.8 9 7.0 1 0.8 3 2.3 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 128 100.0

7501-15,000kg GVM 2017


2017 Vol % 925 23.6 718 18.3 498 12.7 274 7.0 242 6.2 197 5.0 195 5.0 170 4.3 169 4.3 121 3.1 121 3.1 51 1.3 42 1.1 40 1.0 32 0.8 25 0.6 22 0.6 20 0.5 20 0.5 7 0.2 3 0.1 1 0.0 1 0.0 19 0.5 3913 100.00

September Vol % 125 25.7 77 15.8 63 12.9 47 9.7 22 4.5 25 5.1 21 4.3 20 4.1 18 3.7 25 5.1 8 1.6 5 1.0 6 1.2 1 0.2 3 0.6 4 0.8 2 0.4 3 0.6 7 1.4 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 5 1.0 487 100.0


Vol 324 369 175 168 52 17 17 11 6 5 1 11 832

% 43.8 44.4 21.0 20.2 6.3 2.0 2.0 1.3 0.7 0.6 0.1 1.3 100.0

September Vol % 45 40.9 45 48.4 15 16.1 14 15.1 6 6.5 2 2.2 1 1.1 1 1.1 3 3.2 2 2.2 0 0.0 4 4.3 93 100.0


2017 Vol 57 56 40 17 15 10 7 6 3 2 2 1 216

% 26.4 25.9 18.5 7.9 6.9 4.6 3.2 2.8 1.4 0.9 0.9 0.5 100.0

September Vol % 9 29.0 8 25.8 4 12.9 2 6.5 3 9.7 3 9.7 0 0.0 2 6.5 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 31 100.0


2017 Vol 162 219 90 11 9 5 2 2 338

102 | Truck & Driver

% 62.1 64.8 26.6 3.3 2.7 1.5 0.6 0.6 100.0

September Vol % 30 62.5 30 83.3 4 11.1 2 5.6 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 36 100.0


2017 Vol % 25 38.5 17 26.2 6 9.2 5 7.7 3 4.6 2 3.1 2 3.1 2 3.1 1 1.5 2 3.1 65 100.0

September Vol % 3 75.0 1 25.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 4 100.0


2017 Vol 272 240 185 170 161 133 108 96 71 66 51 48 42 20 18 16 1 1 2 1701

% 16.0 14.1 10.9 10.0 9.5 7.8 6.3 5.6 4.2 3.9 3.0 2.8 2.5 1.2 1.1 0.9 0.1 0.1 0.1 100.0

September Vol % 48 20.8 22 9.5 19 8.2 20 8.7 29 12.6 20 8.7 8 3.5 22 9.5 9 3.9 6 2.6 5 2.2 3 1.3 6 2.6 3 1.3 7 3.03 2 0.87 0 0.0 1 0.43 1 0.43 231 100.0

Trailers 2017 Brand Vol% PATCHELL 144 12.6 FRUEHAUF 110 9.6 ROADMASTER 83 7.3 MTE 79 6.9 DOMETT 78 6.8 TRANSPORT TRAILERS 73 6.4 TMC 72 6.3 MAXICUBE 71 6.2 JACKSON 41 3.6 TRANSFLEET 39 3.4 TES 24 2.1 KRAFT 22 1.9 CWS 20 1.8 EVANS 18 1.6 HAMMAR 17 1.5 FAIRFAX 15 1.3 CHIEFTAIN 12 1.1 SCHMITZ CARGOBULL 12 1.1 MILLS-TUI 11 1.0 LOHR 10 0.9 LUSK 10 0.9 MAKARANUI 10 0.9 ADAMS & CURRIE 8 0.7 COWAN 8 0.7 HTS 7 0.6 MTT 6 0.5 PTE 6 0.5 TIDD 5 0.4 WHITE 5 0.4 BM 4 0.4 CLARK 4 0.4 LOWES 4 0.4 SEC 4 0.4 TANKER ENG. 4 0.4 FOTHERINGHAME 3 0.3 WARRENS 3 0.3 BISON 2 0.2 CONVAIR 2 0.2 GLASGOW 2 0.2 GUY NORRIS 2 0.2 IDEAL SERVICES 2 0.2 MORGAN 2 0.2 TEN4 2 0.2 TEO 2 0.2 OTHER 82 7.2 TOTAL 1140 100.0

September Vol% 17 10.7 20 12.6 12 7.5 8 5.0 6 3.8 10 6.3 10 6.3 7 4.4 4 2.5 2 1.3 4 2.5 4 2.5 4 2.5 1 0.6 1 0.6 4 2.5 0 0.0 12 7.5 5 3.1 0 0.0 1 0.6 4 2.5 1 0.6 2 1.3 1 0.6 0 0.0 1 0.6 1 0.6 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 1 0.6 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 16 10.1 159 100.0

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Recently Registered



Anna and Cameron Russ’ Redwood Valley Transport in Nelson has put this new DAF CF85 FAT tipper to work around the Nelson/Marlborough region carting general bulk loads. It has a 510hp PACCAR MX engine and a Roadranger manual gearbox.

Mount Maunganui operator E-Freight has put this new Mack Granite 6x4 tractor unit to work, hauling containers. It has a 500hp Mack MP8 engine. It was the first truck sold by new Auckland-based Mack salesman Nick Kale.

104 | Truck & Driver

Taupo’s Green Transport has put this new Kenworth K200, The Warrior, into its logging operation. Longserving driver Peter Batt has a Cummins engine, Roadranger 18-speed, 46-160 diffs on Airglide suspension and Patchell logging gear, with a matching trailer.

Recently Registered

Aztec contractor Mike (Bull) Rainsford (left) takes delivery of he and wife Ange’s new Mack Trident from Mack’s Ryan Simmonds. The 8x4 has a 535hp MP8 engine, mDrive AMT and Meritor 46-160 diffs. It has Kraft bolsters and a matching four-axle trailer.

YTD Q3 five-year makes comparison – 4.5t-max GVM Brand

















925 718 498 274 242 197 195 170 169 121 121 51 42 40 32 25 22 20 20 7 3 1 1

23.6 18.3 12.7 7.0 6.2 5.0 5.0 4.3 4.3 3.1 3.1 1.3 1.1 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.5 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0

867 321 512 128 165 177 162 129 120 103 98 49 69 16 23 34 N/A 15 14 12 17 14 5 2

28.3 10.5 16.7 4.2 5.4 5.8 5.3 4.2 3.9 3.4 3.2 1.6 2.2 0.5 0.7 1.1 N/A 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.6 0.5 0.2 0.1

791 439 492 154 199 193 157 148 71 123 133 60 81 N/A 21 13 N/A 25 15 4 17 8 25 2

24.8 13.8 15.4 4.8 6.2 6.0 4.9 4.6 2.2 3.9 4.2 1.9 2.5 N/A 0.7 0.4 N/A 0.8 0.5 0.1 0.5 0.3 0.8 0.1

694 456 563 161 200 184 151 120 98 210 117 47 102 N/A 16 15 N/A 33 22 37 36 25 14 3

20.9 13.8 17.0 4.9 6.0 5.5 4.6 3.6 3.0 6.3 3.5 1.4 3.1 N/A 0.5 0.5 N/A 1.0 0.7 1.1 1.1 0.8 0.4 0.1

565 298 354 132 173 129 164 97 71 31 141 45 65 N/A 8 30 N/A 91 25 42 N/A 26 25 7

22.3 11.8 14.0 5.2 6.8 5.1 6.5 3.8 2.8 1.2 5.6 1.8 2.6 N/A 0.3 1.2 N/A 3.6 1.0 1.7 N/A 1.0 1.0 0.3

OTHER Volumes

19 3913


17 3069


21 3192


12 3316


16 2535


Increased share from 2016 Lost share since 2016 No change in share from 2016 Truck & Driver | 105


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NZ Truck & Driver November 2017  
NZ Truck & Driver November 2017