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The TGX 26.640 also meets current Euro 6C regulations and is one of the cleanest and most efficient MAN trucks. Plus you can get it with the latest leading edge technology and safety features, all making for a very powerful argument. Adaptive Cruise Control Land Guard System BrakeMatic EBS Electronic Stability Program Dynamic Stability Program Roll Over Protection Emergency Brake Assist Antijackknife Brake Emergency Brake Signal Turbo EVBec engine brake EfficientRoll North Island: Penske Commercial Vehicles 0800 728 695 South Island: Heavy Trucks 03 376 4305

Maximum combined output of optional TurboEVBec and retarder. Some listed features are optional equipment.

Issue 209


BIG TEST Arocs an all-rounder | FLEET FOCUS Yelavichs’ years of hard yakka | FEATURE Bill’s business broadens....bigtime

The most powerful MAN truck ever available in New Zealand, the TGX 26.640, is now here. At 640PS (471kW) and 3000Nm (2213 it has more pulling power than ever. And with up to 900kW combined brake output1 it has more stopping power than ever.

| February 2018





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20/12/17 1:11 PM

CONTENTS Issue 209 – February 2018 2 News

39 Transport Forum

The latest in the world of transport, including….record truck sales uncover a new challenger to longtime No. 1 Isuzu; Calven Bonney a reluctant New Year honours award recipient; Volvo increases Aussie factory output; Mills-Tui has new owners

22 Goodyear Big Test In Europe, the new Mercedes-Benz Arocs is a construction truck – with a superstrong chassis, high ground clearance and a full hand of all-wheel-drive options. Here in NZ, they’re speccing it more like a tough road truck – with hypoid drive axles instead of hub reduction, a lower chassis height, two-leaf rather than three-leaf front suspension, air suspension at the back, lower-profile tyres, a driver’s airbag as standard and uprated interiors

Latest news from the Road Transport Forum NZ, including…..CEO Ken Shirley believes NZ’s infrastructure development and urban planning has been hijacked by “a small, noisy minority;” expert reckons we’ll be all-electric by 2030

48 Fleet Focus The numbers seem beyond belief. Here’s Bob Yelavich, as usual manning the phones in the office of the family trucking business…which he started fulltime work in 71 years ago!

FEATURES 68 Simon says…..COMPETE Northland transport operator Simon Reid likes a good truck driving contest. He always has. That’s how come he’s won his fair share of ‘em – including the 2017 New Zealand Truck Driving Championship

81 “Bill’s business” broadens….bigtime Southland’s HW Richardson Group, long one of NZ’s biggest, most successful, privately-owned transport operators is diversifying – dramatically, via its Transport World subsidiary

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

91 Out of America North American correspondent Steve Sturgess drives the new, fully automated 12-speed AMT from Eaton. Or, rather, from Eaton Cummins

95 TRT Recently Registered New truck and trailer registrations for November/December and the full 2017 year

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Truck & Driver | 1


A reluctant award-winner

Above right: Calven Bonney has given his time to industry organisations for 44 years....but didn’t think he’d done enough to warrant an award Above left: In motorsport, Bonney is probably best known for this kind of crowd-pleasing approach to truck racing. Photo - the late Graham Blow AUCKLAND TRANSPORT OPERATOR CALVEN BONNEY initially didn’t want the Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit award, which was announced in the New Year’s Honours. When told of the award, “I was a no really,” says the 66-year-old, who received the Order in recognition of his four decades-plus voluntary service to the trucking industry, plus his longtime involvement in motorsport. He explains: “A huge worry is that, you know, you’ve never done enough – you’ve never achieved enough.” But, a few weeks after the award announcement, Bonney reckons: “I’ve got a bit used to it now – I’m not feeling quite so bad about it.” He has, he says, had many “good people” reassure him it’s a positive thing. “I’m very appreciative of those people who put me forward obviously…the ones who told all the lies!” Bonney started driving trucks at 18, began his own one-truck business at 22 or 23…and in 1984 bought the LW Bonney family business his grandfather had started 36 years before. It comprised just three trucks. Under his guidance the fleet’s grown to over 100 trucks. But Bonney, a past president of National Road Carriers and a board member for 44 straight years, reckons: “I’m just as proud of National Road Carriers as I am of anything. It’s taken up a large part of my life – and I let it, because I like the challenge of it.” Similarly, he also played a key role in the establishment of the Road Transport Forum in 1997 – bringing together seven individual trucking organisations to give 5000 trucking companies a single voice in Wellington, to deal with government: “Getting the Forum together was probably the highlight.” He’s been on the RTF board since its inception and was its chairman from 2000 to 2002 and it remains a Bonney ambition “to see the industry united, with one industry group – to continue where we set out to go with the Forum.” 2 | Truck & Driver

NRC CEO David Aitken says Bonney is well known for providing advice and acting as a sounding board for road transport operators and has championed improvements in the overall professionalism of the industry and fostered strong working relationships for the industry with government agencies and authorities. Bonney’s passion for motorsport saw him start out crewing for other drivers, including 1967 F1 world champion Denny Hulme, before becoming a winner in his own right in speedway midgets and TQs. Much later he switched to circuit racing – in racetrucks, Super GTs and Formula 5000. In motorsport he’s probably best known for his role in the early days of truck racing in NZ – building an International PayStar racetruck to support the launch of the sport here… And soon becoming The Entertainer of the truck racing scene – delighting the huge crowds with totally un-PC, tyre-smoking truckie/cop “chases” with the CVIU’s Sgt Brian Locke – regularly ending up with Bonney doing donuts in the Inter and Locke handcuffed to a patrol car! Says Bonney: “Nobody’s had that much fun in anything before!” He always saw it, he says, as a way to present a new image of the transport industry to the public – and to improve relations between the industry and the CVIU: “And I think we achieved that.” Bonney is a longtime Festival of Motorsport sponsor and transport provider and has also been a keen Variety Club Bash supporter, participant and fundraiser. Remarkably, given the size of the Bonney business, he still drives trucks – in fact, “every day for the last three or four months.” That’s a result of the chronic shortage of drivers – but it’s not that he minds really: “I still love driving me truck (a 535hp Mack Trident 8x4 truck and trailer tanker unit).” T&D


In record year, a challenger emerges Tesla Semi charges into the limelight The Fuso North model lineup that set a newcorrespondent sales record in 2017 is getting new additions this year Story American Steve Sturgess NEW ZEALAND’S NEW TRUCK SALES LAST YEAR BROKE all previous annual records – with 5209 heavy truck registrations. That was 781 more than the former alltime record, set in 2014. The 1577 heavy transport trailers registered last year was also a record….but only just! It pipped 2015’s previous record by two. Official NZ Transport Agency registration statistics show that the overall new truck market was up a whopping 28% on 2016’s sales. And, while Isuzu maintained its leadership – now out to 18 years in a row as No. 1 in the overall market (trucks with a GVM of 4.5 tonnes or more) – 2017 saw Fuso emerge as a challenger. While Isuzu broke its own record by averaging 105 new truck registrations per month, its overall market share dropped – from almost 30% in 2016, to 24.2% last year. Fuso NZ, the new distributor for the make that was NZ’s best seller until Isuzu began its long streak, improved its market share from a lowly 10.18% in 2016, to 18.33% last year – by selling 955 new trucks. That was a 130% improvement on the 414 sold in 2016 and an 80% increase in market share. It ranked second in 2017 sales in the overall market, displacing Hino (which sold 661 trucks, for a 12.69% share – down from 15.72% in 2016). Fuso NZ says that, taking into account bus sales as well as truck regos, it sold 1017 units last year – smashing its own previous best year (787 in 2014) by 20%. Fuso NZ managing director Kurtis Andrews says the company “didn’t head out to set the world on fire.” With a “delivering better” focus, “our main goal for the year was to develop a business that would allow Fuso trucks to realise their potential in NZ. “Thanks to our highly experienced and passionate dealer network, the

foundation was already in place. “There has been a massive amount of work put in at Fuso NZ and by our dealers, to build our team and operations from the ground up.” The year’s sales results are, he says, “testament to the effort that went in and the potential the business has.” Behind the sales record, Andrews points out, Fuso NZ now stocks a record number of parts in its Auckland warehouse – and that’s “helping re-establish customer confidence in the brand. “We now carry over 8000 stock items in our parts inventory. Previously, only around 3000 Fuso parts were available off the shelf in NZ – anything else had to be airfreighted, which often lead to unsatisfactory delays. Our off-the-shelf parts order fill rate is now at 96%.” Andrews hints at even better to come this year from the revitalised Japanese brand: “Now we’re set up, we’re in a position to focus on selling trucks and continuing to deliver better for our customers. “We’ve got some exciting products landing in 2018 – and we’re all pretty excited about the opportunities they’ll bring.” In the record-breaking truck market, Fuso was joined by Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Iveco, Kenworth, Scania, Ram, Fiat and Sinotruk in increasing their market shares. Many that lost percentage share still sold more trucks than in 2016…and some set their own new alltime or five-year sales records. Isuzu also continued its No. 1 status in the premium 23t to max GVM market in 2017, although it did lose 2.69% share from 2016. Volvo retained second place, ahead of DAF (which achieved a five-year best). Patchell Group extended its trailer market No. 1 streak to its eighth straight year, putting a record 186 units on the road. Fruehauf was runner-up, ahead of Roadmaster and MTE. For a full report on last year’s truck and trailer registrations, see TRT Recently Registered, on Page 95. T&D Far left: Isuzu notched up a remarkable milestone – its 18th straight year as the market No. 1 Left: Fuso NZ’s Kurtis Andrews says records weren’t the goal at the start of last year Truck & Driver | 3

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New Scanias for NZ trial The new generation Scanias have so far only been released on the market in Europe

THREE OF SCANIA’S NEW-GENERATION TRUCKS WILL undergo testing in New Zealand in the next few months. National distributor CablePrice will work with Scania to evaluate different configurations of the new generation truck in various applications, in preparation for the model’s NZ introduction. Mike Davidson, CablePrice’s national sales manager for commercial vehicles, says that no local launch date has been set, but he’s confident that the extensive testing programme to evaluate the new model will confirm its suitability for Kiwi operators. And he adds: “We are committed to working these evaluation units hard in NZ’s challenging conditions.” To date, the new generation Scania has been available only in European markets, and Davidson says it has broken new ground in the trucking

industry “with the introduction of passenger car-like safety features such as side curtain airbags and (has) demonstrated class-leading fuel consumption.” The truck also promises the very latest advances in automotive technology, together with a wide array of digital connected services. The combination of these features can help operators accurately track the performance of trucks, resulting in lower maintenance costs and improved uptime, says CablePrice. The NZ programme will run for several months, with the performance data gathered sent back to Scania engineers in Sweden. Meanwhile, Scania Australia boss Mikael Jansson has reportedly told Aussie media that the new generation truck will be launched there next month – with the first customer trucks expected to go on the road there in the second half of the year. T&D

Isuzu expands tipper range ISUZU IS EXPANDING ITS SUCCESSFUL CYZ TIPPER range in New Zealand, with the first of the model to offer more than 500 horsepower. The newcomer is a 530hp 6x4 – the extra power welcomed by Isuzu national sales manager Dave Ballantyne: “This segment of the market is currently shared between the US and European brands, so it’s fantastic we now have an offering for loyal Isuzu customers. “The new model can’t come soon enough. The market for bulk tippers is very strong, driven by the growth in infrastructure work around the country, and this means a significant pent-up demand for new Isuzu product in the segment.” The new model features a magnetic driveline retarder, alloy wheels, heavy-duty front axle, a low cost of ownership and all-round durability, says Ballantyne. Pricing for the new model will be announced closer to its arrival here, which is scheduled to be sometime in this first quarter. T&D

The new 530hp CYZ tipper

Truck & Driver | 5


Volvo’s factory at Waco in Brisbane is upping its production output to meet record demand, here and in Australia

Volvo factory increases capacity RECORD DEMAND AND STRONG ONGOING ORDERS for new Volvo trucks in New Zealand and Australia have prompted Volvo Group Australia to increase the capacity of its Brisbane factory. VGA says that the increased build numbers will help ease the pressure on the plant and ensure its future capability to meet customer’s needs. Volvo Trucks NZ says continuing demand here has been a large part of the decision to increase build capacity. It adds that every time supply was increased in 2017, demand quickly outstripped it. Record NZ deliveries in 2017 and orders into 2018 remain at alltime high levels across the Volvo FM, FMX and FH model ranges, says vice president of Volvo Truck sales Australia, Mitch Peden: “At a factory level, we’re doing a lot of work to ensure every available build slot is allocated to the NZ team because we know they have orders waiting. “Further to this, we’re working hard to do a better job of prioritising our build slots to have them allocated to customers, in line with their particular timing demands. “We have juggled our build plan to maximise our ability to get additional trucks to NZ and while there’s possibly not as many as we would like in the first half of 2018, if the market continues to grow, we’ll continue to focus on satisfying as many requests as possible” 6 | Truck & Driver

Demand for Volvo trucks is also at very high levels in Western Europe and other key Volvo markets worldwide and that has placed additional pressure on all of the supply chain, Peden adds. Clive Jones, MTD Trucks’ NZ national sales manager for Volvo trucks says: “The total heavy truck market in NZ is well up on last year, but our market share indicates significantly higher growth than our premium segment competitors. “To some extent we forecast that demand but the level of growth has remained exceptionally strong and that continues to be the case. It’s always difficult to let sales go when we’re unable to deliver and we’ve certainly faced that situation a few times this year. “On the upside though, we’re grateful to the significant number of our customers who are pre-planning and making orders in advance, as well as the large number of new fleets who have joined the brand this year despite some long lead times. “We’ve seen the growth right across the range. However, our high horsepower offering has seen the strongest increase, with 700 horsepower and 750hp models leading the charge as more and more high productivity vehicles enter the national fleet. Trip times, fuel efficiency, driver comfort and safety have all contributed to the demand.” T&D

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Historic Canterbury businesses come together TWO COMPANIES THAT HAVE BEEN AN INTEGR AL part of the Canterbury engineering and transport sectors for more than a century have been brought together. AB Equipment and NZ Trucks, both owned by Auckland-based Equipment Holdings, have moved to a new 30,000-square-metre, purposebuilt base in Hornby, on Christchurch’s south-west edge. The facility, it says, comprises one of the largest single sites for commercial machinery and truck sales, service and support in New Zealand. And Equipment Holdings CEO Peter Dudson says the move is very timely: “This is an exciting venture for both businesses, which had outgrown their current sites in Christchurch. The new state-of-the-art facility allows us to better serve our customers, provides room for growth and gives our team a workplace to be proud of.” The history of both AB Equipment and NZ Trucks, under their former names of Andrews and Beaven and International Harvester, is entwined with that of Canterbury. AB Equipment’s history extends back to 1878, when Andrews and Beaven began business in Christchurch, manufacturing and selling agricultural equipment. The original staff numbered 18. Fast forward through 139 years and a name change, and AB Equipment now has 420 staff across 20 sites,

from Invercargill to Whangarei – and holds agencies for a wide range of equipment in the materials handling, construction and forestry sectors. AB Equipment employs around 40 staff at the Christchurch branch and the company says its new building will allow the team to continue the introduction of technically-smart diagnostic servicing equipment. NZ Trucks had its beginnings as International Harvester in Christchurch in 1912, selling and servicing agricultural and construction machinery and trucks. In 1957 the company moved its head office and assembly plant to Blenheim Road. In the 60 years since, it has had several owners and a name change…and has expanded to six sites across NZ and 150 staff. The Christchurch branch has around 90 staff and a 28-lane facility allowing easy flow for truck servicing, including a dedicated VTNZ lane to provide a one-stop-shop for customers. It’s the largest facility in the NZ Trucks network. Backing up its truck and equipment servicing operations, NZ Trucks holds an exclusive national distributorship for HIAB and Jonsered loader cranes, Zepro, DEL and Waltco tail lifts, Jonsered and Loglift log cranes, MultiLift demountables and Moffett truck-mounted forklifts. The company is also an agent for the Bucher Municipal range of rubbish and recycling compactors and truck-mounted and compact sweepers. T&D

Top: The new state-of-the art facility in Hornby is one of the biggest and best in NZ, the companies say Below left & right: AB Equipment’s history extends back 139 years, when Andrews & Beaven started in business....while NZ Trucks began life as International Harvester in 1912

Truck & Driver | 9


Mills-Tui has new owners

Dean Purves at work in the Mills-Tui factory

HEAV Y TRUCK BODY AND TRAILER MANUFACTURER Mills-Tui Rotorua Limited has changed hands. The company, which specialises in designing and manufacturing a full range of heavy transport truck and trailer units, fire appliances, ambulances, defence vehicles and other high-tech specialty vehicles, has been bought by husband and wife Dean and Carey-lee Purves. The buyout, effective at the end of January, will see the company operate as Mills-Tui Limited, while continuing to work from the Rotorua site it’s occupied for over 30 years. Dean Purves says that in three decades Mills-Tui has become recognised internationally as “being at the forefront of innovation, design and customer focus in the field of customised vehicles, emergency vehicle manufacture and project management.”

Purves has over 20 years’ experience in the automotive, finance and heavy transport industries – most recently as FleetPartners’ heavy commercial GM. Prior to that he held senior management roles with TCL Isuzu and Manheim, giving him “an in-depth knowledge of truck and trailer specifications, sales and finance,” he says. He is, he adds, “really excited to be taking over Mills-Tui. The brand has a rich history in NZ transport and turns out high quality and innovative truck bodies and trailers.” He says that former owner Jeff Miller will continue with the new company as its engineering manager and adds that all existing staff are being retained. In fact, says Purves, “with a strong outlook for forward orders, we’re already looking at recruiting additional staff to meet the demand.” T&D

EROAD in US distance recorder study EROAD HAS BEEN SELECTED TO participate in the United States’ first multi-state truck pilot scheme to explore the feasibility of a Mileage-Based User Fee (MBUF) along the nation’s eastern seaboard. The study is one of several looking at potential alternatives to the fuel-based tax that’s the mainstay of transport infrastructure funding in the US and has been set up by the I-95 Corridor Coalition – a partnership of transportation agencies, toll authorities, public safety officials and related organisations in the trial region. The major vehicle corridor through the

10 | Truck & Driver

eastern states is the I-95, which stretches more than 3000 kilometres, from Maine in the north to Florida in the south. The region generates peak daily traffic of 300,000 vehicles, 31,000 of them heavy trucks, which account for 5.4 billion tonnes of freight every year. Over half of the I-95’s length is through urban areas, 60% of which are currently classed as heavily congested, with this projected to reach 100% by 2035 unless improvements are made. For the $NZ2.4million pilot programme, the I-95 Corridor Coalition has partnered with the Delaware state to explore the feasibility of replacing fuel taxes with a distance-based user

fee (similar to NZ’s RUCs) in a multi-state environment (whereas previous distance-based usage approaches have primarily focused on a single state). The pilot will see 50 vehicles equipped with EROAD in-vehicle hardware for six months. The system will record accurate distance data and apply applicable formulas for a truckbased MBUF as prescribed by the programme’s steering committee, which includes the American Trucking Associations. EROAD will produce dummy invoices, demonstrating payments to appropriate agencies within the Coalition. T&D















17 17


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MOVE to move into in la

CANTERBURY WAREHOUSING AND LOGISTICS operator MOVE Logistics is expanding into the $500million IPort Business Park industrial and logistics development at Rolleston. MOVE’s longterm lease of a purposebuilt warehouse in the 122-hectare business park will extend its warehousing in Canterbury from 50,000 square metres to 78,000 sq m – half of that by April next year, the balance around a year later. The first stage of the IPort development included the sale of 27 hectares to Lyttelton Port Company in 2015 to develop its MidlandPort – and the warehouse will be located adjacent to the inland port. MOVE MD Brendan Prendergast says the company has experienced “huge growth” and now employs over 350 staff and has 120 trucks carting freight nationwide. The investment complements another MOVE warehouse at Ports of Auckland’s inland port in Wiri, says Prendergast – “allowing us to offer our customers an end-to-end delivery service and, at the same time, reduce freight movements. “We’re particularly pleased that the IPort warehouse facility will deliver increased efficiency and cost savings to our customers, ranging from reduced container transportation costs, container triangulation benefits, access to rail and reduced overall supply chain costs.”

The warehouse’s open boundary to MidlandPort “will ensure our customers have direct connectivity to international markets.” The IPort warehouse expansion means that MOVE will be well prepared to support the growing agriculture sector. IPort director Tim Carter says that “about 92% of Canterbury’s exports transit through Rolleston, so IPort is a natural aggregation point” for road and rail connections west, south, and north of Christchurch.

IPort director Tim Carter (left) and MOVE MD Brendan Prendergast at the inland port site


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Fuwa K Hitch 19.5 Drum Brake Fuwa K Hitch 19.5 Disc Brake Fuwa K Hitch 22.5 Drum Brake Fuwa K Hitch 19.5 Drum Brake Fuwa K Hitch 19.5 DiscBrake BrakeDisc Fuwa KFuwa HitchFuwa Drum Brake Fuwa K Hitch 19.5 Drum Brake Fuwa Fuwa K Hitch 19.5 Brake K Hitch 22.5 Fuwa K Hitch 19.5 Drum Brake Combo K Hitch 19.5 Disc Combo K22.5 Hitch 22.5 DrumDrum BrakeBrake Combo 8/275 axles with Knorr-Bremse 8/275 axles with Knorr-Bremse 10/335 with 8/275 axles with Knorr-Bremse 8/275 axles with Knorr-Bremse 10/335axles axles withKnorr-Bremse Knorr-Bremse 8/275 axles with Knorr-Bremse Kit Contains:8/275 axles with Knorr-Bremse 10/335 axles with Knorr-Bremse KitMulti-Volt contains: ABS Kit Contains: or EBS (dependant Multi-Volt ABSABS or EBS (dependant Multi-Volt ABS ororEBS (dependant Multi-Volt ABS orABS EBSAxles (dependant or Brake EBS (dependant EBS (dependant Multi-Volt or EBS (dependant• 4xMulti-Volt Multi-Volt ABS or EBS (dependant Multi-Volt Multi-Volt ABS or EBSAxles (dependant • 4x 19.5 Drum Brake 8/275 19.5 Disc Axles •suspension) 3xABS 10/335 22.5 Drum Brake on8/275 trailer suspension) on trailer suspension) onon trailer on trailer suspension) on trailer suspension) trailer suspension) • 1x Knorr Bremse G2.2 suspension) EBS Brake kit • 1x Knorr Bremse G2.2suspension) EBS Brake Kit • 1x Knorr Bremse G2.2 EBS Brake Kit on trailer on trailer on trailer suspension)

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And Lyttelton Port Company marketing manager Simon Munt says that MOVE customers will enjoy “efficiencies and cost savings by reducing container handling via LPC’s direct rail link into Lyttelton Port. “The rail line has removed a significant amount of trucks a day from Christchurch roads, which ultimately benefits the environment.” T&D

CablePrice gets new sales, marketing boss SCANI A DISTRIBUTOR CABLEPRICE H AS appointed longtime staffer Deon Stephens to the role of general manager, sales and marketing. He’s worked for the company for the last 20 years in a range of management roles, most recently as national customer support manager – responsible for technical support, service contracts and warranties, fleet management systems and key account management. CablePrice national marketing manager, brand and communication, Steve Young, says Stephens’ extensive experience with CablePrice has given him “in-depth exposure to the entire business and provided exceptional understanding of customer expectations across our extensive range of products and industries. “He has a genuine focus on delivering on our promise to customers and exceeding expectations, driving down their total cost of ownership through the use of technology and providing a team that supports our customers to grow our businesses together.” CablePrice managing director and COO, Pat Ward, says that Stephens’ “strong customercentric approach” will be known to many customers, and adds: “Deon’s aftersales background being transferred into the sales arena brings a strong empathy that allows him to connect directly to customer needs in a way that can only come from experience.” T&D

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Longtime TRT MD bows out KEVIN CHUBB, THE LONGTIME managing director of manufacturing engineering, truck and trailer parts, mechanical service and repair and crane sales and service operation TRT (Tidd Ross Todd), has left the business. The family-owned company (which notchedup 50 years of business last year) credits Chubb, the MD since 1997, with leading “a number of key business achievements – championing many developments that have put the company into the position of a leading transport engineering and aftermarket supplier.” “Kevin has led from the front with a team of loyal and enthusiastic people, overseeing the development of TRT’s business through many challenges and significant growth.” That includes building up staff levels from 75 to 200 employees, in a “terrific culture of hard work, professionalism and fun!” Chubb led the development of the heavy

transport parts business to now include nationwide coverage, two warehouses, eight customer service staff and six account managers on the road…focusing on only genuine parts. He’s overseen “significant” growth in facilities, including a fully-integrated manufacturing plant in Hamilton, ensuring that “almost all” of TRT’s production is done inhouse. There’s been the addition of key franchise partners Scania, Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, Isuzu and Fuso, the purchase of B&N Cranes in Brisbane and the establishment of the Manitowoc agency for Queensland – providing the base for future business expansion in Australia. Manufacturing director Bruce Carden says Chubb’s appointment as MD “was a game changer for TRT.” Chubb says: “It’s been a great privilege to have been a part of this – working closely with Robert (engineering director Robert Carden)

Kevin Chubb and Bruce, in particular – with our respective strengths. Together combining to make a formidable executive team. “It’s a good time to be leaving TRT, when the company is in great heart, with strong forward orders and has great prospects for future growth.” Bruce and Robert Carden, who will now lead the business with the support of new chief operating officer Lawrence Baker, wish Chubb well for the future. T&D

TR Master Drive makes staffing changes TR MASTER DRIVE SERVICES HAS MADE FOUR NEW appointments to its operation around the North Island. Dale Brunskill, who has over 30 years in the transport industry as an operator, trainer and business owner and is one of the company’s most senior trainers, will now head the company’s Tauranga operation. TR Master Drive regional manager Geoff Wright says Brunskill brings a wealth of experience to the job and knows the region well, having been raised in Tauranga. He spent the last couple of years working with the company in Christchurch. Master Drive has also appointed husband and wife Bill and Margaret Kidney to its New Plymouth-based operation – Bill as manager of the Taranaki branch and Margaret handling the office admin plus “various

other roles” with the company nationally. The couple are longserving staffers – Bill is the company’s most senior trainer and in 18 years with Master Drive he’s worked in the Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin branches, as well as helping out in other regions. He also has the role of national trainer mentor and support manager. In Palmerston North the company had added local Matt Wildbore to its team, as a specialist driver trainer. He formerly drove for Taranaki operator Uhlenberg Haulage. Wright says TR Master Drive – New Zealand’s largest driver training services provider, in business since 1994 – now has 12 branches around the country and offers over 200 courses and sub-courses, covering everything from heavy vehicle licensing to dangerous goods handling. T&D

TR Master Drive has made a handful of new appointments. Dale Brunskill (first right) now heads the Tauranga branch, while Bill Kidney (centre) is the new manager in Taranaki and Matt Wildbore (far right) has joined the Palmerston North branch

Truck & Driver | 15


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Epic heavy haul job A SUPER-HEAV Y TRANSPORTER COMBINATION HAS completed an epic journey, carting a 410 tonne power station generator stator 500 kilometres across India – the trip taking three months to complete. The Faktor 5 model transporter from German company Goldhofer is known as a high girder bridge….as it’s built very much in the fashion of a steel bridge girder to handle the enormous loads it can carry. At either end the Faktor 5 rests on an 18-axle trailer set, with tractor units both pushing and pulling. Total weight of the rig was over 760t. The job was carried out by Mumbai-based logistics and heavy-haul company Lee & Muirhead, whose staff christened the Faktor 5 “Hanuman” after a monkey-like Hindu deity revered for his enormous strength – which, according to legend, enabled him to carry a mountain from the Himalayas. With barely half of India’s road network being hard-surfaced and with more than 150 multi-span long bridges and numerous other obstacles to be negotiated, the route offered challenge after challenge. It even included

a 15km stretch that had so many tight bends it was impassable for the complete rig, so the stator had to be moved onto an 18-axle split combination and the Faktor 5 completely dismantled, then reassembled on the far side. In order to negotiate some obstacles, the unit had to be raised up to 1.5 metres – still within its vertical limit of 1.8m. On the other hand, several road and railway underpasses called for it to be lowered – on one occasion leaving just 4 centimetres’ clearance under a rail bridge. For that operation, rail traffic had to be halted, as the passage of a train would have deflected the bridge enough to potentially damage the stator. Another time, the combination had to skirt a toll plaza, calling for the construction of a dedicated bypass. On other sections of the route, the gradients were so steep that a third tractor unit was needed in addition to the standard push-pull configuration. Lee & Muirhead expects this will be far from the Faktor 5’s only big job, since more than 30 new power stations are scheduled for construction in India over the next few years. T&D

All pictures, clockwise from top: The specialist Goldhofer trailer shows off its impressive dimensions.... over 150 multi-span bridges were negotiated... deviating around a toll plaza caused major problems... the unit had to be lowered to clear these dual railway underpasses... the combination (nicknamed Hanuman) attracted crowds all along the route

Truck & Driver | 19


TRT’s Apprentice of the Year for 2017 Luke Martin (second from right), with finalists Matthew Morgan (right) and Kent Morley, having received their awards from TRT MD Kevin Chubb (left)

TRT apprentice awards TRAILER MANUFACTURER TRT HAS JUDGED LUKE Martin its Apprentice of the Year for 2017 – ahead of fellow-finalists Matthew Morgan and Kent Morley. The award winners were announced at the annual Gallagher Rotary Awards Dinner, which recognises excellence in industry training. Supported by Sir William and Lady Judy Gallagher, the awards are hosted by the combined Frankton and Te Rapa Rotary Clubs. TRT was one of several leading Waikato companies in attendance, each making presentations to their top-performing trainees or apprentices. Martin is an apprentice in automotive parts and accessories merchandising and is a member of the TRT heavy commercial vehicle parts team. TRT managing director Kevin Chubb says that choosing the three finalists was no easy task: “We currently have 17 apprentices who qualified

for these awards, and it was a difficult process to select our three finalists from many very deserving entries.” As TRT has diversified its business over several years it has developed a significant apprenticeship programme internally. The range of work they cover includes steel fabrication and welding, engineering, heavy diesel mechanics and automotive parts. Chubb says it’s important to TRT and to the country “that we develop talent in an industry that’s often experiencing shortages in qualified tradespeople. “TRT holds a strong family value at its core and we’re looking to develop a team that’s committed to the business for the long haul – and that means that we will remain focused on opportunities for our people to move forward with a career at TRT and offering them more than a job. This also means investing in apprenticeship and other training programmes.” T&D

Transport industry companies give satisfaction SIX COMPANIES INVOLVED IN THE road transport industry have been recognised in the annual Reader’s Digest Quality Services Awards – recognising the New Zealand businesses that most satisfy their clients. Of the three categories that have a transport association, CourierPost was awarded gold and NZ Couriers silver in the courier section, Conroy Removals was rated No. 1 in the house and furniture removers category, ahead of Crown…. And in the tyre retailers section, Bridgestone/ 20 | Truck & Driver

Firestone won gold and Beaurepaires silver. A total of 41 categories were surveyed, with 1500 NZers rating their experience of service provided by businesses/organisations in sectors as varied as educational tutors, cruise companies, furniture stores, hearing services, liquor stores and tyre retailers. Reader’s Digest commissions the awards annually, this year calling upon Catalyst Market Research to run the survey, with the Kiwi participants asked to rate companies out of a maximum score of 10 – for personalisation (was

an individual customer experience provided?), satisfaction (were the customer’s expectations met or even exceeded?), simplicity (was dealing with the company quick and easy?) and understanding (was a genuine insight into the customer’s needs demonstrated?). The respondents were also asked open-ended questions to reveal positive and/or negative experiences. Feedback revealed that customers are extremely likely to recommend a company if it offers easy and efficient service, excellent value, and knowledgeable and professional staff. T&D


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Alternating between fertiliser one way and aggregate for the return trip keeps the load factor high for the Arocs



HIS IS WHERE I REALLY EARN MY MONEY,” comments Rob Hollyer as he lines up the Rooney Earthmoving Mercedes-Benz Arocs and its four-axle trailer: “It’s about as tough as it can get, especially with the bin on the offside like it is here.” We’re at a Ballance service centre – a bulk fertiliser store servicing a farming region. This one is at Mayfield, not far off the inland route between Geraldine and Methven. The facility has a row of bins down either side facing a central aisle, and was obviously originally designed for trucks only. With the first two bins there’s more room for the truck, which is largely outside the entranceway. But the load this time is Sustain, which goes into a bin three down – bringing the truck into the building as well. Consequently, Rob has to get the trailer jack-knifed in at right angles, in a space barely wider than it is long...and working all the time through the left-hand mirrors. It’s quite a challenge, and calls for a fair deal of careful backward and forward manoeuvring, plus a couple of trips out of the cab to confirm that the trailer is beginning to line up. But eventually he’s done and triggers the hoist lift. During the whole process the truck’s big, steady mirrors really come into their own, he says, with the two left-side spotters – one at the rear of the passenger window, the other at the front left of the windscreen – especially making life easier. Now there’s only a couple of things to look out

for, he adds: “You’ve got to be careful that the tailgate doesn’t snag on the corner of the bin when you start to move forward to release the load... And of course it wouldn’t be a good look to come out of the doorway with the hoist still up!” At the store, there’s a key card-operated silo filled with Sustain that can be accessed around the clock by local farmers. Rob also carts bulk loads away from the site to farms as required. The service centre is a stop on what is a regular run for Rob and the Arocs, which has been in service with Rooneys for six months and has racked up around 54,000 kilometres. It’s one of the first two into the country and the beginning of a replacement programme for Rooney’s largely Merc Axor fleet, now that model has been discontinued. And, despite the Arocs having impressive credentials as a construction vehicle – including a super-strong chassis, high ground clearance and a complete lineup of all-wheel-drive options – it can also be set up as a very competent road truck. As Pieter Theron, New Zealand senior manager, Daimler Truck & Bus, points out, the range of options available with the model means that it ideally suits our road-oriented market: “What we’ve done, especially in 8x4 layout, is spec the trucks more for road than construction – but even for Europe the new model has also been designed from the ground up with a broader focus than previous construction models. So, for applications like the test truck we’ve been able to specify Truck & Driver | 25

The breadth of the Arocs range is its real strength, with different chassis options on top of a complete range of drive layouts – from 4x2 to 8x8 with all points between hypoid drive axles instead of hub reduction, a lower chassis height, a two-leaf front suspension in place of three-leaf, air drive axle suspension instead of six-rod, and lower-profile tyres. However, at the core of the design there is still an extremely robust chassis and front axle, and a clean underbody that gives optimal ground clearance. “Where the construction models in Europe don’t come as standard with a driver’s airbag, that is fitted to our market spec, as well as uprated interiors. “What we’ve ended up with is a good balance between road and offroad. The range of power outputs makes it especially suitable for onroad use – we can now go all the way from 350hp to 630hp, with the same gearboxes and axles.” Theron’s comments are echoed by Prestige Commercial Vehicles dealer principal Russell Marr: “We see the Arocs having even wider applications 26 | Truck & Driver

than the Axor, because with air suspension it fits ideally into a bulk role like the Rooney truck, whereas with six-rod suspension and steel springs it’s ideal for construction duties. “This 2651 6x4 model also has a useful power advantage over the 2543 Axor it replaces. The breadth of the Arocs range is its real strength, with different chassis options on top of a complete range of drive layouts – from 4x2 to 8x8 with all points between. We’ve already placed a 6x6 into logging, while the 4x4 model is perfect for spreading. With the availability of 8x4s the model can easily be set up for HPMV applications as well. And it’s great that we can offer a Euro 6 exhaust emission standard.” The flexibility of the Arocs range has allowed Rooney Earthmoving to move to different specs for its construction trucks and bulk units, explains the company’s workshop purchasing officer, Doug

Opposite page: Inside the cavernous Ballance bulk store at Rooney’s Washdyke depot. When the boats are in the test truck is double-shifted carting from the wharf to here This page: Country roads are a regular feature of the truck’s routes

Harvey: “Arocs was a natural progression as the replacement model for the Axor. This initial unit was set up as a demonstrator for the NZ market, and it suited nicely as a bulk unit for us, with its 510hp engine and air suspension. “We’re also ordering Arocs for the earthmoving fleet, but our choice there is the smaller OM470 engine with 428hp, and six-rod steel rear suspension.” The Mayfield bulk store is effectively halfway through a typical cycle for Rob and the Arocs. We catch him after he’s just delivered a load of fertiliser and is heading cross-country to a pit on a Rooney farm on the other side of SH1 at Rangitata. There he’s to pick up a load of AP40 road base and deliver it to a stockpile at the Rooney Earthmoving complex in Washdyke. There’s no mistaking the Arocs at first sight. Its big front mask – sporting segments reminiscent of the teeth on a loader bucket – tells the world that this here is one tough, rugged work machine. On the test truck this distinct grille and the bumper below it are coloured dark grey, to maximum effect. The final look of the Arocs was the culmination of quite a bit of experimenting with the Rooney livery on Photoshop, says Doug Harvey: “Because it was a new model to the fleet we wanted to make it different. Originally the truck was all white and

we looked at painting it in the Rooney Earthmoving yellow all over...but the main impression of that approach was of a large cheese!” A part-white grille was experimented with, as was one with the top part yellow, in line with the bottom of the doors. In the end the best result was achieved by keeping the livery fairly close to the Axors’ and letting the grille and bumper stand out in grey. If our first visual impression of the Arocs is favourable, that’s nothing compared with the initial physical contact, by way of the cab entry. Though the chassis is set comparatively high, the three wide steps make the climb easy, aided greatly by near-perfect grabhandles either side of the door openings. The ones on the forward side are especially impressive, stretching from the top step to the level of the dashtop. They’re set into cutouts in the front edge of the doors, meaning they’re ideally placed in the opening. For a day cab, the test model is generous with its interior space. There’s a good 1.75m height above the passenger footwell, to a sunroof-equipped roof, and a reasonable amount of room behind the seats. The sensation of space is enhanced even more by an extremely low top to the dash on the passenger’s side, with an even lower door capping – barely up to thigh level. The fascia in front of Truck & Driver | 27

Above, left: Aggregate stockpiles at the Rooney Earthmoving yard feature a rapid turnover, don’t offer much room to spare

Above, right: Rob Hollyer ran a business delivering bulk hay in the UK, but found worsening traffic congestion was strangling its efficiency

the driver too is very low, a far cry from the clifflike designs of many American trucks. Compared with their multiplicity of gauges it’s simple in the extreme, with a speedo and tacho flanking a central display that offers digital road speed and a whole range of information and warning functions. A good deal of extra information is provided by a display screen in the centre of the fascia, while an array of buttons on the spokes of the steering wheel look after radio functions, cruise control and load readout. Minor storage is good, with a central console box backed up by an open bin behind the seats. The big mirrors are set a moderate way back from thick A-pillars to provide good vision at intersections. They’re backed up by passenger-side spotter mirrors, both to the front and the side. The pit Rob is loading out of is pretty well worked out now. The crushers and screening plant have departed, leaving a few stockpiles and a loader for the drivers to fill their own trucks. The Arocs and its four-axle Transport Engineering Southland trailer are fitted with alloy bins. Rob comments that AP65 would be about the largest size of aggregate they could handle – bigger than that and the rocks might damage the metal body. He’s been on leave for a week, and says that the stockpiles have been left a little messy by some of the other drivers, meaning he has to take care when manoeuvring the truck alongside. Leaving the pit, Rob explains that today there’s probably three or four trucks carting out of the location: “With these sorts of numbers we wouldn’t have a loader operator, but if say there was a roading job nearby being serviced by half a dozen trucks, then we’d have somebody on the loader all the time.” I ask him how he gets the weight right. Rob 28 | Truck & Driver

shrugs, and admits he does it from experience, estimating the number of scoops needed to reach optimal payload: “When I started, I used the load cells on the truck suspension to check, but after a while I was confident I could get it pretty right every time.” Just to check, before we move off he stops the truck and calls up the suspension loads on the central LCD display, using the left-hand steering wheel buttons: “I’m looking for 10.5 tonnes on the truck and there you have it – just over 10. On the trailer we’ve got 24.4t, while 24.5 would be perfect. There might be a bit of luck in these figures today, but generally I can tell pretty closely.” He adds that he doesn’t heap the scoop right up, explaining that it’s easier to make each one consistent...and it also avoids the problem of material spilling onto the back and sides of the truck when the bucket is traversed: “You might get away with five scoops instead of six, but then you have to spend an extra 10 minutes cleaning the stones away. Better to be a bit more conservative at the beginning. “Naturally, you have to adjust according to what products you’re carrying. With river run, which is more stony and is therefore more dense overall, I’d probably use five scoops, where with this stuff I’d use six.” Originally from the UK, Rob met and married his NZ-born wife there but fell in love with this country during trips to visit her family here. He is a sheetmetal fabricator by trade, and also did quite a lot of work on commercial vehicle bodies for the British Army – work that also entailed getting a heavy goods vehicle licence to test and relocate the vehicles. He explains that the truck driving phase of


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his career came about almost by chance: “I was planning to go into a fabricating business on my own. While I was getting things organised I was offered a driving job by a friend whose father had a company that provided hay for racing stables in southeast England. “I found I enjoyed driving trucks even more than repairing them, so I stayed in that business, eventually becoming a junior partner and looking after the whole transport side on a contract basis for around 20 years. I ended up with three trucks.” Worsening traffic conditions in the UK eventually forced him out of the business, he says: “When I gave it away about nine years ago, I was driving twice the number of hours as I had when I was starting – for the same money.” The career shift that followed was quite dramatic...he managed a poultry farm. There was a lot less stress, but Rob missed driving, so in 2013 when the family was planning to shift to NZ he figured that with our shortage of drivers it could offer a good opportunity to get back behind the wheel: “My brother-in-law had done some business with Rooney Earthmoving and suggested I contact them. I did, and was told something could probably be arranged, and to get in touch when we were on our way. “And that’s what happened. We flew in on a Friday. The next Monday I started work with the

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company, and I’ve been here ever since.” In the UK, Rob ran Volvos and Ivecos, using his metal fabrication experience to convert high-horsepower tractor units into flatdecks by extending their frames. As he points out, the big loads in the UK are carried overwhelmingly by semis, with rigids confined mainly to metro work, meaning that high-horsepower units suitable for truck and trailer work are difficult to find. At Washdyke, the AP40 is dumped onto a stockpile and we move to the nearby giant bulk store managed for Ballance by Rooneys, and pick up the next load for Mayfield – urea on the truck and Sustain on the trailer. This is a standard daily cycle for the Arocs, but this unit is also involved when the Ballance boats come in – an average of one a week when the season’s in full swing, between October and March. When a boat is in, the unloading carries on around the clock, with other Rooney Earthmoving drivers backing up Rob on the night shift. The wharf to Washdyke shuttle sees around 10 to 15 round trips done every shift, depending upon the wait at the boat. When needed, the Arocs also carries palm kernel off the wharf to bulk storage. Over the weighbridge on the way out, with NZ Truck & Driver tester Trevor Woolston at the wheel, the readout is comfortably under 45t. Arocs aren’t the lightest trucks on the road (for which the

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Above: Now here’s a challenge for any truckie. Nudging the trailer into position three bays down at the Mayfield fertiliser store calls for all of Rob Hollyer’s expertise. Having to do it through the left-side mirrors ups the ante even further Left: A distinctive front mask means that on the road the Arocs cannot be mistaken for any other model

company makes no apologies, pointing instead to their ruggedness) and the combination tares out at 11,260kg for the truck (up around half a tonne on the Axor it replaced) and 5300kg for the trailer. The truck body is from Transport Trailers, but in the interests of lighter weight the trailer comes from Transport Engineering Southland – its bin designed to match the height of the truck bin. The choice of a four-axle trailer was to ensure that the combination could get into places like the Mayfield store, definitely a step too far for a five-axle. The trailer runs on SAF Intradisc axles and air suspension and Giti tyres and uses a Wabco braking system, while the truck is fitted with

Bridgestones. The hoist gear is Edbro. With no monster hills between Washdyke and Mayfield we’re not expecting the Arocs to struggle at all. Even so, it does it in style, the 12.8 litre OM471 engine combining with the 12-speed PowerShift 3 AMT for swift, relaxed changes and fuel-friendly cruising revs. The final drive ratio is also quite long-legged, returning 1390rpm at 90km/h in top gear. The steering through bends is medium-weighted and accurate and, as expected, the trailer tracks faithfully. Though the initial suspension response to the bumpy sections of SH72 is supple, it betrays its construction design roots by firming up quite a bit as it nears the end of its travel. Truck & Driver | 33

Top: OM471 engine has a wide range of power ratings, enabling the Arocs to be used in applications from quarry work through to linehaul Above, left: In traditional Euro manner, the cab tilt system is still manual

Above, right: AdBlue tank is tucked away neatly. The engine meets Euro 6 emission standards

Merc has turned the simplicity of controls almost into an art form. All the transmission functions are handled by the right-hand column stalk, with buttons to choose between Manual and Auto and mini paddles at the end to force temporary upshifts and downshifts. Similarly, the three-stage engine brake is operated via a column stalk. Having several control functions on the steering wheel means that the rest are handled by a simple row of pushbuttons along the bottom of the fascia – heavy truck operation pared back to its simplest and most intuitive. Summing up his thoughts on the truck, Rob Hollyer reckons there’s very little he would change: 34 | Truck & Driver

“When it comes to driver comfort and overall ease of operation, it excels itself. On the road, it’s lovely and balanced. “If I were to diss it, it would be the fact that it’s using an automated gearbox. Even in Manual mode, when you’re in soft going – where you need a consistent drive – they still tend to hesitate a bit, and that’s where a manual scores over them. “Apart from that, there’s one other tiny matter I’d change. That is that the engine stop/start button is on the left of the steering column, so if you’re on the step and reach into the cab to switch on or off it’s an awkward stretch. But if that’s all I have to comment on it shows how good it is overall.” T&D



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HIS IS OUR SECOND LOOK AT Mercedes-Benz’s new offerings: Following on from our test drive of the new Actros, we’re in Timaru to try out its smaller brother, the Arocs. Smaller maybe….but arguably tougher: The Arocs is the construction truck offering from Mercedes-Benz – so who better to test it with than Rooney Earthmoving, which has probably the biggest Merc fleet in New Zealand and is widely known for its groundbreaking operations in South Canterbury. The Trevor Test starts out of Rooney’s yard in Tinwald on the north side of Timaru. After dropping off a load of gravel we head out to the back of the yard to the giant Ballance stores to put on a load of fertiliser for delivery to Ballance’s Mayfield store. The cab access has one less step than the Actros, but still offers the same

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great graduated step entry, with wellpositioned grabhandles both sides. Once inside the cab it’s a very clean and light working area, with the high roof making it feel extremely roomy, even if it is just a day cab. There’s no doing things by half here at Rooney’s, with dual inbound and outbound weighbridges, so it’s a quick turnaround and we’re heading back north, loaded right up to our maximum weight. Our run’s not going to be too tough, with the flat South Canterbury landscape hardly throwing up any challenges. As we pull out onto State Highway One, I take in the cab layout and it’s simple and

practical – with the main dash straight in front of the driver, with a tacho and fuel gauge to the left and the speedometer and AdBlue gauge to the right…plus a digital information screen in the centre. In the centre of the cab there’s a return in the dash that houses the audio and heater controls, along with traction control switches and park brakes. Transmission selection and engine brake controls are on a stalk on the right side of the steering column and lights and wipers are on the left side stalk. The steering wheel has cruise control switches, digital display selection keys, phone and audio volume controls incorporated into it. There’s a very good air suspension driver’s seat with a good range of forward and aft adjustment that will accommodate the tallest drivers. Down in the footwell there’s ample

room to stretch out your legs, with a nicely angled footrest to the left and well-positioned brake and throttle pedals. It’s certainly a very easy truck to get comfortable in. Our run is taking us to Winchester, where we swing off SH1 towards Geraldine, then overland north through to Mayfield. The engine brake is only needed to steady our speed as we come into the various towns along the way, as there’s not even any major corners, let alone hills. Steering is well weighted, with very good driver feedback and no effects at all from the bumpy surfaces we encounter. In a few spots I even resort to driving through a couple of major bumps in the road just to see if there is any noticeable feedback through the steering… but there is none. Lifting off fully loaded is effortless with the OM471 Euro 6 engine delivering 510hp at 1600rpm and 2500Nm at 1100rpm – giving good, smooth power over the rev range and delivered to the road through the MercedesBenz G-330 12 speed AMT, which gives nice, quick, smooth shifts up through the box. When I do try out the engine brake, stage one (of three) is all that’s needed to give strong retardation – bearing in mind, of course that I’m only using it on the flat to reduce speed and I’m not able to really challenge it with any major downhill runs. Our run takes us through one of Rooney’s major

construction feats, the irrigation scheme just out of Geraldine, where we run alongside the storage ponds. While the run out is on a very flat landscape, there are a few areas of bumpy road along the way and the Arocs smooths these out nicely, with no noticeable jarring in the cab. The ride from the three-leaf parabolic spring front suspension and Mercedes-Benz eightairbag system at the back, is different to the ride I experienced in the Actros – which was extremely light and soft. There’s nothing negative about the Arocs ride – it’s a bit firmer and this is obviously part of the heavier, construction spec. But even on the worst bumps in the road this doesn’t transfer up into the cab. It’s all too soon when we pull into the Ballance Mayfield store – at the end of my drive. It’s time for Rob to earn his keep as he shoehorns his trailer into a bin with a tight, 90-degree backing turn to the left and very little space outfront. That’s bulk stores for you. T&D


Engine: Mercedes-Benz OM 471 Capacity: 12.8 litres Maximum power: 375kW (510hp) @ 1600rpm Maximum torque: 2500Nm (1850 lb ft) @ 1100rpm Engine revs: 1390rpm @ 90km/h in 6th High Fuel capacity: 390 litres Transmission: 12-speed Mercedes-Benz G330-12 Ratios: 1st – 11.64 2nd – 9.02 3rd – 7.03 4th – 5.45 5th – 4.40 6th – 3.41 7th – 2.65 8th – 2.05 9th – 1.60 10th – 1.24 11th – 1.00 12th – 0.78 Front axles: Mercedes-Benz VL4, rated at 7500kg Rear axles: Mercedes-Benz HL4, combined rating of 26,000kg Auxiliary brake: Mercedes-Benz

A truck and trailer combination with just seven axles is a relative rarity these days, but it suits the close-quarter work the test truck regularly performs

Turbo Brake Front suspension: Parabolic springs, shock absorbers Rear suspension: Mercedes-Benz eight-bag air suspension, shock absorbers GVW: 26,000kg GCM: 55,000kg

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The Kaikoura rebuild required suspension of parts of the Resource Management Act

A hijacking by the minority? TD27613


by Ken Shirley Chief Executive Road Transport Forum NZ

EMOCRACY IS COMMONLY SALUTED as the best of a bad bunch, when we consider all the various political systems on offer in the 21st Century. It’s not exactly a glowing recommendation, but nobody has yet come up with an alternative that provides the representation and universal public engagement to match it. One of the most common criticisms levelled at democratic systems such as ours is that, because they are based fundamentally on majority rule, they create what is termed a “tyranny of the majority.” In other words, 50% plus-one rules….while the rest just need to grin and bear it. It’s easy to scoff at this concern but just go and ask certain communities in places like Sri Lanka and India, where minority ethnicities can suffer perpetual disenfranchisement, what they think of it. In New Zealand a lot of effort is put into giving our minority communities a voice and we largely succeed in making sure that it is heard. However, in the case of infrastructure development and urban planning we are actually beginning to suffer because of the influence of too many niche-interest groups. The hijacking of government and local council

planning processes by a small, noisy minority is beginning to have a serious detrimental impact on true public engagement and consultative processes. Anti-progress preservationists, narrowly-focused community action groups and compromiseimmune environmentalists are making shrill and unrealistic demands on government and councils to cater to their view of the world. The passing of the Resource Management Act in 1991 empowered these vociferous minorities far beyond their importance and has acted as a legislative handbrake on economic, private sector and public infrastructure development ever since. When thinking about this column I tried to recall one new industry, apart from the international film industry, that has been set up in NZ since the RMA….and I couldn’t think of one. There have been no new factories, mills or smelters. Yes, there has been the odd mine open on the West Coast and the farming sector has changed dramatically towards industrialised dairy. However, those industries have been able to do those things DESPITE the RMA rather than because of it. Truck & Driver | 39


Auckland’s Waterview Connection motorway project – along with a number of others – didn’t come without a fight

The problem is that the RMA has created such a bureaucratic and out-of-balance consultative process that it means any reasonably wellorganised objection can hold a project up almost indefinitely. The only way the State Highway One Kaikoura restoration was able to be completed was through legislative suspension of provisions of the RMA. It’s not as if the RMA has produced good environmental outcomes either. Arguably it has failed to prevent a lot of the environmental damage that’s taken place over the last 20 years or so in rural areas, while getting in the way of much-needed urban expansion that’s led to a shortage of housing and land available for development. The RMA is, unfortunately, a very blunt instrument that has broad application, whether that be on the outskirts of a city or in a pristine wilderness. There is a very strong case for scrapping the RMA entirely and creating a new framework where the management of urban development can be considered under a different set of parameters than say, development on the edges of a beautiful national park. RMA reform is, however, another argument for another day. As we all know, Auckland and Wellington are cities under considerable infrastructure pressure. Auckland’s traffic congestion is legendary, while Wellington has in recent years hosted one of the worst morning commutes in the world for a city of its size. Of cities with populations less than 800,000 only Dublin and Belfast have worse peak-time congestion than Wellington. Unfortunately, the much-needed transport infrastructure that could help unclog these cities is very much in the cross-hairs of the ginger groups who see roads, cars and trucks as the enemy. Using overly-simplistic logic such as “building roads has never reduced traffic congestion,” they preach that more of us should be walking and cycling, and that taxpayers and ratepayers should invest in mass transit solutions such as light rail, which (in Wellington’s case at least) is of very dubious value. Even if one looks at recent progress in the face of this opposition, such as the Kapiti Expressway, Christchurch Southern Motorway, the Waterview Connection in Auckland or the yet-to-be-completed Transmission Gully north of Wellington, none of those projects have come without a fight or significant delays. The failure to get Auckland’s East-West Link across the line could be put down to the vagaries of politics and directly the coalition agreement between Labour and the Greens. However, that would be ignoring 40 | Truck & Driver

the reality that any Government would struggle to justify the project’s eyewatering $2billion cost. The East-West Link proposal eventually put forward was an attempt by government agencies to keep everyone happy and led to a design that was part road and part beautification project that would have been the most expensive roading project anywhere in the world per kilometre. Transport Minister Phil Twyford said in Parliament not long after taking office: “We just don’t believe that a gold-plated option that would have been the most expensive road project in human history would have been a good use of taxpayer funds…we’re going to invest urgently in a higher-value, lower-cost option.” While RTF is supportive of Twyford’s commitment to urgently finding an alternative, it will be no easy task. Government is going to have to make some tough decisions and will no doubt butt heads with the very same groups that proved so difficult to appease in developing the East-West Link proposal originally. Wellington, by contrast, is currently in the middle of a rather protracted navel-gazing exercise called Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM). Set up following the botched Basin Reserve Flyover project LGWM has at its heart almost endless consultation designed to make sure Wellingtonians have a say in their transport future. The problem is that the process, at least in terms of the public and stakeholder events, is dominated by a very active minority of people intent on preventing the development of any new roading solutions and wedded to the idea of mass transit, in particular light rail, to the south of the city. Such is the vociferous activism of these groups that people with opposing views are effectively muzzled at public meetings and therefore the risk is that the “silent majority’s” opinions are overlooked. RTF is fortunate to have a good deal of experience advocating for the industry so we have been able to maintain positive engagement with the Let’s Get Wellington Moving team. However, it’s likely that there are many Wellingtonians who would like to engage in the process but feel that sticking their head above the parapet just to get it shot off is not really worth the hassle, and that is a shame. One cannot criticise people for being passionate about their city or having ideas about what their future transport system may look like, but we must find a way of incorporating the views of those that do not push themselves forward quite as enthusiastically. Those people may not shout quite as loudly….but their voices still deserve to be heard. T&D

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Scenes from the recent Road Transport Forum Annual Conference in Hamilton. Clockwise from left: Exhibitors were busy making contacts.... the team from NZ Express Transport were popular winners of the training award at the NZ Road Transport Industry Awards.... New Transport Minister Phil Twyford outlined his Government’s plans for easing traffic congestion in Auckland... Geoff Crouch and Ben Maguire from the Australian Trucking Association chat with Ken Shirley in front of the MAN Safety Truck... A competitor carefully navigates the tricky course in the NZ Truck Driving Championship..... Todd Moyle (seated) and Tim Crow brief delegates on the scale and complexity of the Kaikoura Earthquake rebuild

Truck & Driver | 43


Z Energy CEO Mike Bennetts speaking at the RTF Conference

So Z set about redesigning the context around what it termed its “sustainability stand” – a three-pronged objective including economic, environmental and social sustainability


ENERGY CHIEF EXECUTIVE MIKE BENNETTS’ keynote speech at the Road Transport Forum Annual Conference – recounting how Z turned itself from a company that purely sold fossil fuels to an organisation with sustainability at its heart – provided plenty of food for thought and gave some ideas to transport operators nervous about what the future holds and the transition to new technologies. According to Bennetts, when undertaking such a transition context is everything – and the context that Z’s senior management identified was the inevitable accusation that the company’s sustainability drive would merely be considered “greenwashing.” “When big companies put their heads above the parapet, particularly in a market like New Zealand, and say ‘we think there’s a problem here, we want to do something about it and here are some of the things we are doing…’ “You pretty well still get slammed – on the fact that there’s 90% of the problem you haven’t solved, even though you’ve taken the time and resources to solve 10%! That was the context we were in,” Bennetts told delegates. So Z set about redesigning the context around what it termed its “sustainability stand” – a three-pronged objective including economic, environmental and social sustainability. It also used the fact that it was at the core of the sustainability problem, as a major fossil-fuel retailer, as the perfect reason for striving to be at the heart of the solution. Due to the company’s size, geographical reach and nature of its business Z believed it could make a difference to sustainability on a scale that few other NZ companies could. 44 | Truck & Driver

Bennetts went on to outline how Z was confident that its customers would back the company’s new direction rather than see it as a cynical stunt. Research suggested customers would be generous to the company to begin with and give it a chance to prove itself as a truly sustainable, environmentally conscious business. Bennetts’ advice to business owners and management is that changing the context that an organisation exists in is actually quite simple and is done by firstly asking the question: “What’s the context you’re living in within your business – and what can you do to change that context?” He then went on to explain: “All you then need to do is acknowledge why you want to get after what you want to get after, and talk about what you stand for and then the rest falls into line after that.” It sounds ridiculously simple and Bennetts acknowledged that there is a lot of background work that must be done. But if you do get committed to generating a context that’s fit for your purpose, then you talk about that frequently enough and provide examples of actions you’re taking towards the objective….then people tend to follow you. Bennetts described how this needs to be coupled with understanding the personal values of your staff and helping them understand what matters to them. By tapping into that you can significantly increase the emotional energy they put into what they’re doing and their willingness to go the extra mile. His was a simple message, with some straightforward advice – and most definitely relevant to road transport companies, especially when considering the significant technological and environmental changes just over the horizon. T&D


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All-electric by 2030, expert predicts T

HE BIG GLOBAL NEWS IN HEAVY VEHICLES over the last few months has undoubtedly been the unveiling of Tesla’s new electric tractor unit. The Tesla Semi was much anticipated and the performance credited to it is certainly very impressive. Acceleration of 0-60mph in 20 seconds with a full 36-tonne load, 65mph up a 5% grade, a 300-500-mile range and fuel savings of over $US200,000. These kinds of numbers suggest significantly higher performance than any diesel-powered truck on the market and justify the view that the mass transition to electric vehicles is closer than we might think. Not long after the Tesla Semi launch, world-renowned author, entrepreneur and disruptive technology expert Tony Seba visited New Zealand to discuss what he believes the coming transport transition will look like. Seba is the author of the best-selling book Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation – How Silicon Valley Will Make Oil, Nuclear, Natural Gas, Coal, Electric Utilities and Conventional Cars Obsolete by 2030. As the book’s title suggests, Seba is adamant that by 2030, all vehicles on the road will be electric powered. He is also convinced that this will not come about through government interventions, distortionary subsidies 46 | Truck & Driver

or other artificial incentives but rather through pure market forces. EVs will, Seba’s modelling suggests, be significantly superior to internal combustion engine vehicles in terms of cost, performance, efficiency and maintenance. People will not need to be convinced to buy an EV as it will be the obvious financial and practical choice. Seba also predicts that many of the electric vehicles will also be either fully-autonomous or semi-autonomous. All the costs and technological wizardry that have kept EVs on the margins up until now are about to reach a critical tipping point, according to Seba – and once through that, the transition will speed up exponentially. The life and cost of batteries is improving rapidly, the per unit price of power globally is on its way down due to advances in solar technology – and lidar technology for autonomous vehicles is also now much more affordable than it was just a few years ago. The two big traditional impediments to electric and autonomous technology – vehicle range and cost – have therefore improved dramatically. Seba likens the potential speed of transition to what was experienced with the digital camera or the smartphone. The disruption caused by the digital camera effectively killed off Kodak, which didn’t see it coming, while the invention of the multi-functional smartphone basically spelt


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

Opposite page: Tony Seba speaking at a Korean energy forum Above: The Tesla Semi has focused widespread attention on the potential of electric trucks in the near future

the end for Nokia and entirely changed what customers expect from a phone. Seba says that by 2040 very few people will either drive themselves or own vehicles themselves. Vehicles will become shared resources that are able to spend a far larger proportion of their life being used rather than sitting parked somewhere. This will change the shape and design of our cities, as large areas currently dedicated to parking will no longer be needed. Imagine what could be done to the character of Los Angeles, for example, where there’s currently so much space dedicated to parking that you could fit four San Franciscos into LA’s parking areas alone! It would be easy to write off Seba’s argument as pie-in-thesky speculation. However the modelling he uses, particularly the historical context of new technology adoption, shows that uptake is never linear or consistent. Once a tipping point is reached, the new technology completely wipes out the old technology and uptake is total. T&D

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

Truck & Driver | 47

YELAVICHS’ YEARS OF HARD YAKKA Story Cory Martin Photos Gerald Shacklock

48 | Truck & Driver


Main picture: One of the company’s Isuzus negotiates some tight gravel road between Huia and Whatipu – heading out towards the Manukau Heads. Time was when the bulk of the Yelavich work revolved around working on mostly unsealed roads all around the region Inset: Branco Yelavich in the company’s 1941 Dodge

Truck & Driver | 49

The Yelavich family business is now into its fourth generation – three of them currently working together! Bob, at 85, has been in the business for 71 works with son Milan (right) and grandson Logan


OB YELAVICH IS, AS USUAL, MANNING THE PHONES AT the west Auckland transport operation bearing his surname. The family business he started work at 71 years ago. Say what! The numbers seem unbelievable....but they’re real. Bob quit school and started work at 14, riding shotgun in the Riverhead Carrying Company trucks that his Dad had just bought. And here he is, now 85 – and nine times out of 10, he’s the man at the end of the line if you call Yelavich Transport in Henderson, a business he’s in with son Milan and daughter-in-law Ange. Working alongside them and grandson Logan. Bob clocked-up his seven decades in road transport (all of that time, it has to be added, has been in the family business!) in September, with around 100 friends, family and fellow operators flooding into the company depot to celebrate his milestone….and to share stories from the past. Understandably, there was a lot for them to talk about. At just 20 years of age Bob’s father Tony (Ante) Yelavich, along with his nephew Mate, came out to New Zealand from Croatia. That was over a century ago. After working as gumdiggers in Northland the pair eventually set themselves up on a small farm at Waiharara, 23 kilometres north of Kaitaia. Tony found himself a Kiwi/Croatian wife and had five sons and three daughters. However, in 1947, with “no space to sit at the table,” it became apparent that the Yelavich clan had outgrown their environment. A new course of action was needed. Tony put the question to a family vote: Stay on the cramped land….or sell up and leave. Specifically, he suggested, they could buy a trucking business at Riverhead, just northwest of Auckland. Bob, the youngest of the Yelavich boys, put his hand up straight away and said, “let’s go, I want to drive trucks.” He’d

been wanting to do so for a long time – and, it turned out, everyone else was keen too, he recalls. So Tony, encouraged by the family, bought the business from H.V. Bourne. Bob laughs about it now: “Would you believe our Dad couldn’t even drive a car! It was incredible that he just up and bought a transport business.” It was only a small fleet – just big enough for the family to run. There were two 1942 Dodges, a ‘37 and ‘41 Fargo and a ’41 Chevy. The boys would do the work – mostly collecting cream cans. But bobby calves, pigs, manure and slag were also carted. Tony didn’t work on the trucks – rather he kept a watchful eye on the business while giving the boys the freedom to pave their own way: “He observed. You know – made sure we didn’t go broke,” says Bob. The business was kept in entirely within the family, and it would remain that way for many, many years. All five brothers worked in the business: Lou, the oldest sibling, did very little driving and looked after the office side of things, while the next three – Wally (23), the 21-year-old Branco (Bunny) and George (17) – ran the trucks….assisted by Bob, who was just 14 (but left school early). He worked as an offsider – soaking up as much experience as he could. Once he had sufficient knowledge under his belt, at 16 he started driving himself around “without a licence.” Starting in a ’37 Fargo, he did runs out of Riverhead to Waimauku collecting cream. But occasionally he’d get to do a run into the city, with a licensed driver alongside. The rules and regulations were nowhere near as tightly enforced as they are now, as Bob recounts: “I used to talk to the traffic cops down at the markets at the waterfront. They never asked if I had a licence or anything. Truck & Driver | 51

They didn’t seem to worry.” Bob’s son Milan hears this and begs to differ: “So the old man didn’t tell you about his ticket,” he inquires with a grin. “Dad and his brother were sitting in the middle of town (Auckland CBD) at an intersection when there was a bang on the side of the truck. It was a cop. He said ‘you look like you’re overweight.’ They were overweight on the front end. So, he got a ticket…without a licence!” As soon as he hit 18 it was time for Bob to start carting goods legally. All it took was chatting to the local cop. Bob asked the officer if he could sit his HT licence, to which he responded: “I’ve seen you driving around here already!” Bob passed this off as a case of mistaken identity, telling the cop: “I have four older brothers – it must have been one of them you saw!” Bob was required to drive 200 metres down the road….while the cop endorsed his licence. In the 1950s the Yelavichs were contracted to cart serpentine rock for Tapper Construction in Whangarei. It was at a Tapper site that Wally (the second-eldest brother) met a quarryman by the name of Jim McCook, says Bob. Jim taught Wally the ins and outs of quarrying, and when an opportunity arose in 1953 for the Yelavichs to tender for the operation of the Waitakere Quarry (at Swanson) “Jim reckoned we could get seven and six (seven shillings and sixpence) a yard.” As Bob says, when they thought about it, “it wasn’t a silly idea,” so the family submitted its tender, which was accepted and a contract signed: The Yelavich brothers would run the quarry on behalf of the Waitemata County Council. Wally continued to learn from Jim, who moved into a hut near the quarry and worked towards getting his quarry management ticket. All of the brothers at times worked in the quarry, gaining experience. The quarry-based operation wasn’t much at the start, Bob reckons – the fleet consisted of a 1952 Ford Thames and one of the Fargos. Most of the old trucks from the Riverhead Transport fleet were converted into quarry trucks – carting metal from the 52 | Truck & Driver

quarry to various road projects around Auckland – until they were gradually replaced. Among the replacements, in 1956, was the Yelavich’s first International Harvester truck. The ARC 160 (a semi-cabover), got Bob excited…“until the axle broke…” Then it broke five more times.” He wonders to this day how no one died driving it. Despite that rocky start with the North American make, the company continued to run Internationals (although there is just one in the current fleet). There was a new 1969 F1800 – the first Yelavich-branded truck (until then they’d not carried the family name prominently). Bob drove it extensively – recalls popping son Milan into the driver’s seat when he was young. Then came what Bob reckons was the first American International 5000 series PayStar in the country. He has fond memories of that – “350 horsepower (was) huge back in the day. We got into using International, and have ever since.” Many of the roads in the area were loose metal back then. The Yelavich brothers would mostly take care of the metal needed throughout the Waitemata and Rodney districts, most of which was still largely rural, hence the roads were still unsealed. West Auckland wasn’t the place of booming residential and commercial development that it is now. Back in those days, Bob reckons, “everything was happening in South Auckland. There wasn’t much happening in the West – a bit around Te Atatu North. We supplied all the metal for projects around there.” The quarry initially produced only 30 cubic yards of metal per day but, says Bob, “the boys worked hard and bumped it up to 100 cubic yards.” It was demanding work, using “primitive gear” but it paid the family bills. Not only was it hard yakka, but many dangers faced the brothers. Still, it didn’t seem to faze them much – they just got stuck in and got the job done. Says Milan: “In those days, ‘health and safety’ was your mother telling you to ‘be safe’ as you left for work.” He plays a video of footage from the early days of the quarry to illustrate: “There was no high-vis, no gloves, or safety glasses…Wally was coming down from ‘barring-off’ the face, rock came loose above

Above: Early days in the Yelavich family business – the fleet photographed from the family home and beside the company depot. From left, the lineup comprises a 1941 Fargo, ‘37 Fargo, ‘42 Dodge, ‘43 Ford V8 and another early ‘40s Dodge Opposite page, clockwise, from top left: AB 182 International – the company’s first diesel truck – outside the original Yelavich depot in Riverhead in the early ‘60s... George Yelavich drove this 350 Cummins-engined ‘84 International S-line.... Milan drove this 1993 430-Cummins-engined S-Line early on in his driving career... 1952 Thames, driven from new by Bob, under the crusher bins at the Waitakere quarry

him and knocked him out! Luckily it didn’t kill him – he had a few chunks out of his head but he was all good the next day,” he says as the footage shows a young bloke abseiling down a rock face on a rope tied tentatively to a tree above. Says Bob with a chuckle: “My goodness we have some stories that OSH would jail us for now! We’d drill a small hole in the wall (rock face) and put a bit of gelignite into the wall with a fuse... We would cut one a bit shorter, which was a warning detonator. “Everyone would position with lighters, everyone would light it, the warning would go off then we’d run like hell out of the quarry…then rocks would be flying in all directions! No one ever got injured. You’d come back and there’d be rocks all over the bloody place. We used to do stupid things like that.” For 20-odd years, the Yelavich brothers worked at their contract, crushing metal and carting it where it needed to go. The council had a system of operating the quarry and Bob says that “they insisted it stayed that way…they even used to load all the crushed rock onto the stockpiles.” But the council gradually began contracting more and more of the work out to the brothers until, in the mid-1980s, it decided it would hand the whole thing over to the Yelavich boys. “In the 80s we bought the crushing gear off the council. We could sell the metal to other people…that’s when we increased our trucking operation” says Bob. As the quarry worked increased, so too did the number of jobs for its trucks: “We went further north to Muriwai, the Woodhill area…a lot went to the west coast…Huia, Whatipu for the council…. The Piha road was being upgraded – we carted the metal onto it…the other contractors did the rest,” says Bob. With the new demand came the need for upgraded gear and the workers able to operate it. Wally moved into the quarry manager position, using the knowledge learned from Jim McCook. Lou worked in the office while Bob and George continued to drive trucks. Along with these new roles, they required a couple of quarrymen, a loader driver, and a crusher feeder. In fact, at the peak of production at the quarry, the company

hired around 30 staff, with 10 in the quarry alone. A large majority of the staff working at the quarry were locals who didn’t want to go into the other major local industry, forestry. One individual stands out in Yelavich history: The late George ‘Hori’ Hickton was employed by the outfit shortly after he left school in the 1950s. Hori holds the service record with the Yelavichs, working for them for over 40 years – and becoming Bob Yelavich’s oldest and best friend. He died in 2007. The quarry continued to provide the brothers with a decent living for years to come. The quarry wasn’t always profitable, but it was always, as Bob describes it, “probably a good living… compared to the forestry work.” Bob continued to work at the quarry until 1990 – a time when the business was supplying a lot of aggregate to Carter Holt Harvey for its local forests. Feeling his age, Bob – then 57 – was finally looking to get out of trucks. The opportunity came in the form of an offer from Carter Holt Harvey to manage its roading and skid-site formation in the local forests. Accepting the offer was a no-brainer, he explains: “After all those years of driving the trucks it was a good opportunity to take a break. So I took the offer.” The work was different, and he enjoyed the change of pace: “I used to go through the forest marking all the trees, getting them cut down, clearing the forest and organising the skid-sites. I got to drive a ute then.” He still remained a shareholder in the family business, with his brothers – running the trucks through a mobile phone and the R/T in his ute. Then, in 1997 – with Branco having long since retired to the Gold Coast – Lou, Wally and George (then 75, 73 and 68 respectively) were also looking to retire, after 50 years in business together. Their opportunity came in 2001, with an offer from the Wharehine Group to buy the business. The company accepted – although the quarry continued to operate under the Yelavich name…and with Bob still as a shareholder and returning to manage its trucking operation. It Truck & Driver | 53

Above: Waitakere Quarry staff – from left: Wally Yelavich, Barry Mariu, John Godley, Alf Blucher and a young Hori Hickton Left: Inter PayStar 5000 at Waitakere Quarry, around 1980

was the first time that the business hadn’t been entirely family owned and operated. Bob looks back on those years with his brothers – the business never a huge operation, but one that demanded long hours and hard days in the sun….exactly what the Yelavich brothers thrived on: “We did have the odd argument – me and my brothers. We used to sit down and have monthly meetings and there was the odd occasion where tempers frayed a little bit. But it’s a testament that we stayed together for so long. You could talk to each other at the end of the day. A lot of families wouldn’t get close to things like this. We socialised a lot together. Business was business, and we still all got together at Christmas.” 54 | Truck & Driver

Two of the brothers have died since retiring from the business, both having lived happily into their old age. George still lives in Riverhead and visits Bob at work regularly, and Milan reckons: “You get them talking about the old times and they begin to remember everything again – it’s pretty amazing, and hilarious.” A few changes came with Wharehine’s involvement: It had its own management, but business flowed through many of the same channels as it had previously, with the Yelavichs. Bob’s influence, along with the many contacts he’d made over the years, kept the business going and aided Wharehine a great deal. For Bob’s son Milan, the acquisition by Wharehine meant a chance for him to head out on his own: “I’d started driving in

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’83,” he begins. “I went to Massey High School mainly to play rugby! I’d work for Dad in the school holidays, but one holiday I went to a secondary school rugby tournament… and I never went back to school and just started working fulltime. I used to go to the quarry and drive the dumptrucks. Drive them down to the stockpile and come back. I just mucked around with Dad and he showed me how to do it.” Milan “started driving on the road without a licence…just local jobs.” Exactly as his father had. As he remembers, “the day I got my licence I went out with Dad – he was in his PayStar and I was in this old F1800. We went and tipped our loads off in Kumeu somewhere. We shot up to the cop shop in Huapai, he got out, I got my licences, took him back to his truck then carried on working. We only lost half an hour,” he laughs. Milan did the hard yards. In the early days, he says, “my main runs were around West Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges – out to places like Whatipu (near the heads of Manukau Harbour), doing maintenance spreading for about eight to nine kilometres with headlights and indicators going. Another driver and I would go out and do a maintenance spread for a day or two then the grader would come out and follow us. If we made a mistake we’d be out there with a shovel.” But rugby was as much of a passion for Milan as driving trucks – and the sport provided a great opportunity for the young Yelavich….a job as a professional coach in Ireland. He and his family – wife Ange, sons Anthony and Logan – lived there for three years, with Milan coaching the Naas club, in Leinster. They returned home in 2001 (with Angela expecting their daughter Brooke), when Bob’s brothers decided they were ready to sell up and retire, says Milan: “I worked in a managerial role at the quarry for a little. I always loved being out on the road though, so I went and bought my first truck and called my business Yelavich Transport.”



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Left: Even at 85, Bob works five days a week, usually manning the phone Above: Hare Reneti fords a stream at Little Huia, beside the Manukau Harbour – taking a load of metal to a nearby carpark

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Top left: Milan Yelavich has been able to combine two big passions in his career – trucks and rugby

Top right: Company founder Ante (Tony) Yelavich, around the time he bought the Riverhead Carrying Company

Left: The first fleet photo, taken in 1947, includes the family’s 1946 Mercury car and the two Dodges, one of the Fargos and the Chev that came with the business

A year in though and he was offered the job of coaching the North Harbour Rugby Union second side for four or five years: “I was able to do this because it was at nights,” he explains. With just one truck, his work was initially based on carting general freight around greater Auckland: “Then I bought a tipper and put a driver in one truck. Then a second curtainsider, then back to one vehicle….then a second tipper.” He worked hard – mostly by himself (with Bob still working at Wharehine at this point). Says Milan: “I’d manage the business during the day and go coach the team in the evening.” It went on like this…until he was offered the opportunity to coach the North Harbour top side. He accepted the fulltime contract… but still worked in the office during the offseason. His three-year run at North Harbour was a successful one – he was part of the coaching staff that took the team to the union’s first Ranfurly Shield victory, in 2006. The Rua Tipoki-led team, which included then All Blacks Luke McAlister and Tony Woodcock, beat Canterbury to claim the “Log of Wood.” Yes, says Milan: “I was fortunate to be part of the only team that won the Ranfurly Shield….but also the only coach that lost it!” he chuckles. During that year he was coaching the legendary Jonah Lomu. Meantime, while Milan was winning “The Shield,” Wharehine decided to bow out of the Waitakere quarry operation and sold the rights to the Hamilton-based Perry Group – Bob shifting to Perrys as well, albeit only as a sales rep. The Perry Group, which had its own truck fleet, didn’t want the yard or the trucks. Says Milan: “That’s when Dad, Ange and I got together and said, ‘let’s buy all the trucks.’” Thus Bob finished-up with Perry after three years as a rep and joined forces with his son and daughter-in-law – ushering in a new era of Yelavich Transport.

Milan had his trucks painted Yelavich Transport colours – red and blue – and combined them with the trucks from the quarry, to create a fleet of around eight trucks. Milan says that it was nice when Bob came to join him – not just because they were back working together, but also because it allowed him to balance his work as a driver and manager….and a rugby coach. Today the business is run by Bob, Milan and Ange, along with Milan’s youngest son Logan – a towering basketball player with a passion for trucks, whose enjoyment of the job is easy to see (indicating that the Yelavich name will long continue to be associated with transport). The business has diversified since the quarry days but still works mainly in the “bulk stuff,” according to Milan: “When I got out of Yelavich Bros. I started doing a bit of general freight” – and some of the current fleet still do. Because, as Milan says, it’s work that goes on all-year-round. “The tipper jobs are different: We get those big-rain days and nothing happens. So we don’t want to put all our eggs in one basket. Our core role is here at the site (where the company has bulk metal stockpiles), with the tippers….and the roading work. That’s what we specialise in, but the general trucks help us a great deal when it’s quiet.” He continued to drive fulltime until a couple of years ago – now runs the show and fills in when needed…such as during the kiwifruit season: He has a close relationship with the growers, so he makes sure he drives: “We do the carting from the orchards to the packhouse. We also do watermelons for Christmas. I do the Kaitaia run on them to give the guys a break.” The work’s done by a mix of Isuzu and Volvos...and one of the Internationals that were once so favoured by the Yelavichs. The Truck & Driver | 59

Clockwise, from top left: Driver Alf Blucher’s wages book from May 1950 – earning eight pounds, 12 shillings...after his board had been deducted!.... Milan’s wife Ange runs the admin side of the business.....Logan is the fourth-generation in the family business....the North Harbour side, with coach Milan Yelavich third from right in the front row, in 2006 – the year they won the Ranfurly Shield

nine trucks comprise a mix of 6x4 truck and trailer tippers, 8x4 truck and trailer units and one tractor unit, which pulls either a bulk semi or a curtainsider semi. Milan and Bob both acknowledge the importance of the Yelavich name in the region’s transport industry history in keeping the business going. Milan says that of the company’s work, “60 to 70% is for clients and customers that Yelavich has done jobs for, for a long time. We’ve kept relationships for a very long time. And 70% of the time when people call it’s ‘hi, can I talk to Bob please.’ ” The name really is well known and trusted. Bob is now 85…and still works every day, five days a week – even though it hasn’t always been easy going for him, as Milan explains: “Dad has had some health issues. In 1997 he was 60 | Truck & Driver

diagnosed with prostate cancer, but that didn’t stop him. He battled through that. But when I was coaching in Ireland, he and my Mum came over and he wasn’t feeling well and started having back issues.” It turned out that he had tuberculosis in his spine. The doctor said that this was probably from way back when he was on the farm as a child. However, Bob simply isn’t the type who lets such things slow him down. Milan smiles as he recalls his Dad continuing to help run the business through it all: “We managed to get a hospital bed set up in the lounge at Riverhead. We set him up with a phone and every morning Mum would prop his bed up so he could look out the window at the trucks. He had his phone going all day.”

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Top: The Yelavich Bros crew at the quarry, pictured around 1956. Standing (from left) are George Yelavich, Tony Yelavich, Sandy Sinkovich, two local councillors, Wally Yelavich, Hori Hickton, Ben Gallagher, Jim McCook, Jock Melvin and Lou Yelavich. Sitting (or crouching) are Barry Mariu, Bunty Henry, Alf Blucher and John Godley Lower left: Godley hard at work in the quarry, around 1954 Lower right: One of two Volvos in the current fleet

After having a major back operation “he was fine for a while,” says Milan. “But up until that stage, you would have thought he was a decade younger than he was. He was working hard.” The back issues have clearly slowed Bob down, but he’s still not the kind of person who admits defeat, as Milan says: “Finally, we went to the specialist and he said that he had to use crutches. He said ‘you don’t want to fall over and fracture your hip.’ ” He was told he’ll be on crutches for the rest of his life. Bob’s wife Ethel passed away two and a half years ago – and since then he’s been even more determined to get to work every day. As he says: “If she was alive she’d be happy with me being

here now – it keeps me busy. Especially now, when I wake up in the morning I know where I’m going. I’ve been like that all my life: I’ve always wanted to get out and do something.” And he makes it very clear that this is exactly what he will continue to do: “I’ll carry on here until I can’t anymore. I’m not mobile – I can’t go play golf or anything. I can still drive where I want to, but I struggle to get into a truck now. I go along (in the trucks) and think: ‘I wish I had a truck like this back in my day!’ ” In 2016, the Yelavichs made the difficult decision to move the transport company to a new base in Henderson – after 69 years in Riverhead. It wasn’t an easy decision, but to keep up with the Truck & Driver | 63

Top: Photographed around 1958 at Waitakere quarry are (from left) a Kew Fargo driven by Mate Milich, George Yelavich and his S Model Inter and Bob’s troublesome 1956 ARC 160 International (he’s missing because he took the photo) Lower left: A Linkbelt face shovel and Averling Barford dumptruck at the quarry face, probably in the early ‘70s Lower right: Costing in 1974 for the new International Harvester PayStar 5000

work from Auckland’s boom in housing and infrastructure it made sense to be closer to the work. Meantime, since 2011 Milan has taken on another rugby commitment – coaching Croatia’s national side. It started when he was coaching the Waitemata team in his home area – with an approach to fly over to Croatia and help the national team in an advisory role. Then he was invited to become the head coach – and has filled that role ever since. “Having been to Croatia (formerly Yugoslavia) three times in the past with rugby teams, I’ve always had that connection there. Of course, that’s also where the family is from. I was at the stage with work and with my coaching where I could do that.” So twice a year he heads off for a month to prepare the team for its European competition. Even when he’s back home working, he keeps an eye on what’s happening in Croatian rugby and 64 | Truck & Driver

fundraises for the team. And he readily admits that “it’d be very hard for me with my other commitments if Dad wasn’t around. It’s nice to have family around to run the business when I need to go to Croatia. We do leave my son here when it’s not too busy.” Bob’s now keen to ensure the Yelavich legacy is passed on through grandson Logan: Says Bob: “Milan will be heading off to Croatia again soon, which will leave Logan and I looking after the show.” By his smile it’s easy to imagine he has a thing or two to pass on to the 19-year-old. Milan confirms that Bob is “pretty chuffed that Logan is coming on board – that the business is passing on. Typical Croatians: It’s all about the family – about passing things on to the next generation.” Any spare time Milan gets he spends helping and training up Logan as the Yelavich transport legacy looks like it will continue through him. He’s not the first born, but he’s the best candidate



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Top: The company 1969 Inter F1800 driven by Bob. Milan poses with it outside Bob’s house in Riverhead, around 1973 Lower left: Industry and family friends at the company’s recent 70th birthday celebrations Lower right: George (left) and Bob after the party

for the job, as Milan explains: “He’s got an older brother, but he’s in his fourth year of law. His only interest in trucks is getting past ‘em! He’s more business-minded. Logan is more hands-on.” Milan knows that “Logan wants to get out on the road....he realises that he needs to learn that side of it.” Getting your licence to drive a truck isn’t the pushover it once was – when Bob got his and even when Milan gained his, as he acknowledges: “It’s a lot harder for the new generation to get a look-in. It’s harder for Logan – he can’t just come out for a drive. He’s working on his licences now, but with all the H&S rules, we can’t just take him out on drives. Luckily, he is interested. They’ve got to get out on the road and get driving experience. We used to get that by going out and doing it… When I was 19 I was pulling a trailer – learning as I went.” Milan’s confident in his son’s abilities, trusting him to help run the place in his absence – even occasionally leaving the place entirely in his control.

It helps, he adds, that the company has such good staff: “They’re very loyal to us – and that’s in an environment where you often don’t get that....when there is such a shortage of drivers. “Without them, we wouldn’t have a business.” So the Yelavich name continues to embody the notion of hard work. When Tony Yelavich, a short, slight man, decided in 1947 to sell up the family’s share of the farm in Northland and move into transportation in Riverhead…sure he didn’t even know how to drive a car. What he did know though was hard work – and he knew that he and his family were dedicated, motivated and willing to work and that was what mattered most. Seventy years later, Logan – his lanky great-grandson – sits at the reception desk in the Yelavich Transport front office, eagerly awaiting his call to action….dedicated, motivated and willing to work. T&D Truck & Driver | 67

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‌ s y a s n o P m i M S O ro k Mun ackloc e n h Way rald S y r e o St tos G Pho

Eventual overall winner Simon Reid carefully negotiates some of the obstacles in the driving course in the top-four shootout 68 | Truck & Driver



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Truck & Driver | 69



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This remarkably relaxed looking group comprise the top four points-scorers after the theory, pre-driving inspection and driving tests. A good mix of experience and youth, they are (from left) John Baillie, David Rogers, Matthew Jackson and Simon Reid

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T’S PRETTY CLEAR THAT NORTHLAND TRANSPORT OPERATOR SIMON Reid loves a good truck-driving competition. Appreciates the contests for the way they put the skills of the truck-driving profession on display – and how they hone those skills. And for the industry camaraderie they build. He always has. That’s how come he’s won his fair share of ‘em over the years – two national driving championship titles (and one third placing) back in the day (in the 1980s and ‘90s) when the RTA-run comps were seriously popular. And why he’s the latest New Zealand Truck Driving Champion – having taken the title (and the $6000 cash prize that went with it) in the TR Group and Master Drive Services-sponsored 2017 national finals in Hamilton. The 61-year-old Reid qualified for the finals in the Whangarei round, having been instrumental in getting the championship to visit Northland…then making sure it got support by cajoling the 12 drivers he employs in his Maungatapere-based SJ Reid Ltd trucking operation to join him in competing. “I said to the guys ‘we need to get in behind this. I pushed for a couple of years for it to happen, so I need to put me money where me mouth is – and for you guys to get on the bandwagon. Just do this one for me and see what you think of it.’ ” They responded: “I think there was seven or eight of them, and me, that went into it – and four of us made it through to the nationals.” In fact, there was only one non SJ Reid contestant in the Whangarei competition. Yep, he says a little sadly, “there’s a little bit of apathy…. And it takes time for these things to get some traction. But once they do….. “We used to have huge competitions up here back in the 1970s and ‘80s. Like the one in Whangarei – we used to have 30 or 40

competitors in it! “I can remember when I was just a hairy-arsed apprentice at Kaitaia Transport, we hosted one in the yard – and they even managed to close off a section of the road (I dunno whether that was quite legal or not!).” The new champ is determined to do what he can to help build participation in the championship back to something like it was in those glory years, when it commanded huge support around the country. He’s casting himself into the role of a helper – even a mentor to competitors – having decided that he won’t be defending his title: “No, I’ve done what I wanted to do – got my third title. From now on I’ll stand back and just go along to them and see if I can help guys – give ‘em little pointers here and there.” Reid’s determined to help cement its future because, until the NZ championship was revived and TR Group and Master Drive Services backed it, “we had a 20-year gap when we had virtually nothing: Definitely not where we want it to be.” He expresses his gratitude to TR Group, Master Drive and TR MD Andrew Carpenter for the support they’ve provided to the revived national contest: “Shit he’s poured some resources into this.” In some ways, Reid reckons, the driver comp is even more important now than it used to be – from the perspective of it providing a meeting place for drivers to socialise, learn from each other…and inspire each other. Some current truckies, he believes, don’t feel the same love of the industry that he and many of his peers felt – “some of ‘em seem to treat it more as just a way of making a bob.” Then there’s the way that cellphones, I-pads and social media have removed so much personal inter-action: “In the old days if you had Truck & Driver | 71

D B Above left: Defending NZ Young Truck Driver of the Year Campbell Murdoch discovers how tight and tricky the driving course is Above right: Extra points are awarded for getting close to the obstacles....providing you don’t touch them a CB – if you could afford one – that was where a lot of your contact came from. And you met at the saleyards and the freezing works and the fert works. Whereas now they seem to be almost demented if they don’t have their cellphones in their hands, you know.” Having secured a Northland round of the championship last year, Reid says he’ll do all he can to convince the organisers – Road Transport Forum NZ and member associations National Road Carriers, NZ Trucking Association and Road Transport Association NZ – to include a northern contest again this year: “I’m not going to enter but I’ll push like hell to get as many people to enter it as a I can.” Of his own drivers, he’s pretty confident that it’s sparked their interest: “I wouldn’t mind betting they’ll all have another go next year.” SJ Reid Ltd contributed four of the 24 finalists at the nationals – Reid, Ashleigh-Jade Sutherland, Stephen Gray and Matthew Frood winning the Northland round, which was one of seven regional contests. Andrew Crandon (Linfox Logistics), Shaun Reynolds (TA Reynolds) and Richard Ossevoort (Pacific Fuel Haul) made the finals from the Auckland round and Chris Rigby (ICON Logistics) and Pete Harrison (Fulton Hogan) took the honours in Dunedin. Craig Fryer (APL Direct) and David Rogers (Tranzliquid) won the Hamilton round, while Philippa Van Grondelle (Move Logistics), Craig Aitchison (Conroy Removals), husband and wife Dean and Samantha Fraser (NZ Express Transport) and Chris Hancox (HIAB & Transport Solutions) won in Christchurch. Out of the Palmerston North heat came Sam Linton and Shaun Emmerson (both from Emmerson Transport) and Matthew Jackson (Ben Allen Transport). Lindsay Wright (Dynes Transport) made the finals by winning the HWR Group’s inhouse comp and 2016 outright NZ champ Stuart Howard (TE Howard & Sons), Combination Semi/Tractor titleholder John Baillie (Baillie Transport), Young Truck Driver winner Campbell Murdoch (Murdoch Transport) and Rigid Class 3&4 titleholder Maikara BrownRapana had automatic entry courtesy of their finals performances a year earlier. What all the finalists faced in the carpark at Hamilton’s Claudelands Arena – where the RTF’s 2018 annual conference was under way inside – were the usual NZ Truck Driving Championship challenges….with some new twists. The as-expected included a one-hour theory test – quizzing the drivers on their knowledge of safety and operating procedures with 60 multi-choice questions – a pre-trip vehicle safety inspection and, of course, the driving challenge. As usual that involved driving an obstacle course – manoeuvring 72 | Truck & Driver

around markers as close as possible for maximum points…but without touching them. And within a set time limit. It presented six challenges for the rigid class competitors and eight for those competing in the two combinations (a 6x4 Isuzu Giga 530 tractor unit with a tri-axle tanker semi-trailer, and a 6x4 Mercedes-Benz Arocs tipper and a four-axle bulk trailer). All competitors had to drive a slalom course moving forward, then reversing; they had to back into a virtual loading dock, accurately position the duals, stop with the front tyres as close as possible to a line, and come to a halt in a stop box. The combo vehicle drivers also had to hook up and unhook the trailers. This time, reckons regular nationals front-runner John Baillie, “they made the driving course a lot harder. “It was a reverse slalom and what they did was you went through the course forwards and then you had to stop with the rear of the combination across a line….but as close as possible to it. The further you were away from the line you were penalised…and if you parked on it you were heavily penalised. “But from there you had to start a reverse slalom in the shape of an S and then into a loading dock. And that was the really significant change compared to the previous years. “Particularly in a truck and trailer combination….it wasn’t impossible but it was bloody hard to get around that first corner, reversing the combination. “It certainly presented a real challenge – particularly it being on the clock. And you had to still get close to the cones….” Not that Baillie was complaining: “It needed to be that way – if you get to that level in the competition, it can’t be easy. I agreed with it because you had to put something in to try to trip people up.” Competition coordinator, the RTF’s Mark Ngatuere, says that “to even have a chance of winning in amongst such a competitive field requires a high level of competence across a range of disciplines. “It’s not just driving, it’s a detailed technical knowledge of the machinery and the complex matrix of rules and regulations that govern our industry.” As in the previous two nationals, after everyone had completed one run through the obstacle course in their class and done the pre-trip inspection and the theory test, the scores were tallied…and the top two from each of the combination categories were called on to do the driving course again. Then, in the usual tricky sting in the tail of the comp, they were each required to swap categories for the shootout. So it was that eventual winner Reid and fellow driving comp veteran Baillie (53) went into the shootout up against two relative rookies –



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36-year-old Hawke’s Bay driver Matthew Jackson and young Waikato fuel tanker driver David Rogers. Tractor/semi-trailer competitors Baillie and Rogers had the unenviable task of swapping into the truck and trailer unit for the high-pressure finale. Still, Reid finished the event believing that “one of the two young fullas might have pipped me at the post.” Judges described the overall competition as “incredibly tight – with only a handful of points separating the top few competitors.” And Ngatuere confirms that it was damn near a tie for first – between Reid and Matt Jackson. Reid unquestionably had experience on his side – given his 45 years in trucks: “By the time I was 16 I could back a truck and trailer,” he says.” That was courtesy of all the hours he’d spent every week out in trucks with the drivers from Kaitaia Transport: “College wasn’t really one of my stronger subjects,” he says, deadpan. Reid had spent his younger years on his parents’ farm at Herekino – without much inkling of the trucking love that he’d soon develop: “Dad owned an old Chev when we were on the farm, but I was too young to drive that. I used to sit on his lap and steer it occasionally, but that was about all.” That all changed “when we moved to town: Mum and Dad bought a house just 200 yards down the road (from Kaitaia Transport).” The 14-year-old Reid “got to know all the boys (the truck drivers). At night I was nowhere to be found – I was out in a truck.” When he was old enough to leave school, “already being a truck fanatic, it lent itself to me going in that direction.” That meant starting with Kaitaia as an apprentice mechanic…before he finally got his way and shifted to driving for the company. He moved on to drive in Southland and Wellington before returning


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to Northland and a driving job with United Carriers. About a decade on, in 1990, he bought an ’86 320 Mitsi and started as a United owner/ driver, on general freight. He started SJ Reid Ltd in ’94 – specifically to cart sawdust and bark… which he and wife Jo specialise in still. They also buy and sell the stuff, as well as carting wool, household water and running a growing number of logging units. The aim, Reid says, is staying alive in the industry he loves – by diversifying: “So, when one leg (of the business) struggles, hopefully another will bolster up the one that might be a bit quiet.” Now, although the SJ Reid fleet is up to 13 trucks (eight loggers), he is still driving regularly: “Ah, it’s a case of having-to at the moment, because I’m two men short. But I ‘spose having just two drivers short out of a fleet of 13 is possibly not that bad.” Reid’s closest challenger in the finals, Matthew Jackson, reckons that truck driving is “in the genetics…in the blood.” He is, after all, the fourth-generation truckie in the family – having clearly not taken the advice his career driver Dad Hamish gave his schoolboy son. Says Matthew: “I always wanted to get into trucking, but my old man told me nah…always tried to steer me away from it. He just said ‘get some sort of trade behind you.’ ” But driving trucks, says Matthew, “just feels natural to me….I just enjoy doing it. I dunno how to explain it.” And the Waipukurau driver has now had about 18 years “off and on” as a truckie. He started off on general freight with Whitfield Transport, then did a short stint with BR Satherley Transport on a heavy-haulage transporter before taking up his current job four years ago – carting livestock for Ben Allen Transport. He drives a Kenworth K104B Aerodyne HPMV unit, transporting sheep

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Above: The finals lineup comprises the best performers from seven regional heats and one company contest, plus last year’s winners Right: Hawke’s Bay livestock driver Matthew Jackson is all concentration as he reconnects the lines after hooking up the semi-trailer in the top-four shootout



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Above: Finals officials (from left) Simon Carson, Mark Ngatuere, Don Wilson and Grant Turner during the driver briefing Top left: The finals of the driving championship are held in the carpark of the Claudelands Arena, while the RTF annual conference is going on inside Left: Class 4 category winner Andrew Crandon (right) – here receiving his award and cheque from TR Group MD Andrew Carpenter (left) and chief judge Don Wilson – has only been driving for less than a year

and cattle all over the North Island, and occasionally picking up bulls in the South Island. He shrugs off “getting covered in shit every day” and says he’s “loving the livestock work. It’s bloody good. “There’s the challenge of the animals and you get out in the backblocks. I just enjoy it, you know.” Ask him how he gained the driving skill that impressed the likes of Simon Reid and others and got him so close to the title and he reckons: “Probably from a lot of f***ups along the way. I learnt because I broke and bent shit when I started. I’ve learnt to look where I should be looking now.” You have to, as he says, “LEARN from your mistakes.” He’s also learnt to “ask questions – they’re cheaper than f***ups!” He reckons that he gets the greatest pleasure in his job from “all the small things achieved through the day, like one-shot backing into a race, right load-count, getting through tight roads and gateways without any problems.” His approach behind the wheel is to “drive like I’m coming the other way. I mean, if you’re going hammer-down on a tight road and the person going the other way is too, you could be in the shit!” The other thing is: “TRY to be patient.” Interestingly, his performance at the nationals repeated the success his Dad (who now drives for Middle Hills Contracts in Central Hawke’s Bay) achieved (as a runner-up) 15 or 16 years ago. It also followed his own first taste of the driving competition in 2015, when he reckons: “I sort of got a bit flustered with the convex mirrors (on the driving challenge truck)…I sort of lost it from the start.” That experience though helped him this time. As for the rest, he laughingly reckons his standout performance at the nationals was probably down to “the way I held my tongue I ‘spose! I mean there was plenty of other good people in there and it’s how your cards fall on the day. “I guess skill had something to do with it. But I mean there were a lot of good fullas doing it – and there’s a lot of better people out there 76 | Truck & Driver

too.” While “I definitely gave it a good go” (you have to, he insists, after “people put a shitload of effort into putting it together”), Jackson’s approach was also to keep things lowkey. Thus he didn’t worry about trying to jump in a tractor unit/semi trailer combo before the comp to update his rusty knowledge: “Nah…I try not to think too much about things or else I get all wound up, you know. “It’s just a matter of ‘take it as it comes.’ I definitely gave it a good shot…but oh yeah, I knew I wasn’t going for the All Blacks or a World Cup or anything like that.” The same approach maybe helped when it was revealed at the nationals that the reversing driving challenge had been made tougher: “I don’t overthink shit too much, so it was just get in and do it – don’t worry about it too much.” The best moment, he says, “was when they called out my name for that shootout….that you made it up there, that was quite cool.” Jackson came away happy with his victory in the Truck-Trailer Combination category, committed to supporting the championship and happy that his win automatically qualifies him for the 2018 finals. And he adds: “You hear people talk about how popular the contests were back in the day. That’s the sort of thing you want – for a lot more people to get involved in it. That’d really make it exciting.” John Baillie is very experienced, very accomplished in driving contests, having attended his first nationals 30 years ago and having made it into the top four in the previous two finals – and winning the Tractor-Semi Combination honours at each. He reckons he was hooked on driving comps from his youth, when he worked for a bloke who was King of the Road champ back in the early 1970s. Although his 2016 class win qualified him directly for the finals, he contested – and dominated – the Auckland heat. He won the truck and trailer AND tractor/semi divisions, and top-scored in the theory test. As he sums up: “I had a great run in that.” His approach in the comp was very different to Matt Jackson’s –

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studied and tactical. And it brought him his third straight Tractor-Semi title. He reckons that the 2017 championship was the toughest yet: “The points are getting even closer at the top end. There’s only a matter of a few points in it. So right across all the challenges, every point is becoming vital.” It’s always been the case that you’ve had to be “right up there in all of them to have a shot at getting through.” But in the latest nationals, “a whole lot more people were achieving those higher levels.” The added difficulty of the reversing slalom in the driving challenge meant that “it wasn’t all about the driving – you had to think about it.” In doing the reversing challenge in the shootout he opted to stop, pull forward and take a second bite at getting close to some of the obstacles – to gain extra proximity points. Unfortunately, the increased difficulty of the challenge meant it took more time…and he also incurred time penalties. “So probably what I gained out in the middle I lost at the end. I tried a couple of different things….” In the 2016 finals shootout, on the other hand, for the unfamiliar truck and trailer challenge (the Foodstuffs owner-driver runs a tractor unit and semi-trailer) he’d aimed, first and foremost, “to finish that truck and trailer course under time. End of story. Not to be too close to anything – just get it done, under time.” In this comp, the trickiness of the reverse slalom course meant “it was actually very hard for most of the contestants to do it under time, because they were getting caught up in that first corner of the reverse slalom. “Once you got around that you were away. But getting around that WAS the challenge. Which is good when the marks are so tight…. Made it very interesting.” He was impressed with the tough competition from some new faces: “It was a good mix… Young David Rogers, Matt from Ben Allen Transport, the young couple from NZ Express – it certainly wasn’t a 78 | Truck & Driver

stagnant competition.” Unsurprisingly, Baillie is as thoughtful about the trucking industry and his job within it as he is about how to approach a driving contest. The key essentials to being a good truck driver are, he reckons, “good health, understanding the dynamics of your vehicle and how it’s loaded.” You also need, he says, to know the limitations of yourself and your vehicle and have “the ability to work safely.” And the NZ Truck Driving Championship? That, he says, is “a great competition to be involved in: You meet good people from around NZ, you gain more knowledge and upskill yourself.” At the age of 53 and after 32 years in the industry he reckons he’s “definitely” still learning – in part because of the championship. And, he’s adamant that from both a driver’s perspective and a business perspective, “you get a lot out of it.” In day to day life in the industry, for instance, “no-one goes home and refreshes the Road Code after you’ve got your licence. And I’ve found doing that quite beneficial, whether it’s been the loading code, the categorisation of defects manual….the whole thing has been very good for me.” And yes, for sure, he will be back in the 2018 championship – having another crack at going one better and taking the overall title: “You do enter it to win and yeah it would be nice to achieve that at some point.” Remarkably, that’s an aim that’s already exercising the mind of the winner of the EROAD NZ Young Truck Driver of the Year, David Rogers. The title and the $1500 cash prize that goes with it is, as RTF chief executive Ken Shirley point out, important in recognising “some of the excellent young people in our industry and is designed to help inspire those who may be thinking about getting into road transport.” Rogers, a 24-year-old fuel tanker driver for Tranzliquid, gave a standout show of just what’s possible for a young bloke, by driving his way into the top-four shootout against much more experienced rivals.

All pictures, clockwise from top left: New champ Simon Reid with the coveted trophy... Hawke’s Bay driver Sam Linton picks up the $1000 first prize for the Class 2 category from TR Group MD Andrew Carpenter (left) and chief judge Don Wilson (centre)... the driving test is tougher than in the past couple of years.... the distances from the sides and back of the virtual loading dock are checked... negotiating one of the tight “gates” in the obstacle course

Now, he says happily, winning the championship outright is “definitely a goal: I’m keen-as to get back out there and have a go… I’ve gotta stop mucking around and just get there!” he reckons with a laugh. Rogers had made his debut in the NZ champs a year earlier and ran into a problem unhooking the semi-trailer. It was an unfamiliar process: In his life as a truckie he’d started out delivering fuel in a rigid, then began driving tractor-semi-trailer tankers for Tranzliquid three years ago. “I think (the different gear) might have thrown me a bit…this is where the old experience comes in – because we don’t run landing legs. If we ever need to unhook, we have to wheel landing legs under them…… And the only time we unhook is if the truck needs maintenance. “I didn’t want to make the same mistakes. That’s what you learn from…” So he “went out and got some more experience – familiarised myself with a lot more, different gear….made an effort to go out and educate myself.” In doing jobs around his parents’ Waikato farm in hired trucks in his spare time he “put myself in different gear. Across everything – from different brands of trucks, to different hookup setups, different turntables…across the board really. And the industry was pretty good at lending a hand, in particular TR Group.” While picking up a rental truck for some farm jobs from TR in Te Rapa, he explained his situation “and I said ‘oh, do you mind if I just have a play in the yard with a couple of other things, you know.’ They said ‘oh yeah, that’s no problem…..go for gold.’ ” In the yard he hopped in and drove “everything…from Scania, Isuzu, Freightliner…Caterpillar.” So, as he says, he was “seriously motivated – I definitely wanted to do well. I think this was my last year to do the young driver, so I really wanted to make something of it…. We worked pretty hard for it.” He learnt, for instance, how best to use an AMT in tight manoeuvring rather than the Roadranger manuals he knows and trusts. With

the Isuzu AMT “you’ve just gotta keep your patience….and things do happen. Don’t panic! It’ll come…it’ll come!” he says, laughing uproariously. And he came away from the finals “bloody stoked” with how well it all went: “It was definitely bloody impressive. There definitely was some tough competition. A lot of very skilful guys – very competent operators.” Rogers laughs off the suggestion that he’s one of the best truck drivers in NZ: “Well geez, I wouldn’t say that. But I would like to say I do a bloody good job in the transport industry – I strive to do everything as professionally as I can. But, aw geez…there’s a hell of a lot of good guys out there.” Two more young blokes, Hawke’s Bay driver Sam Linton and 21-yearold Aucklander Andrew Crandon, took out the Class 2 and Class 3&4 divisions of the contest respectively. Crandon, a driver for less than a year, followed his father and grandfather into the industry. The Auckland Linfox Logistics driver says that the job allows him to meet and inter-act with a lot of people – “and days are normally quite different from the day before.” RTF boss Ken Shirley pays tribute to chief judge Don Wilson and other key officials John Essex, Geoff Wright, Sandy Walker, Simon Carson, Grant Turner, Jeff Fleury and Hayley O’Connor and the Women in Road Transport network “for putting together such a well-run event. “We also appreciate the work that our associations put into running the regional qualifying heats and supporting the overall event.” Without major championship backers TR Group and TR Master Drive and other sponsors the comp would, he adds, “struggle to get off the ground.” And he saves a special mention for the importance of the championship’s recognition of “some of the excellent young people in our industry.” And how it’s designed “to help inspire those who may be thinking about getting into road transport.” T&D Truck & Driver | 79

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Top: The art deco-style Bill Richardson Transport World museum is the jewel in the crown of the diversification Above left: Classic Motorcycle Mecca was the second development undertaken by the HWR subsidiary Above right: Now Dig This has joined the museums as the city’s latest tourist attraction

Truck & Driver | 81

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Above: Bill Richardson Transport World is regarded as one of the world’s best private collections of trucks and transport memorabilia Lower left: Dig This allows paying visitors a completely hands-on experience driving bulldozers and the like Lower right: Since stepping aside from his former role as HWR Group MD Scott O’Donnell has had more time to devote to new ventures


NVERCARGILL’S HW RICHARDSON GROUP, WHICH HAS LONG been one of New Zealand’s biggest privately-owned transport operators, is diversifying – and in dramatic fashion. HWR Group director Scott O’Donnell credits travel as the inspiration behind the spectacular expansion that’s seeing HWR subsidiary Transport World help transform Invercargill into a unique tourist destination... That, and the extra time for forward planning he’s had since stepping aside from the Group managing director role in late 2015: “When we were running HWR there wasn’t the time to spend on other projects – the Group alone took every hour available. But Brent (Brent Esler, Group CEO) now runs a very efficient ship, which has given us the opportunity to think outside the square.” The latest venture from the operation that had its genesis in HWR founder Bill Richardson’s “Shed,” where he stored (and worked on) his collection of old trucks and transport memorabilia, is Dig This, which is attracting visitors from all over since opening last October. An industrial site in Invercargill adjoining the HWR driver training centre, previously used to store spare trailers and sundry transport gear, has been transformed into a heavy-equipment playground, where participants get to handle a range of Caterpillar excavators and bulldozers. And they’re not toys either – D4 dozers and 310-Series and 320-Series diggers might not be at the very top of

the Cat size range, but they’re full-on gear in their own right. The big stuff is limited to teens and up, but kids are also catered for with a mini excavator experience. A typical package gives visitors a full hour at the controls, progressing through a structured programme that begins with basic manoeuvres and runs through various exercises in digging and filling earthworks, manipulating things like truck tyres….and ends up (in the case of diggers) with a challenge that involves picking basketballs off the top of road cones – stretching newfound skills to their limits. And it’s totally hands-on. Instructors standing away from the machines talk the participants through the sequences via radio, but participants have to manipulate the controls themselves, which enhances the sense of accomplishment. Dig This is an American concept, but it has a strong Kiwi connection, having been dreamt-up by Otago-born Ed Mumm some 12 years ago. Raised on a farm south of Dunedin, Ed had spent several years farming and high-country mustering before a holiday trip to the United States 25 years ago. As he relates: “I cruised around the West, fell in love with the place and a woman...and have been there ever since.” Almost by accident, he became a fencing contractor, after neighbouring farmers in Colorado saw the job he’d done on drafting yards for a deer farm being set up by his wife-to-be and her Truck & Driver | 83

12:40 PM

visited Ed’s operation in Las Vegas I tossed all my plans away and started again. “What I saw was that the best instructors are those with people skills and the ability to not only teach, but to be adaptable... because the people you get coming along are all different, with a range of learning abilities, so the instructors need to be able to tailor their approach. “You can teach people to drive machinery, but you cannot teach personality. That’s what we looked for when we were interviewing for instructors. Several of the ones we picked had never operated machinery before, but they had the skills to guide people, and to help them get maximum enjoyment from the experience.” While Dig This is the latest (and for the moment, most high profile) Transport World activity it’s matched by parallel activities directed towards establishing Invercargill, as Scott O’Donnell puts it, “as a destination city for tourism – tourism based on wheels.” And this is where travelling has played its part, he explains: “I guess what really triggered it for me was in 2015 visiting a small town called Pontiac in Illinois, which is near the eastern end of the famous Route 66, and is home to the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum. It’s a perfect example of the growth of what you could call road-based tourism. “Route 66, as a major cross-country link, was supplanted in the 1970s by the development of the Interstate network, but nowadays thousands of people want to travel what’s left of it and capture some sense of its history. “We met the mayor of Pontiac, who explained that the town (which has a population of barely 10,000), has been bypassed by the major routes for over 30 years, but has been able to establish


mother, and prevailed on him to tackle their projects too. Some years later, he was building his family a new home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and had a friend with an excavator help him with site preparation. His buddy suggested Ed have a play himself, and as he puts it: “After a couple of hours I was hooked. This was so much fun. Then it occurred to me that everybody would love this same opportunity. I checked to see if anyone else had come up with the idea and all I found was a place in the United Kingdom that used much smaller equipment.” And so Dig This was born. Originally it was in Steamboat Springs, and proved very successful, but was limited by the town’s comparative remoteness and the long Colorado winters, so some years ago Ed shifted it to Las Vegas, where the concept has boomed, catering equally to guests at corporate functions and general tourists. The idea is now spreading fast. Franchises have been set up in Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles, while negotiations are under way for sites in New Orleans and Dubai. Unlike the franchise model of the others, the Invercargill Dig This is independent, the licensing rights having been bought by Transport World. The potential loss of oversight doesn’t worry Ed: “When you look at the quality of Transport World, you can see that these people know what they’re doing. Their professionalism is world class, so I have no trouble with licensing,” he says. Lex Chisholm oversees the Invercargill operation. He has extensive experience on heavy machinery, having worked on the Upper Waitaki hydro scheme in the 1970s before switching to farming and, more recently, truck driving. Surprisingly, he says experience is not needed to be a good instructor: “That was the opinion I had when we were setting up – that we would need experienced operators. But after I


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Main picture: Dig This creator, US-based Kiwi Ed Mumm (left) and Invercargill Dig This overseer Lex Chisholm Right: Dig This customers ride alone in the machinery, directed by staff via R/Ts





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The second vehicle museum came about when Scott and Joc O’Donnell bought a 300-bike Nelson collection – ensuring it wasn’t broken up and lost overseas

a reputation as an automotive tourism town. It seemed such a wonderful model for what we could do in Invercargill.” Witness to that inspiration is the continued development of the main Bill Richardson Transport World museum, which Scott O’Donnell and wife Joc (Bill’s daughter) have expanded way beyond the trucks and petrol bowsers that were the core of Bill’s original private collection. The complex now houses a near-complete collection of “Letter” Ford cars, a lineup of VW Kombis (a particular passion of Joc’s), a retro area devoted to children’s toys and household appliances like washing machines and fridges dating back a century and more. The bathrooms feature quirky custombuilt basins, tapware, door handles and other furnishings with a transport motif (those at Dig This in turn have a heavy-construction theme). There’s a wearable art section, a replica of an old cinema, a children’s play area, the New Zealand Road Transport Hall of Fame, and a popular restaurant. The museum is Invercargill’s go-to venue for major functions, but is also used extensively for HWR Group training courses. Then, in the centre of the city can be found Motorcycle Mecca, which houses the 300-strong collection of motorcycles (many rare, some even unique) that was amassed over several years by Nelson businessman Tom Sturgess and his wife Heather and had been open to the public barely a year when Sturgess’ ill health forced its sale. Local enthusiasts were dismayed that the collection was on the point of being broken up and for the most part would disappear overseas, when the O’Donnells stepped in and added it to the Transport World portfolio. The original proposal for the Tay Street building in which the 86 | Truck & Driver

collection is now housed was that it would effectively be gutted, and act as a neutral display backdrop to the bikes. However, it was found to boast many fascinating Art Deco architectural features, so it’s been completely refurbished and restored, and acts as an impressive counterpart in its own right to the two-wheelers on display. Curator Dave Roberts shifted from Nelson with the collection and says that the significantly larger new home for the collection has allowed for the bikes to be shown off to much better advantage. Motorcycle Mecca is right across Tay Street from the O’Donnell’s latest – and most ambitious – project. This is a central city retail and commercial block bought by a joint venture between the HWR Group’s property division and the Invercargill City Council – HWCP Management Limited. Apart from a hotel at one end and a cinema complex at the other – neither involved in the purchase – it’s made up of a ragtag collection of older buildings. HWCP Management plans to demolish a proportion of these and provide Invercargill with a revitalised heart. But it won’t be just another urban mall, says Scott: “We will keep already-restored heritage buildings, but for the rest we see a modern mix of food and beverage outlets, entertainment venues, offices and apartments, along with covered car parking. “Quality office space is lacking in the city at the moment, so the redevelopment of the CBD will help there. Even from a retail point of view, we’re lacking a lot of the quality names, because they won’t move into a C-Grade retail space. We’ve got to create the A-Grade environment to fit the image of their brands. As a result, from a purely retail point of view a massive amount of money currently goes out of the region to the likes of Dunedin and

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Above: Dig This instructors were hired primarily for their personalities, not their prior ability in operating earthmoving machinery Right: Just a small part of the Transport World’s attractions

Queenstown.” The property venture is a further expression of passion the O’Donnells have already demonstrated with Transport World – that of promoting Invercargill as a place to visit, and to live in. For Scott, it makes great sense: “Joc and I are always saying to ourselves: ‘We’ve been lucky in business, we’re based in a town that’s of a scale where we can make an impact – something that would be impossible in a city the size of Auckland.’ “HWR has always been headquartered here and this is a situation we plan to intensify, with divisional chief executives gradually moving here as we set up a complete head office structure. “We see (that) our challenge is to help produce an environment and a lifestyle that will attract the likes of our children (two at university, one at high school) to settle here.” TD27582


Having a transport company hiving off into areas as diverse as urban development and tourism might raise concerns of dilution of commercial focus, but the O’Donnells see Invercargill as the unifying factor that makes these approaches not only viable, but almost an imperative. And while it’s a fair stretch from a transport operator exercising his love of trucks and restoring old trucks in a workshop, to the complex structure that’s today’s Transport World, Scott reckons Bill Richardson would have no trouble getting his head around it: “Bill wasn’t one of those road transport operators who try to keep controlling from the grave. While he was alive he made it clear that Joc would have the freedom to do what she needed for her generation. I reckon he’d be very proud to see what she has achieved.” T&D Truck & Driver | 89

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Kenworth and Peterbilts equipped with the new Endurant automated transmission that is the first product of the new Eaton Cummins JV

n the 2018 gers

Driving Eaton’s latest

AUTOMATED TRANS By North American correspondent Steve Sturgess


ENERALLY SPEAKING, I’M NOT A GREAT FAN OF NEW PRODUCT intros at test tracks. They tend to restrict the experience to all left or all right turns. As a licensed driver, I like to get out onto the highway to experience a new truck or component to see how it performs in the real world. But for the launch of its all-new Endurant transmission, Eaton’s test track in Marshall, Michigan IS the very best place to explore the features of the industry’s latest automated 12-speed. Features like the steep hills really put the components to work. Ironic then that the first part of the day is a drive….on the highway! From the overnight hotel, to experience the on-highway performance of the new, fully automated 12-speed from Eaton. Or, rather, from Eaton Cummins . . . Cummins recently formalised its relationship with Eaton – moving from the shared technology on the SmartAdvantage engine/ transmission combo to become a fully-fledged partner in Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies. The joint venture rolled out its first new product at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show, the Atlanta-based extravaganza staged in association with the organisers of the huge bi-annual German IAA Show. It is to be hoped that NACV will become the acronym for the odd-year alternative to IAA. It’s also to be hoped it will become the major North American showcase for new trucks and

components. This year was a good start. For Cummins Eaton, the new 12-speed automated – there will be no manual version – is the first of a range of new transmission products from the new company. Labelled the Endurant for its intended durability and reliability, it has obviously been in the works for several years at Eaton and is now launched by the JV. But there were a few crooked smiles at the launch because PACCAR – the parent of Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF – which has been privately labelling powertrain components as its proprietary drivetrains, snuck in a launch of the transmission as a PACCAR-branded component several weeks earlier. Endurant – and its PACCAR-branded counterpart – is a purposebuilt automated transmission, claimed to be the lightest on the market…and, at 1850 lb ft (2508 Newton Metres) capacity, the most capable for linehaul. The twin-countershaft transmission offers seamless communications with Cummins and PACCAR MX engines at its launch, 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, a 430mm self-adjusting clutch, intelligent connect diagnostics and prognostics. And an oil life of 750,000 miles. Although the development was done by Eaton before the JV began mid-2017, future programmes are promised that will leverage Truck & Driver | 91

The Endurant performs well in the test drive, its positives including a nice, smooth takeup....and a 90kg weight saving over the current Eaton equivalent

the experience of both major corporations, making for competition for the vertically integrated powertrains from manufacturers like Volvo and Daimler. At the test track, Endurant proves to be as fully-featured as any automated mechanical transmission in the marketplace. We’re able to experience the hill-climbing activity with skipped shifts, uphill and downhill hold (where the transmission uses the service brakes to prevent any rollback or forward rolling), and ability to creep along even using the convenient column shifter to upshift at idle speed while inching along in traffic. This shifter also controls the engine retarder, with three levels of retarding horsepower and a fourth spring-back position that puts the engine into a downshift mode for maximum retardation. The only concern I have is that the shift points seem higher than I’ve anticipated. However, holding on for a fewer extra rpms allows the transmission to skip-shift and, presumably, this has been calculated and matched to the Cummins engines’ fuel mapping to consume less fuel in the long run. One particularly nice feature is the smoothness of the takeup as the clutch engages. The UltraShift has a fairly annoying judder on takeoff, but none is present in the new transmission as it uses a single plate with organic friction material. This greatly improves low92 | Truck & Driver

speed manoeuvring as well. Other features will endear the transmission to owners and technicians as it saves weight – 200 pounds/90.6 kilograms over current product. And because it uses a pressurised lubrication system, it’s more fuel-efficient –because the gears do not run in an oil sump. Also, because the lube is directed precisely where it’s needed and with less churning, there’s far less heat generated and there’s no need for an oil cooler. And despite this, there’s that oil change interval of 750,000 miles/1.2million kilometres. But the features that will really tell are the self-diagnosing and fault-reporting via the IntelliConnect telematics. This should ensure minimum downtime over the life of the transmission. It even reports on the wear of the clutch, allowing for replacement notification so a worn clutch can be replaced in a timely fashion. But there are many protections built in, so that should be a rare occurrence. I spend the day in a Peterbilt 579 with a Cummins ISX rated at 400 horsepower/298 kilowatts and the driving characteristics of the Endurant make it a very pleasant, comfortable experience. So the new transmission should make drivers happy too. Likely, it’ll push the automated transmission uptake rate even higher than the 70% for on-highway Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks – where the Endurant is now making its first appearances in North America. T&D





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Recently Registered

It’s a record!

Hawke’s Bay company Davies Waste Solutions has put this new Western Star 4884FXC day cab 10x4 to work on stormwater and wastewater maintenance, drain cleaning, inspections and surveying, hydro excavation and dry vacuuming duties. The truck, which has a Hendrickson lifting tag axle, runs a 525 horsepower Detroit engine, an Eaton AutoShift AMT and Meritor RT46-160GP diffs.


S EXPECTED, 2017 WILL GO DOWN IN NEW Zealand trucking industry history as a record-setter – the year ending with seven new alltime-best sales performances. The year closed with two more record-breaking months in the overall new truck market (above 4.5 tonnes GVM) – combining with a best-ever October to also set a new fourth-quarter benchmark… And pushing the annual registration tally out to 5241, making it the industry’s best year ever – 813 units and 18% ahead of the previous record, in 2014. Official NZ Transport Agency registration statistics show that there were 444 registrations in November and 413 in December in the overall 4.5t to maximum GVM market – these record-breakers adding to October’s benchmark 439 for a new Q4 record of 1296 – 17% better than 2014’s 1112. The trailer market also achieved a new annual alltime best, with 1577 registrations – just pipping the old mark from 2015…by two units. It was a 16% improvement on the 2016 market. The 166 trailer regos in November set another new record, but

December’s 127 total was 12% behind 2014’s December benchmark. It was still good enough to ensure a new Q4 record, with 437 registrations topping 2014’s old record by 14 units. The overall market was 28% up on 2016, so distributors needed to sell 28% more trucks just to maintain the same market share. In the closing months of 2017 longtime market dominator Isuzu kept up its sales momentum – with its sixth and seventh months of the year with sales topping 100 (with 112 in November and 130 in December). That saw it beat its own industry record, by averaging 105 registrations per month all year. In 2016 it had become the first manufacturer to pass the 100 per month mark by averaging 101.5. What did change though is that Isuzu’s market share actually dropped from almost 30% in 2016, to 24.2% last year. The reason, points out industry analyst Robin Yates, whose Marketing Hand consultancy prepares this report for NZ Truck & Driver, “has been the rebirth of Fuso in NZ.” New distributor, the Keith Andrews-owned Fuso NZ, averaged 80 Truck & Driver | 95

Recently Registered 23,001kg-max GVM 2017

This T659 is the third of nine Kenworths going to work for McCarthy Transport. The 8x4, driven by Steve Edhouse and based in New Plymouth, has a 600-615hp Cummins Signature e5 engine, an 18-speed manual Roadranger transmission and Meritor 46-160 diffs on Hendrickson Primaax rear suspension.


Vol 1262 955 661 331 294 267 253 246 229 168 161 70 62 50 37 32 31 25 25 13 8 1 1 27

% 24.2 18.3 12.7 6.4 5.6 5.1 4.9 4.7 4.4 3.2 3.1 1.3 1.2 1.0 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.5 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.5




Nov/Dec Vol % 242 28.2 147 17.2 109 12.7 40 4.7 32 3.7 50 5.8 26 3.0 51 6.0 39 4.6 30 3.5 21 2.5 23 2.7 7 0.8 8 0.9 4 0.5 5 0.6 6 0.7 3 0.4 2 0.2 7 0.8 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 5 0.6 857



Vol 323 109 15 14 7 2 2 1

% 68.3 23.0 3.2 3.0 1.5 0.4 0.4 0.2




Nov/Dec Vol % 72 78.3 11 12.0 3 3.3 3 3.3 2 2.2 0 0.0 0 0.0 1 1.1 92


Vol 512 229 228 74 24 23 14 8 7 2 19

% 44.9 20.1 20.0 6.5 2.1 2.0 1.2 0.7 0.6 0.2 1.7




2017 Vol 483 361 221 121 120 50 37 23 11 8 1 4

% 33.5 25.1 15.3 8.4 8.3 3.5 2.6 1.6 0.8 0.6 0.1 0.3




96 | Truck & Driver




Vol 76 75 54 22 21 10 10 9 3 2 2 1 1

% 26.6 26.2 18.9 7.7 7.3 3.5 3.5 3.1 1.0 0.7 0.7 0.3 0.3




Nov/Dec Vol % 16 31.4 12 23.5 10 19.6 3 5.9 4 7.8 0 0.0 3 5.9 2 3.9 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 1 2.0 0 0.0 51




Nov/Dec Vol % 108 49.5 43 19.7 30 13.8 18 8.3 4 1.8 4 1.8 1 0.5 2 0.9 2 0.9 1 0.5 5 2.3

20,501-23,000kg GVM

Nov/Dec Vol % 79 33.9 69 29.6 25 10.7 20 8.6 19 8.2 8 3.4 4 1.7 3 1.3 6 2.6 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0





2017 Vol 35 23 6 5 5 3 3 2 1 1 2

% 40.7 26.7 7.0 5.8 5.8 3.5 3.5 2.3 1.2 1.2 2.3



Nov/Dec Vol % 9 60.0 3 20.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 1 6.7 0 0.0 1 6.7 0 0.0 0 0.0 1 6.7 0 0.0 15



Vol 365 292 241 229 202 187 152 124 94 85 78 69 62 25 25 23 1 1 2

% 16.2 12.9 10.7 10.1 8.9 8.3 6.7 5.5 4.2 3.8 3.5 3.1 2.7 1.1 1.1 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.1



Nov/Dec Vol % 61 17.9 32 9.4 24 7.1 39 11.5 26 7.6 27 7.9 27 7.9 14 4.1 13 3.8 14 4.1 23 6.8 22 6.5 7 2.1 3 0.9 6 1.8 2 0.6 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 340



2017 Vol 186 153 115 112 107 97 96

% 11.8 9.7 7.3 7.1 6.8 6.2 6.1

Nov/Dec Vol % 28 9.6 32 10.9 20 6.8 25 8.5 18 6.1 16 5.5 14 4.8

95 58 53 29 29 27 23 22 21 20 17 16 14 13 13 12 10 9 9 9 7 7 7 6 6 5 4 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 142

6.0 3.7 3.4 1.8 1.8 1.7 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.3 1.1 1.0 0.9 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 9.0

14 8 10 2 4 4 6 2 3 6 2 4 3 2 2 0 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 52

4.8 2.7 3.4 0.7 1.4 1.4 2.0 0.7 1.0 2.0 0.7 1.4 1.0 0.7 0.7 0.0 0.7 0.3 0.7 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 17.7





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Taihape operator Hautapu Haulage has added this new Volvo FH 8x4 logger to its operation, working all around the North Island. It has a 600hp engine, an I-Shift transmission and RTS2370B diffs and an Evans four-axle trailer. Extras include an under-bunk fridge, a 505-litre fuel tank, onboard scales and central tyre inflation.

sales per month – better than doubling the previous NZ rep’s 34 monthly average and putting it into a clearcut second place behind Isuzu. Hino did increase its monthly average from 53 to 55, but fell well behind the 28% gain needed to maintain its market share and slipped to third overall. Yates pinpoints “a late run of motorhome deliveries” as a big contributor to Mercedes-Benz securing fourth place for the year – its best result since 2011. Volvo, Iveco, Kenworth, Scania, Ram, Fiat and Sinotruk also increased their market shares, while others who lost share were UD, DAF, MAN, Freightliner, Mack, Hyundai, Western Star, International, Foton, Volkswagen, Caterpillar and Renault. JAC exited the market. In the premium 23t to max GVM segment, Isuzu continued its hold as the market leader, but did lose over 4% share from 2016. Volvo retained second place for the third year running. DAF had its best year since 2013 and PACCAR stablemate Kenworth also made significant gains. Hino slipped two places and lost share, Fuso climbed from ninth in 2016 to sixth last year, while

Scania, Mercedes-Benz and Iveco also made gains. Sinotruk sales improved spectacularly, from five trucks in 2016 to 25 last year. MAN lost ground over the last three years, as did UD. Others that dropped back in 2017 were Freightliner, Mack, Western Star, Caterpillar and Renault, while International held its ground. In the 3.5-4.5t GVM crossover segment, 2017’s 473-unit total was 18.3% ahead of 2016 and the best since 622 in 2011 – but still 29% behind the market’s 2010 peak (when 666 units were registered). In the trailer market, Patchell recorded its eighth consecutive year as NZ’s best-selling trailermaker – comfortably holding out a latesurging Fruehauf. Patchell also set a benchmark for a year’s trailer sales, with 186 units put on the road. Fruehauf was runner-up yet again, while Roadmaster improved from fifth to third and MTE from seventh to fourth. Domett lost one place and MaxiCUBE lost three. Transport Trailers also lost one place, while TMC gained one, Jackson dropped a spot and Transfleet remained 10th. T&D Truck & Driver | 99

Recently Registered

Menefy Trucking in Palmerston North has added another Mack to its fleet. This new 8x4 Trident has a 535hp Mack MP8 engine, an mDrive AMT and Meritor RT46-160GP diffs on Primaax air suspension. It’s rated with a 70-tonne GCM.

Five-year comparisons – 4501kg to max GVM Brand






Vol 1262 955 661 331 294 267 253 246 229 168 161 70 62 50

% 24.23 18.33 12.69 6.35 5.64 5.13 4.86 4.72 4.40 3.23 3.09 1.34 1.19 0.96

Vol 1218 414 639 171 203 247 198 184 153 131 137 87 55 29

% 29.96 10.18 15.72 4.21 4.99 6.07 4.87 4.53 3.76 3.22 3.37 2.14 1.35 0.71

Vol 1071 680 659 220 228 261 201 113 184 159 150 117 73

% 24.90 15.81 15.32 5.11 5.30 6.07 4.67 2.63 4.28 3.70 3.49 2.72 1.70

Vol 856 677 733 233 252 262 189 122 177 154 240 162 63

% 19.33 15.29 16.55 5.26 5.69 5.92 4.27 2.76 4.00 3.48 5.42 3.66 1.42

Vol 717 436 499 193 211 193 212 95 121 177 99 100 55

% 20.20 12.28 14.06 5.44 5.94 5.44 5.97 2.68 3.41 4.99 2.79 2.82 1.55


37 32 31

0.71 0.61 0.60

28 49 5

0.69 1.21 0.12

29 17

0.67 0.40

19 21

0.43 0.47

11 36

0.31 1.01


25 25 13 8 1 1

0.48 0.48 0.25 0.15 0.02 0.02

0.59 0.52 0.44 0.34 0.34 0.12 0.10 0.44

33 20 18 5 8 30 3 23

0.77 0.46 0.42 0.12 0.19 0.70 0.07 0.53

42 26 55 77 26 20 5 17

0.95 0.59 1.24 1.74 0.59 0.45 0.11 0.38

102 32 NA 173 29 30 7 22

2.87 0.90 NA 4.87 0.82 0.85 0.20 0.62












24 21 18 14 14 5 4 18




Increased share from 2016 Lost share from 2016

100 | Truck & Driver




Auckland | Whangarei | Hamilton | Tauranga

Recently Registered

Auckland operator Crane & Cartage has added this new International 9870 6x4 tractor unit to its fleet, carting temperature-controlled loads all around the North Island. It has a 530hp Cummins X15 engine , an Eaton UltraShift transmission and Meritor 46,000 lb diffs.

Dealing with waste and drainage is this new MAN TGS 26.440’s purpose in life, working around Hawke’s Bay for Davies Waste Solutions. The 6x4 day cab has a 440hp MAN D20 engine, a TipMatic AMT and MAN hypoid diffs on air suspension.

Five-year comparisons – 23,001kg to max GVM Brand







Vol 365 292 241 229 202 187 152 124 94 85 78 69 62 25

% 16.17 12.94 10.68 10.15 8.95 8.29 6.73 5.49 4.16 3.77 3.46 3.06 2.75 1.11

Vol 340 202 189 153 196 98 115 103 99 50 50 87 55 5

% 18.86 11.20 10.48 8.49 10.87 5.44 6.38 5.71 5.49 2.77 2.77 4.83 3.05 0.28

Vol 329 228 197 183 213 135 141 121 115 75 39 116 73

% 15.94 11.05 9.54 8.87 10.32 6.54 6.83 5.86 5.57 3.63 1.89 5.62 3.54

Vol 234 250 175 177 301 215 139 152 131 88 37 160 63

% 10.44 11.16 7.81 7.90 13.43 9.59 6.20 6.78 5.85 3.93 1.65 7.14 2.81

Vol 193 208 205 121 183 101 160 37 75 77 33 100 55

% 11.10 11.96 11.79 6.96 10.52 5.81 9.20 2.13 4.31 4.43 1.90 5.75 3.16


25 23 1

1.11 1.02 0.04

20 24 14

1.11 1.33 0.78

20 33

0.97 1.60

26 42

1.16 1.87

31 102

1.78 5.87



































Increased share from 2016 Lost share from 2016 No change in share from 2016

102 | Truck & Driver


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Recently Registered

104 | Truck & Driver

Jurgens Demolition in Wanganui has recently added this new Mack Trident and Super-Liner to its operation. The Trident has a 685hp MP10 engine and Mack single reduction diffs on Mack air suspension, while the Trident has a 535hp MP8 and Meritor 46-160 diffs on Primaax air. Both have mDrive AMTs and are rated to 110-tonne GCMs for heavy-haul and tipulator work.

All Branz is now shifting containers around the North Island with this new Volvo FM 6x4 tractor unit, towing a three-axle Swinglift. It has a 540hp engine, I-Shift transmission and single reduction diffs. Extras include bi-xenon headlights, a dual-height fifth wheel , a custom rear window and custom paint.

Marton operator G.K. Skou Transport has put this new 540hp Volvo FH on the road, carting livestock around the North Island. The 8x4 has an I-Shift AMT and RTS2370B single reduction diffs and pulls a five-axle Jackson Enterprises trailer. It’s fitted with new Total stock crates and has extras including rain-sensing wipers, custom paint and handrails on top of the crates.

Taupo’s Richardson Transport has this new Kenworth T659 carting logs around the central North Island for Aztec, working out of Te Kuiti. Paul Puata drives the 8x4, which has a 615hp Cummins engine, an 18-speed Roadranger manual gearbox and Meritor 46-160 diffs on Primaax air suspension. Evans Engineering supplied the five axle trailer and the logging equipment.



New & Reman Calipers for Truck, Trailer, Bus & LCV.

20-145 + 23-160 Driveheads.



Rotors & Pads, Brake Drums & Linings. New and Reman Exchange Transmissions 15½ Advantage Clutches.

TIDD ROSS TODD LIMITED Hamilton: 07 849 4839

Auckland: 09 262 0683 Email:


HEAVY TRANSPORT DRIVERS AND OWNER OPERATORS Tapper Transport is part of the Coda Group. Coda is one of New Zealand’s most innovative freight management companies, whose aim is to exceed customer expectations while reducing waste. Our scale and visibility across the export, import and domestic supply chains provide us with the unique ability to rethink the way the New Zealand logistics landscape works and by doing so we can strive to keep NZ competitive on the global stage. We do this by hiring excellent people, using smart technology and leveraging our significant scale to redefine the end to end cargo flows within the supply chain; by consolidating freight, improving connectivity between transport modes and freight hubs and ultimately changing the game in the New Zealand logistics industry. There is no compromise when it comes to customer service, safety and overall quality. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure we do what’s right for the product, the industry, our service providers, our customers and of course our people.

We are looking for Full Time Drivers or Owner/Operators to join us,

based out of our Penrose site; we have positions available during the following shifts:

Day 0500 to 1700 Night 1700 to 0500 We are looking for that special breed of driver who has the ability and experi-ence to operate the following types of trucks: LCL Class 5 General freight delivery with tail-lift experience ECL swinglift Class 5 Drivers with empty container swinglift experience FCL swinglift Class 5 Drivers with full container swinglift experience

ABOUT YOU Reliability and the right attitude are key in this role. You will be

hardworking, energetic and willing to go the extra mile. If you tick the boxes below we want to hear from you. A positive, enthusiastic attitude with a strong results-focused work ethic Have a full New Zealand driver licence with the appropriate endorsements. Able to communicate clearly and positively Excellent organisational and time management skills. Able to consistently meet deadlines Be an excellent team player A basic level of computer literacy Health and Safety awareness Willingness to learn and develop within the role

Coda has a Drug and Alcohol Policy and the successful applicant will be required to undergo Pre-Employment Medical screening including Drug and Alcohol Testing. In addition, as we are an approved MPI Facility, all applicants are required to undergo a Security Check via the Ministry of Justice prior to commencement and have driver license details lodged against Coda with NZTA through the Transport Operator Register Online (TORO) system. All applicants MUST have the legal right to work in New Zealand as determined by Immigration New Zealand. Please send your CV to our

Recruitment Team

Choose Safety First, Every Day

Isringhausen leads the way in the application of modern technology to driver’s seating. ISRI has a full range of driver’s seats to suit every application. Note: Seat fabric may vary from what is shown. Armrests and head restraints are optional accessories.

Protect your back and reduce driver fatigue CALL US NOW!

106 | Truck & Driver

ISRI 6860/875 NTS

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Automatic Self Levelling NTS Air Suspension Seat Integrated Head Restraint Integrated 3-Point Seat Belt

Automatic Self Levelling NTS-NZ Air Suspension Seat Integrated 3-Point Seat Belt Armrests & Head Restraint Optional Extras

Automatic Self Levelling NTS Air Suspension Seat, Armrests & Head Restraint Optional Extras

Geemac Trading (NZ) Limited. Phone (09) 630 1856 or Fax (09) 630 1855 email:


The World’s Best Driver’s Seat


















Manufacturers & Distributors of:


• Roof Air Deflectors and Side Skirts • Fibreglass Sunvisors • Windscreen Stoneguards • Weathershields • Headlight Covers • Bonnet Bug Guards • Tipper Skirts Available from your local truck dealership or: Te Apunga Place, Mt Wellington, Auckland. P.O. Box 62182. Phone (09) 276-9086. Fax (09) 276-2909.

Panelbeating, Spraypainting, Chassis Straightening, Engineering, Sandblasting and 2 Truck Spray Booths, Body Building, Wheel Alignment




0800 ALRO TRUCK (0800 257 687)

Phone Rick: 06-357 4100 Mobile: 0274 905 788

435 Tremaine Avenue. P.O. Box 4438, Palmerston North • Email: Truck & Driver | 107



the auto accessory specialists

434 Church Street East, Penrose, Auckland

Manufacturers & Distributors of: Truck Accessories:

Ute, Car & 4x4:

• Top Air Deflectors • Sunvisors • Stoneguards • Headlight covers • Door Weathershields • Bonnet Guards

• SteelTop Canopies • Tonneau Covers • Nudge Bars • Side Steps • Headlight Covers • Bonnet Guards • Bed-Liners • Tailgate Assist - Prolift

Paddy - m: 021 335 739 e:

• Trailer painting • Custom Painting

• Fleet spec painting • Sand blasting


23 Mayne St, Waitara Craig Midgley (Manager) 06 754 7145 027 560 4345

*TRUCK *CAR *4X4 Airplex Industries Ltd



• Cab and chassis painting

21 Saleyards Road, Otahuhu, Auckland Phone +64 9 276 9826 Toll Free: NZ 0800AIRPLEX Fax +64 9 276 9836 Email:


40-42 Geddes Rd, Rotorua Rick Osborne (Manager) 07 346 2089 027 277 2653

Kurt Broker (Director) 027 699 9612 –

Two locations across Central North Island –

At Brokers Panel & Paint we are specialists in commercial vehicle repairs and painting. We are experienced at all types of automotive painting, sandblasting and panel beating. We can repair anything: Trucks, diggers, coaches, motorhomes, trailers and everything in between.



Call us today to see what we can do for you and your fleet!

108 | Truck & Driver


Friday 9th March

SATuRDAy 10th March


public open day truck show & shine Kids zone & Bouncy Truck Working Displays





11 ISSUES $ 20

79. $70








Saving $13.50

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Tick boxes NZ TRUCK & DRIVER 1 year (11 issues) for $80 incl. GST NZ LOGGER 1 year (11 issues) for $70 incl. GST



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SPICER CLUTCHES SP107091-74AV SPICER Non Easy Pedal Value Clutch. 1650ft Lbs +GST


$290.00+GST PER AXLE SET R201309





Ph: 0800 501 133 EG27636

Specials valid while stocks last.

8 Prescott Street, Penrose, Auckland Fax: 09 525 6161 l Email:

LOUIE AND HIS HARD CASE BUGGERS Well known forester and hunter Lance Duncan retired from the forestry industry then sat down and wrote a book. It’s the tale of his life and is full of yarns from many years of working in forestry and hunting and those people he met along the way. Its full of humour, our proof reader was in stitches when she worked on this manuscript. It hasn’t been sterilised it’s written as Lance tells it and anybody who knows him will know you will get it straight. If you are easily offended then it’s probably not for you. Get your copy now, for a great read and some real entertaining yarns.

First n editio

Post PO Box 112062 Penrose, Auckland 1642

Ph 09 571 3544 Fax 09 571 3549




PHONE (day):















protect your


BUY ANY NEW ISUZU TRUCK AND WE’LL THROW IN THE ROAD Whatever your truck filtration needs –

Buy any new Isuzu Truck before the end of March and we’ll contribute up to $3,000 towards your On Road Costs. To find out more about this great offer, talk to your local dealer or visit N Series

F Series

Giga Series

$1,000 contribution

$2,000 contribution

$3,000 contribution

Be it oil, air, fuel, transmission, coolant, or exhaust products we have a comprehensive range of trusted brands ensuring quality, performance and protection for your truck.

All prices GST exclusive. Promotion offer ends 31 March 2018. Terms and conditions apply.

ISZ13325_FastStart2018_FP_TD_R01.indd 1

20/12/17 1:11 PM

The TGX 26.640 also meets current Euro 6C regulations and is one of the cleanest and most efficient MAN trucks. Plus you can get it with the latest leading edge technology and safety features, all making for a very powerful argument. Adaptive Cruise Control Land Guard System BrakeMatic EBS Electronic Stability Program Dynamic Stability Program Roll Over Protection Emergency Brake Assist Antijackknife Brake Emergency Brake Signal Turbo EVBec engine brake EfficientRoll North Island: Penske Commercial Vehicles 0800 728 695 South Island: Heavy Trucks 03 376 4305

Maximum combined output of optional TurboEVBec and retarder. Some listed features are optional equipment.

Issue 209


BIG TEST Arocs an all-rounder | FLEET FOCUS Yelavichs’ years of hard yakka | FEATURE Bill’s business broadens....bigtime

The most powerful MAN truck ever available in New Zealand, the TGX 26.640, is now here. At 640PS (471kW) and 3000Nm (2213 it has more pulling power than ever. And with up to 900kW combined brake output1 it has more stopping power than ever.

| February 2018





February 2018 $8.50 incl. GST

FLEET FOCUS Yelavichs’ years of hard yakka

FEATURE Bill’s business broadens.... bigtime

The Official Magazine of the

ISSN 1174-7935

r e d n u o r l l an a

NZ Truck & Driver February 2018