NZ Truck & Driver May 2024

Page 1


$10.90 incl. GST

| May 2024

May 2024



Another Little hat - trick

The Official Magazine of

ISSN 2703-6278

The long

BIG TEST The Long Hauler | FLEET FOCUS The Sheldrake Succession | FEATURE: Another Little hat-trick

The Sheldrake Succession

Issue 278

CONTENTS Issue 278 – May 2024




The latest from the world of road transport including… New Zealand’s heavy transport hydrogen refuelling network opens… China’s JAC Motors truck brand arrives in New Zealand… Bombay Truck Show planning underway… The Volta electric truck project is revived… Important changes in the body builder and trailer manufacturing sector… and MAN explores the potential for hydrogen combustion engines.



FEATURES: 62 Southpac Trucks Legends Born into it: Rodney Kempthorne’s parents ran a Waikato carrying business and his father dropped his mother off a hospital in a truck when Rodney was born. No surprise then he’s made his life in the industry and steadily built Heavy Metal Haulage over the past 28 years.

Giti Tyres Big Test The Long Hauler: Stems haulage is a specialised part of the off-highway log transport scene. Taupo’s Northern Linehaul is expanding its fleet of Scania V8s with a new R 620 stems truck going to work in the Kaingaroa Forest. And we revisit another NLL Scania V8 one year on from its Big Test appearance.



Quiet Achiever Mercedes-Benz Trucks is about the launch the battery electric eActros in New Zealand. We take the evaluation unit for a drive.


Taranaki Truck Show The Taranaki Truck Show returned at Easter weekend with a big turnout of rigs to the Bell Block event.


Remembering Alex McLellan Otago’s Alex McLellan was so much more than a truck driver and transport company owner. His recent passing has had a profound effect on his family, friends, staff, local community and the industry.


Truckers & Loggers 2024 There was marlin magic at the 2024 edition of the Southpac Trucks Truckers & Loggers fishing tournament in the Bay of Islands.

REGULARS: 80/ Double Coin Tyres NZ Transport 81 Imaging Awards Recognising NZ’s best-looking trucks… including a giant pull-out poster of this month’s finalist.


CrediFlex Recently Registered New truck registrations slowed slightly in March while the trailer sector continues tracking at record levels. Plus, the monthly gallery of new rigs on the road.

COLUMNS: 85 National Road Carriers Association James Smith, GM Policy & Advocacy takes a look at upcoming changes to the accredited employer programme.



Trevor Woolston 027 492 5600

Trudy Woolston


Victor Georgiades 021 925 600

Trudy Woolston Phone

Hayden Woolston 027 448 8768

SUBSCRIPTIONS 027 474 6033

NZ subscription $110 incl. GST for one year price (11 issues) Overseas rates on application ADDRESS



Another Little hat-trick An elated Alex Little has duplicated the achievement of his father Malcolm by winning three consecutive NZ Super Truck titles.

Transporting New Zealand Dom Kalasih looks at the end of the `Road to Zero’ campaign and Transporting NZ has been at work developing a new Terms and Conditions for Carriage of Goods template as well as addressing issues for Port users.

Teletrac Navman Fleet Focus The Sheldrake Succession: Second generation Tokoroa trucking company owner Mat Sheldrake not only continues to develop the business started by his father 45 years ago, but he’s also taking an increasing role on industry issues.

Colin Smith 021 510319

Associate Editor

Brian Cowan


Olivia Beauchamp Gerald Shacklock David Kinch Aaron Hunt Geoff Ridder Euan Cameron

ART DEPARTMENT Design & Production Luca Bempensante Zarko Mihic EQUIPMENT GUIDE AUCKLAND, NORTHLAND, BOP, WAIKATO, CENTRAL NORTH ISLAND Advertising Hayden Woolston 027 448 8768

AUCKLAND, LOWER NORTH ISLAND, SOUTH ISLAND Advertising Hayden Woolston 027 448 8768

Phone Freephone Postal Address Street Address Web

+64 9 571 3544 0508 TRUCKER (878 2537) PO Box 112 062, Penrose, AUCKLAND 172B Marua Road, Ellerslie, AUCKLAND

PRINTING & DISTRIBUTION Printer Bluestar Retail Distribution ARE Direct Publication: New Zealand Truck & Driver is published monthly, except January, by Allied Publications Ltd PO Box 112 062, Penrose, Auckland Contributions: Editorial contributions are welcomed for consideration, but no responsibility is accepted for lost or damaged materials (photographs, graphics, printed material etc). To mail, ensure return (if required), material must be accompanied by a stamped, addressed envelope. It’s suggested that the editor is contacted by fax or email before submitting material. Copyright: Articles in New Zealand Truck & Driver are copyright and may not be reproduced in any form – in whole or part – without permission of the publisher. Opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily the opinions of, or endorsed by, the publisher. Truck & Driver | 1

NEWS The Wiri refuelling site is part of an initial network which includes Te Rapa, Palmerston North and Tauranga.

Hydrogen refuelling network launched A GREEN HYDROGEN REFUELLING NETWORK HAS been launched to support zero emissions vehicles – primarily heavy transport – in New Zealand. Hiringa Refuelling New Zealand (HRNZ) is Australasia’s first hydrogen refuelling network and has been established by Hiringa Energy, together with its investors and partners, to propel New Zealand towards its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The network has been established in partnership with fuel supplier, Waitomo Group and TR Group, Australasia’s largest heavy vehicle fleet owner. The launch sees three strategically located stations opening in Wiri, Te Rapa, and Palmerston North. A fourth station in Tauranga is progressing as an integral part of the new Tauriko SH29 roading infrastructure. Together, the green energy network is positioned to service 95% of the heavy freight routes across the North Island including the “Golden Triangle” of freight movement (between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga). With the opening of the network, hydrogen-powered trucks can go into commercial operation enabling heavy transport to begin its transition to zero-emission alternatives. The refuelling stations are powered by renewable energy while state-of-the-art technology enables hydrogen-powered trucks and buses to refuel in 10-20 minutes. “Heavy transport plays a vital role in our economy, but it’s also a significant

Hydrogen refuelling of trucks and buses will take between 10 and 20 minutes. contributor to our national emissions,” says Andrew Clennett, Chief 2 | Truck & Driver

Executive Officer of Hiringa. “As a first-of-its-kind across Australasia and one of the first networks set up globally to service heavy transport, the initiative addresses this major challenge by providing operators with the infrastructure they need to switch to zero-emission transport in an efficient, scalable and commercially viable manner.” Network infrastructure establishment has received support from the New Zealand Government via a $16M loan, growth capital from key investors including Sir Stephen Tindall’s fund K1W1, and international investment from Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and Green Impact Partners alongside Hiringa Energy. Brendan King, Group General Manager, TR Group Ltd says the network is a ground-breaking initiative to bring fuel cell truck technology to the NZ market. “The technology unlocks a clean alternative for hard-to-abate sectors that are difficult to electrify, where hydrogen meets the intense demands of handling long distances and heavy loads,” King says. “This project has been enabled via forward thinking companies such as NZ Post with many more set to come on board. Their early adoption and willingness to trial and introduce zero emission technologies to their fleet is highly commendable as without this leadership, our industry doesn’t get the learnings and proof points to move forward at scale.” Among the first trucks to be refuelled at the Wiri site is the NZ Postoperated Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell truck. It has been deployed on commercial operations since 2023, having completed more than 70,000kms, eliminating the need for an estimated 29,700 litres of diesel which represents 80 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, and purifying the air around the vehicle at the same time.   David Walsh, Chief Executive Officer at NZ Post says that while it has been a success seeing their hydrogen truck demonstrating this technology and travelling over 350kms a day (using slower mobile refuelling) having the heavy-duty refuelling network in place will be instrumental in enabling NZ Post to use this hydrogen truck on longer distances. “With rapid refuelling now available this will allow us to operate the hydrogen truck seven days a week, 24 hours a day, with zero emissions. We’re thrilled to see this national network come together,” says Walsh. The network will also set the stage to provide a fast and reliable source of hydrogen to seed multiple other applications including marine, construction, materials handling, stationary power and most notably, aviation.


The 9.0t and 7.5t versions of the battery electric JAC models at the Southern Autos launch.

EV models first for JAC Motors NEW ZEALAND’S NEWEST VEHICLE BRAND SEES AN ambitious Chinese marque joining forces with a long-established New Zealand automotive retail and distribution company. With the initial focus on three battery-electric light-duty truck models, JAC Motors is launching with two dealerships, Southern Autos Manukau and Avon City in Christchurch. The official New Zealand launch took place on March 26 with JAC Motors Global executives, including its Global Chairman Mr. Xiang Xingchu, in attendance for the ribbon cutting at the Southern Autos showroom. The brand’s commitment to the Kiwi market is in partnership with the Colonial Motor Company (CMC), with over 100 years of automotive history in New Zealand. Following the launch of the N range of battery electric trucks, two further models powered by Cummins diesel engines will join the line-up later this year. The JAC EV models offers three wheelbase choices and GVMs from 6.0t up to 9.0t, offering multiple configurations to suit different business needs. Key specifications of the EV include the use of CATL-produced lithium iron-phosphate battery packs with 107kWh capacity. These have achieved over 200km driving range while fully loaded in testing on New Zealand city roads. Fast charging (from 20 to 80% battery capacity) takes an estimated 48 minutes. There are two EV drivetrain options offering 130kW and 171kW outputs with a two-speed gearbox. There are three stages of Electric Regeneration, while an ePTO (electric power take off ) allows for a wide range of uses and bodies for the trucks. Three wheelbase options – 3365mm, 3845mm and 4475mm – are being offered and the units on show at the launch event were in both flat deck and bare cab/chassis configuration. JAC dealers will offer `turn-key’ box body and tipper body options in the near future. The upcoming N60 (5.5t GVM) and N90 (9.0t GVM) diesel models are powered by Cummins diesel engines – a 3.0-litre 160hp unit for the N60 and 4.0-litre 170hp for the higher capacity model. The N60 and N60 EV models can be driven on a Class 1 license. The standard equipment level includes Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) with Lane Departure Warning System and Autonomous Emergency Braking. An 8-inch touchscreen provides Reverse Camera and Infotainment System plus there is an electric park brake and easy gear selector.

JAC Motors is launching with a 5-Year/200,000km warranty and a nationwide network will support the brand from 13 locations, with more planned. These locations are linked to existing CMC businesses, including 11 Southpac Trucks service centres. Established in 1964 and bolstering its growth with commercial partnerships including with Volkswagen group, the JAC Motors brand is one of the top commercial vehicle brands in China, selling innovative passenger and commercial vehicles in over 100 countries worldwide. During his speech at Southern Autos, Mr. Xiang Xingchu said JAC produced 592,000 vehicles in 2023, an 18.4% increase on the previous year. He says the company currently invests 5% of revenue in R&D and plans to lift that investment level to 8-9% of revenue. The company has 30 new products planned for launch in the next five years. He said JAC Motors intends to become a mainstream part of the New Zealand market while CMC Chairman Ashley Waugh said the 106-yearold company doesn’t rush into new ventures but expects JAC to develop into a significant part of CMC business. As well as commercial vehicles, JAC Motors also produces passenger cars, SUVs and utility models which provides scope for the brand to compete across multiple segments of the New Zealand market in the future as export products are developed. Mr Xiang, Chairman JAC Motors Global and Colonial Motor Company chairman Ashley Waugh at the Southern Autos ribbon cutting ceremony.

Truck & Driver | 3


510HP | 2500Nm The most powerful Japanese truck, ever! FUSO SHOGUN 510 gives you the power and torque to dominate New Zealand roads, plus advanced safety features to get your team home safely – day after day, night after night. Euro 6 | 510hp | 2,500Nm / 1,850 lb-ft | 12.8 Litre


MITSUBISHI FUSO Authorised Distributor Fuso New Zealand Ltd



Bombay Truck Show taking shape

MOMENTUM IS RAPIDLY BUILDING towards the third running of New Zealand’s biggest not-for-profit community truck show next January. The 2025 Bombay Truck Show is set for Saturday January 18 with the venue again at the Bombay Rugby Club and adjacent properties. Naming right sponsorships have been renewed by Transfleet Trailers and Allied Petroleum. UDC Finance will once again sponsor the popular Show & Shine awards which saw 465 trucks on display at the 2023 event. The first two editions of the Bombay Truck Show in 2020 and 2023 have seen the show established as a day for the trucking community to come together, show off its pride in the industry and to put its horsepower behind community organisations and fund raising efforts. Eight months in advance of the event, show coordinator Marieka Morcombe says interest is already high with nearly all of the 50 exhibitors from the 2023 show rebooking display space.

“The exhibitors at the 2023 show have first right of refusal to renew their display spaces and there is already a waiting list of new exhibitors who are keen to fill any vacant spaces,” Marieka says. ``The other big supporter of the show is Leaderbrand Group who allow us the use of the land adjacent to the Rugby Club. “The show simply could not go ahead without them and we are so grateful for their support. “I could say it’s going to be bigger and better than ever, but the reality is the amount of space we have to work with is exactly the same,” says Marieka. “And we really don’t want to change the family atmosphere so the only changes we’ve got planned are a few minor layout alterations which will improve the foot traffic flow and provide a bit more shade.” An estimated 20,000 visitors attended the 2023 event and public admission will again be a gold coin donation. “We want to keep the show as an almost-free

community event that provides a friendly showcase for the road transport industry,” Marieka says. “Registrations for the UDC Show & Shine will open on July 1. I’ve already had a lot of inquiries about entries, and I’ve had to say `please be patient’ to quite a few people who are excited about entering their trucks. “We’ll have over 50 prizes to award to the best trucks on the day.” The 2025 Transfleet Trailers/Allied Petroleum Bombay Truck Show will continue to support the same three community organisations who have already benefitted by a combined amount of over $150,000 raised from the 2020 and 2023 events. Those community groups are Franklin Hospice, Leukaemia and Blood Cancer NZ and the Bombay Rugby Club. For more information contact: or 021 166 1295

Truck & Driver | 5


Fruehauf acquires Adams & Currie The Adams & Currie manufacturing facility in Lunns Rd, Sockburn. CHRISTCHURCH-BASED TRANSPORT ENGINEERING company Adams & Currie Ltd has been purchased by Fruehauf New Zealand. Adams & Currie has been manufacturing truck and truck bodies for nearly 50 years. “Adams & Currie have several key strengths that were attractive to Fruehauf. Adams & Currie people are highly capable, skilled and experienced trailer and body manufacturers, who have successfully delivered a range of products since 1976,” says Fruehauf owner and Managing Director Jeff Mear. “The manufacturing site at Lunn Road will continue to serve the needs of Adams & Currie while also providing a service centre site for the entire South Island customer needs, for not only Adams & Currie products but also Fruehauf and Schmitz Cargobull.” Executive Directors Peter Laursen and Kevin Robinson will remain with Adams & Currie while Pat Lagan has chosen to retire.

“It will be business as usual for all staff at Adams & Currie,” Mear says. “We will over time explore areas where Fruehauf ’s capability can assist Adams & Currie and vice- versa. There are several areas where there are distinct synergies but not concerning people numbers. We forecast to be growing staff numbers over future months to help attend to our growing South Island service offer.” The Adams & Currie Manufacturing site in Christchurch will complement Fruehauf ’s existing manufacturing and Service Centre sites at Feilding and Auckland. Fruehauf was the leading brand in New Zealand trailer registrations in 2023 and also leads in the first quarter of 2024. The acquisition will strengthen this position. “The industry has many existing competitors; however, we remain focused on what we do and where we are heading and Adams & Currie was a key part of our Strategic Plans to spread our reach to our many loyal South Island customers,” Mear says.

Volvo and Mack plant planned for Mexico VOLVO GROUP PLANS TO BOOST NORTH AMERICAN truck production with a new heavy-duty truck manufacturing plant to be built in Mexico. The new plant will provide additional capacity to support the growth plans of both Volvo Trucks and Mack Trucks in the U.S. and Canadian markets, and support Mack truck sales in Mexico and Latin America. The plant is expected to be operational in 2026. The Mack Lehigh Valley Operations (LVO) plant in Pennsylvania and the Volvo New River Valley (NRV) plant in Virginia will continue to be the company’s main North American heavy truck production sites. The Group has invested more than US$73 million over the last five years in LVO expansion and upgrades, and is currently investing an additional $80 million to prepare for future production. The NRV plant is completing a six-year, $400 million dollar expansion/

Volvo models for North America and Mack trucks production is planned for a new factory in Mexico. 6 | Truck & Driver

upgrade to prepare for production of the new Volvo VNL model. The location of the new Mexican plant has not been announced. Volvo Group says it will be approximately 150,000sqm in size, and will focus on production of heavy-duty conventional vehicles for the Volvo and Mack brands. It will be a complete conventional vehicle assembly facility including cab body-in-white production and paint. Volvo says adding production in Mexico will deliver logistical efficiencies for supporting sales to the southwestern/western regions of the U.S., and to Mexico and Latin America. It also provides a mature supply and production ecosystem that will complement the U.S. system and increase the resilience and flexibility of the Group’s North American industrial footprint.

ELEVATING LOGISTICS 50 YEARS AND BEYOND Hammar is the world leading manufacturer of Sideloaders, self-loading vehicles for containers and more. A competetive quality solution for container logistics, special transports and terminal handling. + Made in Sweden since 1974, delivered to more than 123 countries world-wide + Lift, transport and transfer up to 50 tonnes + Increase safety and efficiency with grounded containers + One vehicle, one driver, anywhere, anytime |


+64 (0)9 266 96 66

Read our anniversary brochure

INVEST IN INNOVATION, NOT IN THE GROUND START ELECTRIFYING THE RIGHT WAY There are many hidden costs in electrifying your fleet, from supply upgrades to ongoing monthly demand charges. Peak Shaving

Maximum kW Level

In an energy-hungry world, Peak Shaving is the beacon of a sustainable future. With smart and efficient energy storage solutions, we’re not just shaving peak demand; we’re shaping a brighter, more resilient tomorrow. Say goodbye to energy spikes and hello to a greener, cost-effective, and reliable energy landscape. Join us in redefining the future of power with a Pixii Energy Storage solution.

Peak Shaving Energy Storage Solution

YHI Energy


The Volta electric truck programme has restarted under new ownership.

Volta is on the road again NEW CAPITAL HAS BEEN INJECTED INTO THE Volta Zero electric truck programme with deliveries to customers in selected European markets now planned for later this year. Volta Trucks filed for bankruptcy on October 17 last year and emerged from administration seven weeks later under the ownership of Luxor Capital. A new company, Volta Commercial Vehicles Ltd, is registered in the UK and re-launch activities are now underway with a team of about 150 employees. Vehicle development for series production of the 16t and 18t versions of the Volta Zero is ongoing and timed to meet the GSR-2 (General Safety Requirement) standards, effective in July. Customer trials have started in UK, with a larger fleet of vehicles available in Q2 2024 to also cover Germany, France, Nordics, and Austria. Steyr Automotive in Austria plans to resume series production later this year with first deliveries planned by year-end to customers in Germany, followed by France, UK and Scandinavia. “We’re looking to confirm orders with existing customers, reassemble the supply chain, complete a crucial fundraising round, and ensure series vehicles are ready for delivery,” says Essa Al-Saleh, CEO of the new Volta

Commercial Vehicles Ltd. “Right now, we are in the midst of discussions with all our suppliers and partners to enable these objectives. We have learned a lot from our challenging journey and are emerging stronger and more focused than ever.” Luxor Capital is supporting a funding plan that includes a round of convertible financing over the next month, and a larger Series-A round for investors towards the middle of the year. This funding will bring Volta through the phase of implementing series production and delivering vehicles. “During the last couple of months, we have analysed our original business plan and worked hard to simplify our business model with a strong focus on speed to market, capital efficiency and profitability,” Essa Al-Saleh says. Volta Trucks will provide an innovative chassis-cab product, supported by a tailored Maintenance and Service offering and partnerships with certified Body Builders. Volta is also looking forward to partnering with customers to have the Volta Zero on the road during this summer’s Paris Olympics. “With the City of Paris aiming to create the most green Olympics ever, this is a perfect opportunity for our logistics and consumer-brand customers to showcase the future of urban logistics,” says Essa Al-Saleh.

Rest zone for BOP THE NZI TRUCKIE REST ZONE PROGRAMME CONTINUES with the second 2024 event set for the Bay of Plenty on Thursday May 2. Heavy vehicle drivers can pull their rigs into the Commercial Vehicle Safety Centre (CVSC) on SH33 between 10am and 3pm to rest and recharge, ready for the next leg of their journey. The NZI team will have complimentary hot food off the BBQ, barista coffees, and a selection of healthy snacks on offer. Truckies can also take part in a free health check and chat to NZI’s Fleet Fit experts about driver fatigue and ways to keep themselves safe and well. The NZI Truckie Rest Zone events are a community collaboration, and part of NZI’s Fleet Fit initiative, to raise awareness about driver fatigue - a major cause of road accidents. Proudly supported by the New Zealand Police Commercial Vehicle Safety team, and Hato Hone St John, these events give truck drivers the opportunity to learn more about the issue of fatigue from professionals who want to make sure all truckies get home safely to their whānau.

The NZI Truckie Rest Zones are a chance for drivers to revive and learn about fatigue issues.

Truck & Driver | 9

NEWS The May 23 IronPlanet auction will be held at Ritchie Bros. Drury yard.

Ritchie Bros. hosting national auction A RITCHIE BROS. NEW ZEALAND NATIONAL IronPlanet Auction at Drury on May 23 will see a wide range of heavy equipment and transport assets being offered. The global auction industry leader invites sellers from all corners of New Zealand to consign their equipment and machinery for the highly anticipated event at its Drury yard. “The New Zealand National Auction is a prime opportunity for sellers to showcase their equipment to a diverse audience of industry professionals and buyers,” says Dom McGlinchey, Regional Sales Manager at Ritchie Bros. “We are committed to providing a platform that maximises exposure and ensures competitive bidding for all consigned assets.” This auction, which includes construction machinery, agricultural equipment, and transportation assets, promises access to a wide network

of potential buyers, offering sellers the chance to capitalise on the robust marketing efforts and extensive reach of Ritchie Bros. “We understand the importance of reaching the right audience to achieve optimal results for our sellers,” says McGlinchey. “Through our strategic marketing initiatives and online auction platform, we ensure that every piece of equipment receives the attention it deserves.” McGlinchey emphasises the seamless consignment process and convenience of online bidding offered by Ritchie Bros. “Our platform offers a user-friendly experience for both sellers and buyers. With our dedicated team providing support every step of the way, sellers can trust us to deliver exceptional service and results.” For more information visit or contact New Zealand Territory Manager, Greg Shivnan, at +64 27 2986309.

Scania appoints new service leader THE NEWLY APPOINTED SERVICE Director at Scania New Zealand is Argentinian Fernando Bustamante. Fernando comes on board from his previous role with Scania Iberica (Spain and Portugal) as a Services Director based in Madrid. In New Zealand he leads an eight-person team focusing on Scania’s service dealer network. “I am very motivated about my leadership role in an area of the business that Scania NZ has committed significant, ongoing investment in,” says Bustamante. “From the development of new service centres and workshops in Invercargill and Hastings this year, to investing more than $40 million in spareparts stock and the recruitment and upskilling of more technicians, it is all about ensuring that we have the best capacity to service our customer 10 | Truck & Driver

base. I am proud to lead a team that includes more than 400 technicians across our wider Scania network.” Scania NZ managing director, Victor Carvalho, underpins the brand’s Services commitment saying improving the benefits for their customer experience is always top of mind. “Every Services related investment we make is done with achieving better outcomes for our customers,” Carvalho says. “The more expansive our service centre network is, the more highly trained technicians we have, and the more right parts that are available at their fingertips, all adds up to faster servicing of customer vehicles and less downtime off the road. Every dollar we invest in this area has a direct benefit to our clients’ bottom lines in their businesses.”

Fernando has held service-related managerial roles with Scania for the last 19 years in both Argentina and most recently Spain.

Fernando Bustamante.

NEWS The new TMC service facility at Drury will be open in May.

TMC on the move in Auckland TMC TRAILERS LTD IS RELOCATING ITS AUCKLAND service and repair centre to a purpose-built new facility at Drury. The move from the existing Wiri workshop to the new location at 2 Toiawaka Road, Drury is scheduled for May 1. The modern Drury workshop represents not just a change in location, but a leap forward in the ability to serve customers more effectively and efficiently. “Designed with the needs of our clients and the demands of the industry in mind, the new facility allows us to expand our capabilities in structural and mechanical repairs on trucks and trailers, ensuring we continue to deliver the high-quality service TMC is known for,” says managing director Richard Currie. “An exciting addition to our new workshop will be a COF vehicle inspection lane, slated for introduction late-2024. This addition underscores our commitment to providing comprehensive solutions under one roof,

With a Bigfoot onboard you’ll monster any surface

making it easier for our clients to receive thorough and efficient service for their vehicles.” Currie says the decision to move to Drury will not only accommodate TMCs growing operations but will also better serve clients with a modern drive-through facility along with ample on-site truck and trailer parking. “Our new location in Drury will enable us to increase staffing levels, improve turnaround times, and continue providing exceptional service quality,” he says. “We are equally pleased to confirm that Stephen (Mille) Millichamp, our Auckland service centre manager, along with all existing team members, will be making the transition to Drury which will allow a seamless continuation of the outstanding service our clients expect and deserve. “This is a significant step for us as we strive to improve and expand our North Island services,” says Currie.


Make light work of any surface using the OptiTraction footprint with a Bigfoot Central


Features of the Bigfoot Central Inflation Tyre System ● Designed and tested in some of the worlds harshest conditions ●


● Easy to use in-cab control unit ●Lor Built in safety features prevent operating outside safe

emlimits for selected tyre pressure ● Precision manufactured in New Zealand using only ipsu Lore ● Full after sales service and parts network m ● Full manufacturers warranty

T. 07 347 7066 /

The brain behind the Bigfoot system is the Bigfoot OptiTraction control module. and makes monitoring and adjusting tyre pressures simple. The display also provides visual and audible alarms.

Truck & Driver | 11


MAN looks to hydrogen combustion MAN will produce a limited run of hTGX models powered by hydrogen combustion engines.

HYDROGEN COMBUSTION ENGINES WILL BE introduced by MAN Truck & Bus in selected markets from 2025. MAN will be the first European truck producer to launch a hydrogen combustion engine in a derivative of its TGX model. The first phase of the hydrogen combustion rollout will see a small production run of about 200 units delivered to customers in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Iceland and selected non-European countries as early as 2025. Designated as the hTGX, the truck offers an alternative zero-emission drive solution for special applications, for example for transporting heavy goods – such as construction work, tank transport or timber transport. The hTGX can also be an environmentally friendly alternative to batteryelectric trucks for use in areas without sufficient charging infrastructure or for markets where sufficient hydrogen is already available. “We are continuing to focus on battery-electric vehicles to decarbonise road freight transport,” says Friedrich Baumann, Executive Board Member of MAN Truck & Bus and responsible for Sales & Customer Solution. “These currently have clear advantages over other drive concepts in terms of energy efficiency and operating and energy costs. However, trucks The MAN hydrogen combustion engine is based on the D38 engine platform.

12 | Truck & Driver

powered by hydrogen combustion engines are a useful addition for special applications and markets. “We anticipate that we will be able to best serve the vast majority of our customers’ transport applications with battery-powered trucks. For special applications, hydrogen combustion or, in the future, fuel cell technology is a suitable supplement. The hydrogen drive is particularly suitable for special transport tasks that require a special axle configuration or where there is no space for the battery on the frame due to the need for truck body work. The MAN hTGX offers high payloads and maximum ranges of up to 600km in its initially offered 6x2 and 6x4 axle variants. The H45 hydrogen combustion engine – based on the proven D38 diesel platform – develops 383kW (520hp) and torque of 2500Nm at 900-1300 rpm. The direct injection of hydrogen into the engine ensures particularly fast power delivery and with hydrogen compressed to 700 bar and a tank capacity of 56kg, the vehicle can be refuelled in less than 15 minutes. With less than 1g CO2/tkm, the MAN hTGX will fulfil the criteria as a “zeroemission vehicle” under the new planned EU CO2 legislation. “The new CO2 regulations at EU level will classify trucks with hydrogen combustion engines as zero-emission vehicles. This means that such vehicles fully contribute to our CO2 fleet targets, which also opens the door for this small series that complements battery electric vehicles,” says Dr Frederik Zohm, Executive Board Member for Research & Development. MAN has been researching and developing hydrogen drive for decades. It presented the first hydrogen-powered bus at the Hanover Fair in 1996 – an SL 202 city bus powered by a natural gas engine that had been modified for hydrogen operation. This was followed in 1998 by three articulated buses for Munich Airport, which were used until 2008, and a further 14 hydrogen-powered buses between 2006 and 2009. MAN is also developing and testing the hydrogen engine for the MAN Engines division in a wide range of applications on and off the road as well as on water. For example, it is well suited for special vehicles – such as snow cats – for trains on non-electrifiable routes and for excavators and cranes. Use in combined heat and power plants also makes sense, especially if the heat generated can be utilised in addition to the electricity.

DESIGNED TO DELIVER Talk to us about all your Truck and Trailer Curtainsider needs, including Curtain Graphics and Clearcoating, as well as our Tensioner and Whiting and Robinson Roller Doors. The best materials with superior features for complete load protection. +64 9 837 2350




New 17-litre ready for down under VOLVO TRUCKS HAS CONFIRMED the new D17 engine range – launched in Sweden earlier this year – will make its way into Australianbuilt FH16 models, including the premium 780hp variant.

The new 17-litre Euro 6 D17 engine will be offered in 600hp, 700hp and 780hp output versions.

The powerful new D17 engine is available in a range of horsepower ratings stretching from 600hp to 780hp. Volvo Trucks Australia has now announced that the full D17 power train offering with power options up to, and including 780hp, will be launched locally mid-2024 making the new FH16 Australasia’s most powerful on-highway truck. Along with the higher power ratings, the updated FH16 also sees a significant jump in torque. The 600hp variant now offers 3000Nm of torque, while the 700hp offers 3400Nm, and the range- topping 780hp option develops 3800Nm. The 17-litre, Euro 6 powerplant shares the same basic architecture as the 16-litre engine it replaces with the extra displacement resulting from an increase in cylinder bore. In pursuit of efficiency and cleaner operation, the engine also features a new fuel injection system, low friction cylinder liners as well as wave top pistons to ensure optimised combustion. All power ratings

are HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) compatible. “A world of possibilities has been built into this engine platform,” says Shayne Commons, Director of Product and Performance, Volvo Group Australia. “Highly efficient drive trains capable of using alternative fuels will be a key part of our path to net zero emissions. More power gives us the option of gearing our trucks for more efficiency on highway, more torque means less gear changes and more top gear time. “However, for the person behind the wheel, the performance of the D17 engine in the new FH16 will impress, driver feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive, especially in regard to holding road speed in undulating terrain. Drivers will want to drive this FH16.” The new FH16 and D17 engine will be available to order for Australian customers from July 2024. The timing for the New Zealand market has still to be confirmed.

Authorised ZF Service Partner Authorised BOSCH Common Rail Repairer TURBO CHARGERS




AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS ECOMAT 1-4, ECOLIFE Fitted in truck & bus applications


14 | Truck & Driver


09 525 0830


03 348 8825





Big order for electric Volvos VOLVO TRUCKS HAS RECEIVED A FURTHER ORDER for 100 electric trucks from logistics company DFDS. With this latest order, DFDS has almost doubled its Volvo electric truck fleet to 225 trucks in total – the largest company fleet of heavy electric trucks in Europe. DFDS, one of the largest shipping and logistics companies in Northern Europe, is seeing a growing demand for transport solutions with lower environmental impact. Previously, DFDS has purchased a total of 125 heavy electric trucks from Volvo with 95 currently operational in Sweden, Denmark, Lithuania, Belgium and the Netherlands with the remaining 30 due to be delivered during 2024. Thanks to its growing electric truck fleet, DFDS had reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 1,516 tonnes by the end of 2023. “I am very proud to continue our close partnership with DFDS. This order for an additional 100 Volvo electric trucks is proof of their trust in our company. The big increase of DFDS’ electric truck fleet shows that zero-emissions transport is a viable solution here and now,” says Roger Alm, President Volvo Trucks. The new electric trucks will be deployed in nine markets across Europe, including UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden. The trucks will be of the updated and more energy-efficient models of Volvo FH Electric and FM Electric. DFDS currently has the largest fleet of heavy-duty electric trucks in Europe and is well underway to reach its target of having at least 25% of the truck fleet electrified by 2030.

“We want to drive the transition to more sustainable road transport. Our expanding fleet of electric trucks will not only contribute to reducing the climate impact of our operations,” says Niklas Anderson, EVP, Logistic Division at DFDS. “It will also enable DFDS to support more companies that are looking to decarbonise their supply chains. The 100 new electric trucks underline our commitment to pushing the development forward.” Some of the new electric trucks will be used to transport goods to and from the Volvo Trucks assembly plant in Gothenburg.

DFDS is already using the Volvo FM Electric in its European operations.

takes the driver experience to the Next Level.

*TRP assist 0508 22 55 77 EMAIL:

TARANAKI Adam McIntosh

AUCKLAND Steve Willcocks 027 525 0015 Mitchell Redington 021 555 326


WAIKATO Adam McIntosh Tim Finlay

027 603 1023 021 452 805

BAY OF PLENTY - GISBORNE Tim Finlay 021 452 805

SOUTH ISLAND Mike Gillespie Chris Gray Richard Reid

027 603 1023

027 4322 491 027 2816 840 021 451 970




96-98 Wiri Station Road PO Box 76463 Manukau City, Auckland, NZ PHONE (09) 262 3181 FAX (09) 278 5643

NORTHLAND Mitchell Redington 021 555 326

NEWS DB Schenker is operating the Fuso eCanter in Arctic winter conditions.

eCanter gets an extreme test

EXTREME COLD CLIMATES PROVIDE ONE OF THE MORE significant challenges for battery performance in electric vehicles. In recent months DB Schenker, Europe’s largest fleet operator, has had two Fuso eCanters operating near the Arctic Circle in Finland. The new generation 7.5 tonne eCanters went into the DB Schenker fleet in January, operating daily in one of Europe’s coldest regions during the winter. One unit has been making last-mile deliveries in Kuusamo, a northeastern city that experiences heavy snow accumulation and temperatures as low as -30degC. Another unit is deployed in Oulu, about 200 km southwest of Kuusamo. DB Schenker previously integrated 50 earlier model eCanters into its operations across Europe. The decision to deploy its first two new eCanters in these northern locations was a conscious one with an interest in dispelling preconceptions about using electric trucks in cold climates. Drivers at DB Schenker’s Kuusamo hub have logged more than 1,200km with the eCanter in recent weeks making deliveries to customers. They report excellent performance with the vehicle starting flawlessly despite the prevailing low temperatures. One important aspect of the eCanter’s operations being undertaken in Finland

is electric preconditioning, which brings the battery to ideal temperatures before operation. The preconditioning function available with the new eCanter allows a user to pre-heat the eCanter’s battery with power from the grid – instead of from the battery - before the start of a journey. This enables the vehicle to operate at an improved performance, even though the ambient temperature is cold. “In Finland, parcel transportation accounts for a large proportion of pick-up and delivery traffic,” says Harald Knaapinen, Head of Land Transport Finland at DB Schenker. “The current eCanter is the ideal vehicle for this application. And the deployment of the two vehicles in northern Finland with its extreme weather conditions is a unique opportunity for us, basically an ultimate test. DB Schenker was one of the first eCanter customers in Europe and introduced the predecessor of the current eCanter model into its fleets in Germany, France, and other European countries several years ago, starting in Berlin in 2018. Today, 52 Fuso eCanters (the current model and its predecessor) operate for DB Schenker in Europe.

Bigger in Texas



THE TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY COMPLEX LOCATED to the north of Dallas-Fort Worth is hosting the 42nd annual Shell Rotella SuperRigs show and competition from May 30 to June 1. The showcase event sees hard working owner/operator truckers from across the United States and Canada compete in the annual SuperRigs Truck Beauty Contest which offers more than US$25,000 in cash and prizes. Shell Rotella SuperRigs offers 24 highly sought-after awards including Best Chrome, Best Lights, Best Classic, People’s Choice, and of course, Best of Show. And twelve drivers will be selected to have their trucks featured in the annual Shell Rotella SuperRigs calendar, photographed at unique settings in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. The Shell Rotella SuperRigs competition is North America’s premier truck beauty contest for actively working trucks and the iconic location in the Lone Star state is a one-of-a-kind setting which is sure to impress with its rich history in the motor sports world.

A truck lights show and fireworks display is a highlight of the annual SuperRigs event.

Truck & Driver | 17



NEWS The 60-acre Wheels at Wanaka site from above in 2023. Photo by Jarrod Frazer.

Wheels at Wanaka 2025 to be Grand Finale THE FOURTH EDITION OF THE INTERNATIONALLY renowned Wheels at Wanaka is on track to not only be the biggest and best yet, but also the last. Organisers say the Easter 2025 three-day event will be the final Wheels at Wanaka. It promises to be a grand finale, a fitting occasion to fondly farewell an event that has captivated vehicle enthusiasts from across the country and around the world. Since the first event in 2019, then subsequent biennial events in 2021 and 2023, Wheels at Wanaka has grown to become more than just a vintage vehicle show, it has become a biennial migration for vehicle owners and enthusiasts, a gathering of passionate individuals sharing their love for classic, vintage, modern and unique machines. From roaring engines to gleaming chrome, the event has been a celebration of New Zealand’s automotive, agricultural and construction history and the craftsmanship that goes into creating and maintaining the

mechanical masterpieces. “Wheels at Wanaka 2025 will be the fourth and last show” says event general manager Allan Dippie. “Anyone who loves machines, cars, tractors – anything and everything with wheels or tracks really – would be mad to miss it.” The last Wheels at Wanaka will be held Easter weekend 2025, April 1820, at Three Parks, Wanaka. Tickets are now on sale for the 2025 show, which will feature a celebration of 100 years of Caterpillar, new interactive attractions, and further exciting additions to be released in the coming months. The event will feature a large display of rare and exceptional vehicles plus all number of machines including hundreds of tractors, steam engines, cars, and trucks along with dirt bike races, interactive ATV, 4WD and rally demos, a huge earthmoving extravaganza, tractor and truck pull competitions and a non-stop parade ground programme.

Gore is all go

SOUTHLAND’S TR ANSPORT INDUSTRY HAS ITS BIG winter showcase with the McDonough Contracting Gore Truck Show set for Saturday June 1. The traditional King’s Birthday Weekend attraction includes a popular parade through Gore township starting at 2pm, an impressive sight with more than 120 trucks expected in the convoy and the roadsides lined with spectators. The assembly point and judging venue for the big array of prizes is the Transport Repairs Gore yard in Falconer St from 9am. The Croydon Lodge hosts prizegiving from 4.30pm. More info and contact details for the event are on the Gore Truck Show Facebook page. Truck & Driver | 19


Mangatainoka shines

The Tui brewery provides an iconic backdrop for Mangatainoka event. Photo: Aaron Hunt

MANGATAINOKA HOSTED THE TUI Truck Stop Show & Shine on March 24 with more than 100 big rigs presenting an impressive display accompanied with live music in the garden bar. The truck show is one of Tui HQs most popular events, attracting

families and truckies from all over the country with drivers and owners put a massive effort into making their trucks look fantastic. The Star of the Show prize was won by Andy Maynard’s 2005 Mack LT Superliner which he drives for Clive Taylor Haulage.

2024 Tui Truck Show prize winners: Best American: Winner (sponsored by Commercial Fleet Services) – Andy Maynard, 2005 Mack LT Superliner, Clive Taylor Haulage. Runner Up (sponsored by Mack Palmerston North) – Callum Tews, Star Legend, HOG Haulage.

Best Japanese: Winner (sponsored by Total Truck Spray Palmerston North) – Janice O’Brien, 2023 Hino 700 Series, Wairarapa Scrap Metal. Runner up – Soraya Gommans, 2023 Mitsubishi, BBT Logistics. Best European: Winner (sponsored by Volvo Palmerston North) – Willy Matson, 2023 Scania R650, Cox Heavy Haulage. Runner Up (sponsored by Penske New Zealand) – Brett MacDonald, 2024 Scania R620, MacDonald Contracting.

20 | Truck & Driver

Best Classic (sponsored by Commercial Fleet Services Wairarapa): Winner – Kerry Mather, Black and Gold Mack.

Best Vintage (sponsored by Total Truck Spray Palmerston North and Kiwi Shine Worx): Winner – Bruce Tucker, 1964 Kenworth Best Other (sponsored by My Trucking): Winner – Peter Bennett, 1966 Bedford J1. Best Image (sponsored by Supreme Automotive Refinishers Masterton): Winner – Justin Mills, Kenworth, Alan Mills and Son. Best Fleet (sponsored by Total Truck Spray Palmerston North and Kiwi Fleet Wash): Winner – Dannevirke Carriers. Local Star (sponsored by Bowden’s Own, Repco and Kiwi Fleet Wash): Winner – Beale Trucking. People’s Choice (sponsored by Kiwi Shine Worx Masterton): Winner – Jarvis Miller, Mack Superliner, PTS Logistics. Most original (sponsored by Jackson Enterprises): Winner – Johnny Burling, Peterbilt. Star of The Show (sponsored by Auto Art by Rochelle): Winner – Andy Maynard, 2005 Mack Superliner, Clive Taylor Haulage.




Be Sure to Spec Peterson Lights

PETERSON LUMENX LIGHTING FEATURES Designed by Peterson USA | Manufactured by Peterson USA | International sell brand Peterson USA Limited lifetime warranty, rated life 100,000 hours. Mounting orientation, superior optics allow 360 degree compliance. Heavy duty plug n play harness, insert moulded plug terminals, wire gauge 18 awg. Integral mounting flange with skirt welded lens eliminates leakage points. Trusted lighting manufacturer since 1945, LED lights introduced in 1995. Proven in heavy duty applications, major usage by OE manufacturers and fleet operators. Accredited supplier to Caterpillar and Harley Davidson. ☎ 09 262 1417


Brighter, Safer, Better Looking & Made in America




22 | Truck & Driver

The long Story Colin Smith Photos Gerald Shacklock

The first of two new Northern Linehaul Scania R 620 stems trucks is now working in the Central Plateau forests.

Truck & Driver | 23


HN257 265/70R19.5 275/70R22.5



11R22.5 275/70R22.5 295/80R22.5

385/55R22.5 385/65R22.5



11R 22.5 295/80R22.5

11R22.5 315/80R22.5

Truck Tyres

Trailer Tyres ALLROAD T2


265/70R19.5 215/75R17.5 245/70R17.5


DD906 11R22.5 295/80R22.5

DT966 275/70R22.5

AGC28 265/70R19.5 255/70R22.5

Various patterns & sizes available New tread compounds for differing conditions New generation low rolling resistance compound improved fuel efficiency New pattern designs improve wet and dry handling Higher mileages Wider tread designs for increased road contact

Cliff 021 928 885 Magda 022 378 1964

0800 236 587


New casing design with advanced casing technology and materials

The Scania stems trucks works on the wide roads of the Kaingaroa Forest.


87 nz



HE LOW-REVVING EIGHT-CYLINDER GROWL OF Scania’s unique 16-litre is being heard more often around the off-highway logging network of the North Island’s central plateau. The V8 pioneer in this forest is Taupo-based Northern Linehaul Ltd. NLL firstly introduced The Hulk (a Scania R 620 working at up to 80 tonnes) to the off-highway scene in late-2018 and delivered a sequel last year with Black Adam, the Scania S 730 off-highway double hauling up to 120 tonnes of timber which featured in the June 2023 issue of New Zealand Truck & Driver. This month we’re back in the bush with Leon Edge’s forestry fleet, but this time there isn’t a superhero nickname to accompany the first of two new Scania R 620 8x4 units which are joining NLL’s stems truck operations. Stems haulage is a specialised sector of the logging industry, in this case moving 30-plus metre tree stems from harvesting sites to the Timberlands Kaingaroa Processing Plant (KPP), or as it’s more commonly known, The Web. The new Scanias are specced to work at up to 85 tonnes, which means anything up to 30 pieces of long timber and an ideal payload of about 62 tonnes. In terms of weight the stems work sits mid-way between on-highway HPMV loggers and the off-highway doubles. The difference is that on the off-highway roads the skinny ends of the stems are permitted to extend up to 19m behind the trailer – provided of course they don’t drag on the road and the required warning lights are in use. The first of the R 620 duo had been at work for a month at the time of this Giti Tyres Big Test taking place, with the second being painted and close to going to work. Northern Linehaul owner Leon Edge says the new stems trucks were selected and specified based on lessons learnt from both The Hulk and Black Adam. Working alongside Callan Short from the Scania sales team, the XT spec R 620s have been ordered with the OptiCruise GRSO935R 12-speed transmission with two crawler gears, a 4.72:1 final drive

ratio, reinforced Level 3 chassis construction, heavy duty spring suspension all around and a heavy duty prop shaft. “Basically, we went with the heaviest duty spec options across the board,” says Leon Edge. The 16.4-litre DC16 V8 is Euro 5 compliant and develops 456kW (620hp) at 1900rpm with a muscular 3000Nm (2212 lb-ft) of torque from 1000-1400rpm. The front axles are rated at 9000kg each with a 30,000kg combined rating for the rear end. The GCM rating is 140,000kg. Local input to the specification includes a four-axle, dual-zone Big Foot CTI tyre pressure control system while Taupo-based Damon Collins Engineering did the truck set-up, built the log bolsters with integrated ExTe air chain tensioners into the Patchell Ultimate Series three-axle trailer and also built the substantial headboard to a similar design as used on Black Adam. Harris Auto Electrical in Taupo did the wiring work and while not as elaborately finished as Black Adam, the silver Scania Griffin along the cab flanks and signage was done by Caulfield Signs in Rotorua. There’s plenty of other innovation on these trucks. Cameras maintain a constant monitoring eye on the front of the load from atop the headboard while an underneath view provides monitoring of the automated latch and compensator which is integrated with the trailer hitch. There’s also a hydraulically lifted second steer axle which allows weight to be transferred to the drive wheels, a handy feature when the truck is unloaded and working in slippery conditions. “This one works in and out of The Web from different points around the bush,” says Leon. “Basically, anywhere from north of the TaupoNapier highway to the south of Ngamotu Rd on the `Million Dollar Highway’. “The main thing with stems is there are some high point loadings into the chassis with up to 30 tonne going to one point on the truck. So, we’ve got the highest rated chassis with extra T-rails and reinforcing.” Straight axles and 13R tyres help with some extra ground clearance. “Damon [Collins] designed and built the bolsters, and we use the Truck & Driver | 25

Top left: Leon Edge’s Northern Linehaul fleet is mainly made up of modern Scanias. Lower left: The big V8 rumbles through the of the Kaingaroa Forest. Above (from left): Bigfoot CTI is fitted to all four axles of the Scania; The 16.4-litre V8 develops 620hp and 3000Nm of torque; Roomy can includes monitor for the front of the load and the trailer hitch.

Main pic: The new Wagner machine at Kaingaroa makes easy work of a full stems load.

26 | Truck & Driver

ExTe air chain tensioners for safety,” says Leon. “It’s the first stems truck to use the ExTe system which has proven itself on Black Adam. It’s also got full CTI like Black Adam,” says Leon. “Running CTI on the front is like an expensive tyre monitoring system. But if you get a slow leak in a steerer you can keep the tyre inflated to get a job finished and safely get the truck to a location where the tyre can be easily changed or repaired. “Anytime you can save a steer tyre from being destroyed that’s $900 to $1000 you have saved.” While the Scania V8 range offers higher output levels, the experience with The Hulk at similar and slightly higher weights has shown the 620hp unit is comfortably up to the 85-tonne stems assignments. “It’s a lot of weight but it’s not short of power,” Leon says. “What we are really looking for is driver comfort and convenience with a truck which is easy to get in and out of.” The Scania fleet at NLL now numbers 17 trucks, and the Swedish

brand forms the main part of the line-up for both highway and offhighway work. “Scania is our go to. I understand why some of the big fleets with their own workshops are mainly Kenworth. But for a smaller, slightly niche operation like us, Scania makes sense with its warranty and service back-up. “I guess you go with what you know, and Scania have looked after us.” The first of the new stems units is working seven days a week shared by drivers Te Arani Rauhina and Kerry Koller-Graves. The drivers switch on a `four days on-four days off’ schedule and clocked up just over 11,000km in the first month with the truck. The plan for the second R 620 stems truck is for it to work five days a week with one driver. A typical start time for the truck is between 1am and 1.30am. We head into the forest at Iwitahi to meet Te Arani and the R 620 about to be loaded at a skid site at 8.15am. He’s about to collect his third load

Truck & Driver | 27

of the day from the Peacocke Logging crew. It’s about an hour from the skid site to the Web and Te Arani is happy to chat about his early experiences with the Scania. He began driving trucks in 2010 and has worked on both forest road crews near his home at Owhango before moving to on-highway logging work. “I’ve been with Northern Linehaul two-and-a-half years. I was on night shift logging for the first two years and jumped onto doing the stems about six months ago. “It’s good to be in the bush out here away from the traffic on the main highways. All you see is other truckies and the crew vehicles and I really like it,” says Te Arani. “You get to work with some good guys on the logging crews and with the other drivers. We chat to each other on the radio and they’re all easy going. “We just go backwards and forwards from the crews to The Web. We usually go to the same crew each day and have same route each day, but the next day it can be different.” He says the biggest change from the 2006 model Kenworth T909 tri-drive stems unit he drove previously is the level of comfort. The reality of the test is that it took a couple of kilometres before the R 620 could display that comfort. After the newly formed track to the skid site, the first road we turn onto is the roughest we encounter on the day with a washboard surface testing the suspension. Te Arani says there has been some heavy machinery moving on this road recently, the result being it feels like judder bars. But as soon as we turn onto the wide High Level Rd the truck starts to feel a lot more settled. These gravel forest roads are wide and mainly straight, but they have a high crown and soft edges in places which still require plenty of care. “Most of time when we’re loaded, we’re going between 55 to 65 Ks,” Te Arani says. “On the tarseal we are limited to 80 Ks when we’re loaded, and we can go 90 when we’re empty. “Some of the roads have a lot of corrugations and potholes, so you don’t go very fast. On the steep downhills you go `one, two, three, four, sometimes five’ on the retarder and it holds your speed really good. “We can go on the Broadlands Rd empty and that’s the only time this truck is on the public road.” The initial part of the route is a gradual incline and the R 620 picks 11th gear to settle at 53kph using 1400rpm where the torque curve suggests the V8 performs at its best.

Left: Sturdy headboard (above) and the bolsters with ExTe air chain tensioners were both built by Damon Collins Engineering in Taupo.

Below: Te Arani Rauhina (pictured) shares the driving with Kerry KollerGraves.

28 | Truck & Driver

TYRE INFLATION SYSTEM ON Only available with ROR 17.5”, 19.5”, 22.5” Super Single fixed & steer axles

The Facts

Tyres are the #2 running cost for every fleet behind fuel Under inflation is the leading cause of tyre failure Even a small pressure drop will impact on tyre life

How it Works


The patented P.S.I. ATIS provides constant pressure, ready to supply air to any tyres that fall below the recommended cold tyre air pressure setting – whether stationary or in transit



Air pressure is supplied from the Trailer’s Air Tank through a Pressure Protection Valve (PPV).


STANDARD Thermal Screw


Utilizing the hollow axle as a conduit, air is routed through the axles.

Press Plug

The patented ThermALERT™ feature helps avoid costly collateral damage to the axle, suspension and trailer. If a wheel-end temperature elevates to abnormally high levels, the Thermal Screw core will melt Air escapes axle, out through the hub cap vent system.


Air flows through the rotary union and tyre hoses into the tyres.

Problematic wheel end is repaired and new thermal screw is easily replaced.

Correct tyre pressure = increased tyre life (save $) Reduce road side call outs (save $) The only system that alerts the driver of a potential hub failure (health & safety) NZ DISTRIBUTORS



Driver finds a safe place to stop.



Regulated at the Control Box, filtered air is set to deliver air at the cold pressure setting.

Indicator light is illuminated, alerting driver to potential issues

DISC STEERABLE Steerable Suspension System ■ 10×335 Disc • 82.5" Track • P Spindle • Suits Single Wheel ■ 8×275 Disc • 73.0" Track • N Spindle • Suits Dual Wheel


Tyre Wear

Hendrickson Trailer Disc Steerable Suspension combines Hendrickson’s proven HT230 top mount suspension with its innovative steer axle technology. Complemented by the proven UBL™ axle lift system, it delivers a compliant solution that offers maximised operating efficiency. Tel: +64 9 570 4721

Actual product performance may vary depending upon vehicle configuration, operation, service and other factors. ©2023 Hendrickson USA, L.L.C. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks shown are owned by Hendrickson USA, L.L.C., or one of its affiliates, in one or more countries.

Hendrickson_Truck&Driver_July2023.indd 1

5/26/2023 11:24:22 AM

24:22 AM

It’s not only the weights that requires care. The stems are long, and it was interesting to watch the precision skills of the loader operator picking two or three stems at a time, then dragging them forwards between rear bolsters to carefully line up the butts just behind the headboard. The stems trucks only run a pair of bolsters, one on the truck and the other on the trailer. Timberlands rules require stems to be double chained at the front and single chained at the rear. If any logs threaten to drag on the road, the loader operator will snap off the narrow ends. Te Arani says the biggest challenge from the length of the load

Stems can be up to 37-metre in length and the Scania can haul up to 62 tonnes of timber.

comes where there are high dirt berms or small trees close to the edge of the road. “You’ve got to pick the right line through the corners when there are banks and trees close to the road and you’re watching carefully in the mirrors for where the tail of the stems is going,” he says. When it comes to muddy conditions there are several features which Te Arani can call on to improve traction – lowering the pressures on the drive tyres using the Big Foot CTI as well as engaging the diff locks. The lowest off-highway unladen tyre pressure is 50psi. “When you are empty you can also lift up your second axle which shifts weight to the drive axles. If there are sharp turns and tight spaces to get to the crews, it should be useful but so far, I’ve only used it one time. That was because there was a slow leak in a steerer, so I pulled it up till we got it fixed.” Te Arani says the combination of horsepower and gearing means the Scania has very similar performance to the Kenworth T909 he drove previously. The OptiCruise AMT is a 12-speed with two crawler gears and is shifted from the right hand steering stalk. “The smoothness is good. It’s a lot smoother driving on the gravel

Weighing Equipment Proven Weigh Systems In NZ For Over 20 Years With: • Dedicated Personnel For Technical Support • Full Back-Up Parts Inventory

• Technical Support & Suppliers Of An Extensive Parts Range For Most Brands • Weigh Systems For Most Applications

Northern Linehaul Ltd – Truck set up by Damon Collins Engineering

PTS Logistic – Manufactured by GDE Engineering

Williams & Wilshier – Manufactured by Patchell Industries

Addline Transport Ltd – Manufactured, truck by Koromiko Engineering Co and trailer by Transfleet Trailers

Weighing Equipment Is Our Business!! North Island

17 Hyland Crescent, Rotorua, New Zealand • Ph: 07 349 4700

South Island


Sales and Service - Contact Mike Long 021 651 965

The Scania 8x4 works seven days a week with drivers on a four days on-four days off schedule. than the Kenworth. The one I was on was a 2006 T909. It was a rough drive in comparison, and this is more comfortable. “Most of the time I leave it in Auto mode and let it change by itself. Loaded on a steep hill I might leave it in one gear [using the manual mode],” says Te Arani. The V8 rumbles along with a subtle growl and some throaty downshift throttle blips as we work through the network of wide gravel roads and sealed forest highways enroute to the Timberlands KPP. On one occasion we come to a stop to allow Leon to move ahead and position photographer Gerald Shacklock ahead of us. On flat ground the Scania pulls away smoothly in first gear. “You’ve also got low and high crawler gears. It pulls away good on the flat and I only use the High Crawler if we have to pull away loaded on an uphill,” says Te Arani. The Wairapukao Hill is near the end of our journey to The Web. The R 620 initially climbs at 56kph using 1500rpm in tenth gear and then drops speed to 37kph in ninth gear. There’s another shift into eighth at 35kph but the transmission quickly shifts back into ninth again when the speed reaches 37kph. Just before the climb began Te Arani had slowed to let the light vehicles past and he says the pace on this run was slightly slower than usual because he’d lost the chance to take a run-up at the hill. Our chat about the truck moves away from the performance and dimensions of the load to the modern and spacious Scania cab. “The legroom wasn’t very spacious in the Kenworth and the width of the cab is a lot more in this. You’ve got heaps of room in this and it’s well set-up inside,” says Te Arani. There’s a slide-out fridge and another storage draw under the bunk along with a roomy centre console area and cup holders. “I use the fridge to keep some drinks cold and I keep the dockets in the drawer next to that. “The bed is really comfortable and sometimes I’ll have a lie down if there’s a hold up getting loaded somewhere. “The seats are comfortable and on the driver’s side you can air it up. It’s all adjusted by buttons and there’s a lumbar cushion and the sides can squash in. I just open them up as far as they go,” says Te Arani. “There was no fridge in the Kenworth and the Scania has heaps of storage up top [above the windscreen] but it’s all empty – I haven’t even used that yet. “In the Kenworth the aircon wasn’t working so you just wound the windows down on a hot day. This one the heater and aircon is really

good and it demists the windscreen really quick.” A driver fatigue camera sits atop the dash while the CTI controller is mounted above the windscreen and the monitor for the load and hitch camera views is on the centre console and angled toward the driver. “We’ve got an RT and the bush radio, and you can run your Spotify and take your calls on the speaker phone,” says Te Arani. “I like how the mirrors are set up and you can adjust them with the buttons. You use them to see where the trailer is tracking on a junction and sometimes you can see the tail of the stems.” Although Te Arani has only been driving the Scania for a month, he’s already developed a good feel for its performance and weights. Not far into our run Te Arani says this particular load seems slightly lighter than normal. He’s been working around a 3-4 tonne discrepancy on the scales. “I reckon this one is about 80 or 81 tonnes all up,” he says. “The loader driver said that’s enough, and he stopped. He’s got a better view than I’ve got of how high it is compared to bolsters, and he’s got a good angle on the load, so you get as much of the weight on the trailer as possible. “These ones are a good length. If the skinny ends are dragging on the road, you get the loader driver to snap them off.” Te Arani’s estimate turns out to be spot-on when we cross the weighbridge at The Web, the display showing 81,140kg which is a 57,240kg payload. With a month behind the wheel Te Arani says he is enjoying the performance of the new Scania and the comfort which its European design delivers. “There’s been one Iveco working out here and everything else on the stems is a Kenworth with a few Western Stars,” he says. “And this is the only V8 working on the stems [at least until it’s joined by its sister unit]. “Some of the drivers in other trucks have asked me how it pulls up the hills. There’s not much difference going up Wairapukao Hill, which is probably the longest climb on the way to The Web. “Wairapukao Hill is the test which tells you if you’re light or heavy. You’d be in fifth gear [high] in the Kenworth and on this you are in eighth or ninth. The speed is about the same, or maybe just a little bit quicker in the Scania. “The big thing is it’s a lot more comfortable. I liked driving the Kenworth too, but it was a pretty rough ride. This is more relaxed and I don’t have a sore back at the end of the day,” he says. Truck & Driver | 33

Black Adam: The sequel

By Colin Smith

Black Adam has now travelled 145,000km around the forests of the Central Plateau.


AULING LOGS AND MAKING COFFEES. ALMOST A YEAR INTO ITS working life and with 145,000km on the odometer, Black Adam is proving to be a true Superhero for Northern Linehaul Ltd. The unique off-highway Scania S 730 XT 6x4 was the cover star and Big Test feature of our June 2023 issue. During the trip back to Kaingaroa to test NLL’s new Scania stems unit, there was a chance to catch up with Black Adam and day shift driver Karl Chambers. The 11-axle off-highway double has been hauling loads up to 120-tonnes (160t GCM) through the forest roads of Kaingaroa, initially prompting plenty of discussion in a sector of the industry where the American-brand trucks have traditionally been the go-to choice. Leon Edge has been pleased with the performance of Black Adam. “The coffee maker is still making coffees and the microwave is still heating up food,” he says. “It’s such a specialised truck. It has done everything we’ve asked of it and the drivers love it. “It created a bit of discussion out in the bush when it was new but there is a lot less negativity these days,” Leon says. Driver Karl Chambers says time behind the wheel of Black Adam has brought some subtle changes in how the truck is being driven. “We drive it more in the Standard mode now and we use the Power mode bugger all. We only use the Manual mode in the really tricky situations,” Karl says. “It’s really come on-form with the shifting and the truck seems to have adapted to the weights now and it knows when to shift. “We’ve started to use the cruise control more and the Downhill Cruise Control also works really well. You just set it and and retarder holds that speed for you on the descents. “Most of the time it’s been working at about 140 tonnes (GCM), give or take a bit, and at times it’s been up to 160 tonnes, depending on

34 | Truck & Driver

what we’re hauling. “I love driving it. It’s proving to be flawless and no matter what weights we throw at it, it seems to perform exactly the same. Torque wise it seems even better now than when it was new.” And the luxuries are still appreciated by both Karl and Anthony Smith, who remain the full time drivers for Black Adam. “Occasionally Leon hops in to drive it on the weekends when we are busy,” says Karl. “The coffee machine gets used a lot. The microwave not so much by me, but Anthony uses it more.” All of Black Adam’s work has been off-highway at big weights. The only time the truck is driven on public roads is when its taking one of its trailers to safety inspection or the tractor unit is due for servicing. “It’s beautiful to ride in, even when it’s empty,” says Karl. “The only time the ride is a bit choppy and uncomfortable is when it’s a tractor unit only. “In terms of the gearbox, engine, comfort and layout I can’t fault it. Same with the trailers – they’ve been primo the whole time. “I think there are few people now who would like a Scania for their next truck. It catches the rest of them on the hills pretty quick and now it’s been on the road for a year it’s proving itself and showing it’s made for the job.” I asked Karl if, after a driving the truck for 11 months, there is anything he’d like to see improved. “If I’m being really fussy about it, the only thing I’d like to change is the interior trim,” he says. Black Adam has a combination of light grey and darker charcoal trim colours in the cab. “I’ve seen one with all dark trim and I thought `that looks really cool’,” says Karl.


6.9% interest

James Murray • Free Phone: 0800 451 451 • Mobile: 0212283246 Email: 62 Greywacke Road, Harewood, CHRISTCHURCH




CANIA’S MOVE INTO THE MOSTLY UNKNOWN OFF HIGHWAY logging sector is carrying on mostly down to Leon Edge at Taupo’s Northern Linehaul. It was only June last year that we tested the Black Adam S 730 doubles unit he put in here working at up to 120 tonnes and now we are back again with Leon and his team to check out the first of his two new R 620 stems units that he has just sent to work. It’s always a pleasure to drive the off highway network as these roads keep you away from the public and everyone who works out here is professional. It makes the driving more enjoyable in one of the most testing environments New Zealand has to offer. After we have done one load with driver Te Arani Haurima at the wheel it’s my turn to check out what this R620 V8 can do while working up to 85 tonnes. This truck has been specced tough with reinforced level 3 chassis construction, heavy duty spring suspension all round, a heavy duty drive shaft and a Opticruise 12 speed transmission with two crawler gears and a 4.72:1 final drive ratio. That’s the important hardware and when you get into the cab it’s back to the European comfort and luxuries that Scania is known for. The cab offers comfortable driver seating and generous space with plenty of storage and an under-bunk fridge. There is something about the speciousness of these cabs that just make the working day that much more enjoyable.

36 | Truck & Driver

Hayden Woolston When I’m all set and ready to go it’s as easy as putting the truck in drive and easing out of the forestry road and onto the gravel. With the truck and its load coming in at just under 85 ton the V8 16.4 litre engine which develops 620hp at 1900 rpm and 3000Nm of torque from 1000-1400rpm takes it all in its stride. The take-off is smooth and fast, and the only real worry is turning 90 degrees at the forestry intersections. With these stems units the rear of the overhanging stems will swing very wide, and you need to be very careful to keep an eye out for things at the side of the road such as banks and other trees. As we cruise along

• SPECIFICATIONS • the gravel at around 55kph the ride is smooth. With these long and straight roads not having much traffic on them and communication over the bush radio updating the other vehicle movements, I can keep the truck centred over the high crown on the road. The steering also feels very nice over the corrugations with very little need for constant small adjustments. At the next intersection I use the 5-stage retarder to bring the truck to a stop with the service brake only required for the final halt. As we pull out onto the tarmac road we are up and running at 75kph and the drive is relaxed enough to put the arm rest down to my left. I ask Te Arani if he ever uses it and to my surprise, he says he hasn’t. In past tests I’ve referred to these trucks as `armchair’ trucks. So it makes sense to me to use it. With these units running heavy weights out here in the forest the hardest part is keeping the speed

where you need it for downhill runs and the 5-stage retarder is brilliant for this. By using 1,2,3,4 or 5 stage depending on the decent there is very little if no need for service brake application. I finished my test of the Black Adam truck last year with a lot of praise to how the truck performed on the day but also made mention that the real test for Scania in the off-highway scene would be time and miles. Well so far, so good in that department with the V8 Swedes delivering on Leon’s expectations. I will always be happy for any excuse to come back to the off highway in the years to come and see how these trucks are getting on. Thanks to Leon, Poppy and Te Arani for having us again – it’s always a pleasure to experience some heavyweight off-highway driving.

Scania R 620 B8x4HZ XT Engine: Scania DC16 115/620 V8 SCR (Euro 5) Capacity: 16.4 litres Maximum Power: 456kW (620hp) at 1900rpm Maximum Torque: 3000Nm (2212 lb-ft) at 1000-1400rpm Fuel capacity: Diesel 525 litres (left), 395 litres (right), AdBlue 105 litres Transmission: Scania Opticruise GRSO935R 14-speed automated manual Ratios: Crawl Low – 13.258 Crawl High -10.625 1st – 9.148 2nd – 7.331 3rd – 5.813 4th – 4.659 5th – 3.750 6th – 3.005 7th – 2.439 8th – 1.955 9th – 1.550 10th – 1.242 11th – 1.00 12th – 0.801 Reverse – 11.932 Final Drive ratio: 4.72:1 Front axle: 2 x 9000kg rating Rear axles: RB835 tandem drive with differential lock (30,000kg max axle loading) Brakes: Drum with ABS/EBS and Advanced Emergency Braking Auxiliary brakes: 4100Nm 5-stage retarder Front suspension: 3x29 parabolic front leaf springs with steel bushes and anti-roll bar Rear suspension: 8 x 30/90 leaf springs and anti-roll bar GVM: 48,000kg GCM: 140,000kg

Truck & Driver | 37

VARTA ProMotive AGM is designed to optimally support drivers and their trucks during their time on the road. Since the demand for nonstop transportation services requires trucks to be on the road every day, drivers spend more time in the cabin than ever before. The Varta A1 AGM truck battery leads with high vibration resistance, excellent charge acceptance, extended cycle life and increased depth of charge, allowing fleets to equip drivers’ cabins with hoteling functions without draining the battery, avoid downtime and maximise productivity.

It all starts with

Visit our portal to find your local supplier.

HCB TECHNOLOGIES New Zealand's Battery Specialists NZ-Trucking_Varta_Commercial-A1.indd 1


Proudly Distributed By

17/11/2020 12:35:42 pm

Driving the economy

End of Road to Zero is the right move

Shelving the Road to Zero campaign could lead to better outcomes for safety on New Zealand roads.



by Dom Kalasih Interim Chief Executive Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand

:35:42 pm

AST MONTH, THE GOVERNMENT announced it was scrapping Road to Zero. It may be controversial, but I think that was the right move. Here’s why. Road to Zero was launched with much fanfare in 2019 and it set an interim target of a 40 per cent reduction in deaths and serious injuries by 2030 against a 2018 baseline. That meant the road toll in 2030 would equate to 227 deaths. The graph below shows how things were actually tracking as we approached halfway. I don’t think even the most optimistic person would suggest things were on track. There have been mixed reactions to the government scrapping it but given that the programme was so far off track delivering the intended results, I think it was a good thing to stop and it would have been irresponsible not to make a change. In fact, it concerns me that the agency delivering the strategy appeared almost oblivious to results and if the government hadn’t shown some leadership and stepped in, then Waka Kotahi would have merrily continued on its way. But despite this announcement, I don’t think it means people value road safety less. Whether you’re talking to Police, Waka Kotahi, or truck drivers, I don’t believe the way that these people as individuals see road deaths and road trauma will change. I worked at Waka Kotahi from 1996 to 2005 and the people there seemed just as passionate, committed, and invested in bringing the road toll down as the people that are there now or the people before them.

I think it’s easy to overstate the impact and influence of strategies, and that fundamentally the necessity of having a combination of engineering, education, and enforcement has never changed. Too often, we tend to over-complicate things and there’s a risk that new strategies are simply more about marketing something differently rather than getting different results. I try to look at things as simply as I can and from my experience, I think people tend to make their decisions based on more fundamental things, like trying to stop killing people while carrying out business is simply the right thing to do. That is a greater influence than any government strategy at the time. March 8 was International Women’s Day – and, weird as it may seem, I believe there’s a connection with the Road to Zero announcement. Increasing Diversity is a foundation block of Transporting New Zealand’s Attracting Talent strategy pillar. It’s important because we have an ageing driver population, and a relatively large proportion of that workforce will reach retiring age around the same time. Promoting increased diversity is one element of addressing that issue; however, I’d also argue that treating people fairly and reasonably regardless of their gender or their race or any other minority aspect is also about just doing what’s right. I hope I’m not wrong, but I don’t think the loss of Road to Zero is a bad thing; in fact, I think it will lead to better outcomes. Truck & Driver | 39

Driving the economy

Holding ports to account

By Transporting New Zealand policy advisor Billy Clemens


Is Is q q o o


RECENTLY SPOKE AT A MEETING OF THE NZ Council of Cargo Owners (NZCCO) and found some shared concerns about port charges and efficiencies. NZCCO is the association for New Zealand’s largest shippers. The current membership includes companies and organisations with major interest in industries such as horticulture, dairy, meat, steel, forestry, and FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods). Its membership accounts for more than 70 per cent of New Zealand’s containerised exports. Concern at port pricing A key issue for both road freight operators and cargo owners is rapidly escalating vehicle booking system (VBS) charges. Road freight companies are left to pass the costs onto unhappy customers and bear the associated administrative burden. Once introduced, VBS and other charges operate as a relatively easy revenue raising tool for ports, which are hungry for higher returns. Auckland Port drew headlines last year when it announced a 59 per cent VBS hike from January 2024, with more fee increases to come throughout the year. While VBS has the potential to improve port efficiency and reduce turnaround times for drivers, it’s unclear whether these benefits are actually materialising. Recent fee increases don’t seem to be closely connected to productivity and service improvements, like enabling dual slot bookings. In fact, Transporting New Zealand members have reported that real-world vehicle turn-around times have increased for at least one South Island port. Transporting New Zealand will be keeping the spotlight on this issue and will work with groups like NZ Council of Cargo Owners to highlight the pressure this issue places on the price of everyday goods. We recommend members subscribe to Transporting New Zealand’s Port Updates to get the latest on cost increases. Members can contact info@ or our regional advisors to get added. Operators should also ensure that your pricing reflects the often significant administration costs of managing these surcharges on behalf of the ports. Are road freight operators undercharging? It’s common knowledge that road freight margins are low, although there’s certainly a lot of variety across the industry. Research from the University of Waikato in 2020 showed a margin of between 3 to 5 per cent. However, as demonstrated in the graph, the pressure really went on trucking companies between 2022 and 2023 (where the blue input line spikes and green output line stayed fairly consistent). The producer price index (PPI) shows input costs soaring while our members’ prices stayed steady. What our members were buying got drastically more expensive, particularly vehicles, wages, and fuel, while their rates stayed fairly static. PPI is a proxy for road freight margin, and some of the companies that made it through will still be vulnerable. This means the industry has some challenging times ahead, even as business confidence has lifted.

40 | Truck & Driver

Transporting New Zealand policy advisor Billy Clemens. The procurers of freight services have a big role in ensuring road freight companies can afford to perform reliably and sustainably. Transporting New Zealand’s message to the largest freight customers in the country is clear: Freight rates have been too low for too long, and they should prepare for rate increases. Consulting, co-operating, and coordinating Our final message to ports and cargo owners is that communication, co-operation, and co-ordination are essential in getting the ports and intermodal sector working better. Leaving road freight operators in the dark as to pricing and systems changes is just a recipe for disaster. Feedback from the road freight industry recently contributed to the introduction of a port sanction system being delayed by two months, to allow adequate lead-in time for freight companies. This increased notice period gave industry sufficient time to prepare. It also avoided cargo owners experiencing delays due to freight companies being stood down as a result of inadvertent health and safety breaches by individual drivers. The relevant container storage company wrote to us last year, advising it would introduce a point-based demerit system for not complying with safe working procedures, including drivers not being inducted and drivers leaving their cabs in operational areas, which could result in entire companies being suspended. Transporting New Zealand agreed with the general intent of what the companies were trying to achieve. However, we were concerned transport operators did not appear to have been appropriately engaged in the development of the scheme, and there was only one month of notice before its start. On this occasion, we successfully got the scheme’s implementation delayed to a more realistic timeframe, but the opportunity to collaborate on improving the scheme was missed. The Transporting New Zealand Port Sector Group and South Island Port User Working Group (SI Port User Group) could have quickly provided input and expertise. Similarly, a South Island port recently proposed a straddle crane system that would require truck drivers to reverse into place using the lefthand side, reducing driver visibility. The SI Port User Group was able to advocate for an alternative design that would avoid the need for blind-side reversing. Transporting New Zealand will continue to work collaboratively with NZ Council of Cargo Owners, our Ports and Intermodal Sector Group, and other industry bodies to push for productivity and safety improvements.

G G Is

Is b b r rth th

A A y y p p e e

Isuzu Isuzu Isuzu Genuine Genuine Isuzu Isuzu IsuzuGenuine Genuine Genuine Genuine Parts Parts Parts Parts Parts Parts Isuzu Isuzu Isuzu Genuine Genuine Genuine parts parts parts areare developed are developed developed and and manufactured and manufactured manufactured to to stringent to stringent stringent Isuzu Isuzu Isuzu Genuine Genuine Genuine parts parts are are developed are developed developed and and manufactured and manufactured manufactured to stringent to stringent stringent quality quality quality standards standards standards toparts to ensure to ensure ensure your your your truck’s truck’s truck’s performance, performance, performance, asto as well as well as well asas quality quality quality standards standards standards to to ensure to ensure ensure your your your truck’s truck’s truck’s performance, performance, performance, as as well as well as well asas optimising optimising optimising itsits future its future future re-sale re-sale re-sale value. value. value. optimising optimising optimising itsits future its future future re-sale re-sale re-sale value. value. value.

Genuine Genuine Genuine Parts Parts Parts Genuine Genuine Genuine Parts Parts Parts Isuzu Isuzu Isuzu is committed is committed is committed to to providing to providing providing thethe highest the highest highest quality quality quality Genuine Genuine Genuine Parts, Parts, Parts, Isuzu Isuzu Isuzu is by committed is by committed is committed to to providing to providing providing the the highest the highest highest quality quality quality Genuine Genuine Genuine Parts, Parts, Parts, backed backed backed industry-leading by industry-leading industry-leading support support support and and warranty. and warranty. warranty. This This This all all means all means means backed backed backed by by industry-leading by industry-leading industry-leading support support support and and warranty. and warranty. warranty. This This This all all means all means means reduced reduced reduced downtime downtime downtime forfor our for our customers, our customers, customers, freeing freeing freeing them them them upup toup to focus to focus focus ononon reduced reduced downtime downtime downtime forfor our for our customers, our customers, customers, freeing freeing freeing them them them upup toup to focus to focus focus ononon thereduced the important the important important stuff. stuff. stuff. thethe important the important important stuff. stuff. stuff. And And And when when when thethe parts the parts parts areare fitted are fitted fitted byby anby an authorised an authorised authorised Isuzu Isuzu Isuzu technician, technician, technician, And And And when when when the the parts the parts parts are are fitted are fitted fitted by by an by an authorised an authorised authorised Isuzu Isuzu Isuzu technician, technician, technician, you’ll you’ll you’ll be be helping be helping helping extend extend extend the the working the working working life life oflife of your of your your truck truck truck and and getting and getting getting you’ll you’ll you’ll be be helping be helping helping extend extend extend the the working the working working life life of life of your of your your truck truck truck and and getting and getting peace-of-mind peace-of-mind peace-of-mind that that money that money money just just can’t just can’t can’t buy. buy. buy. Because Because Because reliability reliability reliability is getting is is peace-of-mind peace-of-mind peace-of-mind that money that money money just just can’t just can’t can’t buy. buy. buy. Because Because Because reliability reliability reliability is is is everything! everything! everything!that everything! everything! everything!

Scan Scan Scan toto find to find find your your your nearest nearest nearest Scan Scan Scan to to find to find find your your your nearest nearest nearest authorised authorised authorised Isuzu Isuzu Isuzu Truck Truck Truck Dealer Dealer Dealer authorised authorised authorised Isuzu Isuzu Isuzu Truck Truck Truck Dealer Dealer Dealer



Slide Movement With a push of “REAR” button, (1) Body tips up approx. 14 degrees, then (2) Body automatically slides down to the rear. The movements of body and stabilizing roller are linked and automatically controlled.



RECYCLE PACKER • Specially designed for recyclable waste

• Low emission thanks to idle speed operation

• 2, 3 or 4 compartment body for separated collection

• Flat-side design, suited for ads

Authorised distributor of

Grant Smith 027 544 8844, Grant Garrett 021 190 1157, Phone (06) 355 5062 | 56 Railway Road, Palmerston North |


• Rear loading, rear discharge (tip out)

Driving the economy

Poor contracts hurting trucking firms By Transporting New Zealand policy advisor Billy Clemens


HIS MONTH TRANSPORTING NEW ZEALAND IS launching Terms and Conditions for Carriage of Goods. It’s a major issue for truckies. As an organisation, Transporting NZ is often contacted by members when jobs have gone wrong. It may be disputes over unpaid invoices, damaged or lost goods, and arguments over RUC adjustments and penalty fees are just a few examples from the past 12 months. Unfortunately, some procurers of freight services are happy to try to push cost and liability onto freighters. They know the industry is competitive enough that they can threaten to pull their business, so they try their luck. One of the best ways transport companies can protect themselves is by having well-drafted, up- to-date terms and conditions. Civil disputes generally come down to what the contract says. We understand this can be a challenge for many operators. Many jobs happen on a relatively informal basis, or over an extended period of time. However, having your terms and conditions clearly set out and shared with your customers prior to work starting will help resolve any problems quickly and relatively cheaply. A template for general freighters Transporting New Zealand has commissioned Ford Sumner Lawyers to draft a set of terms and conditions for carriage of goods, and accompanying fact sheet. Our lawyers worked with Transporting New Zealand staff and our General Freight Sector Group to develop the documents. The result is a concise set of terms, primarily intended for general freight operators. The terms are fair and reasonable, while also protecting transporters from common issues and liabilities. The document can be customised to include your company name, and any other additions or amendments necessary for your business.




Terms that work for you The three-page Terms and Conditions document is paired with a supporting Fact Sheet. This steps through how the terms fit with the Carriage of Goods section of the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017. Some key aspects include: What type of contract for carriage of goods should you select? • At Limited Carrier’s Risk – the default where no other type of contact is mentioned. This is where the carrier’s liability is limited to $2,000 for each single unit of goods. • Alternatively, carriers can specify the following type of contract, so long as the customer is properly notified, and the quote or bill of lading sets out what form of contract applies. • At Owner’s Risk, where the carrier has no liability for loss or damage to goods unless it intentionally causes the loss or damage; • At Declared Value Risk, where the carrier’s liability for loss or damage is limited to an amount agreed in the contract; • On Declared Terms, where the carrier’s liability for loss or damage to goods is detailed in the terms of the contract.

The producer price index (PPI) shows input costs soaring while our members’ prices stayed steady. • Protecting your company when transporting dangerous, valuable, or perishable goods The terms specify that valuables, perishable, or dangerous goods will not be accepted by the carrier unless the carrier agrees to this in writing. Contracts for valuables and perishable goods will be at Owner’s Risk, acknowledging the inherent risk involved with carriage of these goods. There are also additional protections for carriers transporting dangerous goods. Customers are liable for resulting loss or damage, and empowering the carrier to deal with dangerous goods as they wish, including destruction or disposal as the situation requires. Assigning or subcontracting to another carrier The terms allow users to use separate carriers as they see fit. The fact sheet explains what happens if carriers contract with the customer and then assign the job to another company. This includes the obligations of the contracting carrier and the actual carrier. Other protections for the carrier Although the Contract and Commercial Law Act places particular obligations on carriers, the terms provide reasonable protections and carve-outs for transport companies. This includes: • The ability to hold undelivered goods past the date where the Act says a carrier’s responsibility for those goods end. This is helpful in the event of non-payment or inability to deliver. Liability for storage or return costs lies with the customer; • Specifically setting out a carrier’s ability to refuse carriage for any person, good or class of goods; • An indemnity from the customer in the event a carrier has claims brought against them in connection with the carriage of the goods; • Tightening the timeframes for customers to bring a claim against a carrier, and requiring written notice of any claim; • Specifying that any required labelling and packaging of goods is the responsibility of the customer; • Providing protection against non-payment, including penalty interest, liability for costs, suspension of further services, and the ability to hold or sell goods to help recover costs; • The ability to cancel the agreement or increase costs if events outside your control occur; • Excluding any liability under the Consumer Guarantees Act and Fair Trading Act that don’t apply to businesses in trade; • The ability to credit check customers. Truck & Driver | 43

Driving the economy

The Distinction Mackenzie Country Hotel is the venue for Transporting New Zealand’s South Island Seminar in June in Twizel.

Twizel seminar set to educate and entertain


CONOMIST CAM BAGRIE WILL BE A KEYNOTE speaker at the June seminar. Economics, industry and good old fashioned trucking fun is booked in for Transporting New Zealand’s South Island Summit in Twizel. The seminar is at the Distinction Mackenzie Country Hotel on Saturday, June 22 with registration and a welcoming drinks session on the Friday evening. The Saturday programme kicks off with a welcome by regional presidents Paul Rait and Shona Robertson, Transporting New Zealand’s Dom Kalasih and Waitaki MP Miles Anderson. There are presentations on permitting and RUC, financial tips from PwC’s Malcolm Hollis, Road Science, ACC and Hamish Piercy from NZI. We have a sector group Q & A with members directing questions to

the panellists from Waka Kotahi, CVST and WorkSafe, and there’s a legal update from law firm Wynn Williams. Economist Cam Bagrie will round out the programme with his usual hardhitting take on the economy and there will be an awards dinner to end the day. The weekend is free for Transporting New Zealand members, and $230 for non-members. For information on sponsorship and general questions please contact Jenny Murray at: or call (04) 471 8284. The full timetable and links to register are on the Transporting NZ website. North Islanders can save the date for the Napier Summit on October 4-5.

Mobil fuel discounts on rise


OBIL HAS RECENTLY lifted the levels of discounts for Transporting New Zealand

members. Membership advisor Vicki Harris says from April 1, discounts went up by the following: • Half a cent per litre for petrol. • .85 cent per litre for non-branded diesel sites for Allied, Waitomo, NPD. They must be Mobil card acceptor sites to get the discount. • 2.85 cents per litre on Mobil branded sites for diesel. Vicki says the discounts will be applied

automatically. Apart from negotiating quality petrol discounts, Vicki can also help with a fuel analysis to estimate how much she can help you save on your fuel costs. She analyses location, product, price and quantity on the invoice a member supplies and compares this to the same date, location, product and price against the Transporting NZ fuel scheme. For more information, contact Vicki at: or phone 027 534 3848

Vicki Harris.

Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand’s team is available to asist our members around New Zealand Ia Ara Aotearoa – Transporting New Zealand PO Box 1778, Wellington 04 472 3877

Dom Kalasih, Interim Chief Executive 04 471 8285 • 027 441 4309 Vicki Harris, Membership Adviser 027 534 3848 44 | Truck & Driver

Keith McGuire, Regional & Sector Advisor Upper North Island 027 445 5785 John Bond, Regional & Sector Advisor Upper South Island 027 444 8136 Jim Crouchley, Regional & Sector Advisor Lower South Island 027 261 0953

The Sheldrake Succession Story Colin Smith Photos Gerald Shacklock

GPS Tracking – eRUC – Job Management – eLogbook 0800 447 735 46 | Truck & Driver


The Kenworth T659 is a favourite in the Sheldrake Haulage fleet. Their first unit went to work in 2013 and this latest-spec example was introduced in October last year.

GPS Tracking – eRUC – Job Management – eLogbook 0800 447 735 Truck & Driver | 47







*Note- International model shown. Actual model available may differ



Per Week


*Rates shown are Indicative only, normal lending criteria and terms & conditions apply. 3.99% rate applies to SINOTRUK Tipper truck only, and is not to be used in conjunction with another promotion. Repayment price based on a 60 month term and 10% deposit. GST back in month 3 of loan. Offer valid until 1st July or while stock lasts.

0800 837 888


Another load of logs from the Tokoroa forests on the move with Sheldrake Haulage.



N 2005 WHEN NEW ZEALAND TRUCK & DRIVER FEATURED THE distinctive white, blue and silver trucks of G.J. Sheldrake Ltd in the November issue Fleet Focus, company founder Graham Sheldrake was unsure if his son Mathew (Mat) would move into the Tokoroa-based family business. Mat was 21 at the time and working as a fabricator-welder at Total Transport Engineering while Graham was keeping a fleet of eight loggers and five general freight trucks busy during one of the cyclical tougher times for the logging industry. G.J. Sheldrake Ltd had just turned 25-years-old when that Fleet Focus feature was published. Almost two decades later, Graham is now retired from an active role and shareholding in the business. And since late-2019, Mat has owned and run the company which he renamed Sheldrake Haulage Ltd in 2020. There might be a new owner and a new name but it’s largely business as usual for the Tokoroa company which primarily specialises in log cartage. The fleet size has grown only marginally to 18 trucks (plus two owner-drivers) comprising 15 loggers and three freight trucks. There are now 24 staff while the most visible change is also the most recent one – a modern workshop and admin building in Tokoroa which opened in February this year. Looking back, Mat says his father shouldn’t have had any doubts about his ambition for a role in the transport industry. “I always thought it was going to be my plan,” says Mat. “Graham wouldn’t let me just leave school and become a truck driver. He was very strong on me getting a trade or a qualification which is why I went into a fitter-welder apprenticeship.

“After Total Transport went into receivership in 2007, I came and worked for the old man. He was doing the Truck Weight NZ scales, and I was a salesman for two years travelling around Australia and New Zealand. “Then Olivia [now Mat’s wife] and I decided to do an OE. So, like everyone does we went to the UK for two-and-a-half years. “I did pest control for about six months and then moved into managing a furniture removal company with some Luton vans in London. It was a `man-and-a-van’ hire at an hourly rate, and we did full house moves or jobs like moving something from a museum in London to another museum somewhere. “Before coming home we spent two-and-a-half months touring around Europe in a van. We did about 15,000km through Europe and we got home towards the end of 2011. I went driving for the old man, both on logs and freight, for about three years. “Then I looked after the workshop for a while along with moving into a dispatch role. I was a sort of dogsbody working alongside the old man and also with Mike Whetu, who was originally one of our drivers and then became our dispatcher. Now he’s my manager here.” The time spent in varied roles has proven helpful to Mat. “I think when you grow up around it, a lot of it comes naturally to you. I’d been around trucks my whole life, so I had a good overview. I had seen how things worked and I’d seen how Graham did things while I was riding around in trucks during the school holidays. “In 2016 I started buying shares in the company. I bought 10% each year till I got to 40-60 with the olds, and then I bought the other 60. And that’s where we are today in a nutshell.” Truck & Driver | 49

Top left: General manager Mike Whetu with driver Zoe Adie. Zoe and her husband Liam both drive for Sheldrake Haulage.

Top right: Company founder Graham Sheldrake (right) with Scott O’Donnell at the 2020 New Zealand Road Transport Hall of Fame induction evening. Below: A 2020 model R 620 is the lone Scania working among the SHL fleet of 15 loggers. It’s not unusual when there is a generational change at the helm of a family company for the founding generation to stay involved. Mat says that’s not the case for his father. “He’s fully retired. He’s not involved in the business, and he has no shareholding. He doesn’t jump in and drive for us,” says Mat. “I took over on the first of December 2019. He worked up to till Christmas of 2019, then he packed up his desk, put everything he wanted in a couple of boxes, and finished up completely. “I really didn’t think he would be able do it. I thought we would probably see him a couple of times a week. He lives in Taupo so he can’t just pop in when he’s going into town. “He still likes to know what’s going on, but he doesn’t say `you’re doing this wrong and you’re doing that wrong’, which is probably good from my point of view. If I wasn’t doing it right, I’d probably hear from him a bit more.” Graham remains involved in the industry doing some work for Transporting New Zealand and he’s a selection panel member for the NZ Road Transport Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame himself in 2020. “We’re utilising his skills at Transporting NZ Region 2 with a few things that we’ve got going on at the moment,” says Mat. “I’m the President of the region and he’s one of our Life Members. So, it’s funny in way – things have sort of come full circle and I’m his President and asking him to help out on a few things.” The Sheldrake Haulage fleet size has changed a few times over

50 | Truck & Driver

the past 20 years. It now comprises a single Freightliner and Scania with 16 Kenworths, including several new units. The majority are Tokoroa based with one unit working from Mamaku and one of the owner-drivers based at Mount Maunganui. “We are going through a bit of growth phase at the moment. We secured a new contract last year which meant I needed to grow a bit,” Mat says. Two units work on 48T permits with four-axle trailers with the rest a mix of 50MAX and HPMV combinations. The Sheldrake loggers work for forest owners Manulife, carting logs for export as well as to the Kinleith paper plant and the Red Stag sawmill. “One freight truck goes to Hamilton twice a day and the other travels to Levin, the Hawke’s Bay and then returns back to Kinleith,” Mat says. “The third one [the Freightliner] is doing onsite work at Kinleith. It does nine or 10 loads a day but only about 26km a day.” There will be a new brand in the Sheldrake fleet later this year. “I’ve got a DAF coming in the next couple months which is the first one ever in the fleet. It’s going on the Hamilton run. “The choice was based on driver comfort, fuel efficiency, Euro 6 and the price. And we’re still dealing with the same people [Southpac Trucks].” Recent additions to the fleet include a Kenworth T659 and two T610 loggers.

Above: Restored 1984 Kenworth W924 is special to Mat Sheldrake. It’s the second truck his father Graham owned.

Below: Apart from a few months while living in London, Mat Sheldrake has spent all of his working life in the transport industry.

Truck & Driver | 51

“With Manulife part of the contract is we have to have trucks less than 10 years old. We also have to do certain log sizes like two bays of 5.2s on the trailer and we must have seeing machine Guardian systems in the trucks for fatigue management. “Manulife is very proactive in improving safety and processes. We report every two weeks to them off our camera system to note any fatigue situations and also seatbelt use. “Putting cameras in the trucks was a really big thing when it was first brought in. There was a bit of resistance to it across the industry, but our guys picked up on it and from a fatigue point of view I wouldn’t be without it now.” Mat says a recent focus by Manulife has been seatbelt use, not only for truck drivers but in all vehicles working the forest. “Credit not to just my guys, but to all the guys working for them, the seat belt wearing has gone from about 60% up to 90% in just the last 12 months,” says Mat. The biggest change at Sheldrake Haulage has been the new workshop and admin facility at Boronia St, just off SH1 at the Amisfield end of Tokoroa. The site is where SHL has always parked its trucks, but the workshop had been 200 metres away. “We’ve always parked in this yard. It used to be a BP truck stop and you can see still see the old BP green railings out by the gate there,” Mat says. Mat says the new building, and primarily new workshop, are a game-changer for SHL. “There are five-and-a-half workshop bays to replace the one we had before along with a parts store and the offices. There’s a driver’s toilet and shower block downstairs and upstairs there’s a smoko room and our board room. “As we’d grown, we’d grown out of the old workshop. We couldn’t get a truck and trailer in there and shut the doors,” Mat says. “It was built more than 20 years ago, and it was built for 20 metres. We never thought we’d be 23.5 metres. And it only had a little 5-metre pit. As far as servicing went, we just outgrew it. “By having a 25.5 metre pit it’s saving us between half-an-hour and 40 minutes per routine service by not having to move the truck back and forward and pull the trailer over the pit. “The old one was so narrow you couldn’t get a set of drivers off without driving out and turning around. If it was pouring down with rain, you couldn’t shut the doors because the workshop wasn’t long enough.” There’s some future-proofing built into the facility. “It’s bigger than I need right now but it’s better to do that than to

The new workshop and admin building is described as a “game changer” by Mat Sheldrake.

52 | Truck & Driver

find out later we need more space,” says Mat. “The beauty of having more space is we can have a truck off to one side doing a bigger job like a clutch or something and still have the pit open for servicing.” The new facility is already proving its worth. “I like having everything on one site. Looking back, I think we missed some of the little stuff when we parked up here and had the workshop over there. Nothing drastic, but the drivers wouldn’t always remember to call in to the workshop at the end of the day, if they had a broken part that needed repairing. “Having everything on one site tidies it all up.” Changing the company name to Sheldrake Haulage is another part of the evolution under Mat’s leadership. “The old man said `you can run G.J. Sheldrake for a year but those are my initials, and you’ll probably want to change it’. “I didn’t want to lose the Sheldrake name. That’s our brand. “I’ve done a lot of work in tidying up the vehicles, because that’s what the public sees. They have got to look professional. It’s the only advertising we do, so they have to look smart.” As well the day-to-day running of SHL, Mat has a busy role with Transporting New Zealand region 2 (the upper half of the North Island). “I’m in my second year as Region 2 President and before that I was on the executive board and then I was the regional Vicepresident for a year. “There’s a lot of carriers in that region and it takes a lot of time. I couldn’t do it without the people we’ve got here like Mike Whetu. Thanks to Mike, and to Alana Nicholas who does the admin, data entry and Health & Safety, and Sharon Livingston who also looks after admin and accounts, I know everything is running properly when I’m not here.” Mat is a firm believer in the work the associations do to support carriers and to represent the interests of the industry. “A few people will say `why do we need an association? What has an association ever done for me?’ “One of the biggest changes in the last 20 years or so in terms of productivity has been HPMV. We’d probably have it by now, but I think we really have got to the thank the associations for all the work they did around 2011-13 for getting it over the line as early as we did.” With his Transporting NZ role, Mat remains a strong advocate for a single national association representing the industry. He says bringing Transporting NZ and the NRC/NTA sides together won’t be easy.

Buy Now or Make Offer

2017 Western Star 4864FXC 6x4

2011 Freightliner Coronado 122 6x4

2019 MTC

2018 Isuzu FVR 165-300 8000 L 4x2

2022 Cat 312GC

2020 Doosan DX235 LCR-5

2017 Cat 962M

2015 Cat 745C

2008 Cat 740

2001 Cat 16H

2011 Cat 775F

2008 E-Ject SC22XW

0800.722.828 |

Mat and Olivia with their three children, Carter, Dione and Kaius.

“How I look at, I think it’s impractical that we’re fighting against each other. But even with the model we had before, we weren’t one. “You’re not going to benefit as an industry when we have people with different agendas wanting basically the same thing, but with different ways of getting it. The politicians and government agencies are going to go with the side that suits their interests rather than the interests of the industry. “Whether it [a unified industry association] will happen or not is another matter. Both sides do good work, but I think we can take the best of both and make something that’s better for the industry. “At the end of the day you are involved with these associations to better not only your own business, but the industry as a whole. So, whether you’re a member of NRC or a member of Transporting NZ, you still joined an association with the same goal.” At the age of 40, Mat is one of the younger members at an executive level on the various road transport associations. “I think we can bring a fresh set of eyes and a fresh look on it,” Mat says. “Going forward you have the remember the history and what’s happened in the past, but you can’t dwell on it and let that dictate everything. “A few other younger guys are getting involved at the regional board level, and I don’t think it’s seen as much like an `old boys club’ anymore.” The history of the log transport industry is something Mat has plenty of passion for and it’s reflected in three significant Kenworths he owns. “I’ve got an old W924 that Graham had brand new in 1984. It was the second truck he owned.

We’re saving the planet one tyre at a time.

W O P P C C In In

Find out more about the new tyre stewardship scheme. TYREWISE.CO.NZ TW002 Campaign_Press_210x147mm.indd 1

17/04/24 10:04 AM

Roomy workshop offers five-and-a-half bays of workspace and a home for a soon-to-be-finished Kenworth SAR Legend. because that’s what built the industry. “I enjoy the industry. It’s something pretty awesome. There are always challenges and things like Health & Safety which I can’t see getting any easier. But you want all your staff to go home safely and to enjoy what they’re doing. “I know of some people who have left the industry because all of the red tape these days, but there’s only red tape because someone has done something stupid.” He says the logging industry will always have its economic ups and downs. “It used to be seven year cycle, but I think it’s about five now and the swells seem to be bit closer together.” But the thing Mat enjoys most about the logging side of the industry is the people. He says the innovation and the cooperation between competing companies was unique to logging for a long

Wiri | 5 Aerovista Place | 09 279 7351 Otahuhu | 20 Kahu Street | 09 276 7206 Palmerston North | 76 Campbell Street | 06 358 2571 Palmerston North | 435 Tremaine Avenue | 06 357 4100 Christchurch | 108-A Hayton Road, Sockburn | 03 343 2001 Christchurch | Treffers Road, Wigram | 03 348 3758 Invercargill | 90 Preston Street, Prestonville | 03 215 8584 Invercargill | 53 River Street, Prestonville | 03 215 9955 10:04 AM


“I spent my childhood in the passenger seat of that truck, so it’s got a lot of sentimental value. It’s a show pony. It’s all been restored and goes to a few truck shows. “I’ve also got a 1979 SAR that I brought in from Australia which is identical to his first truck with an 8V92 Detroit in it. It’s about halfway to being restored. “And I’ve got an old Panpac K100E. I haven’t done anything with it yet. It was Panpac’s from new and went to Doidge’s and then to E-Freight, and I got it off E-Freight. It’s sitting in the shed waiting to be done. “I love the whole thing about the old trucks and the history that’s attached to them. I guess some people have Harleys and hot rods. But I’ve got an appreciation for the older gear and it’s good to see where we’ve come from. “The new gear is impressive, but you can’t forget the old stuff


0800 0800 4 0800 CARTERS 4 CARTERS 4 CARTERS




Previously SHL serviced trucks over a 5.0-metre pit. The new 25.5-metre pit is perfect for modern five-axle HPMV combinations. time, but it’s something other sectors are now adopting. He says the ongoing work of the Log Transport Safety Council – Graham, was one of its founding members – has encouraged innovation and improved safety in the sector. “It was pretty unique to get all the carriers in a sector from around the country, who all compete with each other, sitting around a table to talk about how to make it better for everyone,” says Mat. “Now there are other sectors of the transport industry that are using the LTSC as a model, like the Livestock and Port User groups. “But the way the logging sector is, is still one of-a-kind. We all go out there and compete for the same work but at the end of the day we can all sit around and have a beer together. We go on trips together and we socialise together. “That what makes the logging so good. There’s enough work for everybody. “Partly it’s because logging is a little bit more specialised. Anyone can go and buy a freight truck and say `I’ll cart that to Wellington for you tomorrow’. Logs are more specialised, a bit like the stock feed I suppose. You don’t just go out and buy an auger truck. “I also like the fact that so many of our business relationships are also friendships. “There’s also a lot of clever innovation in logging to make things safer and to make the job easier. The industry has done a lot of work on things like rotator cuff injuries. “I’ve got a truck being built at the moment that has got chain placers on it, air winches and hydraulic lay down bolsters. I’ve got a guy who is turning 70 and he still wants to work, so Truck & Driver | 57

Working close to home around Tokoroa (above) 2018 Kenworth K200 at the Kinleith trailer gantry and (below) 2021 Kenworth T610 on the highway. we’re doing that to make it easier for him. He’s going to be hard to replace and I don’t want him going home at night feeling sore and wondering why he’s doing it.” Looking to the future, Mat says he plans to keep on the same course and stick to what he knows. “Every job I’ve ever had apart from a few months in London has been in the industry – whether it’s been driving trucks, fixing trucks, building trailers or sales. It’s all been in this industry, and I struggle to think what I would be doing outside of the industry. Maybe own a pub? “I’d like to still grow a little bit more, but we’ll stick to our knitting and keep doing what we’re doing. I’m here for long haul now and we’ll see where the journey takes us.

58 | Truck & Driver

“I’d also like to do more driving myself, but I don’t seem to get much time to do that.” Mat and Olivia have three young children and it’s far too early to wonder if there will be a third generation of trucking Sheldrakes. “We’ve got a seven-year-old daughter Dione and two boys – Carter who is five and Kaius who’s three. All three of them seem to like machinery and big trucks,” says Mat. “Whether or not someone like you will be here talking to one of them in another 20 or 30 years – who knows? I’d like to think they’ll be involved but I’m not going to force them in that direction. It has to be their choice. “It’s not the right thing to push them into a family business. They’ve got to want to be involved.”

THE NEW Ultra ONE 19.5”x7.5” from Alcoa® Wheels


Ultra ONE® Alcoa® Wheels are the lightest and strongest aluminium truck & trailer wheels in New Zealand, made from Alcoa® Wheels’ proprietary MagnaForce® technology. Available now from Transpecs. The new 19.5 x 7.50” Alcoa® Wheels Ultra ONE® for medium-duty trucks, buses and trailers offers immediate and significant benefits, such as: • Increased maximum payload • Reduced weight of 16 kg (32mm bolt hole) and 16.2 kg (24mm bolt hole) • 17% stronger when compared to the current industry standard alloy.

The best trucks come stock with Alcoa® Wheels. Build your trailer to the same standard. Contact Transpecs today for more info.



Born into it– Rodney Kempthorne N

OT ONLY DOES RODNEY ‘THE LIFTER’ Kempthorne – of family-run Heavy Metal Haulage fame –have a determined work ethic and a passion for the trucking industry, but he was almost born in the cab of his dad’s truck. He is certainly a Southpac Legend. You could say that Rodney was destined to be in the trucking world. His father founded and ran E.E Kempthorne, a rural carrying business, and his two older brothers, Alan, and Max, also made the transport industry their careers. However, the clincher would have to be the unconventional way he came into the world. Rodney says, “when we were kids, our parents had a carrying business in Ngāhinapōuri, and the old man was

60 | Truck & Driver

so busy working that when mum went into labour with me, he had to drop her off at the hospital in his truck.” His father ‘got out of the trucks’ when Rodney was about nine years old, selling the business to another local firm. But a few years later his brothers bought the business back and renamed it Kempthorne Transport, and that’s when Rodney says his affinity with trucks really began. “As a child I spent a lot of time with my older brothers,” he says. ”I was riding shotgun with them as a young fella, during school holidays and whenever possible.” As it turns out, school was a bit of a moot point for

Rodney, as according to him, academia didn’t quite capture his interest. So, he left secondary school after just two years, eager to embark on a path of his own. He initially worked in a timber yard building houses, and as soon as he was old enough to go driving, he went to work for Waikato Market Transport, which is now Turners and Growers. “I drove for them for a short while and then bought my own truck to become an owner driver for my big brother,” Rodney says. His first truck was a 1984 Fuso 320. it was 12 months old but had done bugger all work, so was practically brand new. Rodney set about carting livestock for the business, a role he says was more involved than carrying produce. “It’s the most ‘unpaid job’ there is,” says Rodney. “A stock truck driver is more than just a truck driver. A lot of people can’t handle the stock let alone deal with the farmers.” He adds that it was there that he gained his nickname. “Some guys refer to me as `the lifter’, which is a bit of a joke as I was always lifting bobby calves.”

The mid-1980’s was evidently a busy time for the young Rodney. Not only did he start out on his own, but he also married his already long-standing girlfriend Daryl, big steps for a 19-year-old. Rodney successfully operated as an ownerdriver for a remarkable 18 years. Then, in 1996, he purchased another truck and trailer tipper unit, and contracted to the Perry Group. “I was still driving my stock unit and I had a young driver, Daryl Olsen, on it. He drove the truck for about four years and then Perry’s changed their business and got rid of the owner drivers.” This setback arrived around the same time as

that involved the tip truck, but his brother said there were already too many tip truck businesses out there. “But a few months later I decided to do it anyway,” says Rodney. “My father would’ve called this a mad rush of shit to the brains.” The business started modestly to say the least, with just Rodney, his wife, and Daryl Olsen in the truck they ‘repurposed’ from the Perrys contract. “We couldn’t afford to own the truck, let alone get it repainted,” Rodney recalls. “So, we just pulled the Perry sticker off the door, and changed the stripping a wee bit. I ran my stock truck for a few more years and then sold that to

Daryl Olsen (right) has been with Rodney (left) at Heavy Metal Haulage since the start 28 years ago. tragedy struck the Kempthorne family, Rodney’s father died in an accident at the Frankton sale yard. “On March 7th, 2000, my father got hit by an animal in the sales yard and he died,” Rodney says. Rodney was at a crossroads point of his life and decided to make a big change. He said he wanted to do something for himself

one of my brothers. I bought another tipper and went from there.” Rodney says that he couldn’t use his name because Kempthorne Transport was still going, so after a few beers with one of his mates, his friend said, ‘why not call it Heavy Metal?’. “I hated it for a long time. But it’s good now, a real brand,” says Rodney. With determination and perseverance, Rodney’s business flourished, expanding its fleet, which initially consisted of mainly Mitsubishi trucks and later diversifying into

Truck & Driver | 61

DAFs and Kenworths. He says, “the boys like the Kenworths, they have their place in the fleet. The reason we got the first one is because the Mitsi’s were only 50T rated and we needed something heavier. It was a 9-axle unit. Then we got more and more.” But it’s not just the fleet that’s expanded, the staff has too. However, Rodney believes that Heavy Metal Haulage is a real family affair (both figuratively and literally). Not only is it owned and operated by him and his wife, but one of their daughters Kerri is Office Manager, and their son Scott is in charge of dispatch and oversees the fleet management – working closely with the mechanics. Kerri’s husband, Blair works closely with Rodney taking care of the technical side of the business and doing all the things Rodney hates. He is also involved in dispatching when required. “My wife Daryl works on the accounts, and she’s been a huge part of this. I’m a truck driver but she’s the brains behind it all. Lots of guys can drive trucks but they can’t get the accounts out and that’s where they fall over.” Rodney is proud to have

62 | Truck & Driver

his family working with him, saying that it’s about the trust and support. “They’ve grown up with it and seen how hard it’s been over the years. It’s great having them stand beside you.” But his credit doesn’t stop there. He says he’s always looked up at his older brothers and watched what they’ve done, ‘they’ve always had a sensible head on them’, and praises his long-term drivers, particularly Daryl Olsen (the original driver). “Daryl’s been with us for 28-years!” Rodney exclaims. “Honesty and loyalty is a big thing with me and I think that shows with our staff, I don’t have a big turnover of staff, we get on pretty well. It’s a (big) family-oriented business.” Rodney believes that the industry has changed over the years, joking that there’s no fun in the game anymore. “Maybe I’m getting old, but now there’s so much red tape and the fun’s gone out of it. Before you could simply drop off a load of metal. Now you’ve got to check with the quarry that they’ve got it, and it’s the right specs, and has all the right forms.” He adds that drivers are getting hard to find, and prices are going through the roof. “We got some really good drivers with us, but they grew up the same way I did. Spending time as kids in the truck with their fathers or uncles and that’s how they get their love for it. We’re starting guys that have never been in or around the industry before and they don’t know the basics. To me it’s common sense, but if you haven’t grown up around it...” Although these comments may seem negative, Rodney’s view of the industry is quite the contrary, wryly saying that ‘the people are good though’ with a big smile. Rodney is still a way off hanging up his boots but says that the succession path is in place “so long as everyone keeps going.”

“We had a good accountant years ago and his main thing was that we needed to have a plan for the future. Not just about the business either, for Daryl and I too.” So, when not at work, they do a bit of fishing and have a small farm, something Rodney always wanted. “People ask, ‘why would you buy a farm when you’re slowing down?’ But I love the farm and play with it after work. The boys take care of the day-to-day here, so I just turn up at about 8am when the cows are moved, put out the fires and go home again,” Rodney laughs. Things may be good now, but of course they haven’t always been easy. He says that years ago, when he first bought his stock truck, the freezing works used to go on strike for weeks on end. “We’d struggle to make ends meet for a long time. Interest rates went up to 25%, and our kids were little. Those were hard times.” He says that it’s hard to believe that they paid 25% interest, he looks back now and thinks how stupid it was. “You had to be really passionate about this industry to continue to stay in it back then.” And passionate he remains, as four decades later Rodney is still in the industry. “There are easier ways to make money but I’m not a scholar – we’re workers, grinders. I can’t read or write to save myself, but I have always been good with numbers. I’d rather pick up the phone or work on a handshake than send emails.” Thankfully he was born with a humble personality too.




Brake Kit ROR BMX 8 Stud

Save 30%





Save 25%

Always HOT!

Zepro Control Units - Internal & External

Twin Air Suzi With Duomatic Couplings Fitted


302.25 $233.80 $








TRT Traction Air®(CTI) Hose TAH**** Overall length = A. Hose lengths vary by truck model.

Save 20% JOST 50mm Weld In Toweye

Horton Fan Kit














Save 20%



Apply Online @ or scan the QR code for easy application

CALL US TODAY to talk with our parts team! Prices shown exclude GST and freight and are valid from 1st May 2024 to 31st May 2024. *Terms and conditions apply.

Ham: 07 849 4839

Akl: 09 262 0683

Chch: 03 741 2261

Approved by Approved by OEMs OEMs for the the latest for latest engines engines

Discover Rubia Optima with Inno-Boost Technology, providing Discover Optima with Inno-Boost Technology, up to 76%Rubia improvement against oil viscosity* increase.providing Offering up to 76% improvement against oil viscosity* increase. Offering excellent engine and after treatment system protection, as well excellent engine and after treatment system protection, as well as extended drain intervals. With approvals from heavy duty as extended drain intervals. approvals frompartner heavy for duty vehicle manufacturers, RubiaWith Optima is the ideal vehicle manufacturers, Rubia Optima is the ideal partner for your truck fleet. your truck fleet.

*Compared to API CK-4 Industry Limits (Volvo T13 Test - KV 40 Viscosity Increase 300-360h)

*Compared to API CK-4 Industry Limits (Volvo T13 Test - KV 40 Viscosity Increase 300-360h)

FEATURE Alex Little and team-mate Brent Collins leading the field to the start of the first race at Manfeild. Photo: Geoff Ridder

Another Little hat-trick YOUNG HUTT VALLEY RACER ALEX LITTLE secured his third consecutive NAPA Auto Parts NZ Super Truck title at Manfeild on April 7, completing a hat-trick which duplicates the 2009-10-11 national title achievements of his father Malcolm. Little, driving his Boss Racing Freightliner, clinched the title by a margin of 19 points over Kenworth racer Shane Gray (Hutt Valley) with Pukekohe’s Dave West (Freightliner) completing the podium. It was a closely contested five-round championship with West and Little taking turns at the top of the leader board. “What made the championship interesting was each of three fastest trucks had some kind of disaster at some point of the season and Dave West was rewarded for his consistency and finishing every race,” says Little. “Round one [Manfeild at Labour weekend] didn’t go so good for us but at round two [Timaru] we had a pretty good weekend. I wasn’t too concerned because our truck always had good pace. “What hurt us was a Did Not Start in the last race at round three [Teretonga] when a wiring fault left us stuck on the dummy grid because I couldn’t select first gear.” Matching his father’s achievement of three consecutive titles has made this summer’s success particularly special. “I wasn’t very old when dad won threein-a-row but I remember he might have won four- in-a-row in 2012 if he hadn’t had a flat tyre in the last race,” Alex says. “When I first got into truck racing I could only dream of winning one title so it’s hard to believe I’ve won three. And I’m still only 24, so I’m keen to try and win a few more.” Little says he will return next season to

defend the national title. “In some ways it was an up and down year and over the winter I’ll look back at the races where we didn’t do that well and work on what I could improve for next year. And we’ll work on getting a bit more pace out the truck.” It was a fast paced finish to the championship with the final three rounds over four weeks producing multiple race winners. West had continued his strong start to the season by taking out the Mobil Delvac 1 trophy for the overall round win at Teretonga on the March 16-17 weekend. The deep south event sponsored by King House Removals had seen an interruption to Little’s challenge when he failed the start the final race of the weekend and the race wins were claimed by Pareora’s Brent `Bones’ Collins (Freightliner), West and Gray. A week later at the Burnside Contractors Ruapuna round it was Little who took the overall honours in another round that produced three different winners from three races. It set the scene for the Ohau Quarries Manfeild finale with Little on 196 points leading from West on 184 and Gray with 182. Further back was Collins on 148 while Ron Salter was well placed in the standings after some good South Island results on 138 points. Qualifying at Manfeild proved very close with Little earning pole position with a 1m 26.081s lap that was a mere 0.037s quicker than Collins as the Boss Racing Freightliners secured the front row. Shane Gray was close behind with a best lap of 1m 26.530s and Ron Salter (Scania) joined Gray on row two with a 1m 28.00s effort.

Saturday’s opening six lap race saw Collins make the best start and lead Little and Gray in a close three-way race at the front. Little squeezed past his team-mate on the fourth lap and Gray followed through as Collins was slowed by a puncture on the final lap. The perfect 32-point haul on Saturday consolidated Little’s lead and on Sunday he followed home Collins in the reverse grid 8-lapper to settle the championship with Gray taking third spot. The final split-reverse grid 8 lapper saw Little finish third behind Gray and Collins and the podium battle was settled with Gray’s win pushing out his advantage over West to 11 points to secure second in the championship. Little secured the title with 253 points from Gray on 234 and West on 223. Collins Alex Little has become a three-time New Zealand champion. Photo: Geoff Ridder

Truck & Driver | 65

Above: Dave West, pictured here at Ruapuna, was a consistent front-runner throughout the series: Photo: Euan Cameron

Below: Side-by-side action with Ron Salter and Connor Etting ahead of Troy Etting and Marc King. Photo: Euan Cameron

NZ Championship 1 Alex Little (Freightliner) 253pts 2 Shane Gray (Kenworth) 234pts 3 Dave West (Freightliner) 223pts 4 Brent Collins (Freightliner) 202pts 5 Ron Salter (Scania) 176pts 6 Marc King (International) 161pts 7 Connor Etting (Volvo) 139pts 8 Troy Etting (Kenworth) 121pts 9 Tony Brand (Bedford) 66pts

2023-24 NAPA Auto Parts NZ Super Truck Championship Class A 1 Brent Collins, 230pts 2 Marc King, 207pts Class B 1 Ron Salter, 231pts 2 Connor Etting, 207pts 3 Troy Etting, 169pts 4 Tony Brand, 97pts

Flying Farewell Series 1 Ricky West (Freightliner) 103pts 2 Garry Price (Scania) 99pts 3 Ash Hey (International) 98pts 4 Malcolm Little (Freightliner) 95pts 5 Shane Gray (Kenworth) 90pts 6 Jason Lincoln (Kenworth) 82pts 7 Keith Wilson (Volvo) 67pts 8 John Hepburn (Kenworth and Bedford) 45pts 9 Peter Bartlett (Freightliner) 43pts 10 Craig Mason (Bedford) 30pts

66 | Truck & Driver

Mills Tu

Above: Close racing at Ruapuna with Shane Gray’s Kenworth being chased by Brent Collins. Photo: Euan Cameron Right: Shane Gray (top) finished second in the championship ahead of Dave West (below). Photos: Geoff Ridder

was fourth in 202 ahead of Salter who posted a sixth, fifth and fourth in the Manfeild races to finish fifth in the championship. An even closer points battle decided the Flying Farewell Series which was introduced this season to allow alternate drivers to take over the trucks for the final race at each meeting and contest a separate series.

It was another case of youth prevailing over experience with Ricky West claiming the series win with 103 points in his father’s Freightliner while Garry Price (Cromwell) drove Ron Salter’s Scania to the runner-up honours on 99 points. Ash Hey was just one point further back in third overall driving Marc King’s International while Malcolm Little was fourth on 95 points. Mills-Tui Limited 16–38 Pururu Street, Mangakakahi, Rotorua 3015 P 07 348 8039 T 0800 MILLS -TUI (645 578) SALES Garth Paton 027 289 0300

Mills Tui Logging Range Ad A5 2024-02.indd 1

8/02/24 15:48

Video Telematics

Reduce risk and create a more rewarding workplace Fully integrated into TN360, our diverse range of cameras deliver you real-time footage and data to help you improve safety, streamline coaching and protect drivers

Now that’s choice

Scan to learn more

0800 447 735


The first eActros evaluation unit was clocked up about 4000km in local testing with Keith Andrews Trucks.

r e v e i h c a t Quie By: Colin Smith

NEW ZEALAND’S FIRST MERCEDES-BENZ BATTERY ELECTRIC truck is about to go into fulltime work after 4000km of local evaluation trials with Keith Andrews Trucks during the first quarter of this year. The official market launch of the Mercedes-Benz eActros is May for both New Zealand and Australia when pricing along with detailed specifications and options will be announced. The eActros lineup will include 4x2 and 6x2 rigid models along with a 4x2 tractor version. The first truck – an eActros 300 4x2 which has been on Kiwi roads since late-2023 – is what Mercedes-Benz designates a `Pre-market launch validation unit’. Having now travelled about 4000km during local evaluation and on demonstrations with potential customers it will go to work in May with a yet-to-be announced operator who has received Low Emission Transport Fund support. Daimler Truck has made a three-pronged entry into the global commercial EV category starting in 2018. Fuso has focused its efforts on the light sector with the eCanter, Mercedes-Benz made its start in the medium-duty sector with eActros and eEconic models and in North America the Freightliner brand has explored the potential for long haul and heavy loads with the eCascadia. The eActros 300 is a medium-duty (19t GVM) battery electric truck suited to urban delivery roles and a range of specialised applications. The 300 designation refers to the battery capacity. Three lithiumion battery packs mounted across (and beneath) the chassis have an installed capacity of 336kWh and a usable capacity of about 300kWh. Mercedes-Benz has also developed an eActros 400 model equipped with four of these battery packs while the larger eActros 600 is being developed for long haul applications. Matt Gillatt from Keith Andrews Trucks has overseen most of the local running and says the performance in New Zealand conditions tracks very closely to the factory figures generated in European testing. Keith Andrews Trucks has also been in regular communication

with Daimler Truck Australia where three other eActros 300 units – also 4x2 rigid configuration with 5.5m wheelbase – are being validated simultaneously. “We’ve shared information back and forward with Australia and we seem to be coming up with the same answers,” Matt says. The eActros 300 with curtainsider body has a tare weight at 10,540kg and a GVM of 19 tonnes. Most of the local testing has been completed with a 4.5t payload and Matt says the truck has typically completed about 300km before depleting the battery to 20% charge. Matt says he’s spent a significant amount of time behind the wheel and also accompanying other drivers testing the eActros. “It’s a dream to drive with air suspension front and rear. I did a run from Whangarei to Auckland and it’s comfortable and quiet while the ease of driving is really impressive. It can leap up and go from stationary, and you feel the gearshift at about 30kph but it’s really smooth,” he says. “One of the big things with the eActros is we’ve been able to apply all of the learnings from the Fuso eCanter programmes over the past couple of years.” A key feature of the eActros is its integrated e-axle. Two electric motors along with their cooling and regeneration components and

Truck & Driver | 69

Above: Along with 4x2 rigid models, the eActros 300 will be available as a 4x2 tractor and as 6x2 rigid. Below left: The CCS2 DC charger allows charging from 20kW to 160kW.

Below right: The eActros is built at the Mercedes-Benz Trucks production plant in Worth, Germany. a two-speed transmission are packaged in the rear axle module. There’s no propellor shaft running through the centre of the truck which assists with the packaging. Three battery packs sit across the chassis, guarded from impacts by substantial side under-run protection running most of the length of the wheelbase. It’s easy to see the room that remains available for a fourth battery pack – which upgrades the truck to eActros 400 designation. The curtainsider body on the test unit was built by Elite Trucks Specialist fitted with Structurflex curtains and a tail lift. Matt says all of the body configurations available for an equivalent Actros diesel model can be fitted to the eActros. The only significant difference in the build process is that a technician must isolate the high-voltage system before any build work starts. A key part of the eActros is the eWorks electric PTO (ePTO). Matt says the ePTO will support a number of specialised applications including elevated work platforms and refuse collection. While the Mercedes-Benz eEconic with its low entry cab is primarily designed for roadside refuse collection and other municipal work, Matt says the eActros is well suited to skip bin work. The CCS Combo-2 charging point is DC only and the eActros can be charged at between 20kW and 160kW. The benchmark 20% to 80% charge using a 150kW fast-charging system is estimated to take 1h 15min. The factory warranty is 5 years/360,000km and up to 1800 charge

70 | Truck & Driver

cycles. A full charge to 100% is one charge cycle, however five charges to 80% are counted as being a single full charge cycle. The advantages of charging to 80% include faster turnaround and longer battery life. It also means the full regeneration capacity is available – through the five-stage regenerative braking system. Other tech features of the eActros include the Gen-2 MirrorCam system with 15-inch monitors on the A-pillars and a full safety package featuring Active Brake Assist 5 with pedestrian detection and radar/camera activated Advanced Emergency Braking System. Stability Control, Lane Keeping Assist, Attention Assist, Roll Control Assist and Tyre Pressure Monitoring are standard and series production units will also be equipped with twin radar Side Guard Assist to detect cyclists, pedestrians, and cars when the truck is making a left turn. The cab is the generously proportioned ClassicSpace configuration and any drivers who are familiar with modern Mercedes-Benz diesel trucks should find the driving position, instrument display and switchgear layout to be a familiar experience. The Multimedia Cockpit features two 10-inch high-resolution information screens. The main screen directly ahead of the driver has a speedometer and a state of charge display while a more detailed energy flow display can be accessed on the central screen. As an alert to pedestrians the eActros is fitted with an Acoustic Vehicle Alert System. A warning sounds when the vehicle travels at speeds of up to 60kph to make other road users aware of the vehicle.

The eActros 300 is a 19-tonne GVM unit and has been achieving about 300km of range in New Zealand conditions.

s o r t c A e h t i On the road w Woolston Test drive: Hayden

IT’S NOT THE FIRST CAB OFF THE RANK FOR MEDIUM-DUTY electric truck launches in New Zealand, but the Mercedes-Benz eActros has delivered my first experience of driving an EV in this size category on public roads – rather than a race circuit. Keith Andrews Trucks invited NZ Truck & Driver along to sample its eActros 300 evaluation unit on a South Auckland drive loop from the company headquarters in Wiri. Climbing into the cab the first impression is the architecture remains very similar to the diesel Actros models with the functionalities being the same. The only real difference I could notice was some different information on the dash display and perhaps slightly fewer switches and controls. The route ran down the Southern Motorway and then east through Brookby before looping around back to Papakura and returning to the KAT yard. Like any other electric vehicle, the biggest difference is the absence of combustion engine noise. Mercedes-Benz says the interior noise level is 10 decibels lower than the equivalent petrol model, which is actually half of the sound value. The eActros is particularly quiet, to the point some of the other noises become a more obvious part of the ambiance inside the cab. It’s not often you notice the sounds of an air suspended seat in a combustion engine truck, but I did have the radio turned off. I enjoyed driving with MirrorCam system in the busy Auckland traffic, with its crisp clear vision to the rear displayed on the large A-pillar monitors. It’s a system that I have become used to over multiple tests but more often out in rural settings rather than in busy city and motorway traffic. When it comes to driving technique, the biggest difference compared to a diesel is the way you use the accelerator. By having your foot still slightly on the pedal when coasting, the truck is doing the most efficient job of recuperating energy. If you need to slow a bit more, taking your foot completely off the accelerator then introduces whichever of the 5-stages of `engine braking’ have been selected. It’s not engine braking in the usual sense, but rather five

different levels of energy recuperation from the electric motor back to the battery. The effect is the same however. Once I got the hang of this style it was really good with very little need for using the service brake, apart from the last few moments before coming to a complete stop and an intersection. Our route included the steep Brookby hill heading towards Clevedon. On the climb the truck just holds its speed. It doesn’t feel like it’s trying to pull away with all the torque that’s always available with an electric motor, but the speed isn’t decreasing either. On the descent the 5-stage `engine brake’ holds you at the speed you select and continues to harvest energy without any use of the service brake. Mercedes-Benz is pinning a lot of its future hopes on electric trucks – along with other alternatives including hydrogen fuel cells. It’s going to be interesting to see how they fit into both general freight work as well as some of the more specialised roles which they seem best suited to at this early stage. Hayden Woolston

Truck & Driver | 71

Above: Jon Murray from Beale Trucking Ltd took out Best Kenworth and the Truck of the Show.

Left: Dennis Brown Transport from Eltham shows of its past and its current fleet. Below: Taranaki Truck Show sponsor McCurdy Trucks had three outstanding classics on display. Opposite page above: Father and son William (Left) and Liam Bishop (Right) won the Best UD trophy.

Opposite page below: The Sandford fleet was well represented.

72 | Truck & Driver


ch Story and photos: David Kin

e l y t s n i p u s n r u t i Taranak

THE TARANAKI TRUCK SHOW HAS ALWAYS HAD A GREAT atmosphere and a reputation for being a great day out for the family. Many in the industry and the public had been asking for the return of the local show since the last event back in 2021. With some committee members returning and the addition of some new blood, the truck show meetings got underway last year. This year’s show on Easter Sunday sponsored by McCurdy Trucks raised funds to support the Taranaki Retreat, a suicide prevention initiative that provides ‘space to breathe’ for individuals. Before sunrise on the trucks started to assemble at Port Taranaki for the convoy which would take them through New Plymouth, ending up at the spacious venue of Hickford Park at Bell Block. Many of the 180 plus trucks that were registered for the show turned up to be a part of the convoy which departed at 9am, led by the J.D. Hickman fleet which won the TradeMe auction for the lead vehicle. The convoy was greeted enthusiastically by the public who grabbed any vantage point available to see the impressive sight, waving at the drivers who returned the gesture and tooted their truck horns in return. With the weather playing along the crowds, including many families, followed the convoy and streamed into the grounds to view the fantastic line-

up of gear that had parked up for the day. With entertainment for the kids, music playing and plenty of food caravans to choose from the public were kept entertained, especially by the Uhlenberg Haulage Ltd Tug-O- War Challenge which attracted a large crowd to cheer on the participants. Given that this was the biggest Taranaki truck show in recent memory (perhaps ever) the judges really did have a massive task. Truck of the show and Best Kenworth prizes were won by Jon Murray from Beale Trucking who had his K200 Kenworth bulk unit looking as sharp as ever. Jon keeps his truck to a very high standard so it was great to see him get some recognition. The organisation that goes into a show like this is huge and everyone involved should be applauded. Hopefully they’ll all be back to do it again in 2026.

Truck & Driver | 73



ISZ19131 Giga Launch A4 Press Ad_R03.indd 1

5/07/22 4:53 PM


Main pic: Alex’s last ride was in his much loved Mack Ultraliner with oldest son Jade behind the wheel. Inset: Alex at the 2023 NZHHA conference.

Remembering Alex McLellan

ALEXANDER JAMES MCLELLAN LEFT AN indelible mark on everyone he met during his life journey, with his kindness and caring nature having a huge impact on many lives. This was forever evident when over 2000 people joined Alex’s family for his final farewell on Thursday February 29, 2024 – with over 3,500 more live streaming the biggest farewell ever seen in Balclutha. Alex’s passing has had a massive effect on his family and friends, his staff, the Otago community, the transport industry, and the vintage truck fraternity. “He touched so many hearts and made so many people feel like they mattered,” says Alex’s wife Kim Unahi. “And they did matter to Alex, as you were the number one person during any conversation where he would make you tell him everything about yourself. He made time for everyone and Alex could not finish a conversation as he didn’t know how to say `sorry, I have to go’. “Alex loved what he did and every day he was excited to be going to work – to play in his sandpit with the best toys, new and vintage. “It didn’t matter what he was doing for the day – whether it was driving trucks, or at the office – he thrived on it,” says Kim.

Kim says that McLellan Freight has grown to what it is today because they are both hardworking and genuine people from families who knew that you didn’t get anything handed to you on a plate. “Our destiny was made by being hard workers and getting the job done. And that is what we did together. Alex excelled at problem solving which was evident in our family as we rose up and achieved what needed to be done, even in a crisis. “Our three sons, Jade, Travis and Isaiah, have grown up learning the skill of business from their parents, along with the love of transport from their Dad. “Our sons were taught how to drive trucks at a very young age by their Dad, and all achieved their truck licences by the age of 18-19 years.” Even when Kim was due to give birth to Isaiah, Alex, Jade and Travis where away in a truck delivering water to a customer in Kaka Point before arriving back to the nursing home in Balclutha just in time for Isaiah’s birth. “Our wedding was the same with the January 3 date working in with the time McLellan Freight would not be busy, so that we were back at work on the Monday morning ready for the new year ahead.”

Kim says the three boys learned the business from the ground up, starting as yard boys and progressing up to driving Class 5 trucks with their Dad as their instructor. “They are all very good truck drivers, or `throttle jockeys’ as Alex would call them,” Kim says. “McLellan Freight has been the boys’ backyard, just like Alex’s own upbringing at Clutha Carrying with his Dad.” Alex has been involved in many aspects of the transport industry. “Our business has been eclectic in what we have done over the years and for a long period we were the local towage and salvage company that did it all,” Kim says. Towing and salvaging put Alex in the path of overseas visitors along with working alongside the NZ Police, dealing with vehicle crashes and impounds. “Alex and I did this job for three years – seven days a week and 24 hours a day – before he thought we should have staff to help with the weekend work. “This work laid the foundation for his involvement with the NZ Heavy Haulage Association’s Heavy Recovery Group, with Alex only stepping back from the recovery group last August to let someone else take the reins.” Truck & Driver | 75

The McLellan Freight fleet is a major supporter of the annual Special Rigs for Special Kids event.

Alex put his knowledge to work as an NZHHA board member for about six years. “He enjoyed working with the other board members and chief executive Jonathan Bhana-Thomson, and contributing to an industry he loved,” Kim says. “At times that meant very robust discussions with NZTA representatives, CVST and NZ Police. But Alex never held on to anything or held a grudge if someone didn’t agree with him. He was very good at saying his peace and then moving on.” NZHHA CEO Jonathan Bhana-Thomson says Alex will be greatly missed. “In an elected capacity, Alex was on our Board for six years and was the convenor of our Heavy Recovery Group for about nine years. “Like anything he did, he approached it with a lot of enthusiasm and thought. He had a real ability to ask the hard questions Alex and Kim at the Kenworth 100 celebration earlier this year.

76 | Truck & Driver

while telling great stories at the same time, a combination that often made us look at things in a different way. “On more informal level I would often recruit Alex to be the auctioneer at the association’s auction each year. He was such a natural and so engaging with the ability to elicit bids from people who had no idea they were bidding on something,” Jonathan says. The effort Alex applied to his HHA role was recognised last year at the NZHHA conference in Invercargill where he was presented with the Chairman’s award for the second time. “When they read the story out to the crowd his eyes grew big with disbelief that they were talking about him. He was stunned with shock that he was given such an accolade again,” Kim says. “The best was that this time our youngest son Isaiah and his brother-in-law, Dwayne Unahi and his wife Vicki where there to see Alex receive the award. Alex was certainly humbled by this award and as always gracious in his acceptance.” It wasn’t always an award which saw Alex being recognised. “Alex was well known for his fancy shirts and over the many years of attending conferences he could be found wearing any colour shirt from pink, green to orange, small flowers or big flowers as he always looked good in his shirts,” says Kim. “Many of the other wives there would comment on his shirts and inform their other half about how Alex looked so good in his shirts. It didn’t take long for the other men to start rocking up to conference with some of those fancy shirts too. He had started a trend.” Kim says that Alex was not only a mentor to their own children, but to many others. “Over the years many children began their love of trucks with guidance from Alex. He always made them feel so special and you

could see they just loved coming to visit him, whether it was at his office or in the truck with him. “These children gave him so much joy when they brought in pictures they had drawn for him of trucks or a school calendar with a picture of truck they had drawn. They would sit in his office with him and he would listen with interest and ask questions. These children and their art were worth their weight in gold to Alex.” Alex also mentored many young staff over the years. “We were the training school for truck drivers in our district because we put the mahi in with them and gave them a chance,” Kim says. “Alex always found great satisfaction in seeing where these young men and women had moved on to, from their initial introduction to the transport industry with McLellan Freight to wherever that work took them to in their working life. He knew that he had a part in their journey and that these former staff have gone to new pastures but they did not forget him.” There were many local events and community groups which were special to Alex. “Alex has always been a strong supporter of the Special Rigs for Special Kids event held in Dunedin. We would always have trucks at this event,” Kim says. “Alex believed the children who went in the truck with him should have his full attention and a few goodies to take home from McLellan Freight. We have always had trucks at this event and our staff also supports the cause, taking time out of their day to participate. “Alex was especially proud of Greg Inch and his team who put this event on each year. “One year Alex decided he would outbid everyone on a child’s racing car bed which

The three McLellan boys and their partners (left to right), Jade and Carolyn, Travis and Gemma, Isaiah and Hannah. was up for auction. It would have been fine but our sons were too old for such a bed and who was going to use it? “But don’t you worry, Alex had plans as grandchildren would need it when they came along.” Kim says there have been many changes happening with Transporting NZ and Alex always took an interest in this aspect of the industry. “We were always in the background watching and listening to what was going on, but in recent years we had stepped up our involvement,” she says. “Alex knew that being stuck back in the

old ages was not going to help our industry. We need to all work together, and not against each other. Alex believed we had to get on with new and innovative approaches and he saw the direction that Region 5 was going in was the best way forward and whole heartedly supported the team in its work.” Transporting NZ Interim CEO Dom Kalasih says working alongside Alex was a pleasure. “He always displayed great leadership and put the interests of the industry as a whole to the fore. I saw that many times at Region 5 meetings,” says Dom. “And whatever issue we were discussing, Alex was always looking to the future and

thinking strategically. “As a person he was completely straight up in everything he did, and he was a very strong and clear communicator. “I’d have to say that both Alex and Kim have amazed me with the resilience they’ve shown in the face of real adversity. He just got on with the job and never offered the excuse of not having enough time to be involved or help with something.” Alex was also a strong advocate for the transport industry when it came to discussions with local councils. “He made sure there were discussions with the industry about any roading decisions that

The best advocacy Advice for your business success in the business

Building the next generation

• Connected to Government and regulators to further your issues

• With Te ara ki tua Road to Success we are delivering new drivers our industry• la Arato Aotearoa ,t, ,t, li ransport1ng li ransport1ng

• Major media voices for our industry • Real problem solvers on policybest and technical The advocacy The best advocacy in the business in the chalbusiness lenges • Connected to Government

• Connected to Government and regulators to further your issues to further and regulators la Ara Aotearoa • ,f. your issues


• Major media voices 'Ji for our industry • Major media voices for our


• Real problem solvers on policy and technical • Real challenges problem solvers on

policy and technical challenges

la Ara Aotearoa • ,f.



la Ara Aotearoa • ,f.



• Partnership benefits such as discount fuel schemes

la Ara Aotearoa •

• Tools to improve your business viability eg. cost modelling & Transporting New Zealand Cost Index

• Strong promotional campaigns to drive industry growth

• Connections to legal advice and business tips

•Building Focus on alternative the fuels Building the next generation next generation and sustainabil ity

Advice for your

Advice for your business success business success • Partnership benefits such

as discountbenefits fuel schemes • Partnership such as discount fuel schemes



• With Te ara ki tua Road to •Success With Te tua Road to weara arekidelivering new drivers toare our delivering industry Success we

• Tools to improve your business viability eg. • Tools to improve yourcost & Transporting modelling business viability eg. cost New Zealand Cost Index

• Strong promotional to drive •campaigns Strong promotional industry growth

• Connections to legal advice and business tips

• Focus on alternative fuels and sustainability

modelling & Transporting New Zealand Cost Index

• Connections to legal advice and business tips

new drivers to our industry campaigns to drive industry growth

• Focus on alternative fuels and sustainability




Left: Alex at work.

Right: Naming the latest Kenworth Etera Tipu Express is a tribute to Kim’s father. could affect our businesses,” Kim says. Many local community groups benefitted from Alex’s support and enthusiasm. “We have supported our local communities and the list is long with all different types of sports clubs, fundraisers for schools and families, car shows and rallies, motocross, hunting and fishing competitions, horse racing and shearing competitions. And also support for the St Johns and the Fire Brigades around our district,” Kim says. McLellan Freight also has been moving the Life Education Trust Heartland vehicle around to all the schools in the local district. “This has been going on for years and it was something that Alex enjoyed doing. Most often it was him driving it and me driving him around to pick it up and drop it off.” The history of the transport industry and vintage trucks were of special interest to Alex. “Everyone knew if they are looking for a part for a Leyland or any vintage, they could call on Alex to either help them find one or he’d have one in his own stock. “He involved his family in vintage truck runs, spending weekends meandering around the countryside and travelling on some remote roads that I am not sure trucks should have been on. He loved that his kids would come along with him too. Jade and Isaiah learnt at a very young age to be able to talk to adults about trucks with the same passion his dad had. “Alex loved being at the Kenworth100 celebration at Hamilton in February. He got to talk to so many people he knew and a few new people he didn’t know. He got to fawn over the Kenworths that were on display, and he got to do this while being with his family. “Our latest Kenworth was not quite ready for this event. Alex, Travis and Isaiah had waited till we got to Hamilton to tell me they had named this truck Etera Tipu Express which is my Dad, Taylor’s Māori name. It was humbling they thought of doing this and it is very special to my very large whanau. “When we walked to our table at the Kenworth 100 gala dinner event, Alex looked up and was so proud to see his Legend story playing on the big screens. It was a very proud moment, not just for him but for all of his family that were with him. “Our staff have always been family to us with the majority being with us for many years. It was a testament to Alex to have all his staff driving their trucks on his last run, with trucks and staff looking fantastic and lined up at his farewell. “Alex had written many of his wishes for his farewell and it was evident that his Mack Ultraliner, Mack Pola, was to be the truck he would take his last journey in, with his oldest son Jade at the steering wheel and with his family by his side.

“The old girl needed a big spruce up for the day. It was done by Jemtec Engineering, sorting it out in a short amount of time to carry Alex for his last journey. “Alex loved helping new business people to our district and this young couple, who had only recently moved to Balclutha along with a team of locals went over and above to have the Ultraliner looking a million dollars for his day. “It was such an honour that the CVST and the Police showed their support at Alex’s farewell. It was the largest turnout of officers ever seen in one place,” says Kim. “And he would be exceptionally proud of his youngest boy, Isaiah, standing up with his big brothers to talk about their dad. Looking to the future, Kim says May will be a special month. McLellan Freight celebrates 35 years in business on May 1, and Alex’s birthday is May 13. “We have plenty to celebrate and there’s still plenty of time to achieve good things,” she says. “McLellan Freight has always been Alex’s baby, but we have done it together and over the last five years Alex had stepped back and you would have heard him telling others that `he was just a truck driver and that Kim and Travis ran the business.’ “That’s true about Travis and I, but Alex was never just a truck driver. He was far, far more than that,” Kim says. “He was living his best life and doing his dream job – driving his Kenworth down the road, waving and talking to other truckers on the CB, then talking to the staff at the sites he was picking up from or delivering to. “With Isaiah already on the team, Jade has now joined us all to carry on the family business. “Alex loved being a part of the wide world of transport. He cared about everyone he met and made you feel that you were number one. Maybe that’s why Alex knew so much and so many people. He made time with everyone to learn about them and knowledge was one thing that Alex had in abundance. “Family has always been Alex’s biggest love and he loved us all and we are forever grateful for the time we spent with this man. He has not only left a mark on our hearts but he has done so on his many, many friends, acquaintances, associates and those he only met once. “What made him so special to everyone was that he was just a good bloke who was kind and sincere. His smile and his humour just added to the big man with a big heart.” Alex’s legacy lives on with his wife Kim, Jade, Carolyn, Anaru, Jack and Bailey, along with Travis and Gemma and Isaiah and Hannah and the extensive Unahi McLellan whanau. “The Totara may have fallen but your seedlings are strong and doing you proud Alex.” Truck & Driver | 79

GOING THE EXTRA MILE FOR OUR CUSTOMERS Time is money. Specifically developed for the commercial vehicle sector, the advanced DELFLEET Evolution® paint system offers a complete range of high productivity solutions that are easy to use and achieve exceptional results. To boost throughput and get vehicles on the road faster, complete with outstanding durability, colour and gloss, Delfleet Evolution is perfect for the long-haul!

Follow us online! PPG Refinish Australia & New Zealand


Truckers & Loggers lands marlin magic THE 22ND YEAR OF THE SOUTHPAC TRUCKERS & LOGGERS fishing tournament once again delivered three very fishable days of competition and camaraderie. Fishing commenced on Thursday March 22 with 40 teams joining us in the Bay of Islands in search of game fish, mainly marlin and tuna as well as bottom fishing for snapper and kingfish. Conditions on the water were great with marlin turning up right from the start – eight marlin were tagged and released on the first day. Boats spread out over Northland’s east coast and a prime marlin spot popped just off Berghans with a number caught on live baits. This wasn’t the only area however as there were teams catching marlin off Karikari too. Crews worked both the Bay of Islands and the Cavalli Islands for snapper and kingfish with some very good action from snapper, but the kingies were hard to come by this year. At night the Whangaroa Harbour was the anchorage of choice for many of the crews with several parties taking place and a few boats rafting up for a get together. Truckers & Loggers has always been a good social tournament and this year was no different with many regulars attending, several who have attended every tournament. The event is a great opportunity to meet up with transport operators, log transport and harvesters from all over New Zealand and the networking is great along with the sense of competition. The impressive prize table of Shimano fishing rods, reels, fishing tackle and equipment, Makita power tools from Bay of Islands ITM, Weber barbeques, television sets from 100% Barrell’s Extreme Appliances and Icey-Tek products from Cater Marine tallied up to more than $80,000 worth of prizes.

Andrew Campbell. pictured with Shaun Morse from SI Lodec, the tournaments winner of Most Points gamefish with a 145.8kg striped marlin on 15kg line aboard Matador.

Truck & Driver | 81

Top right: Vipesh Daji pictured with Maarten Durent from Southpac Trucks as winning angler most points Snapper and Kingfish Above left: Maarten Durent from Southpac Trucks with winning gamefish points team Defiance.

Above tight: Team Omen and Maarten Durent from Southpac Trucks earned winning team snapper & kingfish points prizes. This is all made possible by our sponsors, with Southpac Trucks as naming rights sponsors and backed up by Cummins, Iveco, Castrol, Keith Andrews Trucks, Patchell Group, SI Lodec, K&L Distributors, NZ Truck & Driver magazine and NZ Logger magazine. Winning team Defiance this year caught three marlins, two tagged on 15kg line and one landed which weighed in at 124kg. Their total points of 2427 took out a range of prizes with Team Most Points Gamefish as well as Top Angler tag and release, Top Skipper and Top Deckie. In the Snapper section heaviest went to local Blake Williams on Adrenaline with an 8.65kg snapper and for Measure and Release section longest went to Vipesh Daji with a 77cm Snapper. Second

82 | Truck & Driver

was Dean Pollock, team Anchorage with a 74cm fish and in third Alan Syme on Animal with a 71cm snapper. In the kingfish section heaviest went to Mark Beauchamp aboard Reel Evolution with a 14.45kg Kingfish. In the Measure and Release section first went to Jack Pillbrow on Reel Evolution with a 107cm fish, in second was Mack Peach on Matador with a 101cm and third again on Anchorage went to Dean Pollock with a 95cm Kingfish. We had some impressive captors that are also worth mentioning including Andrew Campbell’s (Undies) 145.8kg striped marlin on 15kg line which was landed after a 6.5 hour fight. Another incredible striped marlin of 186.8kg was weighed by Tyson Rhodes aboard Centerfold with skipper Steve Francich. This is

the capture of a lifetime with the fish being over the magic mark of 200Ib. Tyson has been fishing the tournament since he was 18 years old, and this year he turns 40. The boys on Hammamas had a great trip with both Darren Collett and Greg O’Grady, also long-time supporters of the event, tagging a striped marlin each. There was also success for the team from FPS Forestry who have fished with us for a number of years too. They managed to tag two striped marlins for anglers Ross Davis and Chris Rowe. Rodney Kempthorne aboard Ata Rangi took second place T&R marlin for his striped marlin which was tagged on 15kg line. The overall result was that for a tournament of 40 boats fishing for three days we had 18 marlin tagged and released while there were 56 snapper measured and released and three kingies. There were just seven snapper weighed, one kingie and three marlin.

The Southpac Trucker and Loggers supports sustainable fishing practices advantaging teams who Tag and Release game fish and Measure and Release non-gamefish species. Many of the prizes were lucky draws with prizes such as 50w Shimano Reels, an IceyTek 115L chilly bin, a 55-inch television and Weber barbeques. There is also a tournament Calcutta which was won by the top team Mainstream aboard Defiance. Saturday night’s prizegiving at the Bay of Islands Swordfish Club was the usual party with a great turnout. Thanks must go to all our sponsors including, Southpac Trucks, Cummins, K&L Distributors, Iveco, Castrol, Keith Andrews, Patchells, SI Lodec, NZ Truck & Driver and NZ Logger. The provisional dates for the 2025 tournament are March 20-22. Mark your calendars and see you there.

Top: Team Defiance with Maarten Durent from Southpac Trucks as overall points winners with Captain Guy Sutherland and Crewman Zane Williams. Right: Blake Williams pictured with Glenn Heybourn from Patchell Group, winner of the heaviest snapper aboard the boat Adrenaline. Far right: Mark Beauchamp pictured with Jade Whiteman from Cummins, winner of the heaviest Kingfish aboard Reel Evolution. Truck & Driver | 83

Filter HQ Ltd 09-430 0395

K & L Distributors BOP Ltd

K & L Distributors Ltd 09 558 3278


Filter HQ Ltd is the newest member to the Caltex network. Lance Johnston (director) and Stacey Kelly (general manager) are supported by a team of very experienced staff who all operate at a high level. We are proud to be offering our customers Caltex products alongside the filters, batteries and other workshop consumables. Filter HQ have free delivery weekly both North of Whangarei and South to Warkworth. We also offer fleet management options.

Westland Engineering Supplies 03-768 5720

Please do not hesitate to contact us for your quality Caltex lubricants either by phone or email. Office: 09 430 0395 - 0800 4345837 Director: Lance Johnston - 021 533 297 General manager: Stacey Kelly - Email The team:

Delo® 400 SLK with ISOSYN® Advanced Technology

For your nearest Oil Shop Freephone 0800 372 374


Delo® 400 SLK with innovative ISOSYN® Advanced Technology is here. Delivering industry leading durability, reliability and efficiency. It works in synergy with the changing conditions in your engine to maximise protection, optimise performance and extend oil life.

National Road Carriers

Accredited employers: Are you ready for July?

OP Ltd



James Smith, GM Policy and Advocacy, National Road Carriers Association


S OUR WORKFORCE AGES (THE AVERAGE AGE OF KIWI truck drivers is 59) more employers have started sourcing staff from overseas. This became easier with the move to the accredited employer programme in 2022 and then the sector agreement that allowed class four and five drivers a pathway to residency after two years. Both shifts in policy resulted in the surge of overseas workers that arrived 2022 and 2023. Many employers seized upon the opportunity to fill vacancies across all parts of their businesses where there was no local supply of skilled workers. While the current economic situation has eased the pressure with more staff looking for jobs, we know that when the economy lifts, the skill shortage will return and, due to the ageing domestic workforce, it is likely to be more acute than before the slow down. July 1 this year will see the expiry of the first wave of visas issued to overseas workers and the expiry of many employer accreditations as well. If you are an accredited employer or if you employ staff who are in New Zealand on a work visa there are things you need to do as soon as possible to ensure this continues smoothly. Immigration New Zealand will not just roll over accreditation. Employers will need to demonstrate they meet these requirements. There has been exploitation and it is also clear many employers did not fully understand their ongoing obligations or the obligations of their workers should they wish to stay in New Zealand. It is acknowledged that the process of re-opening New Zealand was rushed through to address the demands from businesses that were constrained by lack of staff. For accredited employers you will need to demonstrate: • Your business has not made a loss over the last two years. • Your business has had a positive cash flow each month for the last six months.

• Your business has enough capital or external investment to remain viable. • Your business has a credible two-year plan to ensure it remains viable – for example, a revenue forecast or cash flow projection. • Your business must also comply with New Zealand immigration law, employment and business standards. • You and any key people in your organisation cannot be on the Labour Inspectorate’s stand-down list or permanently banned from hiring migrants. You will also need to demonstrate you are being a reasonable employer and have processes to ensure all workers comply with the conditions on their visas. If you have employed under the sector agreement that leads to residency for class four and five drivers you will need to prove you are meeting the minimum hourly rate of pay and the employee is meeting their requirements. Do not wait until July to get this review process underway because if you have gaps you will not have time to rectify them before your accreditation expires. If your accreditation expires, any workers that you employ will leave your business upon the expiry of their visas. There are self-assessment tools available on the Immigration New Zealand website or, if you think you may have a challenge, reach out to one of the NRC team who can put you in touch with an immigration specialist who understands transport. Now, while the economy is soft, is an opportunity to review whether you have the right people in your business and access to the right skill sets for when the economy recovers and the workload increases. National Road Carriers has access to experts in this specialised field so if there is anything you feel may trip you up or that you require more information on, contact one of our team as soon as possible so we can either answer the question directly or put you in touch with someone who can. Truck & Driver | 85

18 JANUARY 2025



The first of four new Western Star loggers has joined the McCarthy Transport fleet. Working with new in-house McCarthy logging gear and a refurbished McCarthy 4-axle trailer, the 4884FX 8x4 Day Cab has Cummins X15 power, an RTLO-22918B Roadranger, Meritor RT46-160 rear end with 4.30:1 final drive ratio and Airliner rear suspension. Alcoa alloys are shod with 295/80 R22.5 tyres. Paint by Slippers Refinishing Blast & Paint, graphics by Autostripes, Whanganui and sold by Mitch James at Penske Tauranga.


Signs of slowing...maybe? NEW TRUCK REGISTRATIONS IN MARCH WERE DOWN on the same month last year, possibly signalling the first signs of the market slowing from record volumes. NZTA registration data for March 2024 saw 537 new truck registrations (above 4.5t GVM), down from the March record of 654 registrations set in 2023. This total monthly figure also brings the YTD total to 1480, which is also down on last year’s total of 1528. The monthly figure of 537 is a decrease of 17.8% on 654 sales from March 2023 while the YTD total is a 3.14% decrease on the record number achieved in the first quarter of 2023. In contrast the trailer market is achieving record numbers with 409 new registrations in the first quarter, up from 352 in the same period last year and also ahead of the best previous March result of 384 units set in 2018. Fuso was the sales leader in the 4.5t to maximum GVM truck market for March with 132 new registrations. However Isuzu, with 106 registrations in March, remains the market leader YTD with 300 registrations ahead of Fuso on 263. Behind Isuzu and Fuso, the March figures show Scania (173 YTD/57 March) ranking third ahead of Hino (131/46), Volvo (101/26), DAF (94/30), and Kenworth (84/20). UD (73/28) is now ahead of Iveco (68/20), and Mercedes-Benz (61/29) holds its position to round out the top-10. In the 3.5-4.5t crossover segment, Fiat (54/29) has made a comeback to move into the top spot ahead of Ford (46/26). LDV (42/6), MercedesBenz (37/12), Iveco (19/7), Volkswagen (16/12), RAM (15/8), Renault (2/2) and Chevrolet (1/0) are next.

In the 4.5-7.5t market segment Isuzu (106/42) are the clear leaders ahead of Fuso (88/47), Iveco (41/12), Hino (28/8), Foton (25/10), Mercedes-Benz (22/11), Hyundai (15/4) and Chevrolet (14/2). The 7.5-15t segment sees Isuzu (124/43) ahead of Fuso (102/44), Hino (37/10), Foton (13/5) and Iveco (5/3). In the small 15-20.5t category Hino (22/10) is the Q1 leader ahead of Isuzu (15/3), Fuso (12/9), UD (9/3) and Mercedes-Benz (4/0) The ever-shrinking 20.5-23t segment saw just a single registration in the month of March for Scania (2/1) while Fuso and Isuzu both registered one unit earlier in the quarter. Scania’s impressive 56 registrations for the month of March, and 168 YTD, ensures it retains the top spot in the premium 23t to maximum GVM category. Volvo (99/26) continues in number two ranking while DAF (93/30) moves ahead of sister brand Kenworth (84/20). UD (61/25) maintains fifth ahead of Fuso (60/32). Fuso’s strong March sales overtakes Isuzu (54/18) while Hino (44/18), Mercedes-Benz (34/18) and Iveco (19/3) all retain their positions in the top 10. There is no change at the top of the trailer market with Fruehauf (48/11) holding the top spot. Domett (40/16) however had the best monthly registrations in March to move into second ahead of Roadmaster (38/12). Next is Transport Trailers (32/12), Patchell (28/10), M.T.E (20/4), TMC (19/6) and Freighter (15/4) who all maintain their rankings. Fairfax (14/8) moves into ninth ahead of Transfleet (12/1) to round out the top-10 manufacturers for the first quarter of 2024. Truck & Driver | 87

Darren and Paula Cox have a new Iveco S-Way for their Tauranga-based Cox Linehaul operation. The 570hp High Roof Sleeper 6x4 is contracted to Aramex and features the 12-speed ZF TraXon AMT transmission. The striking red paintwork is by Brokers United with the tractor set-up completed by Diesel Solutions Mount Maunganui. Sold by Brent Landers.


Vol 300 263 173 131 101 94 84 73 68 61 38 18 14 12 10 8 7 7 5 4 3 1 1 4 1480


% 20.3 17.8 11.7 8.9 6.8 6.4 5.7 4.9 4.6 4.1 2.6 1.2 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.3 100


Vol 54 46 42 37 19 16 15 2 1 232


% 23.3 19.8 18.1 15.9 8.2 6.9 6.5 0.9 0.4 100


Vol 106 88 41 28 25 22 15 14 7 5 2 353


% 30.0 24.9 11.6 7.9 7.1 6.2 4.2 4.0 2.0 1.4 0.6 100.0

March Vol % 19.7 106 132 24.6 57 10.6 46 8.6 4.8 26 30 5.6 3.7 20 28 5.2 20 3.7 29 5.4 2.8 15 0.7 4 0.7 4 0.7 4 0.4 2 0.6 3 0.6 3 1 0.2 0.6 3 4 0.7 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0 537 100

March Vol % 29 28.4 26 25.5 6 5.9 12 11.8 7 6.9 12 11.8 8 7.8 2.0 2 0 0.0 102 100

March Vol % 42 29.6 47 33.1 12 8.5 8 5.6 10 7.0 11 7.7 4 2.8 2 1.4 3 2.1 3 2.1 0 0.0 142 100

23,001kg-max GVM

Trailer market remains strong 7501-15,000kg GVM Brand ISUZU FUSO HINO FOTON IVECO UD TRUCKS HYUNDAI MERCEDES-BENZ Total

Vol 124 102 37 13 5 3 3 1 288


% 43.1 35.4 12.8 4.5 1.7 1.0 1.0 0.3 100

March Vol % 43 41.0 44 41.9 10 9.5 5 4.8 3 2.9 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 105 100


Vol 22 15 12 9 4 3 3 2 1 71


% 31.0 21.1 16.9 12.7 5.6 4.2 4.2 2.8 1.4 100

March Vol % 10 37.0 3 11.1 9 33.3 3 11.1 0 0.0 0 0.0 2 7.4 0 0.0 0.0 0 27 100

20,501-23,000kg GVM Brand SCANIA FUSO ISUZU Total

Vol 2 1 1 4


% 50.0 25.0 25.0 100

March Vol % 1 100.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 1 100


Vol 168 99 93 84 61 60 54 44 34 19 14 12 10 8 4 3 767


% 21.9 12.9 12.1 11.0 8.0 7.8 7.0 5.7 4.4 2.5 1.8 1.6 1.3 1.0 0.5 0.4 100



% 11.7 9.8 9.3 7.8 6.8 4.9 4.6 3.7 3.4 2.9 2.9 2.7 2.7 2.2 1.7 1.5 1.2 1.2 1.0 1.0 1.0 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 10.3 100

March Vol % 21.3 56 26 9.9 30 11.4 7.6 20 25 9.5 32 12.2 18 6.8 18 6.8 18 6.8 1.1 3 4 1.5 1.5 4 0.8 2 1.1 3 4 1.5 0.0 0 100 263

March Vol % 11 8.6 16 12.5 12 9.4 12 9.4 10 7.8 4 3.1 6 4.7 4 3.1 8 6.3 1 0.8 4 3.1 4 3.1 5 3.9 2 1.6 3 2.3 2 1.6 1 0.8 1 0.8 0 0.0 0 0.0 2 1.6 1 0.8 1 0.8 1 0.8 0 0.0 0 0.0 0.0 0 0 0.0 1 0.8 1 0.8 1 0.8 14 10.9 128 100


A new International 9870 T6 Skyroof is being driven by Reece Etwell for Rolleston-based Tranzstar Freighting. The NZ-built 6x4 tractor works with several trailers on general freight, oversize work and vehicle movements throughout New Zealand. A 550hp Cummins X15 powers the new International with an Eaton Roadranger MXP Ultrashift Plus transmission and Meritor 46-160 axles. Features include alloy bumper, stone guard, fridge and standalone air conditioning. Sold by Shaun Jury.

Symons Transport has a new Scania R 620 carting scrap metals for Global Metals Solutions based from New Plymouth. The 620hp 8x4 with CR20N sleeper cab has a GRSO926R 12-speed Opticruise transmission, RBP735 tandem bogie with hub reduction and rides on full air suspension. Features include Alcoa Dura-bright rims, premium driver’s seat, extendable bunk, fridge, weight sensing system and the full Scania safety and driver assist technology package. Mills-Tui built the tipper and the five-axle trailer featuring an X-treme wide belt floor. Sold by Mark Nurse.

Grab A Fully Built Truck Crane Complete Truck, Body Build, and Crane Solution Compact and Light Strong, sturdy, and durable Smooth operation | 0800 806 464

The Uhlenberg Haulage bulk LPG operation has a new Mack Superliner CXLT based in New Plymouth and driven by Clayton Haakma. Working North Island-wide, the 8x4 is powered by a 600hp MP10 engine matched to the mDrive 12-speed automated transmission and Meritor RT46-160GP axles. The truck features DG spec, PTO hydraulics and drive camera and tows a Lowe’s quad-semi 44,000-litre bulk LPG tanker.

Turners & Growers are using a new Volvo FH16 to move chilled freight between Auckland and Palmerston North. The 600hp 8x4 with i-Shift transmission is fitted with a Fruehauf curtainsider body with Transcold chiller unit and works with a 5-axle Fruehauf trailer.

90 | Truck & Driver

Pedersen Holdings has a new Scania G 540 A6x4NB tractor unit based at Kinleith for chip stockpiling. It tows a 4-axle Patchell high cube off-highway trailer featuring both PTO and live drive hydraulics for the multiple ram set up on the trailer with a 400-litre hydraulic tank done by Total Hydraulics, Rotorua. The Euro 6 540hp DC13 is paired with an Opticruise GRSO905R 12-speed AMT with 4100 retarder, RB735 hub reduction rear end, air suspension front and rear (with scales) and ABS/EBS disc brakes. Dura-bright alloys are fitted along with a fridge and beacon. Sold by Callan Short.

A new Volvo FM 540 for Kawerau’s Metal Solutions is carting scrap metal In the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne regions. Driven by Josiah Atkinson, the 8x4 FM with body by Koromiko Engineering is equipped with a Palfinger PK170001SLD crane and will work with a 5-axle Koromiko trailer on a 50-tonne permit. The Volvo i-Shift transmission has crawler gears, and the Volvo was selected for its horsepower, ground clearance and ease of cab entry/exit. Sold by Mark Ellerington.

Tom and Janine Charlton (T & J Charlton Transport) have a new Kenworth K200 based at Taupo and carting logs to Napier and Mount Maunganui. Justin McDonnell is driving the 2.3 flat roof sleeper unit which is powered by a 600.615hp Euro 5 Cummins X15 producing 2050 lb-ft of torque. The driveline features an Eaton Fuller RTLO 22918B manual transmission, Meritor MT21-165GP rear end with full cross locks and Airglide 460 rear suspension. Patchell Industries did the log gear fit out and 5-axle trailer with features including SI Lodec scales and Big Foot CTI. The cab finish and lighting is by Malcolm Cab Solutions, the livery by Caulfield Signs and the truck was sold by Tim Finlay. Truck & Driver | 91

An impressive new Kenworth T909 has joined the Pollock & Sons Crane Hire fleet in Tauranga. Fitted with a 36-inch mid-roof integrated sleeper, the T909 has a Euro 5 600.615hp Cummins X15, Eaton Fuller RTLO 22918B manual transmission, 7.5t Meritor MFS75 front axle, Meritor MT23-168GP rear axles with dual diff locks and cross wheel diff locks to both axles. With Hendrickson Primaax rear air suspension the T909 has a 131t GVM rating. Extras include a Kentweld bumper, disc brakes, and Alcoa Dura-bright outer wheels. Fleet Image Te Awamutu painted the cab and fuel tanks, Marty’s High Performance Signs did the signage and Truck Centre supplied and fitted the shiny details. The tractor rigging was done in-house at Pollock’s engineering division. Sold by Tim Finlay.

The latest new Scania in Northern Linehaul’s Taupo-based logging fleet is an R 660 B8x4NA sold by Callan Short. The Euro 6 DC16 with 660hp is paired with a Scania Opticruise G33 14-speed AMT with 4700D retarder and RB735 hub reduction rear end. Spring suspension at the front and air rear suspension provides the ride with ABS/EBS disc brakes while scales, V8 leather trim, Dura-bright alloys, drop visor, stone guard, light bar with spot lamps, CTI, and chain tensioners are included in the spec. The R 660 has a new Kraft shorts unit set-up and new Kraft 5-axle multi-bolster trailer. Signwriting by Caulfield Signs.

92 | Truck & Driver

JDN Construction at Kopu has a new UD Quon GW 26-460 going to work as a seven-axle 45t truck and trailer tipper unit to cart bulk fertiliser for the local dairy industry as well as quarry rock and aggregate in the BOP, Waikato and Coromandel. Davy Jones and Tim Berendsen share the driving duties of the 6x4 which will soon be paired with a new Cambridge Welding Services four-axle steel tipper. The GH11 engine develops 460hp driving to a 12-speed Escot-VI AMT. Alcoa alloys are shod with Bridgestone 385/65R 22.5 Super Single fronts and 11R 22.5s on the rear while extras include Airplex tipper skirts, sun visor and stone guard. A Loadsense onboard weighing system will be installed on both truck and trailer on completion of the trailer build by CWS.

IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE MONEY CrediFlex is built on credibility, flexibility, honesty, and integrity. Our Financial Advisers put the right solutions in place to help you grow your business. It’s not about saying yes or no, it’s about understanding what you need and how to deliver the best result for you. CrediFlex partners are nationwide, allowing us to get in and get it done, no matter where you are.





























$30.00 EACH + GST POA From From $65.00 $65.00 EACH EACH ++ GST GST

Auto Air Mechanical Auto Conditioning Service & Repairs Electrical JAPANESE JAPANESETORQUE TORQUE Available at our Penrose and Papakura locations TDM DRIVELINE RANGE ROD RODBUSH BUSH $30.00 $30.00 EACH EACH ++ GST GST HI & LOW BASE


Can’t find the parts you need? Call us we can helpBRAKE SPRING CHAMBERS GENUINE

Ph: 0800 501 133 PARTS


94 | Truck & Driver

2424 / 2430 / 3030 From $65.00 EACH + GST

8 Prescott Street, Penrose, Auckland  Email: I JAPANESE TORQUE ROD BUSH $30.00 EACH + GST










VERSATILITY AT ALL STAGES LIFETIME EXCELLENCE The versatility of the PALFINGER TELESCOPIC Hookloader makes it the most popular choice among buyers. Covering the widest range of container length and lifting capacity on offer, it is configurable to meet a wide variety of standards and satisfy our customers worldwide. Its very low transport height and lightweight contribute to maximizing application options safely. The different comfort levels make this range highly customizable to the needs of the users and the market. HOOKLOADERS FROM 8 - 30 TONNE CAPACITY




For industry leading solutions - talk to our team today. LIFETIME EXCELLENCE is our promise. Delivering exceptional performance in the most delicate of situations, Palfinger provides economical, reliable and innovative lifting solutions supported by a national network of professional service partners - there for the lifetime of the product.

PALFINGER NEW ZEALAND Corner Langley & Mayo Roads, Wiri, Auckland & Service Partners Nationwide

0800 725 346 | PALFINGER.CO.NZ

Delivering Exceptional Service & Support through our National Service Network








Talk to our team today HAYDEN WOOLSTON M: 027 448 8768 E: HAYDEN@TRUCKER.CO.NZ

0800 856 700 (09) 8186 287

6860/875 PRO



WHEN YOU NEED A REPLACEMENT HOIST it pays to ring Hoist Hydraulics

6860/870 NZ




96 | Truck & Driver


• Workshop Foreman – Gore • Workshop Foreman – Dunedin • Auto Electrician – Dunedin • Mechanics – Blenheim, Canterbury, Dunedin,

Visit our website at or apply at


Central Otago, Gore and Invercargill.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.