NZ Truck & Driver July 2024

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| July 2024

July 2024

FEATURE New Stars Set To Shine

BIG TEST Forest Flagship | FLEET FOCUS A Truck Love Story | FEATURE: New Stars Set To Shine

FLEET FOCUS A Truck Love Story

The Official Magazine of

ISSN 2703-6278

Issue 280


Explore Explore Explore The The The Heavy Heavy Heavy Duty Du D

*Based on 2023 MIA sales data across light, medium and heavy duty truck classes.


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



CONTENTS Issue 280 – July 2024


News The latest from the world of road transport including… Engine upgrades across the Mack line-up are headlined by the new 17-litre… Almost $4 billion allocated for pothole maintenance… Progress on roadside drug testing legislation… The latest from the National Livestock Transport Safety Group… Fuel Cell and battery electric haul truck trials in Aussie mines… Action from the FIA European Truck Racing Championship.



New Stars set to shine The highly anticipated Western Star X-Series has arrived. We preview the new line-up of 47X, 48X and 49X models and get a first chance behind the wheel near Brisbane.


Lots of ACTion in Las Vegas Las Vegas recently hosted the 2024 Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo where the latest truck technology and low emissions initiatives were showcased.

Transporting New Zealand Dom Kalasih looks at the current economic challenges, the new Roads of National and Regional Significance programmes and how congestion charging could impact the transport industry.


Our series on landmark Kenworth trucks continues as we tell the story of the first cabover example to arrive in New Zealand. The 1966 Kenworth K923 is currently being restored by Craig Gordon.

Giti Tyres Big Test Forest Flagship: The new Kenworth K220 is becoming a regular sight across multiple transport sectors. With the first 8x4 versions now arriving, we spend a day with the new flagship logger in the Rotorua-based Williams & Wilshier Transport fleet.


FEATURES: 64 Southpac Trucks Legends


Texas treat at SuperRigs Shell Rotella SuperRigs, North America’s annual beauty contest for trucks was held recently at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Teletrac Navman Fleet Focus A truck love story: Smiths Transport based at Port Albert began with an OLB Bedford. Three generations later it’s David and Keryn Smith at the wheel of the family company that has weathered the ups and downs of operating a small regional transport company.



Striking the right note A little winter rain and hail is no deterrent to the hardy southern enthusiasts who turned out for the McDonough’s Contracting Gore Truck Show at King’s Birthday Weekend.

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 In a tough new vehicle market, the truck segment is performing a lot stronger than cars and SUVs with registrations only slightly behind 2023 volumes while the trailer sector remains healthy. Plus, the monthly gallery of new rigs on the road.

COLUMNS: 81 National Road Carriers Association CEO Justin Tighe-Umbers takes a look at how the association works to help shape the future of the trucking industry.



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The Mack Anthem (left) can be specified with a Euro 6 High Efficiency version of the 13-litre MP8 engine while the Titan (right) and Super-Liner now offer 17-litre muscle.

17-litre leads Mack range upgrade THE BIG HEADLINES ARE RESERVED FOR THE 17-litre displacement and 780hp output of the new MP11 Euro 6 engine. But the Mack marque has plenty of other upgrades ready for introduction to customers across its Anthem, Trident, Super-Liner and Titan model lines. The new MP11 Euro 6 engine will give the Super-Liner and Titan models the most powerful drivetrain ever offered in the Mack Trucks range. While full details of the new `big block’ engine have yet to be confirmed, the 17-litre will develop 780hp and deliver an impressive 3800Nm of torque. It will be partnered by an upgraded mDrive transmission. It’s a significant performance boost over the 16-litre MP10 Euro 5 engine which developed 685hp and 3120Nm of torque in its highest output specification for the Titan and Super-Liner. Joining the new 17-litre engine is also an upgraded version of the 13-litre MP8 engine which is designated MP8HE (High Efficiency). The 500hp eSCR Euro 6 MP8HE utilises turbo compound technology to capture extra energy from the engine’s exhaust flow. The result is a 2800Nm torque figure, significantly higher than the Euro 5 Mack MP8 engine.

The new 17-litre MP11 engine can develop up to 780hp. 4 | Truck & Driver

Also included in the revised line-up is the MP8 eSCR in 435hp, 500hp and 535hp ratings. This engine incorporates improved ancillary component efficiency to maximise fuel economy in vocational applications. Features across the updated MP family of Euro 6 engines include new low friction cylinder liners, wave top pistons, a more efficient turbocharger, and a revised electronics system to provide more precise fuel delivery and combustion. There’s also a new generation of safety technology being introduced with the latest Mack models. Mack’s evolution of Bendix Wingman Fusion collision-avoidance technology and a new Mack infotainment system includes a standard rear view camera display (plus optional additional cameras) and an upgraded infotainment unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility along with wireless phone charging. Driver comfort has been enhanced with new cab suspension, a tilt and telescoping steering column and driver’s seat with air suspension for improved driver comfort. One of the features which wowed the crowds at the 2023 Brisbane Truck Show will also be introduced to the New Zealand market. The 70inch, walk-through sleeper will be available for order with Euro 6 SuperLiner and Titan products. Featuring multiple configuration options including single and double bunks, the new sleeper delivers a whole new standard of driver comfort. “We are excited to bring this new range of engines to the New Zealand market,” says Rob Woods, General Manager, MTD, (New Zealand distributor of Mack Trucks). “To be able to offer this level of power and efficiency in heavy transport applications across New Zealand is truly game changing for Mack. Ultimately, the biggest winners are our customers. “From demanding heavy haulage and house moving to forestry operations and bulk cartage, Mack Trucks has now, more than ever, the ability to deliver a better driving experience, greater up time and lower running costs.” The new Mack Euro 6 range – including the 780hp engine – is now available to order and the first vehicles are expected to hit Kiwi roads in early 2025.

$4billion for pothole repairs A COMMITMENT BY THE COALITION GOVERNMENT to deliver $4 billion of funding for pothole prevention has been welcomed by the road transport industry. Transport Minister Simeon Brown says the indicative funding levels for the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) confirmed by NZTA are a record increase in funding to help fix potholes on both State Highways and local roads. “NZTA has confirmed that over the next three years the agency will deliver a record $2.07 billion for State Highway Pothole Prevention and $1.9 billion for Local Road Pothole Prevention,” Mr Brown says. “Compared to spend under the last government’s 2021-2024 NLTP, this represents a 91% increase in funding for State Highway Pothole Prevention and a 50% increase in the total funding for Local Road Pothole Prevention. “We have ringfenced this record investment in the Pothole Prevention Fund to resealing, rehabilitation, and drainage maintenance works to ensure that NZTA and councils get our State Highways and local roads up to the safe and reliable standards that Kiwis expect. “Our Government has inherited a significant backlog of road maintenance across the network. Last year, over 62,000 potholes needed repair on State Highways around New Zealand. We are now catching up on the maintenance deficit to ensure that Kiwis and freight can get to where they need to go, quickly and safely. “Indicative funding levels confirmed under our Government provide councils with much needed certainty as they finalise their Long-Term Plans. It will also enable roading contractors to have a clear pipeline of work in our roading network which will allow more investment in the people and equipment needed for its maintenance.” Both Transporting New Zealand and National Road Carriers Association are fully supportive of the road maintenance investment. “This in the sort of investment we need to do, and it is good to see this is part of a three-year plan which shows a commitment to better roads. That’s not only good for our members, but it’s good for all Kiwi motorists,” says


Transporting New Zealand interim CEO Dom Kalasih has welcomed the three-year commitment to pothole repairs.

Transporting NZ Interim CEO Dom Kalasih. He says a recent study by the Ministry of Transport says heavy trucks cover 76% of their public sector roading costs, the most of all road users. “Our truckies are more than happy to contribute via road user charges to a system that focuses on keeping the roads up to a high standard,” Kalasih says. Justin Tighe-Umbers, CEO of NRC says the roads are a workplace for the transport industry, and safety is linked to a quality, maintained road network. “We are extremely pleased to see this coming through as a priority,” he says. “Our potholed roads cause millions of dollars of damage to trucks and cause physical and mental health issues for drivers. We know of drivers who have stopped working because of the stress caused by our substandard roads. “New Zealand has badly potholed roads because road maintenance was previously inadequately funded from pay-as-you-go road user charges levied on trucks instead of being well funded and built as core infrastructure from the outset. “Until now we funded our roads on a consumption model rather than an investment model, so we were constantly falling behind. “We like that the Coalition Government has ringfenced the investment in the Pothole Prevention Fund to resealing, rehabilitation, and drainage maintenance works to ensure State Highways and local roads are brought up to a safe and reliable standard. “Potholes have attracted a lot of unwanted attention over the last couple of years as New Zealanders nationwide have vented their pothole frustrations across every communication medium possible. “While the frustrations are real, no one could envy NZTA’s growing fix it task on a shoestring budget. Today’s announcement that the Government is delivering on its commitment to boost funding for pothole prevention is welcome relief across the board.”

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NEWS Well designed stock yards will benefit both animal welfare and transport efficiency.

Feedback will improve livestock transport THE NATIONAL LIVESTOCK TRANSPORT SAFETY Group (NLTSG) has put a call out for the industry to provide feedback when they encounter poor loading facilities – whether it’s a driveway, roading or vegetation issue. The group is currently finalising a standard Terms of Trade for the processing companies to sign off as well as establishing Design Guidelines for stock yards and loading facilities that will benefit both animal welfare and transport efficiency. “When we talk about the poor facilities we are putting up, the processing companies and the Stock and Station companies often respond by saying `show us the evidence and we will deal with the supplier’,” says NLTSG chair Don Wilson. “If drivers and dispatchers can send us photos of the issues they face, along with the details of the pick-up address and delivery address to, we will follow it up with the appropriate people. “The more information we can collate the more help we can give the industry,” Don says.

Over the past two-and-a-half years the NLTSG has been working on a Livestock Charter, based on similar principles to those established by the Log Transport Safety Council. “It has a multitude of regulators (NZTA, WorkSafe, MPI) involved as well as MIA , Stock & Station Assoc., Dairy NZ , Federated Farmers, Meat Processors and representatives from the transport Industry to try and get the sector working together to fix the multitude of issues we are facing on a regular basis,” says Don. “A lot of time and effort has been put into these and when they are finalised they will be signed off by all the parties involved. This will hopefully change the pressures the sector has been put under over the years. “We are also looking at the issues at processing plants which have unrealistic delivery schedules, especially around delivery times and waiting times at plants due to lack of yard space. The NLTSG looks after the interests of approximately 95% of the commercial livestock transport industry, comprising around 280 companies operating 2600 livestock transport vehicles.

Five rounds for Super Truck Championship THE 2024-25 NAPA AUTO PARTS NZ SUPER TRUCK Championship calendar follows the same timeline as the recently completed season. The championship remains a five round contest with the Labour Weekend season opener at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon over the October 18-20 weekend. The trucks are a popular part of Manfeild’s annual OctoberFAST meeting which gets the summer motor racing season underway. Following the Christmas-New Year holiday break the truck teams head south for the first of three events with Levels Motor Raceway at Timaru hosting the second round on January 24-26. Back-to-back weekends of South Island racing take place at Invercargill’s Teretonga Park Raceway on March 14-16 and then at Euromarque Motorsport Park Ruapuna near Christchurch on March 21-23.

The calendar then brings a return to Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon for the April 4-6 championship finale. Manfeild will host the opening and final rounds of the NAPA Auto Parts NZ Super Truck Championship. Photo: Geoff Ridder

Truck & Driver | 7


The Best Fleet prize at the 2023 Bombay Truck Show was won by Porters.

Get ready for Bombay Truck Show `24 THE CALL TO BE PATIENT IS ALMOST OVER FOR drivers intending to enter the UDC Show & Shine at the 2025 Bombay Truck Show. Registrations will open on July 1 with a limit of six trucks per company. “We now know our limit and will only register 465 trucks. We have had to close it off every year, so make sure you get in quick,” says show coordinator Marieka Morcombe. “The prizes have already been ordered and we think they are the best yet.” Interest in the third edition of the Bombay Truck Show is already strong. “With the state of the economy, perhaps even more pointedly the trucking industry, I thought we might see hesitation in regards to companies signing up for trade stands,” Marieka says.

“But the response has been really positive. Nearly all sites are already sold with just a couple remaining under offer. We have a few new companies joining us this year which adds a new level of excitement.” Jointly sponsored by Transfleet Trailers and Allied Petroleum, the Bombay Truck Show takes place on Saturday January 18 at the Bombay Rugby Club grounds. The charity event raises funds for Franklin Hospice, Leukaemia and Blood Cancer NZ and the Bombay Rugby Club. The three groups have already benefitted by a combined amount of over $150,000 raised from the 2020 and 2023 events. The entry process for the UDC Show & Shine entries will be announced on the Bombay Truck Show Facebook page on July 1.

Industry giants in battery joint venture AMPLIF Y CELL TECHNOLOGIES IS THE NAME selected for the new battery production joint venture between Accelera by Cummins, Daimler Trucks & Buses US and PACCAR. The new strategic collaboration will advance zero-emissions technology for electric commercial vehicles and industrial applications while also localising battery cell production and the battery supply chain in the United States. Amplify will soon begin construction of a 21-gigawatt hour (GWh) factory in Marshall County, Mississippi, with potential for further expansion as demand grows. The factory is expected to create more than 2,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs and is targeting the start of its production operations in 2027. Amplify Cell Technologies has also named Kel Kearns as the new 8 | Truck & Driver

Chief Executive Officer. Kearns will lead Amplify in producing lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery cells that create value for commercial vehicle customers in North America. Kearns’ career spans several decades holding various roles in automotive and manufacturing industries, with his most recent responsibility focused on large-scale electric vehicle manufacturing. Accelera, Daimler Truck and PACCAR each own 30% of the JV business. EVE Energy serves as the technology partner with 10% ownership and contributes its industry-leading battery cell design and manufacturing expertise to the venture. EVE Energy is a global technology leader in the manufacture of LFP battery cells for the vehicle industry.

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Cutaway of Volvo’s H2 Ice truck configuration shows in-line six-cylinder engine and five hydrogen storage tanks.

Volvo trials hydrogen combustion VOLVO HAS JOINED THE RANKS OF TRUCK MAKERS developing internal combustion engines which run on hydrogen. On-road tests with Volvo trucks using hydrogen in combustion engines will begin in 2026, and the commercial launch is planned towards the end of this decade. Trucks that run on green hydrogen provide a significant step for Volvo to achieve its net zero goal and support customers to reach their decarbonisation targets. Trucks that run on green hydrogen instead of fossil fuels provide one way to decarbonise transport. Hydrogen trucks will be especially suitable over longer distances and in regions where there is limited charging infrastructure, or time for, recharging of batteries. Volvo will begin customer tests with trucks using hydrogen in combustion engines in 2026, and the trucks will be commercially available towards the end of this decade. Already, testing in labs and in vehicles is ongoing. The hydrogen-powered combustion engine trucks will complement Volvo’s offering of other alternatives, such as battery electric trucks, fuel cell electric trucks and trucks that run on renewable fuels, like biogas and HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil). “Trucks where the traditional internal combustion engine remains but runs on hydrogen will have the same performance and reliability as our diesel trucks, but with the added benefit of potentially net zero CO2

emissions well-to-wheel. They will be a valuable complement to our battery electric trucks, which have been on the market for several years,” says Jan Hjelmgren, Head of Product Management and Quality, Volvo Trucks. Volvo trucks with combustion engines powered by green hydrogen have the potential to deliver net zero CO2 well-to-wheel when using renewable HVO as ignition fuel and are categorized as “Zero Emission Vehicles” (ZEV) under the agreed new EU CO2 emission standards. “It’s clear that several kinds of technology are needed to decarbonise heavy transport. As a global truck manufacturer, we need to support our customers by offering a variety of decarbonisation solutions, and customers can choose their alternative based on transport assignment, available infrastructure and green energy prices,” says Hjelmgren. Volvo trucks with hydrogen-powered combustion engines will feature High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI), a technology where a small amount of ignition fuel is injected with high pressure to enable compression ignition before hydrogen is added. The advantages of this technology include higher energy efficiency with lower fuel consumption, and increased engine power. Volvo Group has signed an agreement with Westport Fuel Systems of Vancouver, Canada to establish a joint venture utilizing HPDI technology. The joint venture is anticipated to become operational in the second quarter of 2024, following formal closing. Truck & Driver | 11


Gearing up for TMC show The TMC Trucking Industry Show puts the industry into the public eye.

THE TMC TRAILERS TRUCKING INDUSTRY SHOW WILL be held on March 8, 2025 at the Canterbury Agricultural Park. The show celebrates the professionalism of drivers while bridging connections with the wider public. The event offers a dynamic platform for industry pioneers, enthusiasts, and stakeholders to converge and explore the latest advancements in the field. Despite the challenges posed by the current economic climate, the importance of staying connected remains paramount. The TMC Trailers Trucking Industry Show continues to serve as a vital industry initiative, encouraging younger generations to aspire to work in the trucking industry. Bookings are now open for exhibitors and sponsors who want to showcase their range of services or supplies at the event.

The most recent event was held in late-2022 and changes for the 2025 event include a revamped floor plan to enhance traffic flow. Two areas being expanded for the 2025 show include the free Kids’ Zone and the Classic Truck display. TR Group is introducing a Trucking Relay competition, which was first held in 2018 and was a huge hit for spectators. A grandstand will be erected so friends and colleagues can cheer on their teams. Drivers can enter, forming teams of three and compete for prizes on the day. The Show and Shine trucks will be a major attraction with the awards ceremony scheduled for 4pm, followed by a networking evening for attendees to connect and unwind. NZ Trucking Association has organised the event since 2014 with TMC Trailers being the naming rights sponsor since the inaugural show. 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

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Scania is developing autonomous mining trucks which will debut in Australia.

Scania sets autonomous mining plans




AUSTRALIA WILL BE THE FIRST MARKET TO receive Scania’s new autonomous mining trucks. Scania announced in mid-May that orders for its self-driving mining trucks have opened, starting with a 40-tonne heavy tipper. A 50-tonne model will follow shortly afterwards. The first deliveries are scheduled from 2026 and following the introduction to Australian mines, the next market in line will most likely be Latin America, a region where Scania has a significant market presence in the mining segment. “The transition from research and development to the launch of a commercial product is a major milestone for us and for autonomous heavy transport in general. This is the most advanced product Scania has put on the market so far,” says Peter Hafmar, Vice President and Head of Autonomous Solutions at Scania. Mines have long been seen as one of the most promising environments for autonomous vehicles, as they can contribute to safer working conditions and more efficient operations. Scania says its mining models – based on smaller, civil-class trucks – also have potential advantages over the industry’s traditional heavy haulage trucks, both in terms of emissions and productivity. By utilising Scania’s autonomous mining trucks, the overall mining footprint including energy and infrastructure requirements can be reduced, meaning that capital and operating expenses may also be reduced at suitable sites. Scania’s autonomous trucks can also be smoothly fitted into an existing operations set-up in a mine, thanks to their interoperability with other systems and vehicles. “Another benefit with our solution is that it allows mining companies to more quickly take the next step towards zero-emission operations. It’s easier to electrify operations with Scania’s autonomous trucks compared with traditional heavy haulage trucks,” says Hafmar. Over the past ten years, Scania has invested heavily in the development of self-driving vehicles. Innovations include applications for hub-to-hub transport on highways as well as autonomous vehicles for confined areas such as mines.

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NEWS Iveco is providing a fleet of multi-energy trucks to transport Metallica’s M72 European tour.

Iveco moves Metallica NEW GENERATION IVECO TRUCKS ARE DELIVERING the European leg of the Metallica M72 World Tour. The tour runs through nine European cities from May to July and follows on from the launch of Iveco’s renewed 2024 range of vehicles featuring the song It’s Electric as performed by Metallica. Ground transport for the European leg of the tour will be provided by an Iveco multi-energy fleet to support the band in reducing its environmental impact as it moves its equipment and production gear between venues. The convoy includes 10 S-Way heavy-duty Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) vehicles and four S-Way trucks powered by renewable diesel. The use of these lowcarbon fuels that are available today at scale will contribute to reducing the CO2 emission impact of the Tour on the road. Additional logistics support will be provided by a complementary convoy of two electric Iveco S-eWay vehicles (the first electric-born heavy-duty truck

fully manufactured by Iveco), two S-Way LNG trucks and one S-Way truck powered renewable diesel. An Iveco S-eWay Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle will join the fleet in Spain for the final dates of the tour. The crew shuttle service to concert venues throughout the European tour will be provided by Iveco Bus, the urban, intercity and tourist bus brand of Iveco Group. Two eDaily electric minibuses and a renewable diesel-compatible Evadys coach will be used in the different cities, ensuring that the staff move about sustainably and comfortably. Iveco Group’s Centro Stile designed a special edition livery for the entire fleet, taking inspiration from the colours featured on Metallica’s 72 Seasons album, which centres on the formative first 18 years of life, or 72 seasons, that are full of growth and evolution. The trucks are painted black with a bright yellow finish, and the front grille proudly displays the iconic Metallica logo.

CAL Isuzu makes leadership appointments CAL ISUZU HAS ANNOUNCED THE promotion of two staff into Dealer Principal roles. Jared Keenan, Group Sales Manager and CAL Isuzu Auckland Branch Manager, will take the added responsibility of Dealer Principal for the dealership. At the CAL Hamilton site, Alex Boles will be promoted from Branch Manager to Dealer Principal. The appointments are effective immediately. “Jared and Alex have worked for CAL Isuzu for several years and risen through the ranks across a variety of positions, so they have expert first-hand knowledge of many facets of the business,” says Ashok Parbhu, Managing Director of CAL Group. “Their knowledge of the CAL organisation and also Isuzu Trucks is instrumental in setting up a strong management structure for the future.” CAL Isuzu is the country’s largest Isuzu Truck retailer and most recent winner of the

annual Grandmaster awards. “Longevity and trust are cornerstones to any business, not just externally with customers but also the relationship with staff inside the operation, so It’s always heartening to see a business such as CAL Isuzu recognising talent and promoting from within,” says Dave Ballantyne, General Manager of Isuzu Trucks New Zealand. “It’s important to have people with a high level of experience and product knowledge in key roles like this, not just for CAL but the Isuzu Truck brand and our customers. “Together with Ashok, I would like to congratulate Jared and Alex on becoming the newest Dealer Principals in the network and I wish them every success as we strive to retain Isuzu Truck’s Number One position in the market.” The appointments follow Isuzu Trucks regaining the title as the most popular new truck brand in New Zealand for 2023.

Alex Boles

Jarred Keenan Truck & Driver | 15


MAN moves MotoGP champions THE DUCATI LENOVO MOTOGP TEAM HAS FOUR new MAN TGX 18.520 trucks to transport its bikes, workshop equipment, spare parts and hospitality trailers to all European circuits. The factory Ducati squad fields double MotoGP world champion Francesco Bagnaia and follow Italian Enea Bastianini in the premier class of motorcycle Grand Prix racing. The collaboration is for the 2024 and 2025 and is a further partnership between MAN and Ducati, both brands of the Volkswagen Group. “The four new MAN trucks with their 520hp stand for technology, comfort, performance and efficient fuel consumption. These characteristics are needed to bring the Ducati Lenovo Team to the European circuits of the MotoGP championship in the best possible way,” says Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati. The four MAN TGX 18.520s, naturally in traditional Ducati red, are equipped with the largest GX cab and are powered by a 12.8-litre inline six-cylinder diesel engine developing 520hp and maximum torque of 2,650Nm. The MAN OptiView mirror replacement system is fitted to the team trucks. The camera system replaces the rear-view mirrors to enable a better view of the vehicle’s surroundings, which benefits the safety of the driver, the load and, above all, other road users – such as motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians. Attention is also paid to driver comfort and ergonomics with the trucks

MAN TGX 18.520 trucks are hauling the Ducati Lenovo Team to MotoGP races in Europe. equipped with air-sprung leather seats with lumbar support and shoulder adjustment, a multifunction steering wheel, a digital 12.3-inch instrument panel, MAN EasyControl for operating four functions directly from the open driver’s door. Other features include beds with slatted frames and headboard adjustment, a pull-out refrigerator, various storage compartments, 12 and 24V sockets and USB ports, MAN SmartSelect for complete infotainment management and integrated navigation system, MAN sound system and the MAN RIO Box. The latter enables the activation of all digital services – from fleet management and predictive maintenance to software updates over the air.

Roadside drug testing laws promised LEGISLATION THAT WILL ENABLE roadside drug testing is expected to the passed by the end of this year. The Coalition Government will introduce legislation as part of its commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, says Transport Minister Simeon Brown. “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In 2022, alcohol and drugs were contributors to 200 fatal crashes on our roads. Despite this, only 26% of drivers think they are likely to be caught drug driving. “The previous government passed legislation to introduce roadside drug testing, however two years later, no progress has been made as the legislation was flawed and unworkable as the roadside tests needed to be suitable for evidentiary standards, rather than screening standards,” Mr Brown says. 16 | Truck & Driver

Speaking at the launch of Road Safety Week, Mr Brown said that legislation will be introduced this year to give Police the power to randomly screen drivers for drugs at the roadside using oral fluid testing devices, similar to drinkdriving enforcement. “Oral fluid testing is common overseas and is an easy way to screen for drugs at the roadside. Our approach will bring New Zealand in line with Australian legislation and will remove unnecessary barriers that have delayed the fight against drug driving,” Mr Brown says. The Coalition Government is committed to giving Police the tools they need to improve the detection of drug driving and will set targets for Police to undertake 50,000 oral fluid tests per year once roadside drug testing is implemented. “For too long, drug drivers have put other road users at risk with very limited enforcement. Those days are over, and anyone driving while

impaired by drugs can expect to be caught and face serious consequences under our drug testing regime.” Legislation is expected to be introduced to Parliament by the middle of the year and passed towards the end of 2024. Transport Minister Simeon Brown.

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Clean Monsters on trial THE WEST AUSTRALIAN MINERALS INDUSTRY IS emerging as a testing ground for new heavy haul truck technologies with both battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell trials gaining momentum in recent weeks. The electric initiative is an industry-first, with Rio Tinto and BHP collaborating on testing of large battery-electric haul truck technology in the Pilbara, Western Australia. The two companies will work with manufacturers Caterpillar and Komatsu to conduct independent trials of their battery-electric haul trucks, including testing of battery, static and dynamic charging systems, to assess performance and productivity in the Pilbara environment. The collaboration reflects the individual commitments made from BHP, Rio Tinto, Komatsu and Caterpillar to support Rio Tinto and BHP’s shared ambition of net zero operational greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. As part of the collaboration, two Cat 793 haul trucks will be trialled from the second half of 2024, and two Komatsu 930 haul trucks tested from 2026 at mine sites in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. Caterpillar and Komatsu will each provide one truck each to both BHP and Rio Tinto for these trials. BHP will trial the Caterpillar trucks, while Rio Tinto will trial the Komatsu trucks. Outcomes of the trials will be shared between BHP and Rio Tinto. These trials represent the first stage of battery-electric haul truck testing at BHP and Rio Tinto’s Pilbara operations. Ongoing testing, development and refinement of truck and battery design is anticipated with each manufacturer. This will inform the approach for testing a larger number of haul trucks and the potential deployment of battery-electric haul truck fleets into each company’s operations. “This collaboration brings together two leading global miners with two of the world’s biggest manufacturers of haul trucks to work on solving the critical challenge of zero-emissions haulage, says Simon Trott, Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive. “There is no clear path to net zero without zero-emissions haulage, so it’s important that we work together to get there as quickly and efficiently as we can. Testing two types of battery-electric haul trucks in Pilbara conditions will provide better data, and by combining our efforts with BHP we will 18 | Truck & Driver

accelerate learning. “As we work to repower our Pilbara operations with renewable energy, collaborations like this move us closer to solving the shared challenge of decarbonising our operations, and meeting our net zero commitments.” BHP President Australia Geraldine Slattery says replacing diesel as a fuel source requires the development of a new operational ecosystem to surround the fleet. “We need to address the way we plan our mines, operate our haulage networks, and consider the additional safety and operational considerations that these changes will bring,” she says. “This is why trials are so critical to our success as we seek to test and learn how these new technologies will work in practice and integrate into our mines. “We’ve already seen a step-change reduction in Scope 1 and 2 operational greenhouse gas emissions through switching some of our supply to renewable electricity, and we are looking to build on that progress through development of battery-electric technology to reduce diesel usage across our operations.” The upcoming trials are the next phase in accelerating the potential for deploying zero emissions haul trucks. In 2021, Rio Tinto and BHP worked with both Caterpillar and Komatsu to support the development and validation of their prototype battery-electric haul trucks. The trucks included in these trials are based on these prototypes. Fuel cell electric technology is also set to be trialled near Perth with a hydrogen-powered Liebherr T 264 haul truck prototype reaching a significant milestone by operating using hydrogen power for the first time on May 10. Delivered in collaboration with mining and green energy company Fortescue, the prototype – dubbed Europa – features a 1.6MWh battery (developed by Fortescue WAE) and 500 kilowatts of fuel cells. In June 2022, Fortescue and Liebherr established a partnership for the development and supply of zero emissions mining haul trucks. Liebherr began delivering the first of Fortescue’s T 264 diesel electric trucks in 2023, which will be converted to zero emission technology before the end of the decade. “With Europa soon moving to site, Liebherr and Fortescue have taken an important step closer to their common target of developing and building


The battery electric Komatsu 930E (facing page) and the CAT 793 (above) are being trialled by Rio Tinto and BHP in the Pilbara region. Below: Liebherr is working with Fortescue in trials of the hydrogen fuel cell Liebherr T264. zero emission solutions for the mining industry that are both field proven and energy agnostic,” says Joerg Lukowski, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Liebherr Mining. “This success demonstrates the incredible capabilities of two Tier 1 companies working together to develop viable technologies today that can help the mining industry move towards a decarbonised future.” The prototype can store 380kg of liquid hydrogen to power the 500kW of fuel cells. “Following the success of our battery electric haul truck prototype at site,

we’re thrilled to now have Europa up and running on hydrogen,” says Dino Otranto, Fortescue Metals Chief Executive Officer. “This is a huge achievement for the team and brings Fortescue another step closer to having a fleet of zero emission trucks at our sites by the end of this decade. “We’re aiming to transport Europa to our mining operations within the coming weeks where it will then undergo further site-based testing and commissioning. The subsequent test results will inform our future fleet of zero emissions trucks that we’re delivering with Liebherr.”

Truck & Driver | 19


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Norbert Kiss (left) and Jochen Hahn leading the field at the Slovakia Ring. HUNGARY’S NORBERT KISS HAS MADE A POWERFUL start in his bid to win a sixth FIA European Truck Racing title. Kiss began the 2024 Goodyear FIA European Truck Racing Championship season at Italy’s Misano circuit on May 25-26 with a unbeaten performance, topping both qualifying sessions and winning all four races in his Revesz Racing MAN. And a fortnight later Kiss was unbeaten again with four more wins when the second round of the championship was contested at the Slovakia Ring near Bratislava. Kiss kicked off his campaign by clinching pole position at Misano, which he later converted to a victory in a rain-affected season-opening race. Kiss extended his unbeaten run through the remainder of the weekend, clinching yet another pole on Sunday and three further race wins, including two semireversed grid races, where he had to make his way through the field. The dominant display meant he accumulated 60 points out of 60 possible and the repeat effort in Slovakia positions the reigning champ with a commanding series lead. The perfect 120-point total sees Kiss 37 points ahead of his closest

opponent, Jochen Hahn (Germany), who has finished second on five occasions driving his Iveco. Other drivers to achieve podium results have been Germany’s Steffi Halm (Iveco) with three second placings while Sascha Lenz (Germany) and Antonio Albacete (Spain) have traded third placings with their MANs. Lenz is third in the championship, 14 points behind Hahn and four ahead of Albacete. In the new-for-2024 Chrome classification, Germany’s Steffen Faas (Scania) led the standings following Misano with 51 points. But an unbeaten effort at the Slovakia Ring pushed MAN racer José Eduardo Rodrigues (Portugal) into the category lead. Rodriquez has 105 points chased by Faas with 83 points while British racer Mark Taylor (MAN) is within striking distance, only six points down on the German. The third round of the champion is at Zolder (Belgium) on June 22-23 followed by the German round at the Nurburgring on July 13-14 and the seven-week mid-season break ahead of round five at the Most circuit in the Czech Republic on August 31-September 1.

New racing rubber ALL OF THE TRUCKS R ACING IN the Goodyear FIA European Truck Racing Championship this season are using a newly developed Goodyear racing tyre. Goodyear is the exclusive tyre supplier and title partner of the ETRC and its new truck racing tyre compound has been developed to deliver more grip, especially in wet conditions. The new tyres also offer increased durability, supporting sustainability efforts by reducing the number of tyres used throughout the season. The ETRC regulations mandate the use of a single tyre for a wide range of conditions across various circuits: from dry tracks to wet, cold, and hot surfaces across different circuits. It can pose a challenge to ensure optimal performance throughout the series. The new tyres also offer increased durability and with fewer tyres required throughout the season, teams will be able to further reduce their environmental footprint. Since 2022, Goodyear have been using

casings from used racing tyres for on-road retreading and these efforts are continuing into the 2024 season. After the races, used

truck racing tyres undergo a retreading process, giving them a second life as products that can once again be used by transport companies.

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Truck & Driver | 21

NEWS The pacemaker lights in the Burnley Tunnel are improving traffic flow.

Tunnel vision in Melbourne TECHNOLOGY INTRODUCED TO ENCOURAGE DRIVERS to maintain speed, rather than reduce it, seems like a rarity in modern times. But Australia’s first pacemaker lighting system is having a significant impact on Melbourne’s peak hour traffic since it was introduced to the Burnley Tunnel 12 months ago. The pacemaker lights give drivers a nudge to maintain their speed on the Burnley Tunnel’s steep incline. And one year on, it’s reported the lights are doing the job. Since their installation there’s been a 17% increase in speed (about six km/h) through the tunnel during the morning peak and a 12% increase in the evening peak. “Over the course of the day between 7am–7pm motorists are travelling through the Burnley Tunnel 10% faster now compared to before the lights were installed,” says Phil Naulls, General Manager Operations at Transurban. The journeys are also smoother, particularly in the morning peak which has seen a 70% reduction in stop start traffic. The improvement is not just restricted to peak hours. Drivers travelling around the city on the weekend are also benefiting from the lights’ impact on traffic, with Saturday journeys through the tunnel around 15% faster and Sunday trips 13% faster. And when there has been congestion in the tunnel, traffic is recovering to the normal speed limit 95% faster compared to before the lights were installed.

These results are even more impressive considering traffic across the CityLink network in Melbourne has increased by 2.2% in this same time period, with more than 1,600 extra vehicles getting through the tunnel between 7am and 7pm. “While there are more vehicles in the tunnel, drivers are actually going faster. So, we’re getting more people through, and in quicker times,” Naulls says. The improved traffic flow is also beneficial for trucks. “We’ve seen 30% fewer truck breakdowns since the pacemaker lights were switched on. This is because truck drivers aren’t using their brakes as frequently,” Naulls says. “With the lights operating, truck drivers can maintain consistent speeds, lowering stress on their engine and resulting in fewer truck breakdowns. “Truck breakdowns are the single biggest factor for congestion on the network, so anything we can do to reduce breakdowns makes a difference for motorists on CityLink.” As part of a major upgrade of the Burnley Tunnel, Transurban also replaced the tunnel’s operational lighting system with LED lighting. The new LED lighting is not only 35% brighter than the existing lights but also 25% more efficient and since January, CityLink is using 100% renewable energy from Victoria.

New truck safety campaign launched AN AUSTRALIAN DEVELOPED TRUCK ROAD SAFETY Programme has been shared with the New Zealand Trucking Association for use locally. Australia’s National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has launched a road safety campaign based around the message ‘Don’t #uck With A Truck’– with ‘Don’t Truck It Up’. It’s targeted at learner drivers and the campaign features social media personality Luisa Dal Din, demonstrating a range of safety scenarios including turning, stopping, and overtaking a truck. The combination of humour and shock-factor in the campaign is designed to grab the attention of young drivers, to help push the message of road safety and awareness around heavy vehicles. There are so many distractions in a young person’s life, like mobile phones or gaming, so the campaign uses these objects to show how quickly things can change when you make a wrong decision around a truck. Heavy vehicle safety is not a big topic among young people, but the goal is to join the conversation and help teach inexperienced drivers how to safely share the road with a truck. For the year 2022 in New Zealand there were 51 fatal crashes, 166 serious injury crashes, and 539 minor injury crashes where trucks were involved. In these crashes, 62 people died, 208 people were seriously injured, and 727 people suffered minor injuries. The programme was launched in New Zealand during ‘Brake’ Road Safety Week in late-May. “It’s a good time to load the campaign to all our social networks with the 22 | Truck & Driver

hope of catching the attention of NZ young drivers and to send a reminder to all other drivers to refresh their memory of a truck’s capabilities,” says Carol McGeady, COO NZ Trucking Association.

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The new Kenworth K220 becomes the flagship of the Williams & Wilshier Transport fleet.

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HERE’S A SHINY AND STYLISH NEWCOMER AT WORK IN the Bay of Plenty forests, and it hasn’t taken long for it to spark up a bit of conversation on the CB and bush radio. The new flagship for the Rotorua-based Williams & Wilshier Transport fleet is a Kenworth K220 8x4 logger in 2.3m flat roof sleeper cab configuration. While the exterior changes from Kenworth’s previous K200 generation are pretty subtle, the eyes of logging truck drivers and loader operators are sharp – and they like what they see. This brand new K220 is only on its fourth working day when New Zealand Truck & Driver catch up with driver Jordan van den Broek. And there were plenty of comments and questions across the airwaves about New Zealand’s first K220 logger during our Big Test run with Jordan in the Matahina Forest. “It’s always interesting when you see new gear come out here,” says Jordan. “Everyone seems to be pretty enthusiastic about this truck.” It’s almost two years since Kenworth revealed the K220 and more than a year since it officially launched in New Zealand. The Giti Tyres Big Test pages featured a 6x4 version belonging to Pyramid Trucking in the September 2023 issue of NZ T&D and with 8x4 production now into gear, the first couple of K220s have appeared in the forestry sector. At the same time as this first Williams & Wilshier example went to work, Rotorua Forest Haulage also added a flat deck logger into its fleet. More K220s are on the way for multiple fleets – mixed with the final builds of the K200 model which has served Kenworth customers since 2011.



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The first K220 in the Williams & Wilshier fleet arrives just short of the company notching up 40 years of running Kenworth products. “Gary Williams and I bought our first two brand new Kenworths – a W924 and a K124 – back in 1985,” says Warwick Wilshier. “Today our fleet is about 80% Kenworth with the rest being Scanias; plus, two DAF 530s we added recently. “This [the K220] is the change we’ve been waiting for. We ordered this one back in June 2022 and then in May last year we ordered some Day Cabs.” A sleeper cab is a rarity in the Williams & Wilshier fleet, but there’s a reason for it. “We haven’t had a new sleeper cab for a few years, but this truck is a new flagship for us. Because it’s our first K220 it needed to be something a bit special, so we went with the sleeper,” Warwick says. The K220 is finished in the familiar mauve metallic Williams & Wilshier cab colours with a blue painted chassis. The local paint was done by Haddock Spray Painters in Whakatane and the signage is by Sign Edge in Rotorua. There’s always a bit of debate about the primary colour used on Williams & Wilshier trucks. “My wife says it’s mauve and I say it’s silver,” says Warwick. “It’s really silver with a bit of a mauve tint in it.” The local Bay of Plenty input into this truck is considerable. Patchell Engineering built the log gear, headboard, fuel tank guards and the 5-axle multi-bolster trailer. It’s yet another


The new Williams & Wilshier Kenworth K220 on its way into the Tiaki Estate at Matahina.

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recent logger build to be fitted with ExTe auto chain tensioners. “Every new truck and every new or refurbished trailer we get will have auto chain tensioners, either sourced from Patchells or from ExTe. It’s not only something we are doing here [at Williams & Wilshier], it’s becoming an industry-wide safety initiative,” Warwick says. The polished alloy FUPS bumper is a factory item modified at Patchells to install a fixed single tow pin. SI Lodec scales, Alcoa alloys, a factory stone guard and a sun visor from Chris Stanley are fitted. The K220 is also equipped with TRT Traction Air CTI on the drive axles. The powertrain selection is a Euro V spec Cummins X15 delivering 578hp output and 1850 lb-ft of torque at 1200rpm. A sign of the times is an 18-speed Eaton FO-22E318B MXP Ultra Shift Plus automated manual transmission. A 4.30:1 axle

ratio has been chosen for this truck – making it a little shorter in the gearing than the 4.10:1 equipped 6x4 we tested last year. Disc brakes all around, Airglide 460 rear suspension and a Meritor MT21-165GP rear end with inter-axle differential locking are among the other running gear specs. The steer tyres are Bridgestone R154s in 295/80 R22.5 sizing with Michelin XDY3 drive tyres in 11R 22.5 dimension. The Patchell five-axle trailer is equipped with air suspension, WABCO disc brakes and ROR axles riding on 265/70 R19.5 Bridgestone R168 rubber. Apart from the sleeper cab it’s a typical specification for a Williams & Wilshier logger. We find the new K220 is parked in the yard with the first hints of a red sunrise reflecting from its paintwork when we arrive at Williams & Wilshier Transport.

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Along with a 578hp Cummins X15 (left), the new K220 features TRT Traction Air CTI (right) and ExTe auto chain tensioning system (far right).

I climb the four steps located between the front wheels and shuffle forward to the door and settle into the passenger seat. Jordan steers onto Old Taupo Rd and we head south on SH5 to Rainbow Mountain, take a left onto Highway 38 and then another left to head through Rerewhakaaitu and along Ngamotu Rd. It’s a clear early June morning with Mt Tarawera as a backdrop and winter just showing its face. There’s a hint of frost at the roadside and the K220s temperature gauge is displaying 2degC. We’re running “trailer up” and at 90kph in top gear the Cummins X15 is using a very relaxed 1400rpm. I note the difference in speed readout between the speedometer and the Eroad display is only 2kph – the speedo being only slightly optimistic and certainly more accurate than some trucks we’ve spent time in recently. Our destination is Billet Rd in the Tiaki Estate near Matahina where a Newton Logging crew is felling the trees. It’s typical for many trucks in the Williams & Wilshier fleet to do double duty, carting a mix of on-highway and off-highway loads. The job description for the new K220 is a 54t permit for highway use while running at up to 65t on the private forest roads. Jordan has been working at Williams & Wilshier since leaving school 13 years ago. His father Gary has a half century of log

truck experience, the past 20 years driving for Williams & Wilshier. “The best part of the job is getting to work with my dad. He’ll be 70 this year and this will probably be his last year of working full time,” Jordan says. “He’s seen a lot of changes and he’s done a lot of loads.” Gary van den Broek drives a Scania R650 for the company. “He’s definitely a Scania man through and through and I’m probably more of a Kenworth guy,” says Jordan. Not all of Jordan’s time with Williams & Wilshier has been spent behind the wheel. “I’ve only just come back to driving full-time after three years in the office and doing a bit of relief driving. Some weeks I was mostly in the office and other weeks I would drive five different trucks in five days,” he says. “This is the first time I’ve had a truck fulltime for about three years. I learnt a lot about the other side of the business in the office, but I decided it was out here in the forest and on the road that was my real passion. “Personally, I like to be in the seat. The days are a bit longer for sure, but I find them more enjoyable.” With time driving a K108 and several different K200s, Jordan has got plenty Kenworth seat time and can quickly pinpoint where the K220 improvements are most obvious.

New interior includes wraparound dash architecture, Paccar 15-inch driver display and Garnet Red diamond button roof and sleeper trim.

“I really like the look of the K220. It rides comfortably and Kenworth have really stepped up with the technology inside the cab. “Sometimes you drive one model for a while and start to think `that’s as good as it can get’. And then a new one comes out. “So far, the biggest difference I’ve noticed is the dash. There’s not as many old fashioned dials, and it takes a little bit to get used to the different display screens you can select and to scroll through all the information.” The Paccar 15-inch LCD configurable display is technology first introduced on the North American market Kenworth T680 and then brought into the Australian-developed K220. It brings modern technology and a fresh look to the cab. “I like having all the switches on the steering wheel. It’s really like an updated version of the Smart Wheel.” The centre stack of the dash has been angled quite a bit more towards the driver and the upgrade brings more USB power outlets, a wireless phone charger, improved storage space including three compartments above the windscreen – and new steering column controls for the gearshift selection and the 30 | Truck & Driver

2-stage engine brake. The cruise control is operated from the left side of the steering wheel switchgear. “One thing I’ve noticed is that when you put it in reverse, it kills the music,” Jordan says. The multi-function steering wheel has tilt and reach adjustments and an ISRI Premium 6860/870 air suspension seat has burgundy leather trim under Jordan’s seat cover. There’s a Garnet Red interior colour for the diamond button roof trim and the rear wall of the sleeper. There is also woodgrain dash trim surrounding an 8-inch audio display and six gauges plus the dash-mounted controls and display for the Traction Air system. Climate control air conditioning is operated from three large dials below the audio screen and a row of switches runs along the bottom of the dash for the diff locks, traction control, engine fan and hazard lights. Other the features of the cab include a Guardian driver fatigue monitor and Eroad unit with both forward- and driver-facing cameras.


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The K220 works at 65-tonnes on the forest highways and has a 54-tonne permit for on-highway work.

“We no longer have a PDT tablet in the cab for our loads,” says Jordan. “It all runs off a phone which I leave in the cup holder. That tidies things up a bit more inside.” The large centre console has a non-slip section at the top while there are cup holders and storage compartments lower down. “Overall, I’d say the dash layout and the speedo are number one thing which is new,” Jordan says. Jordan has driven Ultra Shift automated manual models previously, but this is the first Kenworth he’s driven with the gear selector located on the right hand steering column stalk. He says it’s been easy to get used to. “It all works well. I don’t mind the auto, especially in the busy places. So far, I’ve been leaving it in auto when I’m unloaded and shifting it manually when I’m loaded – especially at our offhighway weights.” One early item of driver feedback is related to the steering feel. “I think it feels a bit heavy in the steering and it’s something I’ll get them to adjust when it goes for its 5000km first service,” says Jordan. Jordan says he’s enjoying the sleeper cab and really likes the sleek look of the extended flat roof. “I think the sleeper looks really nice. It got all the guys excited when it first came in. “This is the first sleeper we’ve had in a few years. I’ve made up a bit of a bed but it’s only for a quick nap if I ever happen to get the chance. We don’t really have any overnight work. “It’s probably more for storage and the extra cubby holes

in the side (which are under the bed and accessed from the outside) are really useful for storing wet weather gear and stuff. It helps keep the inside of the cab clean.” The sleeper space also allows for a 30-litre fridge and another slide-out storage bin under the bunk. When we arrive at the skid side Jordan’s father is chaining up his load and almost ready to head to Kawerau. There’s no queue and the Newton Logging crew quickly has the trailer back on the ground. The skid site is on firm ground and a CAT wheel loader quickly stacks the logs aboard. Jordan heads out of the skid site to stop in a sunny spot a few hundred metres down the road to chain up the load. The morning has already started to warm up and there’s no muddy ground to deal with. Jordan says most of the work in the Matahina area doesn’t involve a lot of muddy tracks and skid sites. And on the occasions when it does get slippery the Traction Air CTI and the inter-axle diff locks will be there to assist with some forward drive. There are belly chains to secure manually but the six ExTe auto tensioners take a lot of the effort out of the rest of the chaining process. “It’s nice working with the new gear,” says Jordan. Our first load is three packets of 5.9-metre export logs for a trip to the Kawerau Processing Yard (KPY). The 64.5 tonne all up weight is made up of the 19t truck and trailer weight and nearly 46t of timber. “We can run with 35 tonnes of logs on the highway,” says Jordan. Once we rejoin the tarseal it’s a gently undulating run along Truck & Driver | 33

the northern portion of “Million Dollar Highway” that runs from Murupara to Kawerau to form a tarseal backbone to the Central Plateau forest road network. It’s a highway that few people outside of the timber industry ever get to see or drive on and it’s interesting to experience the surface quality compared to many of the public highways in the Bay of Plenty. “Some people talk about what they think the trucks are doing

34 | Truck & Driver

to the roads, but the roads out here have 140 tonne units on them every day and they are some of the best roads around,” says Jordan. The K220s SI Lodec scales display 64.5t and climbing one of the longer hills on the run towards Kawerau sees Jordan shift down into 12th gear with the K220 climbing at 40kph using about 1750rpm. It’s as low as we go in the gears on this trip other than pulling away from stationary.

Patchells built the fuel tank guards (far left) and headboard (left).

Jordan van den Broek has returned to a fulltime driving role with the arrival of the new K220.

On the southeast side of Mt Edgecumbe there’s a long descent approaching Kawerau and Jordan drops quite a bit of speed before the gradient increases. For most of the downhill run the K220 descends at 47kph in 13th gear using 1650rpm using the second stage of the engine brake. There’s a brief shift into 12th gear and the engine fan also switches on for about 15 seconds. “I try to stay off the brakes as much as I can,” Jordan says. The weighbridge is our first destination followed by KPY were

the logs are quickly unloaded straight onto rail carriages for a trip up the coast to the Port of Tauranga. Then it’s a reverse direction run on the forest highway. It could be the direction of the light breeze we are now driving into, but the return trip is the only time there is any noticeable wind noise being generated around the A-pillar and mirrors on the passenger side of the K220. Otherwise, the cab is well insulated and quiet and it’s easy to

Truck & Driver | 35


CAT wheel loader stacking three packets of logs for the trip to Kawerau.

have a conversation with Jordan. With the return trip staying on the same private roads there’s no need to visit the trailer gantry and the trailer gets towed back to the skid site. From the passenger seat the ride quality felt a little more compliant on our `trailer up’ run out of Rotorua than it does when towing the trailer. I mention this to Jordan who says the cab on the K220 has spring suspension with the air-suspended cab models not being available at the time this truck was ordered. Southpac tells us cab suspension has now passed its evaluation period and is available on all sleeper cab models. We are returning to the same logging crew site for another three packets of logs. This time it’s 6.1m lengths destined for the Onepu sawmill, located almost adjacent to KPY. This provides the chance for Hayden Woolston to drive the K220 – firstly loaded to Kawerau and then unloaded to collect the third load of the day. This K220 will have a mixed working life combining highway and off-highway work. The on-highway work will see the truck carting logs to the Port of Tauranga and to several local sawmills. “Most days we make a 4am start and put in 12 hours, doing about 500km for the day depending on where we go,” says Jordan. “Mainly we go to Kawerau, up to the Mount port, and to a few different sawmills. The longest trip which we do regularly is up to Claymark [sawmill] at Katikati.” 36 | Truck & Driver

It’s too early in the truck’s working life to get any realistic measure of fuel consumption but Jordan has been keeping an eye on the AdBlue usage. “The [170-litre] AdBlue tank (on the left hand side) is a decent size – it’s like a big barrel. It did three days last week and it’s still almost three-quarters full so it should do a week and a half – no problem. We usually top them up at the end of the week anyway.” On highway – or off-highway carting a bigger load – the K220 8x4 feels made to measure for the demands of forestry work. Even at the off-highway weights the muscular 578hp Cummins X15 shows no signs of working particularly hard and the gearchanges are smooth and refined when there are some hills to climb. “The way the truck performs is exactly what you expect from a Kenworth. And I think it’s pretty comfortable – it feels smooth and settled on the road,” says Jordan. Although it’s only day four of driving the K220, Jordan says he’s very happy with the new truck and with his decision to return to fulltime log truck driving. And he says it’s a proud moment to be behind the wheel of the first Kenworth K220 in the Williams & Wilshier colours. “I started at Williams & Wilshier straight from school and I’ve come all the way through to Class 5 with them. I started on a 450hp Hino and then went to a K108, and I’ve driven a few K200s,” Jordan says. “Driving the first K220 feels like making it to another level. It’s what you dream of.”


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HE ROLLOUT OF THE NEW KENWORTH K220 is gaining momentum with more of the new generation trucks arriving in New Zealand at the same time as the last of the K200s are hitting the road. The K200 has been a very successful model for the brand – in particular in the logging sector. So, what better environment to test the new K220 in? Long term Kenworth owner Williams & Wilshier Transport recently put its first new K220 to work. And the truck was only on the road for a week before we get a chance to get behind the wheel. Williams & Wilshier loggers do a wide range of work, and this truck spends some of its time on the Bay of Plenty highways as well as working on the off-highway network. That’s great news for us as we get to run this truck at 64.5 tonnes all up weight.

38 | Truck & Driver

This K220 has a Cummins X15 producing 578hp and an Eaton Ultra Shift 18-speed automated manual transmission. It’s not that often we test automatic Kenworths working in the bush, and it brings a different angle to this test. My chance to take the wheel involves taking a load of logs from the Matahina Forest to the Onepu Sawmill, next door to KPY (Kawerau Processing Yard). We are running well above the 54-tonne on-highway permit weight. The Williams & Wilshier K220 is a Flat Roof sleeper and as I climb up into the cab it’s a very nicely finished interior which is a blend of new tech and traditional Kenworth detailing. The new K220s have a digital dash, a multi-function steering wheel and stalks with everything you need on them – making the functionalities almost Euro-like from a

Hayden Woolston driver perspective. The dash is wrapped around the driver with a traditional wood grain insert as a contrast to the modern digital infotainment screen. The aircon is still on analog controls – which I prefer – while a row of manual switches runs along the bottom of the dash for the engine fan, hazard lights, cross locks and interior lighting. This truck even comes with a wireless phone charger. After I select Drive on the right hand stalk, I guide the truck out of the narrow bush road onto the main off highway road to Kawerau. As we hit the tarseal, I put the truck in manual by pushing the button on the end of

• SPECIFICATIONS • the right hand stalk and change gears using the same stalk. The highway immediately becomes a steady climb and gives me an indication of how the truck can handle these weights with ease. On the second climb I decide to leave the `box in auto to see what it does. It’s responsive and refined and I shouldn’t have worried it would struggle being heavy. But the electronics make the right changes at the right times and the 18-speed auto makes decisive shifts. On the downhills I use manual to hold the gear and speed I want. On the final, long descent into Kawerau I select 10th gear and set the second stage of the engine brake – which allows the heavily loaded K220 to cruise down just fine with only brief touches on the service brake. After being unloaded it’s time to head back to the skid site with the trailer down. This is a cruisy run and the ride on this 8x4 set up seems almost as comfortable as when the truck was unloaded. There is certainly no noticeable feedback from the second steer axle. Jordan mentions that the steering seems heavy, and I have to agree, even though I prefer it to be on the heavier side rather than too light. He mentions they are going to sort it for him at the 5000km service.

On the trip back to the logging crew I find myself thinking about the refinement inside this cab, along with the space. The foot space for the driver is huge – the most I have experienced – while the buttoned leather interior combined with the mix of traditional dash and new infotainment screens seems like the perfect combo. The traditional touches remind you that you’re driving a Kenworth, but the comfort and refinement isn’t far off a European standard of refinement and functionality. You could trick yourself into believing that you’re driving a European. I know it seems strange to say that, but the thought really did cross my mind… On top of this, this truck hasn’t got the cab air suspension and the new automated gearbox that is coming for these trucks, so our next K220 test could be even better Once back at the skid sight it’s time to give Jordan his truck back for his last load of the day. It was a great day in the forest with the `Willy Willy’ team and I especially enjoyed the chance to catch up with Jordan’s dad – Gary van den Broek – who also drives for Williams & Wilshier. He was the man who taught me how to drive in the bush when I first got my Class 5 many years ago.

Kenworth K 220 2.3m Flat Roof 8x4 Engine: Cummins X15 in-line six-cylinder (Euro V) Capacity: 15-litres Maximum Power: 431kW (578hp) at 1800rpm Maximum Torque: 2508Nm (1850 ft-lb) at 1200rpm Fuel capacity: Diesel 450 litres, AdBlue 170 litres Transmission: Eaton FO-22E318B MXP 18-speed automated manual Ratios: Low L – 14.40

Low H – 12.29

1st low – 8.56

1st high – 7.30

2nd low – 6.05

2nd high – 5.16

3rd low – 4.38

3rd high – 3.74

4th low – 3.20

4th high – 2.73

5th low –2.99

5th high – 1.95

6th low –1.62

6th high – 1.38

7th low –1.17

7th high – 1.00

8th low –0.86

8th high – 0.73

Low R L – 15.06

Low R Hi 12.85

Hi R Low 4.03

Hi R Hi 3.43

Final Drive ratio: 4.30:1 Front axle: Meritor MFS66-122 (13.2t rating) Rear axles: Meritor MT21-165GP tandem drive with differential cross lock (20.9t rating) Brakes: Front and rear discs with ABS/EBS and Brake Assist System Auxiliary brakes: 2-stage Cummins Front suspension: Tapered leaf springs with stabiliser bar Rear suspension: Airglide 460 air suspension GVM: 32,000kg GCM: 97,000kg

Truck & Driver | 39

Driving the economy

Auckland’s port land, assets, and operations will be retained under council ownership with Port of Auckland Ltd (POAL) agreeing to deliver much improved profits to Auckland City Council.

Weathering the economic hard times T

HE STATE OF THE ECONOMY IS TOP OF mind this month, following the delivery of the budget by the coalition government on May 30. The government says it can turn around the economy. We hope it is right, and we will see some positive changes happening soon. by Dom Kalasih Interim Chief Executive Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand

Stress on the rise for operators Right now, however, it is clear that we are facing tough economic times, as predicted, and unfortunately this is impacting the road transport industry in particular. A major player went into liquidation recently with absolutely no warning. A recent report in Stuff described how the transport industry is leading the statistics for insolvencies – disquieting news. The reason is simply that people are buying less and that decreased demand has a flow-on effect to the transport companies. Another sign of tough times is the increased number of applications for job vacancies. We heard about advertisements

attracting 150 to 200 responses for jobs at a port, compared with the previous rate of only 10 to 15 applications – more than a tenfold increase. One of our Wellington members says her business and businesses she associates with are now in survival mode. A manager for a finance company said several big customers had asked to go interest-only on some loans. Compounded with high inflation, high interest rates, and public sector job cuts, the economic situation is troubling. This can have an effect on both business owners and employees in terms of stress and mental health. For this reason, it is important to consider the impact and how it can best be mitigated. On a slightly brighter side, we fully support increased investment in roading in the form of Roads of National Significance (which we might call RONS 2) as announced by Transport Minister Simeon Brown earlier this year. This was followed up last month by the announcement of another initiative, Roads of Regional Significance (RORS). However, Truck & Driver | 41

Driving the economy

the devil, as always, is in the details and it was disappointing to see one major project apparently being stalled or abandoned, the upgrade of State Highway 76 through Brougham Street in Christchurch. The whole country desperately needs more roading and infrastructure improvements. Port and congestion charges Recently, Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown announced that, in essence, Auckland’s port land, assets, and operations would be retained under council ownership. Port of Auckland Ltd (POAL) has agreed to deliver much improved profits to Auckland City Council. The announcement is interesting and timely and brings much needed certainty. A big question, however, is how the improved profits are to be raised. One of the risks we see is that additional charges will be placed on goods passing through the port without those increases actually adding any value, other than showing up as “improved profit”. Another big question is whether transport routes will actually be better. Roads that create greater certainty and reliability for travel times, systems that reduce congestion and downtime for trucks awaiting drop-off or pick-up, or greater coordination of supply chain like the recently developed Fairfield Freight Hub, are great examples that the government and territorial authorities alike could learn from. Congestion charging is being discussed more frequently as a solution for inner cities. Last December, we made a submission to Tauranga City Council about exploring SmartTrip variable road pricing to help reduce congestion and fund transport improvements. We advocated that pricing mechanisms can be beneficial in reducing congestion and carbon emissions provided they are applied correctly. However, it seems like major changes to road pricing and revenue generation are some time away, and ultimately that will show up as further delays investing in roading. Let’s get together and nut out some solutions sooner rather than later. As the transport industry knows only too well, delays are always costly – and prices are likely only ever to go in one direction – upwards. At the end of the day, anything that gives greater certainty and reliability to moving freight will ultimately improve productivity and safety.

Decarbonisation requires shared responsibility Reducing carbon emissions remains an ongoing challenge for the road transport industry – but I am optimistic that new technology solutions will make a critical difference. However, to be really successful, it is essential that all parts of the industry work together to achieve the desired outcome. On May 22, I had the pleasure and privilege of opening the Wood Transport and Logistics Conference in Rotorua. Decarbonisation was a major theme and this was timely, given policy advisor Billy Clemens and I met with the Climate Change Commission the day prior. The conference heard from manufacturers and users of new technology power trains and fuel. Innovative vehicles included the Hyundai fuel cell truck operating under NZ Post colours, as well as Australia’s first battery swap dualfuel hydrogen/diesel truck operating in the logging sector. These vehicles are certainly very interesting and I urge you to find out more about them. I shared my view that the key challenges on the path to decarbonisation are roads, revenue, and regulation. The range of technology solutions unavoidably creates uncertainty, which in turn presents risk to our members. The solutions require collaboration and shared responsibility across the supply chain – it can’t be done by transport businesses alone. The good news for the log transport sector is that over the last 30 years or so, the respective parties across the supply chain – forest owners, researchers, transport operators, and trailer manufacturers – have worked collaboratively and are well placed to meet the current challenges. I agree neither we nor government should be picking winners and clear strategies for the adoption of either fuel type, or any other for that matter, are required. HWR’s innovative approach, which keeps a leg in both camps of hydrogen and diesel, is progressing well. I also feel more leadership and ownership from government would be valuable. What is also undeniable are the increased costs associated with the new technology. Our Grant Thornton Transport Cost Index indicates that the two elements of fuel, and depreciation and interest (vehicle), represent about 18 per cent and 12 per cent respectively of operating costs. Therefore, significant increases in these have a major impact on transport costs and the flow-on impacts on the economy and international competitiveness. The transport sector has clearly demonstrated that there are working solutions to reduce carbon. The outstanding issues are how highly that benefit is valued and the willingness to pay.




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Driving the economy

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Making sure it all works, all across the country T Tim Dickson is the South Island regional manager for Halls.

HE FREIGHT INDUSTRY IS A VERY BIG MACHINE with plenty of vital cogs keeping it all going. There are thousands of people apart from the drivers who a vital role in the supply chain to make sure freight gets through to its destination, every day of the week, all hours of the day. The industry employs a huge range of skills, from IT and comms technology, great people skills and logistics planning. Hall’s Cold Chain Logistics in Christchurch is one of those places that keeps things moving, and the people in its operations centre are a skilled bunch with plenty of experience. “This is the nerve centre of the business,” says South Island regional manager, Tim Dickson. Dispatchers handle specialty freight, metro delivery, long-distance linehaul, specialised bulk, and inter-island intermodal freight. Hall’s delivers by road, rail and sea. The operations centre runs 24/7, with staff working a series of shifts. These can start at 4:00am; the night shift is from 6:00pm; and there is another weekend shift from Saturday at 2:00 pm. Other transport depots are in Wellington, Palmerston North, Napier, Tauranga, Blenheim, Dunedin and Invercargill, with the head office based in Auckland. Apart from Christchurch, there are also two large storage sites in Auckland, as well as Waharoa, Oringi, Longburn and Feilding. Hall’s transports and stores chilled, frozen, and ambient temperature products throughout the country. It is one of New Zealand’s oldest and largest refrigerated businesses, having been around since the 1950s. “It is one of the few that has a national presence from Auckland to Invercargill,” says Dickson. “The change is that historically, a dispatcher 44 | Truck & Driver

was a former truck driver.” Now the majority of people come into the industry without a driving career. Skill sets are diverse within the operations centre: computer skills, planning, and communication is huge – interacting with drivers and freight forwarders. Here are some of the team members working at Halls.

Tash is responsible for handling intermodal transport, including curtainsiders, special projects, and freight bookings for drivers on the Cook Strait ferries. She has been in the job for five years. What does she like about it? “The challenges and the problem-solving. The team makes it more enjoyable. It doesn’t feel like a job; it’s like a second family.”

Driving the economy

Andrew works as a dispatcher on operations South-Island wide, “making sure we are actually running smoothly and under control.” He has worked for Hall’s for five years and enjoys the challenges, “making sure it works.”

Debs controls bulk freight – “anything from food for Woolworths and all of the transfers in the North Island, volumes of frozen veggies and frozen fruit. No two days are the same, you are literally always go, go, go.”

Mel looks after specialty linehaul and coastal shipping freight, as well as general freight going to the North Island. Export containers depart out of Palmerston North. Another area is McCain’s chips deliveries for KFC. “They all have to connect.”

Leji is now doing dispatching in the South Island, a role she has held for two years. She has a diploma in the hospitality industry from Christchurch, and a Bachelor and Business Administration from south India , where her family is from. Leji went back to India then came back and re-joined Hall’s. “It’s always been a good place to work.”

Shane was a Class 5 truck driver for seven years before moving into the office. He now looks after the fleet, booking in servicing, repairs, and COFs, and tyres. A total of 50 trucks use the Christchurch hub, while trailers are always arriving from the north and south. “It’s a non-stop challenge, every day is something new.”

Jason oversees the transport side of loading. This includes storage for frozen, chilled, and ambient goods. Approximately 40,000 pallets per month get delivered, unloaded, and on-shifted to various places throughout the Christchurch area. Jason also looks after building maintenance, MPI requirements, food safety, and HR. He has spent nine years in the role, having formerly worked for another logistics company. “It keeps me busy, it’s diverse, no two days the same – the freight will be the same but volumes fluctuate in the transport business. You are either made for this business or not.” Truck & Driver | 45

Driving the economy

Freight Register helps plan around the works


LANNING IS VITAL TO GET goods to where and when they need to be, and which route to take. NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi offers various tools to help operators better plan upcoming journeys. Freight Register is a downloadable spreadsheet on the agency website that provides a short to medium term outlook for worksites that are, or will be, on the State Highway network. Operators can plan ahead to see how roads will be affected by upcoming worksites and traffic management requirements. “We are committed to providing as much information to the freight industry as possible,” says NZTA National Journey Manager, Helen Harris. “This will enable operators to plan ahead, making the best decisions possible in terms of route selection and timing of travel. We understand that disruption on a route can be the difference between making a profit or a loss on that route.” Regional Journey Managers play a key role in working with delivery teams to get the best outcome for the customer, while also making sure that work can take place as efficiently and as safely as possible, Harris says. “It’s about making sure disruption on the network is minimised or managed as best as possible through communicating in advance, and providing travel information on alternative routes and expected travel times. “We are entering a period of significant investment into maintaining the state highway network. With increased investment comes more worksites, and this means we need to work

with our suppliers to ensure works are sequenced in a way that minimises overall disruption.” Transporting New Zealand works with NZTA Waka Kotahi to keep improving tools like Freight Register. “The more we understand how people use the transport network, and what matters most to them, the better we can plan our work to meet their needs,” says Harris. “Sometimes this may not be possible – for example we may be able to get standard freight vehicles through a site, but not over-dimension loads. “When this type of scenario unfolds, the key is a collaborative approach. Coming together with our stakeholders allows us to collectively

reach a solution that works for everyone.” Harris says NZTA will keep working to improve user experience during the planning phase ahead of any journey. “We want to move to a state where any journey can be mapped out and the impact of roadworks and any other disruptions clearly understood. This will take time, and we want to be clear that this is just the start for us. “It’s fantastic that we have been able to make these improvements. We place great value on working collaboratively with the freight industry, and we look forward to continuing to deliver for operators around the country…to make journeys more efficient and reliable.”

Road works on the State Highway network require transport operators to plan ahead for traffic management requirements.

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 46 | 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



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Story Wayne Munro Photos Gerald Shacklock

After years of many different makes - almost all of them secondhand - Port Albert-based Smiths Transport is currently favouring new Hinos. This 500 Series is the third of them

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High school sweethearts Keryn and Dave Smith got together again 18 years ago and together have rebuilt Smiths Transport into a modest, but successful business LOTS OF PEOPLE WHO LOVE TRUCKS RECKON THEY WERE “born in a truck.” In 25 years of writing about trucks and truckies, I’ve never once struck someone who really did arrive here on a truck seat! But in Dave Smith’s case, the actual, solid-gold truth – not a mere figure of speech – is that he’s been spending quality time in trucks since he was a newborn baby. The third-generation owner of the modest Smiths Transport in Port Albert (a tiny settlement about eight kilometres west of Wellsford) spent his first full day in a truck when he was just three weeks old! And by the time he was a toddler, Dave (along with baby sister Helena) routinely went to work with his Dad as he spread metal on Rodney County roads in his Cummins NHC 250-engined ERF. Dave’s parents, Alan and Carol, say that having the ERF double as a nursery was simply a necessity back then, in the early 1980s: Times were tough and (not for the first time, nor the last) Smiths Transport was struggling – Alan responding, as always, by working harder…. And Carol doing likewise – supplementing their income by finding work wherever she could. At various times she milked cows, reared cattle, worked in the local dairy factory…and in the Te Hana hot bread shop. Newborn Dave’s first trucking experience came about because Mum Carol decided “I’ve just got to get out of the house! So I put him in the carry cot….and we had the day out with Alan in the truck. “And that was it – if I wanted to see Alan, that was what you had to do.” She points out that, throughout 35 years or more of driving trucks fulltime, Alan worked “daylight to dark. And when the kids were little they probably didn’t see him from one week to the next – because he’d be gone before they woke up and they’d be in bed before he got home. And it was seven days a week.” Not that Alan was complaining, Carol explains: “Trucks have been his life – he’s loved driving them.” Even now, 75, and battling major health issues, “he’d still be driving them today if he could,” she reckons.

Through his twenties – rather than living it up, seeing the world or whatever – he was living at home in Port Albert with his Mum and Dad, driving a D Series Ford tipper for the family business….for no pay! It wasn’t till he married Carol, at 29, that he got paid wages. And later on, when he and Carol took over Smiths Transport in the mid-1980s, and hard times soon hit – a depressing mix of a tanked economy and some serious debt – Alan never once considered closing the place down. His answer: Just work harder at doing what he loved to do. The uncompromising work ethic and the passion have (unsurprisingly?) both passed down from father to son. But Alan’s acute awareness of just how tough it was to make a living out of Smiths Transport saw him refuse to let Dave join him in the business when he finished high school. So it’s little wonder that Dave, after eight years living away from the Port Albert area – working as a glazier and a builder – jumped at the opportunity when Alan and Carol suggested he might want to try running the show. Talk about history repeating! At 24 he returned home to live with his Mum and Dad and drive a truck for them. It was exactly what Alan had done 35 years earlier (back in 1970) – when, at 21, he was lured home from Auckland to join in the little trucking business that his parents (Charlie and Verona) were in the throes of buying. It wasn’t a love of trucks that drove Charlie – more a matter of consolidating the family’s Port Albert presence….which already stretched back over 100 years. In 1862, Charlie’s grandfather had arrived from England on a sailing ship – part of a British colonisation company’s grand plan to create a so-called “Shining City” of religious free thinkers at Port Albert. A future city to rival Auckland, they said. The successive owners of Smiths Transport were far from the first to find the going tough in Port Albert: Of the 3000 would-be Albertlanders who signed up in London, 1500 actually made it to this eastern arm of the Kaipara Harbour…. Truck & Driver | 51

Left to right: Pre-schooler Dave joins his Dad in his ERF. He first spent a day in the truck when he was three weeks old!... Alan liked the D Series Fords, like this 1969 D1000...but brother Colin (the mechanic) hated their engines... Dave’s great grandparents Nathan and Lillian Smith, with their son Charlie, at the cottage he built... and which four generations of Smiths have now lived in

Bottom: Dave drives by the Minniesdale Chapel and graveyard (where his forebears are buried) - a 150-year-old relic of the grand plans to build a city at Port Albert. His great-great grandfather was an Albertland settler And of them, a mere 300 stayed – the Smiths among them: Charlie was the third-generation family member to run their farm at nearby Wharehine. He too had left Port Albert to work in Auckland, but returned to run the farm when his father died. Alan and younger brother Colin grew up there – Alan loving the farm, AND the old OLB Bedford farm truck also used for Charlie’s small hay-baling contracting business. Even before he was 13, “I used to drive it around the paddocks picking up hay for the men. If you did a bad job and the hay fell off, you got a growling.” Alan reckons Charlie wanted to buy Port Albert carrier Mick

52 | Truck & Driver

Granich’s D Series Ford, his transport licence and his contract to spread metal on the region’s roads for the Rodney County Council…. mostly to bring some competition to the local transport scene – particularly livestock cartage. Alan had left home a year earlier, after four or five years working on

the farm: “I loved the farm life – but it wasn’t working out with me and Charlie. “We sort of had a difference of opinion – me and Pops. I did things a bit different to him and it was time for me to move on.” Despite that, he reckons his Dad “was a pretty good, fair man really. He was strict – you had to do as you were told and there was no muckin’ around. And you had to work.” Money saved from Alan’s freezing worker’s job in Auckland went into the business – making him a co-owner in Smiths Transport, along with his Mum and Dad. Alan was happy that it was a near-new D750 Ford that was part of the deal – a truck Granich “used to call his Rolls-Royce…” He even

preferred it to his car as his personal transport. Alan did a few jobs here and there for local farmers, but the council contract “was the best of the lot because it was guaranteed work all the time – you had a job every day. So long as you did the right job…” There were certain “rules” in that regard: “Not getting the metal spread properly was likely to get you sacked! The county foreman was always around the roads somewhere. You had to have put the right amount of metal on…” The foreman would hand out a list of four roads to do at a time and Alan would get to work – “trail a load of metal over the clay bits….all the wet patches.” Plus the pot-holes, bridge-ends and so on.

Truck & Driver | 53

Above: Back in the 1970s, `80s and `90s, Smiths Transport had a strong liking for Mercedes-Benz trucks, including this ‘82 model, V10engined 2232 Alan Smith is posing with, in 1993 Below: Six-year-old Hamish is showing every sign of one day becoming the fourth-generation Smith to run the trucking company “One day I forgot to patch the bloody bridge-ends…and I called the foreman to get another list of jobs and he said to me: ‘You most probably won’t be getting any more jobs. You didn’t patch those bloody pot-holes – and now you’re asking me for another bloody job!” The pot-holes got filled before the next jobs list was handed out. Alan was occasionally backed-up by Charlie, driving the old Bedford. Smith senior was also running the farm and his hay-baling business. While Alan was content to focus on the spreading work, “Charlie was still keen to get into the stock cartage” – and eventually got his way by buying a small carrier at Glorit (about 40kms southwest). It came with a licence that allowed Smiths Transport to cart to Auckland…despite the 40-mile rail restriction. Alan’s brother, Colin – by then a qualified mechanic – was called home from the South Island to drive an old Dodge bought for the stock cartage. He learnt to drive a truck, Charlie-style! “We used to have an old wooden-cab Chev truck on the farm – a flatbed thing that we’d throw hay off and what-have-you…” Charlie drove the Chev to the top of a steep track at the back of the farm – then handed it over to Colin saying: “If you can come out the bottom without rolling it or bloody wrecking it, you can go and get your licence.” Colin wasn’t exactly happy about a few things – the money, for starters: “The Old Man, he wouldn’t pay us until we got married! You had to work for nothing for the family… That’s how you built a business. We were fed and watered – that was about it.” And then there was Charlie’s plan for him to service and repair the trucks. The problem was, Colin reckons, Charlie had the theory that 54 | Truck & Driver

if you bought new trucks, “people would think they were paying too much for your services.” So, through the 1970s and ‘80s, the Smiths trucks (some good, some bad) included an AB180 International, an old Mercedes-Benz 1418, the old Dodge, the 1975 ERF…a Leyland Hippo and a 2224 V8 Merc. Colin: “Anyhow…I came home and started fixing the blinking things. Repair, replace….welding. The whole bloody lot – anything you could think of.” He came to hate the “blasted” D Series Fords – needing so many engine rebuilds that “they were just like a zip – in and out: We could bring a truck in at night, chuck the engine out, put another one in…. ready for work in the morning.” It was good for Smiths Transport that, in addition to its county

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contract, it began to get a share of the stock cartage work generated by a huge Lands & Survey farm block on the Tapora peninsular, just to the west. Says Colin: “They used to have 20,000 ewes and 10,000 head of cattle… It’d take three days just to get the stock to the sales. Not only that….they had 10,000 ton of fertiliser they needed.” Dave grew up in this era and even as a kid he recognised that this trucking life wasn’t easy: “I remember quite a lot of squabbling and carry-on between them in the early days. Mostly because things were tough I’d say.” Things only got tougher when Verona Smith died, in 1984. She’d run the financial side of the business and Alan reckons that “Charlie was sort of lost without her.” He began focusing more on the farm and his hay-baling business and, in ’86, Alan and Carol bought him out of Smiths Transport. The timing wasn’t great for the new owners: Just a year later the global stock market crash plunged the NZ economy into a recession that dragged on for six years. Sadly, it also coincided with the Smiths Transport fleet having expanded to five trucks. And soon came the realisation that the company was seriously in debt – for insurance, for truck spare parts….and much more. Says Carol: “We started getting phone calls about money that was owed. It wasn’t a good time.” It came as a shock because, “it seems strange to say, but Alan really hadn’t had a lot to do with the running of the company…other than working.” He confirms it: “I used to just drive. I didn’t take much notice of the books side of it ‘cos Mum always had it in credit: She was one of those

ladies who gets things paid off – then it’s yours. Then you get the next one and you pay that off…and it’s yours…and so it goes on.” Carol says they contacted their creditors, agreed on plans to gradually pay off what was owing. The council work dropped away – along with many of the company’s other jobs: “The work really slowed up,” says Carol. Colin tried to find work elsewhere: “I tell you what, everything dried up around here – the mechanicking and everything. I went on the dole queue for 12 months.” There was a bit of work generated when Carol’s father, Merv Brown, bought a digger and Smiths bought a Leyland Hippo (soon replaced by a second-hand V10 Merc) to shift it around. Carol: “We did just anything really” – including carting dead cows to a tannery: “You do what you have to do to keep going. Well, really it was not to just keep going – it was to pay people. “We just paid (people back) as we went and struggled along – for maybe seven years….or more. Sometimes we didn’t get wages out of the trucks.” In the late 1990s Alan bought a small digger to bring in extra work and that helped. But slowly, surely, Smiths Transport was slipping away: By the early 2000s it was down to two trucks….and, eventually, just one. While Alan had always been a tireless worker, “he wasn’t one for getting out and chasing work. He just liked to work for the ones he’d always worked for,” Carol explains. Dave has learnt that “in trucking you’ve gotta be on it – make sure you keep the phone calls going.” In 2005 – after a long time stressing about the business – Alan talked to Dave: “He basically said, ‘it’s sort of run down – I’m sort of



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This 2013 Isuzu CYZ 460, getting another load of metal, was the first brand-new truck bought by the company in 43 years


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Above: Hino 700 Series delivers a load of mulch to an avocado orchard. It was one of the few jobs the company was able to keep doing during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2021 Far left: Old Dodge 300 was bought in the 1970s to get the company started on livestock cartage

Left: Dave’s lifetime dream of joining the family business became a reality 19 years ago. He became the third-generation owner of the company nine years back over the trucking business. Do you wanna come back and have a go?’ ” Well yes, he definitely did! He had, after all, badly “wanted to….right from when I left school….” Alan had a plan, says Carol: “He was driving for someone else and enjoying it – instead of all the stressful part of business. And he hadn’t done this job which had been sitting there for about a year…” Smiths Transport’s two old Mercedes-Benz were both “pretty run down” so Alan’s suggestion was for Dave to “tidy-up” his 250hp V8engined 2224, get a new CoF… “And go for your life. If you wanna have a go….away you go.” Dave reckons his Dad “had been pretty renowned for doing tough stuff nobody else wanted to touch…” And the job Alan wanted him to do was a good example – spreading metal on tracks and roads on an exceptionally steep beef and sheep farm at Wayby, south of Wellsford. Dave says the place had “big hills….mountains actually.” Even Alan concedes that “it was straight up….straight down!” He took Dave there to show him: “Then we went home, we had our lunch and I said: ‘Well rightio David, that’s your job. I’m going off to do some other private jobs.’ “So I left him. And I think he took his Mum there – and his Mum said: ‘Blow that!’ ” It was so steep, narrow and scary, Carol decided that Dave should spend his first day spreading metal doing the tracks on their small farm – “so he could get a feel for it. It’s quite a steep little property, but reasonably safe in comparison!” The next day, he started “the Wayby job.” Daunting as it was, it was also probably the saviour of Smiths Transport. Dave: “I did that over about three summers. It was a lot of metal for one truck to do. And big switchbacks – they were scary! I was smoking back then and every time I’d drive in the gate and go towards these

hills I’d be lighting up a cigarette to get up and down them! “The hills….they’re steep – and I hadn’t done a lot of driving. But that old truck could climb up a power pole – straight up! That’s how good it was.” The great thing about the job was that “it could be done at any time.” That meant he could blitz it when there was no other work going… And quickly switch onto “the odd farming job” that came in, or whatever overflow work he was offered by Wellsford’s Wharehine Contractors – the beginning of a long and valued subby relationship. Then he’d “jump back on the Wayby job later on. “So I just tried to keep things going like that…and we started turning over a dollar again.” For the first couple of years, Alan only drove occasionally for the company. “Then we started gaining momentum again” and he got back into the 2224 Merc V8, while Dave switched to the freshened-up V10. When that proved too unreliable, it was time for a reckoning on the future, says Dave: “I said to Dad, ‘shit we need to look at getting something newer. I want to keep going – we’re doing alright.’ “We hadn’t been turning over big money or anything…we were surviving. The wages weren’t very much, but I got other perks – free fuel and whatnot for my car…living was cheap.” Dave’s proposed purchase was newer, but not new – a ’94 Mercedes-Benz 2538 V8. Old habits die hard: Dave reckons that Alan’s attitude was: “Oooh geez, it’s a bit dear! There’s a cheaper one over here.’ ” But Dave and Colin were adamant: “We don’t wanna be fixing that every night!” So the Merc it was – and in the next 10 years “it really helped me get established,” says Dave. Still, when it came to the next purchase, a year or so later, Dave Truck & Driver | 59

Clockwise, from left: Former flight attendant Keryn reckons taking over the admin side of the business didn’t come easy...neither her nor Dave having got School C... A common scene at the Smiths Transport yard back in the day, with the old trucks on the fleet requiring a lot of work. The Cummins-engined 1975 ERF was one of the good ones, according to Colin Smith - the man who often had to repair them. Pictured are (from left) Alan Smith, Jim Doidge (from Doidge Tyres) and Colin Smith... V8-engined Merc 2538 was 10 years old when Dave bought it...but it became the truck that powered Smiths Transport’s recovery. (Both pictures)... International AB180 was bought as a backup to the D Series Ford, spreading metal on county roads decided against another Merc: “I was always a Merc man, but they’ve got too dear, they’ve gone automatic, the ground clearance on them has got quite low…. “They’re a lot more road truck than what they were. Back in the day they were an Army truck.” So he bought a near-new 460 Isuzu Gigamax with low Ks: “It was a really good truck – nothing ever went wrong with it. “So my father, jumping from the old truck into that – it gave him a new lease of life. He was like ‘Geez…I wish we’d done this 20 years ago.’ “Even at his age he could just go and go and go. Daylight to dark – he just worked and worked.” Dave understood Alan’s logic: “You sort of had to cut your jobs out quickly….so there’s not too many hanging around for other people to pick up!” he laughs. Only a year into Dave’s time running Smiths Transport, there were a couple of big changes on a personal level: Charlie died in 2006… the same year that Dave got in touch with Keryn Bartlett, his girlfriend from high school. She was living in Auckland, working as a flight attendant. They laugh as she recounts his less-than-romantic circumstances: He was at home “living with his Mum and Dad, driving a crappy old brown ute, with a dog on the front seat…running late!” Still, they ended up living in the old family home – Keryn regularly commuting to Auckland airport. Smiths Transport was busy – Dave and his 2538 Merc regularly 60 | Truck & Driver

called in as a subbie on the Northern Gateway project, extending Auckland’s northern motorway to Puhoi: “We were dumping dirt out of the tunnels all day long…” Then he’d squeeze in some night work with a highway resealing crew – eventually recruiting Colin to do a full night-shift on that “because I was getting too knackered. Dad was busy doing farm work at the time too. And he was often carting for Wharehine Contractors.” The completion of the motorway project in 2009 coincided with, as Dave puts it, “a blimmin’ big economic downturn. All’s I know is that when that came, Wharehines….everyone, just slowed right down. “Dad couldn’t take his wage from the company anymore. I couldn’t make much out of it either – peanuts. We were pretty buggered… again.” Luckily, they had Keryn’s income to keep them going: “That was paying for our groceries, so that was good!” And living in the old family home definitely had one big advantage: It was rent-free! Dave: “Many days we had no work. And yep, we were still trying to pay the trucks off – and it got real tight. “You’ve just gotta try to knuckle down and grab every job you can when it comes along. And if you’ve gotta quote a bit cheap….well, you have to get out of the shit somehow. And we slowly came up again.” Things picked up – enough for Dave to buy another Isuzu in 2013: “I thought it was gonna be a great truck – like the one we had before. “I was so proud to have bought it – the first brand-new truck the

company had ever had.” “But I’ve had issue upon issue with that truck.” So he now says it’s probably “the last Isuzu I’ll ever buy.” After Dave and Keryn married, she continued her career – even after taking time off to have daughter Eden (in 2013). Keryn: “We were often meeting on the side of the road, so I could give Dave the baby as I zoomed to work. She’d be in the truck till Dave took her home, made the tea…” Dave: “Then Keryn would get home at seven o’clock in the morning – and I’d be off to work again.” Keryn laughs: “We didn’t see each other much that year!” She only called time on her flight attendant career after son Hamish was born six years ago. Finally, in 2015, Dave and Keryn became the third-generation owners of Smiths Transport – buying the Port Albert land that’s now their home base as part of the deal. It had to happen, says Carol: “David put a lot of hard work into growing the business. If he hadn’t….it would have faded out. It wouldn’t have been there if it wasn’t for him.” After becoming the company owners he and Keryn were, as Dave puts it, “ticked-up to the eyeballs.” When he paused to take stock, “I was like ‘f***in’ hell – am I gonna get through this!’ ” But he’s learnt, in his 18 years running the show, that things come in cycles: “Sometimes you’re hungry for any bit of work…. Next minute, you’ve got that much on you can’t handle it all and you’re thinking

‘Geez, I need 10 trucks!’ But then ‘oooh, I only want two now…!’ ” Dave’s approach is a bit like his Dad’s, back in the day – just keep working…hard: “You’ve just gotta try and get through the jobs. And I tell ya, the boys work pretty hard when we’re busy.” Since then he’s bought three Hinos – two 700s and a 500. One was a year old, the other two brand-new. All manuals, as he reckons the stop/start work and the steep country around home don’t suit AMTs. The Hinos have proven great buys, he says, and he’s now convinced that buying new (or close to it) is the way to go: “No doubt about it. You turn the key, you drive out the gate…and you drive home.” In contrast, even his much-loved 2538 Merc, which “gave me such a good run, by the time she’d done a million, I’d be pulling in here…. air leaks, bloody broken bits and pieces falling off. Something going wrong all the time.” During the last motorway project, Smiths Transport had five trucks working – two fulltime on the motorway work: “It put a lot of Ks on those trucks, and if I hadn’t had those new trucks, I wouldn’t have even got a look-in probably.” Another contributor to a smoothly-running business is the big shed that’s the centrepiece of the Smiths Transport yard. Like so many of the company purchases of years gone by, it was a bargain deal. But, also like them, it involved a lot of hard work too. Dave bought it for $5000 from a Wellsford property developer who needed it removed urgently. Dave promptly dismantled it in sections, trucked it to Port Albert….then re-erected it. Truck & Driver | 61

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Top: This 1978 2224 Merc was long the mainstay of Alan’s time running Smiths Transport - and was the truck Dave used as he began the company’s revival Above right: Dave’s proud of his $5000 shed

Above left: Merc 2224 is Dave’s restoration project - a tribute to the company’s past “Having a shed is amazing. We’re able to get a truck in there, grease it, fix it…whatever we need to do.” He and his two fulltime drivers do all servicing and minor repairs – with “anything major” done by Truck, Track and Marine in Warkworth. The income from the motorway work was put to good use, Dave says – crediting Keryn as “a smart girl,” who counselled paying off the debt on the trucks early – then using the money remaining to buy the 13-tonne digger Dave wanted…plus the low-loader trailer and ute to go with it. The digger has always been busy and it “helped keep the trucks alive last winter – when it was a bit wet and things like that. “That’s why I did it – I knew that after the motorway project ended it was gonna slow down. I had to have something to prop me up.” Dave: “The trouble is, it’s hard to step up – you need to have good drivers with you – and it’s hard to find good drivers who’re prepared to stay when things are up and down.” The digger’s now run by “a good, experienced local operator, Murray Booth – a man Dave hoped would come on board when he bought it. “I’ve been lucky – I’ve also got two really good drivers (Mike Boler and Stacey Hansen). They’re both younger than me and they’re local boys too – so they know the area very well.” He credits this team – along with the area’s farmers and contractors (most notably Wharehines) who’ve supported the

business – with helping him get the company to a good place: “I sort of like where we’re at, at the moment. Just myself, two other drivers, and the digger and its operator.” Saying that…he’s not ruling out the addition of another truck or digger at some stage: “The potential’s here for more contracting work. The subdivisions are starting. Wellsford’s prime for it now, because Auckland’s run out of space.” Much longer term, Dave and Keryn’s son Hamish, just six, is shaping as a potential fourth-generation Smiths Transport driver – addicted to playing with his radio-controlled trucks and diggers, climbing into the real things whenever he’s allowed and adamant that he will be a truckie. Says Keryn: “Hmmm, we’ll see. But the older I get, the more I think you’ve just got to let them do what they want to do… It’s a hard way to make a living though.” It was Dave’s dream to run Smiths Transport – so is this a dream come true? Keryn just laughs, while Dave comes up with a heartfelt: “She’s a long road! The years roll by pretty quick eh when you’re running around in trucks…and all the stress and everything else. “I think we’ve done really well: We’ve built ourselves a house, paid off a lot of gear…” But yes – “definitely – it does feel good to be back here and running the business. I probably should have come back earlier and got into it...” Truck & Driver | 63

LEGENDS J.V. Geany Ltd. - Rotorua

NZ’s first Kenworth Cabover


ONTINUING WITH OUR THEME OF LEGENDARY KENWORTH trucks, this time we follow the journey of a 1966 K923. Not only was it NZ’s first K-Model Kenworth cabover, but it was also too wide to be allowed on NZ roads. Here’s the story of chassis number 82592, another Southpac Legend. This 1966 Kenworth K923 was a standout of its time. Not only was 82592 the 13th Kenworth to come to NZ, but it was also the starting point for the large cabover market share held by Kenworth today and now being extended by the new generation K220. It was also a Newark Cab Kenworth, so had no fibreglass. Current owner and restorer Craig Gordon explains: “My understanding is that this model was designed for the European market. It’s got a straight through dash, and quite an open cab. “It’s all aluminium, roof and aluminium window castings, has a front flap on the cab that opens up so you can work on the dash from the outside and mesh stays with the radiator, so when you tilt the cab, you can stand up inside and work over the front of the engine.” Craig says it also has a folding grille “which is not normal on a K-Series Kenworth” and hasn’t got steps under the doors [it’s got swinging frames], so it was a totally different style of truck to the next Kenworth K-Series that came along.” According to Craig, the 1966 K923 arrived in RFL’s blue and white livery. However, unfortunately, because it was over-width they couldn’t take it. “NZ at that time was 8ft and this truck was 8ft 2in. So, it couldn’t get on the road.” Despite the setback, Dalhoff & King, Palmerston North decided to drive it around NZ and show it off to all. It was at a Rotorua show

64 | Truck & Driver

in ‘67, where it finally found its first NZ role, as a stock truck for JV Geany from Rotorua. “Peter Geany’s father and grandmother bought the truck in `67,” says Craig. “Dennis and Myra Geany took it to their yard, took the standard round indicators off and replaced them with flat ones. Then Barry Caulfield [who was at Bridgestone back then], cut the wheel studs down on the front and made it the legal width.” The K923 was fitted out as a stock truck and trailer. It came powered by an NH250 Cummins with a 4-speed main and 4-speed auxiliary, had a Page and Page rear end and Rockwell top loader diffs. However, Craig says that “like many American trucks back in those days” the truck had no brakes on the front axle, (just maxi brakes on the first driver and service brakes on the rear). So, when JV Geany did finally get it on the road, they weren’t allowed to take the trailer off because there wasn’t enough braking. Craig says that the truck went on the road in ‘67/68 with Sonny Barnes at the helm and in the first 12 months he put 100,000 miles (160,000km) – most stock trucks at that time only did 8090,000km. “It performed really well, and the existing trucks they [JV Geany] had could never keep up.” he says. Apparently, the Geany’s had a habit of not painting truck chassis, so when it went on the road it wasn’t hard to miss. It had a red and yellow cab and a blue chassis. They also put the exhaust system along the chassis and relocated the air cleaner, oh and painted the grille red. By all accounts ‘it looked quite strange’.





1. Dalhoff & King (NZ) Ltd. - Wellington 2. Salters Transport Ltd. - Tairua

3. Dalhoff & King Ltd. - Palmerston North Craig says that the following year the Geany’s changed the front axle and put a braked one in, it was slightly narrower so had the good studs on it. “But the problem is, they put Maxi brakes on the front axle and when you’re in the cab, the handbrake button is by your right knee,” says Craig. “It’s a reverse button too, so you push it in to put the brakes on. Not something you’ll want to do when shifting gears,” he jokes. When the Geany’s got round to changing up their fleet, the K923 was traded in, and Ernie Salter (Salter’s Transport in Tairua) bought it. He put a self-loading crane on the back and sent it out on cartage and recycling duties. Later it was traded in again, back to Dalhoff & King Palmerston North, before GG Hamilton in Marton bought it. They tidied it all up and used it for carting potatoes. Next, the K923 went from moving spuds to moving lemons. It headed north and started a new career in the towing business with Auckland Towing Services in Auckland. From there, stories began circulating that NZ’s first Kenworth cabover had been destroyed. However, Craig Gordon recalls that he was talking to a guy at a show in Rotorua and discovered that this was thankfully untrue. In fact, the K923 had made its way to Greg Clarke at Mt Maunganui, where it was pulling bits and pieces of machinery around the farm. Craig took a trip to Clarke’s farm and asked `what were the chances of buying the truck?’ “He was asked what he was going to do with it to which he replied, ‘restore it back to its original.’ Gregory immediately

5 4. G.G. Hamilton - Marton

5. Auckland Towing Co. Ltd. - Auckland

dropped $1000 off the asking price. And so, in 2018/19, the K923 became Craig Gordon’s of Mt Maunganui. “First to go was the tow truck rear,” says Craig. “And while it was working in Auckland, it was given a homemade grille and it looked awful.” So that went too. “It took me three and a half years to get an original grille for it.” says Craig. “A guy had one on a shelf because he’d converted one to a conventional.” He says that somewhere along the way a 310HP turbo has been put into it, but he’s found another engine and correct rear end, so he’s got most of the parts. It’s going back to 100% original, exactly how it was on the road, every nut and bolt, even the modified indicators. As to when exactly it will be restored has yet to be confirmed, as Craig is in the process of building a toy shed and has five trucks to work on. “I’m doing my father’s W924 first and then I’ll do this K923.” Craig says that once completed, the truck will stay in his shed as he’s trying to preserve history. “It’s a nice old truck but it’s quite strange. It’s only a 52-inch cab but there’s more room in there than in the late model ones, because they’ve all got big frames and insulation. This is just a bare bones truck with heaters under each seat.” Craig believes that this 82592 is the only K923 in Australasia, and judging by the amount of people that want photos and to know more about it, is probably true. “Even the guy from Kenworth Australia hadn’t even seen one,” says Craig, “so it must be something special.”

Truck & Driver | 65

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New stars set to shine

The new Western Star X-Series trio (from left) 47X, 49X and 48X models.

By: Colin Smith

AMONG THE NEW HEAVY TRUCK MODELS ARRIVING IN THE NEW availability of the 13-litre Detroit DD13 Gen 5 engine in the 47X – Zealand market during 2024 is the highly-anticipated Western Star giving an option for up to 525hp – and the 15.6-litre DD16 engine trio of 47X, 48X and 49X models. which offers up to 600hp as an option for the 48X and standard The new Western Stars made their debut at the Brisbane Truck equipment for the 49X. Show in May last year and over the past 14 months Penske New The 47X and 49X models have been available in North America Zealand has been finalising the model choice and specification since 2021 before being developed for right-hand-drive. The 48X is details for the Kiwi market. a unique-for-Australasia design. The first local demonstration units arrived earlier this year and That specialisation is further extended with the development of public showings have included the TMS Expo in Christchurch and the 8x4 version of the 48X for New Zealand, primarily for logging recent the Wood Transport and Logistics conference in Rotorua. applications as a successor to the popular 4800 model. The work Penske New Zealand has been carrying out ahead of “The addition of the 48X in an 8x4 model as well as the 6x4 launch is slightly different to the Australian market preparations – models perfectly caters for our local market,” says Dean Hoverd, primarily because the volume-selling model here is the 8x4 version national truck sales manager, Penske New Zealand. of the 48X, which the Australian market doesn’t receive. “Western Star has earned its reputation as a bullet-proof truck It’s no understatement to rank the X-Series as the most by delivering outstanding durability and performance in the tough important Australasian model launch for Western Star for many years. New 48X set up as a 6x4 tipper. The X-Series represents a new era in terms of performance and fuel efficiency as well as adopting the latest Daimler Safety suite and a completely upgraded interior design. The exterior styling is differentiated for each of the three model lines and is also an unmistakable evolution of Western Star legacy design themes. Key development priorities have included interior noise and temperature insulation with triple door seals while a new multi-function steering wheel and primary instrument cluster deliver a modern workspace with everything the driver needs at their fingertips. The are several important product initiatives which will allow Western Star to compete across a broader range of segments. These include the Truck & Driver | 67

The 48X in Australian B-Double configuration.

logging sector for many years.” “Current model 4800 accounts for 90% of sales so initial stock inventory orders for NZ have been 48X. The 47X and 49X will be available ex-factory. “There are two X-Series currently in New Zealand. The first to land was a 48X 8x4 which is a pre-series production unit that has been set up with logging gear and trailer for use as evaluation/ demo unit,” Dean says. “The second unit is a 48X 6x4 tractor and is currently being used

An 8x4 version of the 47X has been developed for the Australian market.

as part of our roll out of technical training and support across the country.” The 48X has a set-forward front axle and a choice of standard, low trench and mid-roof cab designs. There are 36-, 48- and 60inch sleeper options offered with the 6x4 models, however the 8x4 is only available as a Day Cab. Engine options for the 48X are the Detroit DD13 Gen 5 in outputs ranging from 450-525hp as well as the 15.6-litre DD16 engine in 500, 560 and 600hp output levels. The 48X can be specified for







68 | Truck & Driver

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Left: The new X-Series offers multiple models for a wide range of roles. Right: Key models for Australia include the 48X 6x4 for B-Double work and the 47X 8x4. Far Right: A 49X with the 72-inch sleeper.

continued from p69 GCM ratings up to 130 tonnes. The high output 600hp DD16 engine develops 2050 lb-ft of torque with 1850 lb-ft for the 500hp and 560hp versions. Transmission choices include the automated manual DT12-OV and DT12-OVX (Extreme) unit along with Eaton Fuller 18-speed manuals. Detroit and Meritor front axle options, Meritor and Dana rear axles and a range of rear suspensions including AirLiner, Neway ADZ, Tuftrac Gen 2 and Hendrickson Primaax EX options can be specified. Meanwhile the versatile 47X line-up is identified by a short, sloped bonnet that yields payload flexibility, a set-back front axle, and a choice of power which includes the 380hp Cummins L9 or the Detroit DD13 Gen 5 engine with up to 525hp. There are 6x4, 8x4 and 10x4 configurations available and along with Detroit DT12 AMT and Eaton Fuller manual transmissions there is also an Allison fully automatic option with the Cummins engine.

A recent addition to the 47X model range which takes the Western Star brand into a new market segment is the 8x4 with the 525hp DD13 engine and 72.5t GCM rating. At the pinnacle of the X-Series line is the tough 49X powered by the DD16 and offering up to 200+ tonnes GCM capability. It is available with multiple cab options – including the flagship 72inch Stratosphere hi-roof sleeper. All of the latest generation DD engines meet the requirements of the upcoming ADR80/04 legislation ahead of time and are designed to operate on renewable diesel fuel such as HVO without modification, offering significant CO2 reduction potential. The 13-litre engine features a new swirl piston design for better combustion, a new turbocharger for responsive performance, improved thermal management for fewer regens, extended DPF service intervals, and further fuel efficiency improvements. The DD16 is biggest, most powerful truck engine ever offered by Detroit. Along with the Western Star 48X and 49X it’s also

Steering the new Stars Hayden Woolston got to drive the 48X 6x4 with Detroit DD16 power.

70 | Truck & Driver

THIS MONTH I WAS PRIVILEGED TO BE invited across to Penske Australia’s Brisbane headquarters to spend a couple of days with their latest Western Star and MAN offerings. There was an opportunity to take these trucks out onto the Queensland highways with mostly full loads and on my first day I had a ride in the Western Star 48X tractor unit with B-Double trailers loaded out to max weight. With Australian licencing we Kiwis with our Class 5 licences aren’t permitted to drive a B-Double combination, so I have to ride shot gun in the passenger seat for this first part of the programme. It’s been a very long time since Western Star staged a new model launch. The long wait means this new X-Series trio of 47X, 48X and 49X models can be considered as almost completely different trucks. Riding in the passenger seat on this trip is a good

chance to get to know the operations of the tech side of this truck. It’s very clear from the dash and the steering wheel that this truck has come out of the Daimler stable. One example is the steering wheel – it’s almost identical to a Fuso, Freightliner or Mercedes-Benz, just with a different logo in the centre. While some of the design features and quite a lot of the technology is common across the Daimler family, the X-Series seems to be able to project its own brand identity. The new design combines with the rugged look that Western Star has been known for with detailing that’s stylish and modern. I can’t wait to see how this truck looks painted in the fleet colours of New Zealand operators. My chance to drive was in a 48X powered by the DD16 engine in a tipper and dog configuration – essentially a 6x4 tipper unit with a 4-axle trailer.

available in the Freightliner Cascadia 126. The DD16 features turbo compounding to recover heat from the exhaust, transforming lost potential into bonus power and a wide, flat torque curve that pulls strongly all the way down below 1,000rpm. “Customer feedback on the performance of the latest Detroit drivetrain in new Western Star and Freightliner trucks has been exceptional,” said Bob Gowans, Detroit business manager, Penske Australia. “We are seeing vehicles in service yielding class-leading fuel efficiency and driving experience – from single trailer operations all the way to road trains.” Accompanying the Detroit portfolio of engines are the Detroit DT12 automated manual transmissions in DT12-OV (up to 2250 lb-ft of torque) and DT12-OVX (up to 2500 lb-ft variants). The 12-speed transmission boasts rock-free and off-road functions, in addition to the on-highway focussed economy and performance modes. It also includes a power launch feature and has side and rear power

The unit was loaded to its max capacity of 57t, and I asked Wayne from Penske Australia who accompanies me in the passenger seat to guide me out into the country and get this truck on some tough roads. As we head out of the Penske Brisbane facility at Wacol, we negotiate some tight intersection and hit the motorway with ease. The DD16 is new to the NZ market for Western Star and the big displacement engine combined with the DTT12-OV transmission make light work of the 57t and we are cruising along the Brisbane motorways with ease. As we head Southwest from Brisbane, we get off the motorway and hit some country roads. These are single lane roads with 100kph speed limits. The roads are very similar to New Zealand – even down to the broken surfaces and increasing number of potholes as you get further out of town. The drive is made easy with everything you need at your fingertips, the seat is comfy and supportive, and the cab provides plenty of leg room and steering adjustment. The ride is comfortable even with the 57t

take-off (PTO) capabilities. Available across the X-Series models is the latest generation of Detroit advanced safety and driver assist technologies including Active Brake Assist 5, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, Side Guard Assist, tailgate warning, brake hold mode, an improved visibility package, and a RollTek driver’s seat with rollover restraint and a seat-mounted airbag. Auto wipers and LED headlights are standard along with a new multi-function steering wheel. The new dashboard and switchgear angle the centre stack to wraparound the driver and a digital dash incorporating a high definition 300mm driver display and 254 mm touchscreen infotainment unit that includes Apple Carplay/ Android Auto features is available on X-Series models equipped with the DT12 transmission. Dean Hoverd says the full range of 47X, 48X and 49X models can be ordered now and the first confirmed customer orders are due to land in New Zealand during July.

all-up weight and rough roads. The sloping bonnet and the mirrors all work in unison to give good visibility. What I was most impressed with was the cab on this truck. There were no rattles or squeaks, with enough sound deadening and insulation to be able to hear the engine note and the turbo, but not so loud that you can’t have a relaxed conversation with your passenger. The new Western Star X-Series is the big news from this trip. The MAN models I also had a chance to sample aren’t much different from what we have here already in New Zealand, and we’ll be featuring a local drive in the coming months – so stand by for that test. With the run-out of previous generation Western Star models the brand only achieved 16 sales in New Zealand last year. Something new always creates some attention and it’s going to be interesting to see how it goes in the Kiwi market. Bold styling, which is a modern version of traditional and unmistakeable design cues plus the availability of multiple engine choices headlined by the powerful 16-litre

DD16 should help the team at Penske NZ to get them on the roads around New Zealand. An early taste of the 48X in Aussie has me really looking forward to a local test of this truck and seeing the first New Zealand customers putting it to work. Completely new interior has some strong Daimler family influences.

Truck & Driver | 71

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By: Colin Smith

Lots of ACTion in Las Vegas

Las Vegas hosted the 2024 Advanced Clean Transportation Expo. Here are some of the truck industry highlights.

FORGET THE PHRASE `WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS, STAYS IN VEGAS’. The happenings at the annual Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo hosted by the Las Vegas Convention Centre offer a shop window into the advanced vehicles and alternative fuels that truck manufacturers and energy pioneers are developing for North American highways. Now in its 13th year, the scale of May 20-23 event was impressive – it drew an estimated 12,000 attendees, 2,700 fleets and 450 exhibitors representing 54 countries with a range of electric, hydrogen and renewable fuels technologies in the spotlight. Making its debut was the Kenworth SuperTruck 2 demonstrator – the result of six years of collaboration by PACCAR with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) SuperTruck programme to improve freight efficiency using a diesel engine as the main power source. SuperTruck2 is powered by a 440hp PACCAR MX-11 engine which drives through a PACCAR TX-12 automated transmission. A 48-volt electric generator provides a “mild” hybrid system, with lithium-ion batteries being re-charged through regenerative braking. The 48V system operates the fans, electric power steering, and power for the electric coolant and HVAC pumps, which were previously mechanically driven. The 48V generator also powers the exhaust heater for the in-house developed close coupled aftertreatment system required to meet CARB 2027 ultra-low NOx compliance. The hybrid system also provides an overnight engine-off ‘hoteling’ solution. The SuperTruck 2 team managed a parallel project for energy efficiency testing by combining a PACCAR MX-11 based engine, the 48volt auxiliaries and energy waste recovery to bench test a programme record 55.7% engine efficiency. “We did this while keeping in mind the technologies we developed needed to be commercially viable,” says Maarten Meijer, PACCAR’s senior engineering manager for advanced technology. “Today’s modern diesel engine demonstrates around 47% efficiency. Reaching 55.7% was a major step forward and could only be done by applying new technologies that had not been explored until today. To put that efficiency number into perspective, if this engine were to go into production, it would lead to a 10% fuel efficiency improvement. That’s an astonishing number.” The unique design of Kenworth’s SuperTruck 2 features a “centre driver” cab, along with a new sleeper compartment. “We wanted to push this beyond just a demonstrator truck,” says Jonathan Duncan, Kenworth’s design director. “We wanted to show something dynamic and what the future of Kenworth might look like. Our headlamps take up the entire front fender of the truck. It’s striking – you can’t miss it as it’s going down the road.” The aerodynamic design is enabled in part by the location of the

powertrain between the frame rails, positioning the engine lower and behind the front axle. A reverse-splayed chassis has allowed the engineers to narrow the front of the truck and fully enclose the wheels within the bodywork. A variable suspension system was developed to control ride height and optimise aerodynamics. Kenworth’s SuperTruck 2 can be raised over rough roads, then brought back down when running over smoother surfaces. The truck records a 48% reduction in drag compared to Kenworth’s baseline vehicle. While SuperTruck 2 is powered by a diesel engine, the overall layout is designed to be powertrain agnostic. To support zero and nearzero emission solutions, the truck can efficiently package fuel cells, hydrogen tanks, natural gas tanks, or batteries without changing the basic cab. Enabling higher payloads was a critical element for the Kenworth engineering team, with a specific trailer designed to go with the tractor and weight reduction at the forefront of the programme. The combination came in at 11,838kg – 3,220kg less than a typical tractor-trailer configuration. Specific weight savings were achieved by using new low rolling resistance tyres – which across the 10 tyres on the truck combine for a 161kg saving. And the more efficient powertrain allowed the engineers to reduce the size of the fuel tank by 80 US gallons (302 litres) while achieving the same range. Kenworth says the original design objectives for SuperTruck2 have been surpassed. “The goal was a 100% freight efficiency improvement over our 2009 Kenworth T660, which at the time was arguably the most fuel-efficient truck in the industry. We surpassed the performance of that model to improve efficiency by up to 136%,” says Jim Walenczak, general manager of Kenworth and PACCAR vice president. Several hydrogen fuel cell initiatives were previewed at ACT Expo 2024. Top: The SuperTruck2 demonstrator (left) showcases the aerodynamic evolution of Kenworth trucks.

Below: Honda is applying its hydrogen fuel cell expertise to heavy-duty truck development.

Truck & Driver | 73

Accelera by Cummins launched the new FCE150 fuel cell (above) and 14Xe e-Axle at its ACT Expo press conference. Honda displayed a Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell truck demonstration project which is powered by three new Honda fuel cell (FC) systems, now in mass production at Fuel Cell System Manufacturing, LLC (FCSM), a joint venture production facility with General Motors in Brownstown, Michigan. The combined output of the three fuel cells is 240kW with 82kg of hydrogen stored at 700-bar in high pressure tanks. Electrical power is stored in a 120kWh high voltage battery and the truck has an estimated range of 700km working at 37.2t GCM “Commercial vehicles, including Class 8 trucks, where fuel cells offer the best zero-emission replacement for existing diesel applications, are a key part of Honda’s broad hydrogen business strategy,” says Ryan Harty, assistant vice president, sustainability & business development, American Honda Motor Co. “Honda is actively seeking business collaborations and customers to help bring these hydrogen fuel cell solutions to market here in North America.” Hyundai used the ACT Expo to unveil the first Level 4 autonomous Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell electric truck in the U.S. Developed in collaboration with autonomous driving software leader Plus, the XCIENT Fuel Cell truck is equipped with Plus SuperDrive Level 4 autonomous driving technology. The Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell 6x4 tractor is powered by two 90kW

hydrogen fuel cell systems and a 350kW e-motor, providing a driving range of over 450 miles per charge even when fully loaded. Plus’s SuperDrive solution is being deployed across the U.S., Europe, and Australia. The system uses a combination of cutting-edge sensors, including LiDAR, radar and cameras, to provide surround perception, planning, prediction and self-driving capabilities. In another hydrogen announcement Ballard Power Systems unveiled a new high-performance fuel cell engine designed for heavy-duty vehicle applications. “Our innovative FCmove-XD delivers significant improvements in reliability, durability, efficiency, power density, scalability, serviceability, and total cost of ownership,” says Mircea Gradu, Ballard’s Chief Engineering Officer. The scalable 120kW fuel cell engine integrates DC/DC regulated output, enabling up to three modules to operate as one system with a single interface, capable of delivering a combined 360kW of zeroemission power output. With a design life of 30,000+ hours of operation – or over 1.6 million kilometres in truck operation at typical duty cycles – the FCmove-XD engine is developed to deliver class-leading durability and low total cost of ownership. “The power and performance requirements of the highly-segmented truck market are particularly demanding due to various use cases,

Ballard introduced its ninth generation hydrogen fuel cell (left) and Daimler’s Rizon brand has increased the payload capacity of its battery electric trucks.

74 | Truck & Driver

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Lion Electric launched the Lion8 Tractor (top photo) while Hino is a partner in the Tern RC8 electric truck (left) and Hyundai is now testing an autonomous version of the XCIENT Fuel Cell 6x4 Tractor. including high vehicle utilisation rates and payload requirements,” says Silvano Pozzi, Vice President, Product Line Management. “One of the compelling features of our new FCmove-XD is scalability based on modularity. We can offer customers efficient integration of 120kW, 240kW, and 360kW solutions dependent on truck class, use case, and duty cycle. For example, two engines, totalling 240kW of power output, can be easily installed in the engine compartment of a typical Class 8 heavy-duty truck.” Accelera by Cummins, the zero-emissions business segment of Cummins showcased its latest decarbonising technologies, including new versions of its hydrogen fuel cell engines, a high efficiency eAxle, and next-generation batteries in Las Vegas. The latest generation of Accelera’s fuel cell technology can be found in the newly launched FCE300 and FCE150 fuel cell engines. Both offer increased power density for larger systems, improved system efficiency and advanced durability. The modular architecture enables seamless configurations for a multitude of applications and layouts, while streamlining integration processes for on- and off-highway mobile and stationary applications. Accelera’s 300kW fuel cell engine was displayed in a Navistar RH International Class 8 heavy-duty truck equipped with two FCE150 engines and a new Accelera eAxle. The 14Xe is Accelera’s newest and most versatile eAxle. Available with a 3-speed twin-countershaft or a 2-speed planetary transmission, the 14Xe is designed to accommodate increased torque, power and battery voltage requirements. The 14Xe is best suited for heavy-duty 6x4 applications in a tandem configuration or as a single application for medium-duty and school bus applications. There were also two new Class 8 electric trucks launched in Las Vegas. The Lion Electric Company unveiled the cab-forward Lion8 Tractor, an all-electric Class 8 commercial truck, which is expected to be commercially available in mid-2024. The Lion8 emerges as an industry frontrunner with the highest gross combination weight rating (GCWR) in the EV truck sector, boasting up to 57.6 tonnes. It has a 6x4 axle configuration with two integrated 2-speed eAxles. 76 | Truck & Driver

With a proprietary 750V battery system and battery capacity of up to 630kWh (Lion’s Heavy-Duty battery packs), the Lion8 has a range of up to 440km. Charging to 80% SOC (state of charge) at max power can be accomplished in approximately 1.5 hours. Lion Electric has designed and manufactured all-electric class 5 to class 8 commercial urban trucks and all-electric school buses for over 15 years. It has more than 2,000 vehicles on the road. Also on debut was the battery electric Tern RC8. Tern is a new zero-emission Class 8 truck nameplate born through collaboration between Hexagon Purus, a world leading manufacturer of zeroemission mobility and infrastructure solutions, and Hino Trucks. It’s built on a U.S.-assembled Hino XL Series 4x2 chassis with integrated zero-emission technology developed by Hexagon Purus. Dual Hexagon Purus Gen3 269 kWh battery packs – in a 750volt, 538kWh configuration – provide power and range for most duty cycles and a recharge rate of 241kW allows 80% charge in a little under 2 hours. Peak/continuous horsepower ratings are 680hp/494hp. Serial production for the Tern RC8 is scheduled for late 2024. It features the Dana Zero-8 e-Axle for optimum efficiency with battery cells supplied and manufactured by Panasonic Energy initially in Japan, before transitioning to De Soto, Kansas from 2026 onwards. With a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 30,880kg, the target applications for the RC8 are metro-regional routes, food and beverage logistics and similar routes where the tight turning radius and 4x2 chassis provide practical benefits. There were also two new versions added to the Rizon light-duty truck range, Daimler Truck’s new North America all-electric brand which sells the truck known globally as the Fuso eCanter. Rizon launched at the 2023 ACT Expo and this year the new e18Mx and e18Lx models debuted offering increased payload capacity. The Rizon e18Mx and e18Lx offer an additional 387kg of payload capacity, increasing the rating to 8550kg. Like the new generation eCanter, the Rizon battery-electric cabover trucks are designed for urban deliveries offering a range of up to 260km. Next year the ACT Expo 2025 returns to Los Angeles and runs April 28-May 1 at the Anaheim Convention Centre.


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Above: The Best of Show 1st Runner Up prize was won by this 1984 Kenworth W900B of Iowa’s JR Schleuger. Below left: Overall winner Kaleb Hammett with his 2019 Peterbilt 389 (left).

Below right: Best Interior was also won by Kaleb Hammett for his 2017 Peterbilt 389.

Bottom: The Texas Motor Speedway provided a spectacular venue for the 42nd annual SuperRigs show.

78 | Truck & Driver


The Best in Show 2019 Peterbilt 389.

Texas treat at SuperRigs ‘24 TEXAS PROVIDED THE STAGE FOR THE 2024 EDITION OF NORTH America’s premier truck beauty contest for actively working trucks. Owner/operator truckers from across the United States and Canada gathered at the Texas Motor Speedway near Fort Worth for the 42nd annual Shell Rotella SuperRigs competition held May 30-June 1. The competition offers cash and prizes valued at approximately US$25,000. All winners also receive reward miles from the Shell Rotella loyalty programme and 12 trucks are selected to feature in the 2025 Shell Rotella SuperRigs calendar. SuperRigs includes judging and public display of trucks, a concert and a fireworks and truck lights show which has become a signature of the annual event. It was a Texas driver with a Texas-built truck who captured Best of Show honours. The overall winning truck was Hoss, a 2019 Peterbilt 389 owned by Kaleb Hammett of Dodd City, Texas, who was awarded $10,000 from Shell Rotella. The truck also won the Best Lights category. JR Schleuger from Britt, Iowa. won Best of Show first runner-up and $4,000 from Shell Rotella for his 1984 Kenworth W900B. Ernie Adams of New Florence, Pennsylvania was awarded Best of Show second runnerup for his 1982 Kenworth W900A.

Other notable winners included Tarik Al-Amin II from Crete, Illinois in the Tractor/Trailer division with his 2023 Kenworth W900L and Gary Jones from Lawson, Missouri in the Tractor Division with a 2018 Peterbilt 389. Alex Schleuger from Britt, Iowa won the Classic Division with his 2005 Kenworth W900L and Brandon McInnis from Montalba, Texas won the Steve Sturgess Best Theme Award with his 1985 Mack Superliner RW613. The People’s Choice Award was won by Jeff Hoker from Dixon, Iowa with a 2023 Peterbilt 389 with the truck also taking honours in the Non-Working Show Truck Award. The People’s Choice Award was selected virtually with voting taking place online and for every People’s Choice vote cast this year, Shell Rotella donated $1 to the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund.

The fireworks and lights show is a highlight of the Shell Rotella SuperRigs show. Truck & Driver | 79

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National Road Carriers

Shaping the future of the transport industry I N SOME WAYS THE TRANSPORT INDUSTRY EPITOMISES THE catch cry ‘live in the moment’, operating in the immediate, just-intime, do what it takes to get the job done space. But the industry relies on people and infrastructure, which take decades to develop. And to those challenges you can add the transition from fossil fuels to renewables. NRC’s job is to help our members, by looking down the road to make sure the industry has the people, roading and a realistic low emissions pathway that allows them to sustainably run their businesses now and in the future. That’s why our advocacy strategy is firmly focused on the core factors driving the future of the industry being workforce requirements, achieving a just transition, and transport infrastructure. What is NRC doing to shift these large rocks? Workforce requirements: We have an increasing shortage across the board, from drivers and engineers to managers. On top of this the skills we need are in demand globally. We need to strengthen domestic supply by: • Making sure everyone leaves school with a full class 1 licence, • Building recognition that driving heavy trucks is a valuable skill, • Incentivising employers who employ apprentices and cadets, • Increasing value recognition of on-the-job training and increase support to employers, • Promoting awareness of other transport related career opportunities. NRC advocates for policy changes to achieve these outcomes by concerted and targeted communications about these sector needs to government agencies and employers directly in meetings, submissions and presentations and indirectly through news and social media. Just Transition to Carbon Zero: New Zealand has committed to net zero greenhouse emissions by 2050 with freight to reduce emissions by 35% by 2035. Over 93% of freight is carried by road and pressure is increasing as 2035 approaches. The freight fleet must be able to transition to zero emissions without losing productivity or increasing transport costs to the wider economy. Required support must: • Accommodate different configurations and increased productivity, • Incentivise infrastructure roll out and resilience of the electricity network, • Limit disincentives,

Justin Tighe-Umbers, CEO, National Road Carriers Association

• Encourage cost of ownership information sharing, • Encourage adoption of measures that reduce existing fleet emissions. NRC is advocating and advising on Vehicle Dimension and Mass (VDAM) reforms, encouraging Government to de-risk innovation, and holding to account any policies that increase cost. We are assisting with emission reduction solutions for members and are collating and distributing relevant materials across our channel network. All work is underpinned by a request to officials to better use data to understand infrastructure needs of members. Transport infrastructure: New Zealand’s transport infrastructure has suffered from decades of under investment and is now faced with longterm assets that at reaching their end of life. Adverse weather events have impacted the network and there is an increased threat to coastal infrastructure due to climate change. The country needs a long-term (50-year) plan for transport infrastructure that: • Establishes a clear pipeline of work to encourage commitment from local and global investors and contractors, • Utilises data to drive what parts of the network to prioritise for increased resilience and productivity, • Draws on data to identify future demand and factor in economic and global changes, • Draws on intelligent access charging so that those who benefit help pay for new infrastructure, • Reduces consenting and consultation processes and utilises standardised design to increase efficiency. NRC is calling for a longer-term planning and investment cycle and supports an alternative funding model. We are helping with the adoption of data driven initiatives and are pushing back on policies that add cost to operators. As an NRC member as well as getting tangible benefits such as savings on fuel, insurance, specialist industry advice and bespoke business cost modelling, you should know you are part of a team that is working strategically to create a better tomorrow for road transport. We have an excellent rapport with the new Minister of Transport Simeon Brown and strong working relationships with the top officials at NZTA Waka Kotahi. They hear what we say and trust that we know what we’re talking about so we’re making progress in addressing the industry’s big issues. Truck & Driver | 81


Story and photos: David Kinch

Striking the right note HELD EVERY YEAR IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE BAYLEY’S Country Music Festival (which also includes the Golden Guitar Awards) the McDonough Contracting Gore Truck Show is the only truck show held in New Zealand during the winter period. With the usual frosty morning not eventuating this time around, some entrants were caught in an early morning shower of rain on their way to the Transport Repairs yard so a bit of extra cleaning was required before the judges got started. Because of a shortage of room drivers were asked not to bring trailers into the venue. Some chose to drop them nearby and re-connect for the parade. Luckily the weather cleared, and the public made their way to the venue to view an impressive array of trucks which consisted of companies mainly representing the Southland and Otago regions.

As the popular parade began at 2pm with public lining the main street of Gore were braving rain and hail, but waving with enthusiasm as the 90 plus trucks made their way through town. The prizegiving was held at the Croydon Lodge with the Carter Tyres Trophy for King Rig awarded to Daryl Shand from Freight Haulage in a very tidy FM Volvo. This year there was one face missing from the show. This man, Alex McLellan, always had a smile on his face and gave his time to many and it was great to see the committee introduce a trophy in his honour. The inaugural winner of the Alex McLellan Memorial Trophy for Best Kenworth was won by Robert Galt from Eden Haulage who entered a K200 Kenworth truck and trailer unit.

2024 McDonough Contracting Gore Truck Show Awards King Rig 2024 (Carters Tyres Trophy): Daryl Shand, Freight Haulage New - 40,000km (Downer EDI Trophy): AJ Beatty, Herberts Transport 40,000 - 100,000km (TMC Trailers Trophy): Rob Singh, Carters Tyres 100,000 - 400,000km (TMC Trailers Trophy): Brendon Brand , HRT 400,000 - 700,000km: Jamie Petterson, Scott Transport 700,000 - 1 million km: Richard Parish, Fonterra Truck over 1 million km: Robert Galt, Eden Haulage Isuzu (Ian Heaps Memorial Trophy): Rob Singh, Carters Tyres Freightliner (South Star Freightliner Trophy): Coltin Manson, Booths Transport Scania (Borthwick Family Trophy): AJ Beatty, Herberts Transport Mercedes (Angus Drummond Trophy): Jamie Ferris, Healy Transport Hino: Craig Chamberlain, Easy Bins Southland Kenworth (Alex McLellan Memorial Trophy): Robert Galt, Eden Haulage Mitsubishi/Fuso: McDonough Contracting Volvo (Andrews Transport Trophy): Barry Ramsay, Freight Haulage Mack (Cranleigh Haulage Trophy): Ryan Shand, Freight Haulage MAN: Quade Payne, Waikaka Transport Nissan/UD: Glen Hornell, Kings Log Transport DAF: Erin Wright, Herberts Transport Iveco: Brent Robinson, 3 Rivers Contracting Other: Phil Collinson Eden Haulage, Western Star HW Richardson Group (Bill Richardson Memorial Trophy): Gerry Phillips, Dynes Transport

82 | Truck & Driver

Female Driver (GFS Trophy): Amanda Baldwin, Easy Bins Southland Logger (Daikin Trophy): Jamie Petterson, Scott Transport Bulk Truck (Fulton Hogan Trophy): Brendon Brand, HRT Timber Cartage Vehicle (GFS – Blue Mountain Lumber Trophy): Gerry Phillips, Dynes Transport Curtainsider (TMC Trailers Trophy): Coltin Manson ,Booths Bulk Sower (Barry Wilson Memorial Trophy): AJ Beatty, Herberts Transport Stock Truck (Delta Stock Crates Trophy): Luke Hayward, Ryal Bush Transport Tractor Unit (Kevin Muir Memorial Trophy): Ryan Shand, Freight Haulage Tanker: Brian Hodgson, Hodgson Contracting Linehaul (Charlie De Theirry Memorial Trophy): Robert Galt ,Eden Haulage Light Vehicle (LIC Gore): Rob Singh, Carters Tyres Passenger Vehicle (Best Passenger Vehicle Trophy): Anne Brown, Go Bus Gore Crane Truck (Palfinger Trophy): Rob Wylie, Powernet Stock Feed Unit (Balfour Engineering Trophy): Fraggle, Wilkins Farming Furthest Distance Travelled (NZ Trucking Trophy): Bergie, Martinborough Transport Tidiest Oldest Working Truck (Gore Sheetmetal Trophy): McDonough Contracting Best Refurbished Truck (Beattie Auto Trophy): Gerry Phillips, Dynes Transport Best Vintage (Hokonui Pioneer Village Trophy): Paul Clarke, P L Clarke Ltd Best Fleet: Easy Bins Southland (Average 101/140) Best Paint Job: Chris Butler, SVT People’s Choice (Michael Irish O’Brien Trophy): Bergie, Martinbourgh Transport

Opposite page: The entrants in the McDonough Contracting 2024 Gore Truck Show lined up for judging at Transport Repairs. Above: The Carter’s Tyres Trophy for King Rig went to the Volvo driven by Daryl Shand of Freight Haulage Limited. Right: The busy registration office and the prized King Ring trophy. Below: Paul Clarke in the Maxwell Bros Ford DT 2418 resto.

Truck & Driver | 83

Caltex Oil Shop Network Diesel and Turbo Wellington

Tom Bracken, Sales Manager

Established in 1988 Diesel and Turbo Wellington has evolved into a vibrant well respected business. We are proud to be the Caltex Lubricant Distributor for Wellington, Taranaki and Manawatu (Lower North Island). We understand that equipment reliability is critical to your business. Our professional team, and our Oil Shop Network can assist you with implementing efficient Lubrication service solution for your fleet, saving on down time and reducing operating costs. Call the Team at Diesel and Turbo 0800 568 9218 or your local Caltex Oil shop.

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Five new DAF 8x4s have been added to the Refrigafreighters nationwide refrigerated distribution fleet. The FTD Space Cab tractors are working with refrigerated quad semis and are powered by 530hp Paccar MX-13 engines with the ZF TraXon 16-speed AMT. Paccar SR1360T rear axles feature dual diff locks and Paccar air suspension has electronic hand control adjustment. DAFs full safety and driver assist system includes, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and collision mitigation with autonomous emergency braking. Extras includes stainless inserts on drive axle guards, painted sun visor, extra marker lights to sun visor and mirrors, DAF illuminated grille badge, alloy chassis covers, and chassis mounted toolbox. Marsh Engineering took care of the lighting, rigging, and engineering work.


Truck and trailer sales still healthy THE NEW ZEALAND NEW TRUCK MARKET SLOWED slightly in May, but heavy commercial vehicle sales are faring much better than the passenger vehicle market. NZ Transport Agency data shows 459 new trucks were registered for the month in the overall market (trucks with a GVM of 4.5 tonnes or more), taking the total sales for the first five months of the year to 2399. The total for the same January-May period last year was 2452 registrations, but for context the latest result is still the second-highest January-May registration total on record. In contrast the light passenger segment (cars and SUVs) for May is down 33.4% compared to May 2023 and 22% down year-to-date. The trailer market remains strong with 151 May registrations – which is 21 shy of 2018’s record May performance of 172 registrations. The YTD total at the end of May stands at 674, also behind 2018’s previous best of 702 however well ahead of the 541 registrations for the same period last year. In the overall 4.5t to maximum GVM new truck market, Fuso was the leader for the month with 96 registrations (20.9% share) to bring its YTD total to 430. However, Isuzu with 85 registrations in May still leads YTD with 501 registrations. Meanwhile third-placed Scania achieved 48 registrations for May and 274 YTD, an impressive market share increase from 9.7% last year to 11.4% this year. Hino (YTD 233/May 48) remains in fourth position ahead of DAF (149/33) in fifth, moving ahead of Volvo (142/20). Kenworth (132/27), Iveco (106/16), UD (104/15) and Mercedes-Benz (97/17) all retain position to round out the top-10. There were no surprises in the crossover 3.5-4.5t GVM segment, with Fiat (126/40) continuing to lead ahead of LDV (110/35) and Ford (89/18).

In the 4.5-7.5t GVM class, Isuzu (167/29) continues to lead from second-placed Fuso (154/42), however Fuso did take out top position for the month with 42 registrations. Both brands are well clear of third place Iveco (59/8) and the other brands in this class. In the 7.5-15t GVM category, Isuzu (197/32) is building its lead over Fuso (146/20) and Hino (71/12). Foton (23/4) is fourth ahead of Iveco (9/1). Isuzu (45/6) retains the number one spot in the 15-20.5t GVM division, however second-placed Hino (36/11) topped the monthly registrations. Fuso (26/9) holds third, ahead of UD (17/4) in fourth ahead of Mercedes-Benz (6/2), Scania (4/0) and Iveco (4/0). In the tiny 20.5-23t segment, Scania (3/1) continues to hold the top spot with three registrations. Fuso (2/1) and Isuzu (2/1) were the only other registrations for the month. Registrations in the premium 23t to maximum GVM segment confirm the continuation of Scania’s leadership with 47 registrations in May – boosting its YTD total to 267 units and a market share of 22.3%. DAF (147/32) moves into second place at the expense of Volvo (140/20) and Kenworth (132/27) ranks fourth. Fuso (102/24) remains fifth while Isuzu (90/17) managed to move ahead of UD (82/9) into sixth. Hino (78/21), Mercedes-Benz (53/10) and Iveco (33/7) all retain their top-10 positions. The trailer market sees Fruehauf (90/21) steadily building its lead on second-placed Domett (73/16). Roadmaster (60/8) remains in third while Transport Trailers (47/10) edges ahead of Patchell (44/6) into fourth. MTE (34/8) and TMC (34/10) are now tied in sixth, while Fairfax (26/7), Transfleet (23/5) and Freighter (19/4) retain their positions to round out the top-10. Truck & Driver | 85

23,001kg-max GVM

Tauranga’s Lovejeet Singh has added the first Volvo to his Punjabi Drivers operation contracting to Move Logistics. The new FH16 8x4 is powered by a D16 producing 600hp and 2800Nm of torque, with a 12-speed I-shift AMT, RTS 2370B rear axles, 8-airbag rear suspension, disc brakes and Volvo’s LCS LKA, ACC, EBA and passenger side view camera safety systems. Extras include fridge, heated seats, stone guard and toolboxes. Koromiko Engineering built the 14-pallet curtain sider body and 5-axle trailer with paint by Haddocks and livery by Marty’s Signs. Sold by Mark Ellerington.


Vol 501 430 274 233 149 142 132 106 104 97 67 33 24 23 18 14 13 7 7 5 5 4 3 1 7 2399


% 20.9 17.9 11.4 9.7 6.2 5.9 5.5 4.4 4.3 4.0 2.8 1.4 1.0 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.5 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.3 100

Vol 85 96 48 56 33 20 27 16 15 17 16 4 5 9 3 1 0 0 1 1 3 0 0 0 3 459


Vol 126 110 89 57 35 21 20 3 2 463


% 27.2 23.8 19.2 12.3 7.6 4.5 4.3 0.6 0.4 100

Vol 40 35 18 7 11 3 1 0 0 115



% 18.5 20.9 10.5 12.2 7.2 4.4 5.9 3.5 3.3 3.7 3.5 0.9 1.1 2.0 0.7 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.2 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.7 100

% 34.8 30.4 15.7 6.1 9.6 2.6 0.9 0.0 0.0 100


Vol 167 154 59 48 44 36 28 23 20 7 6 592


% 28.2 26.0 10.0 8.1 7.4 6.1 4.7 3.9 3.4 1.2 1.0 100

Vol 29 42 8 12 12 5 3 9 3 1 2 126


Vol 197 146 71 23 9 5 5 2 1 459


% 42.9 31.8 15.5 5.0 2.0 1.1 1.1 0.4 0.2 100

Vol 32 20 12 4 1 1 2 0 1 73


Vol 45 36 26 17 6 4 4 2 2 142


% 31.7 25.4 18.3 12.0 4.2 2.8 2.8 1.4 1.4 100

Vol 6 11 9 4 2 0 0 0 1 33


Vol 3 2 2 1 1 9


% 33.3 22.2 22.2 11.1 11.1 100

Vol 1 1 1 0 0 3





% 23.0 33.3 6.3 9.5 9.5 4.0 2.4 7.1 2.4 0.8 1.6 100

% 43.8 27.4 16.4 5.5 1.4 1.4 2.7 0.0 1.4 100

% 18.2 33.3 27.3 12.1 6.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.0 100

% 33.3 33.3 33.3 0.0 0.0 100


Vol 267 147 140 132 102 90 82 78 53 33 23 17 14 13 4 3 1 1 1200


% 22.3 12.3 11.7 11.0 8.5 7.5 6.8 6.5 4.4 2.8 1.9 1.4 1.2 1.1 0.3 0.3 0.1 0.1 100

Vol 47 32 20 27 24 17 9 21 10 7 4 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 223



% 13.4 10.8 8.9 7.0 6.5 5.0 5.0 3.9 3.4 2.8 2.7 2.5 2.5 2.2 1.5 1.3 1.3 1.2 1.2 1.0 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.7 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.3 7.9 100

Vol 21 16 8 10 6 8 10 7 5 4 3 5 4 2 3 1 5 0 2 3 0 0 4 1 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 20 151



% 21.1 14.3 9.0 12.1 10.8 7.6 4.0 9.4 4.5 3.1 1.8 1.3 0.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.4 100

% 13.9 10.6 5.3 6.6 4.0 5.3 6.6 4.6 3.3 2.6 2.0 3.3 2.6 1.3 2.0 0.7 3.3 0.0 1.3 2.0 0.0 0.0 2.6 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.3 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 13.2 100

TCL Haulage based at Hautapu has taken delivery of its new Kenworth T909 bulk tipper unit. The company was founded in 2005 as Cossey Cartage and rebranded to TCL in 2016. Steve Russell is driving the 6x4 powered by a 600.615hp Cummins X15 with Eaton RTLO 20918 18-speed Roadranger and Meritor 46-160 rear axles with full X-locks. Features include leather seats, fridge, stainless fuel tank trims, drop visor and air cleaner plus light bar. The alloy bin and 5-axle trailer are new from TransFleet. Sold by Adam McIntosh.

The new rig for Raj Singh is a Scania R 660 A6x4NA carting general freight for Move Logistics. The Euro 6 DC16 16-litre V8 produces 660hp driving to an Opticruise G33 14-speed AMT with 4700D retarder and RB662 rear axles. Suspension is springs at the front and air at the rear with ABS/EBS disc brakes, AEB and ACC. The Highline cab features a fridge, overnight AC unit, microwave, coffee machine and leather interior while other extras include scales, Durabright alloys, drop visor, Euro stone guard, light bar, and super singles. Archryte (Rotorua) built the stainless chassis covers with signs by Caulfield Signs. Sold by Callan Short.

A new DAF CF has joined the Addline Transport fleet at Welcome Bay. The FAD Space Cab has a Euro 6 530hp PACCAR MX-13, TraXon 16-speed AMT, factory fitted on board DAF weigh system, full disc brakes along with ABS/ EBS, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and active emergency braking. Features include polished fuel tanks, factory fitted refrigerator, and heated/cooled driver’s seat. The truck body and trailer are by Warren Auger Bins NZ. Fleet Image painted the cab/chassis and signs by Evocom (Te Puke). Sold by Tim Finlay.

Truck & Driver | 87

Robyn and Brent Loader from Loader Transport Ltd have a new Scania S 770 A8x4NA tractor unit driven by Richard Sykes. General cartage and machinery movements in the central Hawke’s Bay region is the role for the S 770 which has a Hogan Contracting tractor set up, sliding fifth wheel, custom head board, rear bumper, tool boxes and guard package, stainless infills, chassis covers, and Rhino guards towing a custom 4-axle Roadmaster trailer. The Euro 6 770hp DC16 is paired with an Opticruise GRSO926R 12-speed with 4100D retarder, RB735 hub reduction rear end, leaf spring front suspension and rear air suspension, ABS/EBS disc brakes, AEB Advanced Emergency Braking and Adaptive cruise control. The sleeper cab is equipped with Scania scales, V8 leather trim, fridge, coffee machine, and microwave and exterior details include Dura-bright alloys, all round drop visor, and Euro-style stone guard. Cab and chassis paint by Fleet Image, signs by Caulfield Signs, and sold by Callan Short.

South Otago Transport of Balclutha has just commissioned its second Mercedes-Benz Arocs MP5 stock unit. The 3258L/52 driven by Lockie Hannah is powered by the OM473 engine developing 580hp and 2800Nm of torque with the MB G330 12-speed transmission and Mercedes hypoid rear bogie. Features include the M-Cab with fold down bunk, fridge, leather steering wheel and CB. The new truck deck was manufactured internally and fitted with a new Delta stock crate and an existing 5-axle trailer. Sold by Tristan Duffell at Cable-Price Invercargill.

88 | Truck & Driver

John and Nick Agnew’s Hastings-based Everfresh operation has a new Kenworth K200 8x4 Aerodyne carting containers, fruit boxes from farm to local markets and packhouses as well as general tipping, and curtainsider general freight. Powered by a 600hp Cummins X15 with RTLO20918B manual 18-speed and MT21-165 GP rear axles the K200 is being driven by Carlton Wright. Air suspension, ABS/EBS, Dura-bright alloys and 275/70 tyres are fitted with extras including a polished FUPS bumper, drop visor, fridge, twin intakes, extra lights and stainless panels. The steel flat deck is fitted with twist locks. Sold by Mark O’Hara.



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Stephen and Amy Edmonds of Edmonds Transport & Earthmoving at Ongaonga have a new Scania R 770 tipper unit for aggregate cartage in central Hawke’s Bay. Equipped with a new Newport Hardox body and refurbished 4-axle trailer the 6x4 has a 770hp DC16 16-Litre V8, Opticruise GRSO926R 12-speed AMT with 4100D retarder, RB735 hub reduction rear end and rides on spring front suspension and rear air suspension. Extras include fridge, V8 leather interior, drop visor, Euro stone guard, Kelsa light bar, beacon, Durabright rims, super singles and CTI. Paint by HRPP, signage by Sign It Up and sold by Callan Short.

A new International RH-T8 LX is carting general freight nationwide for Lower Hutt-based LT Transport. The 8x4 tractor unit has a 530hp Cummins X15, Eaton MXP Ultrashift transmission and Meritor 40-14X rear axles with 4.10:1 ratio. Extras include dual exhausts, Premium trim package and sliding fifth wheel. Sold by Hugh Green at Intertruck Distributors NZ.

90 | Truck & Driver

A new Kenworth T410 SAR is working for Kevin and Megan McKay at Gisborne’s McKay Cartage. The 6x4 is powered by a 510hp PACCAR MX-13 with Eaton Fuller 20918B manual transmission and PACCAR two stage engine brake. The Flat Roof Integrated Sleeper has a factory fitted 42L fridge. T & G built the alloy bins with Fleet Image painting the tanks and the bin. Sold by Tim Finlay.

A second Scania R 770 B8x4NA logger has joined the NJ Higgins Contractors fleet working in the Central Plateau forests. Equipped with a new Patchell shorts set-up and new Patchell 5-axle multi trailer, the R 770 was sold by Callan Short. The Euro 6 DC16 is paired with an Opticruise GRSO926R 12-speed AMT with 4100D retarder and RB735 hub reduction rear end riding on springs at the front and air suspension at the rear. Disc brakes have ABS/EBS and features include scales, fridge, CTI, Dura-brights all round, Broshmik drop visor and stone guard, light bar and offset rims. Chassis paint by Patchells and signs by Caulfield Signs.

The first of three new Kenworth K200 8x4 day cab curtain siders is hitting the road for Robert Monk Transport at Opotiki. RMT runs freight and linehaul services from Auckland, via Mount Maunganui to Gisborne, East Coast, Napier and Hastings. The K200 has a Fruehauf NZ curtain sider body and 5-axle trailer and is powered by Euro 5 spec 550.578hp Cummins X15 with Eaton FO20E18B-MXP Ultra-shift Plus transmission. Meritor MFS66-122 front axles with 3-leaf load share front suspension, Meritor MT21165GP rear axles with dual diff locks and interaxle diff lock, disc brakes, and Alcoa Dura-bright outer wheels are fitted. Sold by Tim Finlay with signage by Wrapped Signs, Tauranga.

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92 | Truck & Driver

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This eleventh book in the “Truck and Truckers” series centres on the Waikato region. A large number of these companies have long gone, but the impressive fleets they operated will long be remembered. Interesing to note the early electric trucks operated by the NZ Dairy Co at Waitoa and now 100 years later the elctric trucks are again making an appearance. As this prime farm and agricultural land was developed it was the trucking industry that helped with this and then took the product to market. The manufacturing industries also made the plant and transport products to keep it local. My thanks to the families, Marty Greaves and Ben Uncles for the help with photos and information.


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WHEEL WHEEL WHEELSEALS SEALS SEALS Four Four outside Four outside outside diameter diameter diameter sealseal points seal points points to ensure to ensure to ensure Four outside diameter seal points to ensure Unique Unique Unique multi-zone multi-zone multi-zone labyrinth labyrinth labyrinth design design design provides provides provides Unique multi-zone design provides thethe best the best protection best protection protection andlabyrinth and the and the lowest the lowest lowest friction friction friction the best protection and the lowest friction

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