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WWW.GOCLEAR.CO.NZ OUR TOP TRUCK – Higgins’ Isuzu blazing trails







ERIC WILSON ‘Skin’ in the game

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TOP TRUCK 2018 – 2019 voting Official magazine of the




9 413000 047578 Long Haul Publications



Buy any new Isuzu N Series truck before the end of August and choose one of four bonus HiKOKI tool packs valued at $2,000 + GST. To find out more about this great offer visit your nearest Isuzu Dealer or search


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100 Not out!


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Just Truckin’ Around

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New Zealand Trucking magazine is published by Long Haul Publishing Ltd. The contents are copyright and may not be reproduced without the consent of the editor. Unsolicited editorial material may be submitted, but should include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. While every care is taken, no responsibility is accepted for material submitted. Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of New Zealand Trucking or Long Haul Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. This magazine is subject to the New Zealand Press Council. Complaints are to be first directed to: with “Press Council Complaint” in the subject line. If unsatisfied, the complaint may be referred to the Press Council, PO Box 10 879, The Terrace, Wellington 6143 or by email at Further details and online complaints at

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Would they grow weary, as we grow weary?


itting on a log skid the other morning in the wee small hours, I was looking at the three people who’d broken rest at an early hour and headed off to work another day. Three people, the youngest of whom was 45. “There it is in a nutshell,” I thought. “There’s something very wrong with this scene.” That got me mulling over something I think of often, something that drives me when I’m feeling ‘tired’ or aggrieved. I thought about our grandparents and great-grandparents who ran off landing barges headlong into war, and why they did that. It baffles me how as a nation we acknowledge Anzac Day on a far larger scale than we did say 25 years ago, but seem to miss the real point of their sacrifice. They did it so we had the right to work and keep building a better country without oppression. The right to earn a living in a way we choose. To know that privilege and luxuries are the result of effort, sacrifice, and real tangible contribution, not credit. That there was nobility and dignity in any worthwhile act and none in idleness or farce. They were the ultimate manifestation of all those things. Those landing barges were full of 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds, yet there were none on this log skid at 4am in 2019. Would our war dead be disappointed? They’d have to be, wouldn’t they? If they could look down on us now, what else would they see besides a log skid void of young, enthusiastic people. They’d see a nation unable to build a bunch of houses. Simple, uncomplicated houses. They’d see half a new bridge across some mud at Takanini that’s taken so long to build it’s a national embarrassment. And it’s not unique. Over a year after the Manawatu Gorge collapsed and closed SH3, they’d see we’ve just decided who will build a replacement road and that we’re all quite happy with how long that decision has taken, and that the entire project will take the thick end of a decade. And then there’s the Takaka or Te Kuiti hills and the interminable length of time those roads have been in a third world state. The Millau Viaduct in France was started in April 2001 and finished in December 2004...just an observation. They’d see we’ve got low unemployment but no chippies, sparkies, or teachers, and a country where no one wants to drive a truck. They’d see thousands of people in occupations that exist for the sake of existing, driving millions of dollars in difficult to justify cost into relatively simple tasks. But then

adapted masthead.indd 1


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

8/02/2012 11:02:47 a.m.

they’d see us scratching our heads over a lack of productivity. They’d see the average age of those performing society’s fundamental tasks is too far to the right along the timeline, and I’m sure they’d want to know where the young are. They’d see a nation of people who appeared hell bent on killing themselves every time they got behind the wheel of a car, a nation obsessed with digital trinkets as empty as the minutes they consume and the lives they thieve. They’d see a nation 33% overweight humming all night to the rhythm of CPAP machines, ignorant to the economic apocalypse looming in ‘tomorrow’s’ national health bill. An apocalypse with roots that lie – ironically – in liberty, health, and safety. I wonder what they’d think of what we’ve done with their gift of sacrifice.

Dave McCoid Editor


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IRTENZ 2019 – The best discussion yet!


his month The Institute of Road Transport Engineers of New Zealand (IRTENZ) holds its biennial conference in Rotorua. The theme of this year’s conference is Rapid Change, Constrained Frameworks. “With the greatest respect to past events, I think this year’s programme for the 16th International IRTENZ Conference is one of the strongest we’ve put together,” said IRTENZ president Dom Kalasih. “Taking learnings from the last conference and delegate interest in the industry panel session, this year we’re going to run two panel sessions. Last conference the panel session was about what opportunities and possibilities operators saw emerging technology offering. This year we’re asking them if any of those opportunities have actually eventuated, and if not, why not? I think this will really give us a feel if the fast-paced emerging technology is really delivering benefits when it lands at the coalface. “In the other panel session, Compliance Technology, I’m really pleased to have representation from the new NZTA executive management and the new inspector leading police CVST, joining other sector leaders in this space to share their views.”

The IRTENZ conference is widely recognised as one of the key gatherings in terms of removing the politics and spin from the industry and delivering fact-based outcomes and results. As usual, a strong local presenter line-up will be supported by international guests offering insights and comparisons from other regions, as well as philosophical insights to assist in contextualising a rapidly changing industry environment. Fuel, safety, autonomy, enforcement frameworks, modality, and PBS will all be covered in the course of the conference. “In addition, as well as some of our regular international experts joining us again, we have also spread our net a bit wider and this year are running a session on intermodal transport that brings CentrePort, KiwiRail and Mainfreight to share their views,” said Kalasih. Aside from the strong technical and academic agenda, delegates will have plenty of time to network and interact. “Perhaps most importantly, as much as I get a great deal out of sharing technical information, this is by far the best single opportunity to catch up with a wide range of friends across the transport sector. I’m really looking forward to it.” Register now at

International speakers John Woodrooffe John Woodrooffe has more than 35 years of experience in heavyvehicle-related research and innovation, specialising in the disciplines of commercial vehicle size and weight policy, safety, productivity, and performance John Woodrooffe. based standards. He is principal of Woodrooffe Dynamics, a consultancy focused on commercial vehicle policy, safety, productivity, energy use and emissions. His work informs business leaders and policymakers in matters of transportation safety, economics and the environment. John has worked extensively in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, participating in many large international technical projects. Over the past 25 years he been a member of technical committees for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and a member of several OECD technical expert working groups, including the OECD/JTRC project ‘Heavy Vehicles: Regulatory, Operational and Productivity Improvements’. He was principal researcher vehicle dynamics for the Canadian Size and Weight study completed in 1986. He has been an advisor to many governments, including the Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and US Federal governments, and conducted vehicle dynamic simulations and analysis for the US Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Project and for the Western Longer Combination Vehicle Scenario: Vehicle Operations and Safety Analysis. He is presently chair of the TRB Truck Size and Weight Committee (AT055). In December 2015 John retired from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) where he was responsible for Vehicle Safety Analytics Division, the Transportation Data Center, and the Commercial Vehicle


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

Research and Policy Program. Presently he is a distinguished visiting researcher at Cambridge University in the UK where he is participating in several international research programmes with Cambridge University. He is an active consultant to the OECD ITF in Paris on vehicle productivity and sustainability and to the World Bank in truck size and weight policy development in the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal transport corridors.

Laszlo (Les) Bruzsa, MSc Mech. Eng. MIEAust, CPEng RPEQ. Les Bruzsa, chief engineer, National Heavy Vehicle Regulator. The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is Australia’s independent regulator for all vehicles in Australia over Les Bruzsa. 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass. As a chartered professional engineer, Les holds a Masters degree in mechanical engineering and his background involves more than 30 years’ experience in various fields of the road transport industry, both in Australia and in Europe. In his current position, Les is providing national technical leadership in relation to heavy vehicle regulations and standards and he is leading the continuous improvement of heavy vehicle productivity and safety through the application of performance based standards and policy frameworks for vehicle standards.




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Let’s help New Zealand get better roads together!


he National Road Carriers association and the Road Transport Forum are calling for members of the public to send them photos of poor road surfaces around the country. Following on from the results of a recent survey by the NRC where one of the biggest results was the deteriorating condition of New Zealand roads, the two associations have embarked on a long-term project which will go towards highlighting this issue. There are many roads in New Zealand that trucks travel on regularly that remain in a poor condition. Hard evidence is needed to show the government how serious the issue is. The NRC’s Facebook post asks for everyone’s help in raising awareness of this issue. The next time you are driving on a

main road or highway that is in poor condition, they want you to take a photo of the damage and share it with them. You can do this by: • Sharing a picture and the location on Facebook • Calling NRC on 0800 686 777 with the location • Emailing NRC on • Texting/calling on 0211927799 Once the NRC has collected all the data, it plans to present it to the government as evidence of how serious this issue is. IMPORTANT!!! When taking the photos, please make sure you do it safely and without causing disruption to other road users.

NZTA publishes updated accountability documents


he NZ Transport Agency has published two key accountability documents – an amendment to its Statement of Intent 2018-22, and the Statement of Performance Expectations 2019/20, which outline how it will deliver on its mandate to provide New Zealanders with a safe, well-connected and accessible transport system. NZTA interim chief executive Mark Ratcliffe says the SOI and SPE detail the NZTA’s priorities, putting people and place, rather than vehicles and networks, at the centre of the agency’s decision-making, with safety as the primary focus. “Around seven people die and around 50 more are seriously injured every week on New Zealand roads. Each death and serious injury has a devastating impact on our communities. We are applying the Safe System approach to road safety in everything we do to protect people from death and serious injury,” Ratcliffe says. In the past, transport investments focused on transport benefits ahead of creating places and communities where people want to live and work. As the principal investment manager and planner for the land transport system, the NZTA will integrate land use and transport planning to create healthy, thriving and well-connected communities. The SOI and SPE documents also highlight the increase in resources for the agency’s regulatory function. Alongside its people-focused approach, the NZTA is also working on targeted partnerships to create transport links and services that can improve social, economic and environmental outcomes for communities and businesses. “Not everyone in New Zealand has easy access to a range of affordable transport options. Our focus is on improving access to the transport system for people, freight and tourism, particularly in high-growth areas. This includes


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

promoting a shift from the use of private cars to greater use of public transport, walking and cycling,” Ratcliffe says. From an environmental perspective, transport accounts for 18 percent of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, 90 percent of which are from road transport. Transport also contributes to noise pollution and biodiversity risks. The NZTA aims to lead the transport sector in the transition to a more sustainable transport system that protects and enhances the environment and public health. “To improve the resilience of the land transport system, we must factor in the effects of climate change and increasing traffic volumes and incidents, such as crashes, in our decision-making,” says Ratcliffe. “We need to better understand these risks and work with communities to prepare for and recover from disruptions such as earthquakes and severe weather events that can compromise vital transport links.” Ratcliffe says meeting long-term financial commitments (including payments related to public-private partnerships) and delivering future National Land Transport Programmes will rely on sustainable future funding for New Zealand’s land transport system, and this funding assumption underpins the plans and projections in the SOI and SPE. The documents can be found online here: NZ Transport Agency Amended statement of intent 2018–2022: nz-transport-agency-statement-of-intent-main-index/soi2018-2022-amended/ NZ Transport Agency Statement of performance expectations 2019/20: nz-transport-agency-statement-of-performanceexpectations-main-index/spe-2019-2020/

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RTF says we need to get serious about drug driving statistics


he number of deaths caused by drugged drivers – 71 last year and 88 the year before – means there must be better testing to get these people off our roads, says Road Transport Forum chief executive Nick Leggett. The RTF has submitted on the Ministry of Transport Discussion Document Enhanced Drug Impaired Driver Testing. “The Government needs to change its single-minded road safety focus, which is tunnel vision on speed and getting vehicles off the road, and take a holistic look at all the other contributing factors,” Leggett says. “The number of people being killed by drug impaired drivers is higher than by drivers above the alcohol limit. The statistics in this discussion document are just the tip of the iceberg, as drug testing is limited and there is no mention of serious injury and harm, only the death toll.” Leggett says something has to change, and the RTF believes that the way alcohol use and driving is dealt with could be replicated for drug use, to ensure safer roads for all road users. “The RTF fully supports roadside drug testing as a first line tool for early detection of impaired drivers. This should, without question, be part of an overall aspiration to mitigate risk on New Zealand roads of injury and death caused by drugged drivers. “Disappointingly, the discussion document veers towards the rights of drug-using drivers rather than on the safety of those



who share the road with them, or the rights of Nick Leggett, those they kill or injure. CEO Road “In fact, the discussion document puts up Transport Forum time (for testing and for prosecuting) and cost or ‘pressure’ on the system (for testing and prosecuting) as significant barriers to any change. “If the Government were as committed to road safety as they say they are, surely a small amount of time spent on a roadside (2-5 minutes), or at a police station, for testing, is justified in the face of the high road toll.” Leggett says truck drivers are in the unique position of sharing their workplace – New Zealand roads – with the public. While the road transport industry follows workplace health and safety laws to ensure drivers are not drug impaired, with extensive testing regimes including pre-employment, random and post incident/accident drug testing, there is no guarantee that those they are sharing the road with won’t be impaired by drugs as there is no adequate testing regime for them. “We would like to see one standard approach; we don’t have that now. Drug driving is clearly a road safety issue of some magnitude and the RTF supports roadside drug testing including the compulsory impairment test, screening with some of the new oral technology and saliva wipes, and where necessary, an evidentiary blood test. Let’s get serious about road safety.”

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New Zealand Trucking

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WWW.GOCLEAR.CO.NZ New stink bug rules released


iosecurity New Zealand has provisionally released new rules intended to keep brown marmorated stink bugs out of New Zealand. The new regulations will apply to this year’s stink bug season, which starts 1 September and runs until 30 April. Following consultation with industry, the list of countries that have requirements to treat imported vehicles, machinery, and parts before they arrive in New Zealand will rise from 17 to 33. These countries have all been identified as having stink bug populations. The other big change is that imported cargo relating to vehicles will need to be treated offshore, including sea containers. Only non-containerised vehicle cargo has required offshore treatment in the past, says Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Paul Hallett. Offshore treatment requirements will also apply to all sea containers from Italy. “The new rules are intended to reduce the biosecurity risk to New Zealand, by ensuring potentially contaminated cargo arrives as clean as possible.” Hallett says Biosecurity New Zealand is planning to have officers based in Europe this season to educate manufacturers, treatment providers, and exporters about the new requirements and to audit facilities.

“If our checks find any issues, New Zealand will not accept any cargo from that facility until the problem has been fixed.” Hallett says New Zealand’s treatment requirements are now closer to Australia’s, which will make compliance easier for importers bringing cargo to both countries. “A key difference is that the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will continue to allow treatment on arrival for containerised goods. “In addition, the stink bug season in Australia will run a month longer than ours. This is because warmer climatic and daylight conditions could allow stink bugs to establish later in Australia.” The release of the new import health standard was provisional for 10 days from 5 July. Interested parties who provided a submission could contest the new rules during this period.


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Preferred alliance selected to deliver Manawatu Tararua Highway


he NZ Transport Agency has decided on a preferred alliance to deliver Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatu Tararua Highway project. NZTA portfolio manager Sarah Downs says the preferred tenderer selected is Advance consortium, made up of Fulton Hogan, HEB Construction Limited, Aurecon Limited and WSPOpus. Downs says Advance will now become part of the interim project alliance, with an intention to proceed to the delivery of the design, regional consenting and construction of the project. “The decision in favour of the preferred alliance was made after a comprehensive tendering process, which commenced in September 2018. “We had two strong tenders, both demonstrating excellent qualities, and selecting a preferred alliance partner was a difficult decision. “The team is excited to now be moving into the delivery phase of this important project with our preferred alliance.” Work on Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatu Tararua Highway project

began in mid-2017 after a series of slips closed the old State Highway 3 through the Manawatu Gorge. After extensive consultation with the community and key stakeholders, the NZTA identified a preferred route option running to the north of the Manawatu Gorge in early 2018. A Notice of Requirement for the designated new transport corridor for the replacement route was issued earlier this year.

Enabling works for the new route are scheduled to commence in September 2019. Pending further resource consents, full construction is expected to get under way in 2020, with completion of the project in 2024. The total project cost is estimated at $620 million. The alliance will be introduced to the public at a series of public information sessions in the Manawatu and Tararua regions in the near future.

TR Group buy Semi Skel Hire Pty Ltd


R Group has purchased 100% of Melbourne based trailer rental company, Semi Skel Hire Pty Ltd. This acquisition comes after many years of investigating the Australian market and fits with TR’s ambitions to provide world-class service in renting and leasing trucks and trailers. Semi Skel Hire was founded in 1994 by Geoff Kelly and is based in Yarraville, Melbourne. With more than 1100 trailers available for hire and a further 70 on order, it is the largest rental operator in the Victorian transport market. Geoff will retire from his role as managing director, although continuing to be available as a consultant to the business.


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

Geoff ’s daughter Kim will be the state manager for Victoria and son David will be the fleet and operations manager going forward with TR. Both businesses share similar philosophies with respect to being fully focused on the transport industry and providing high quality vehicles and a great customer experience. The Semi Skel Hire business will now operate as TR Semi Skel Hire in Australia under the leadership of TR Group’s Chris Perry, who has relocated to Melbourne.



“The majority of our vehicles are IVECO Stralis. We’ve got about 30 with a range of specs and they’re reliable all-rounders. Anybody can jump in and drive them comfortably and easily. When I find something I’m happy with – like the IVECO Stralis – I like to stick with it and the IVECO Stralis is a great, reliable fleet truck.” Andrew Havill, General Manager – Aratuna Freighters

Quiet, comfortable, efficient and tough, these are all qualities of the IVECO Stralis - General Manager of Aratuna Freighters, Andrew Havill, wouldn’t have 30 of them if they didn’t deliver for his business. Available in a range of configurations including 6x4 and 8x4 prime movers and rigids and with GCMs of between 36 to 90 tonnes, the Stralis is well suited to many heavy duty applications. Add to this powerful yet fuel efficient Cursor engines with up to 560 horsepower, easyto-drive 12 and 16-speed Automated Manual Transmissions and one of the most comfortable cabins available, and you can see why the Stralis is according to Andrew, “a great, reliable fleet truck.” For more information visit your local IVECO dealer or phone 0800 FOR IVECO (0800 367 48326).

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rogress is continuing on protecting workers from harm and supporting businesses to manage the risks, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. The government is consulting on options to improve regulations for working with plant (e.g. machines, vehicles and equipment), structures (e.g. buildings and towers), at heights, and on excavation work. “The regulations in these areas are outdated and full of gaps. We’re modernising them to ensure they are clear, effective, proportionate and durable. This reform continues the work to implement the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and address the issues identified by the Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy and the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety,” says Lees-Galloway. “On average, 58 people a year die from injuries at work involving plant or structures. That’s three-quarters of all work-related deaths. There are high serious-injury rates for falls from heights, particularly in the construction sector. Fit-for-purpose regulations will support businesses to manage risks and make a real difference in improving our rates of work-related harm and fatalities.” A three-month initial consultation period will ensure stakeholders have enough time to provide feedback, LeesGalloway says. “Everyone has a responsibility for workplace health and safety, so we want to hear a wide range of views. Businesses will have insights into how to implement regulations, while workers know what makes the most impact on the ground. “Many businesses are already managing risks from plant, structures and working at heights well. We have made good progress as a country in recent years to improve our health and safety performance. However, there is still a significant amount of harm occurring and we can’t become complacent.” You can read the discussion document, submit your feedback and find more information about the health and safety regulatory reform on the MBIE website - https://


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New model MaxiCUBE – Classic Van 2


axiTRANS has released the new model MaxiCUBE Classic Van 2 into New Zealand markets, based on Australian changes launched in 2017 and fully tested in the field. The new design front wall and cross member in the floor reduces weight by more than 200kgs and improves thermal performance by at least 10%. It has a modular design skid plate that is easier to repair or replace. The local version is 10mm – a heavy-duty version that is easier for servicing. It has 100mm foam block insulation in the floor, and the 130mm roof and 45mm side wall insulation has fully vacuum bonded panelling. The van has 90mm rear doors with a one-piece full seal per door, and a 130mm roof as standard. The 45mm side walls have full height close 200mm gap pultrusion reinforcements over high impact zones. A reinforced rear frame coupled with stainless steel rear corner castings is better able to withstand

impact during docking. There is also a new galvanised fullwidth apron plate design for easy access when connecting/ disconnecting. Full-width apron plate improves durability at the front section of the van, and it has an improved sealing system and brighter internal LED lighting. The lighter weight (50%) double loader bars make them easier to handle (HSE impact) and they have a higher load rating than before (500kg per pallet to 670kg).

WWW.GOCLEAR.CO.NZ Razor International chooses JOST


ustralian-based transport electronics supplier Razor International has appointed JOST New Zealand as its New Zealand distributor in a move that consolidates JOST Werke’s fledgling New Zealand operation as a major transport equipment supplier. JOST New Zealand has been in operation for just over 12 months but has already opened an impressive 1500-squaremetre warehouse and office facility in Auckland and appointed a nationwide network of dealerships. “The acquisition of the Razor agency is further affirmation that we are a serious player in the transport industry,” said JOST New Zealand’s head Kate Bucknell. “Brands such as Razor and the latest German technology from JOST Werke mean that we are supplying top quality product for the New Zealand transport market, and we are backing that up by providing outstanding sales and service support.” Razor International’s sales manager Adrian Siah said the appointment of JOST New Zealand was a “no brainer” for the company. “We already use JOST as our Australian distributor, so it was natural that we do the same in New Zealand.”

However, Siah said international alignment is only part of the story – history also played a big part. “Razor International and Kate go back a number of years, and we know that she has huge respect in the New Zealand market. That was important to us. She has also recently made some key staff appointments – people who know our brand, know our products, and in whom we have complete confidence. “There is a long history there and Razor sees that as an important way of ensuring continuity of product and service delivery for our New Zealand customers.”

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ork on the pictorial chronology of the first 1000 Mack trucks assembled and registered to work in New Zealand continues apace, with a significant number of the required photo stock

From left: Authors Paul Livsey, Ed Mansell and Grant Gadsby putting together their book that everyone in the industry eagerly awaits.

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secured. “It’s a huge project for sure but progress has been great. We’re almost at the stage where we know which trucks we need, and can start targeting those trucks,” said co-author Ed Mansell. “We have settled on a layout and we’re sure everyone will enjoy it immensely.” The book will be coffee table styled, hard covered, in full colour, approximately 500 pages in length. “We intend to limit the number to one thousand copies, allowing any Mack owners the possibility of purchasing their truck’s equivalent book number,” said Ed. The book is due for release in 2022 to coincide with Mack’s 50th anniversary of assembly starting here in New Zealand. The price indication sits at around $135.





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Clever reflections Story by Dave McCoid

Photos and video by Craig McCauley and Dave McCoid

The Magpie. A tenacious, stealthy, skilful, opinionated, and witty creature with innate confidence and a keen eye for shiny things. Born not with tolerance for fools, or that which falls short of a Bulldog’s tenacity.


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019


‘Magpie’ and the Master of Puppies blast out of the Ashley Forest.

New Zealand Trucking

August 2019




f you’re a Kiwi truck buff in the second decade of the twenty-first century and the surname Amer induces a blank look, then you’ve been in a coma. Hailing from Canterbury’s biggest village, the Amers have a trucking lineage that stretches back generations; diesel flows through their veins like sap through the fibre of a well pruned pine. In recent times their identity has spread to the nation’s far-flung corners via the Magpie’s Truck Photos Facebook page, founded by brothers David (‘Spike’) and Mark (a.k.a. ‘Magpie’). As is common for the vocation, their views on things are fearless and rarely difficult to interpret. These people are hard, devoted, uncompromising, trucking types. Magpie is the youngest of four. An owner-driver for 14 years with the immaculate Christchurch trucking operation that is Steve Murphy Ltd (SML), he’s a Mack man and recently took delivery of his second Mack Trident, following a near faultless 800,000km run from his first. Sitting in the SML Kaiapoi yard the ‘Master of Puppies’ sparkled in sync with its surroundings on a frosty Canterbury morning; a scene that signalled the beginning of a three-day adventure full of robust and insightful conversation in sublime winter conditions. This truck and trailer is no celebration of skin-deep beauty; the breeding in this canine carrier of commodity goes all the way to the soul of the metaphor encompassed in one of the globe’s most recognisable emblems. Climbing into the cab, the first thing that’s apparent is that this mid-winter log truck hasn’t just been cleaned for the event. This is the tool of a proud craftsman who takes his business and profession as seriously as it comes. Magpie leaps in, releases the park brake, moves the stick into gear, slips the clutch, and we’re off. Yes, that’s right, we’re in a manual! It really is going to be a great few days. There’s no question we live in an increasingly AMT world and that trend is only going to curve upward with the advent


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August 2019

of alternative power, and the march of Euro 6. Sure, the day will come when people will look back condescendingly and wonder how we of the old school ‘ever put up with that’, while we sit in our easy chairs and reminisce on a time when a driver actually ‘knew’ his or her machine. Having said that, it’s still not hard to find plenty of manual shifters in logging and other niche areas, or in the hands of those with ‘Sinatra’s Syndrome’: preferring to ‘do it myyy wayyyyyy’. We’re on the road now and the infrequency with which gears are changed impacts the senses straight away, as does the innate interpretation of topography and risk factors. The processor controlling this transmission is several million years into its development and this particular example has been customised for the task since birth. The spark and wire jobbies, by comparison, are a mere decade or three down their evolutionary track, and it shows. We’re on our way north to a log skid at Hanmer for a load into a local Christchurch sawmill, and then back for another into town from the Ashley Forest out to the west. “I come up here a lot,” said Magpie as the Trident rolled through Amberley en route. “There’s a lot of flat running down here, the gnarliest forest would be Okuku, a bit further into the base of the Alps.” The topography flanking the Alps means climbing empty up to a skid, and then a tricky loaded descent is often the go, but the Hanmer skid was a doddle. Two hundred-odd metres off the council road, we were in and out in about 40 minutes. The Ashley Forest load later in the arvo was plucked off the top of a hill and then we rejoiced in the classic log truck descent with engine brake ablaze and dust galore. It may not have had the speed of a classic Neil Allport or Kim Austin Ashley Forest lash, but it lacked nothing in terms of theatre. Rolling down off the ridge we met the main council road and headed for the Garden City.


Purposeful with bucket-loads of character. Like its owner!

The interface between the mechanical components and the CPU of the world’s most intuitive transmission. Bonneted trucks always win when it comes to accessing the ‘burner’.

In the moment It’s our third day-cab truck in four months so we’re really getting the hang of this compact living thing. The Trident is another example of a wide-bodied jet in conventional truck parlance. The bonneted truck cab designers of the past must have been on a tight budget, opting for longer mirror arms over wider cabs. Although visibility is fine and the bonnet rakes away, there’s less glass than the ProStar and more snout in view. Is that a criticism? No, probably not. It’s hard to say. You buy a bonneted truck because you want a bonneted truck but then, because no one takes the slightest responsibility for their own actions any more, the blamegame society we’ve created means truck drivers almost need compound eyes. The mirrors are on big grunty single arms and traditional in shape. Again, king of bonneted truck mirrors in terms of out and out efficiency has to be the T610 Kenworth range. But the look is entirely different also, and at no stage did Magpie not know what was behind him, fail to see what was coming at an intersection, or clobber a wayward log poking out of a heap on a skid. Real safety comes back to one seat and one seat only, and if the nut in that seat is loose, all the flashing, vibrating, telematic, stability, and tracking decorations in the world won’t matter one jot. Inside it’s trucking’s tribute to the High Chaparral in burgundy pleated Ultra Leather (as the spec sheet says). There’s a high-aspect dash with a gorgeous big wrap clad in a heavy plastic with woodgrain fascia inserts. In front of the driver are gauges galore, warning lights in the slightly downbeat ‘sad eyes’ inserts, and in the centre top the Co-Pilot readout. The wrap houses the switchgear, trailer brake controls and valves, climate, entertainment, bush radio, and CTI controller. There’s no infotainment module but we suspect that’s next

year with the arrival of the Anthem. No doubt there’ll be some gifts from overseas for family members. Almost all the switchgear is on the dash, there’s some overhead, ‘doory’ stuff on the doors, and headlights lower right; none of it is on the steering wheel. We’ve found a kindred spirit on this subject, someone who likes the steering wheel for steering, and doesn’t enjoy chasing moving buttons on windy roads. With a dash as wrapped as this, and cab as snug, there’s no reaching for anything. Indicators and dip are on the left wand and menu selector for the Co-Pilot on the right. Magpie’s specced the truck with dual air seats … what a thoughtful bloke! Storage is an issue, as it is in any such machine, but the Trident came with a beautifully finished cubby between the seats, and hideaways above driver, in a central overhead console, and above the passenger. The slot above Magpie is filled with more comms radios. Aside from that, there’s really only oddments trays and coffee cup holders under the wrap, and then it’s outdoors to the toolboxes for the rest. Serviceability wise, it’s a dream; there’s nothing that ‘aint scrubbable’ in all reality, with heavy plastics, the Ultra Leather, and rubber on the floor. Twenty minutes a day, and an hour a month, and she’d be pretty much on-point. Being a Volvo platform, cab safety is paramount, and so the shell is ECE29 compliant. Getting into it, on the other hand, is challenging, and even though it’s a conventional, grab handles on the lower A pillar would be a boon. Accessing the heart of the matter is outrageously easy of course. Drop the bull-bar, flip up the nose and there’s the MP8 smiling back at you with no real accessibility issues, even with the back pot tucked into the firewall.

New Zealand Trucking

August 2019



A breed apart

When it came time to replace his previous truck, Magpie was asked to consider a move from his 6x4 and 4-axle configuration to a 9-axle HPMV. “I knew it was coming but the more I looked the less I was able to justify it,” he said. “There’s so much you have to take into consideration and they’re not a one size fits all thing, you know? Sure, carting back and forth from, say, Dalethorp [a processing skid in West Canterbury] into the wharf or something, no problem … but my work can take you to half a dozen different places a day; main roads, council

Loading in 2019 is a ‘stay in your cab’ affair. Phone App shows the scale read-out. Handy as when you’re in the loader first thing in the morning.


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

roads, big bridges, old bridges. No, they don’t tick enough boxes. You have to think about RUC, outlay, running cost, manoeuvrability. They are not the be all and end all, believe me. “Thankfully Steve and Chris [Murphy] are great blokes to work for, I wouldn’t have been here for sixteen and a half years if they weren’t, and they let me make the final decision. The one I thought best suited my business. It’s a shit tonne of money to outlay and this combination goes anywhere. I don’t even run it on a higher route-specific RUC. It just goes anywhere.”


Down down down from the loading skid in the Ashley Forest.

New Zealand Trucking

August 2019


WWW.GOCLEAR.CO.NZ RUNNING ON SCR?... Time traveller in the trees In many ways, Mark Amer’s a living embodiment of what trucking was like a generation or two ago; before the invention of hollow authority, hard to explain positions, and weird infrastructure. When skilled practitioners, taught at the hands of their parents, moved a tonne of crap around the nation on a premise ingrained into them that work will set you free. That good things came to those who worked for them, not through applying for a higher credit limit. That If we build a great country, we’ll get better roads and facilities. [‘Can we get those people back? …No? Okay.’] He’s like that not just because of the grounding dad Kelvin and mum Marie gave him, but because he’s seen the realities of how close it can all come to ending. He’s seen tough times since swapping window envelopes with a wage slip in them for ones with invoices. Huge repair bills that made the hair on the back of his neck stand up. “The problem with a lot of people is they just give up too easy. Shit, I’ve had times when I had no idea if I was going to be able to keep going – but you just get in and do the next load, and the next, and the next. Don’t give up. Do whatever it takes to keep going. “I put the chrome wheels on the trailer and social media lights up about owner-drivers and having too much money. Come have a go is all I say.” Born and raised in Christchurch, 45-year-old Mark was the fourth of four born into trucking. Eldest brother Glenn runs trucks in Christchurch. David (Spike) has driven trucks all his life, and sister Karen married a trucker and has a son who’s followed his father into the industry. There’s no doubt the Amers have done their bit to stem the driver shortage. Grandfather Les Whittle was a local businessmen and trucking was part of his portfolio. “He built the first articulated horse float in the country, having seen one in the States.” When Mark came along, his father Kelvin was driving for Habgoods Transport, a large Canterbury transport company of the time. He then went owner-driver and spent many years with the likes of Alltrans Express, TNT Alltrans, and Falcon Forwarders, before finishing with Ivory’s Freight running an R Model Mack and container side-loader – a truck Mark drove for him for a spell. Kelvin is 76 now and is just in the throes of

A man and his machine.


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

having another go at retiring. So, there’s a snapshot of the example set. School and Mark weren’t the closest of associates. The education system couldn’t deliver the learning he was after; – the local truck yards could, so it was an exit from Hillmorton High School at the earliest available juncture. “I left before I was kicked out.” His first foray into the industry had been working after school and during holidays in the parts department of trailer builder Steel Brothers NZ Ltd, and his first real driving job was with Tranter Trucking on a Ford Trader, working up from there to semi-trailer combinations “like you had to then!” Then came Stock Transporters Ltd. “It was the best apprenticeship any young fella could ever have. Everyone should have to do six months with Shane at STL. The camaraderie is great, and the learning! I’m still mates with Shane today and we frequently have a beer on a Friday night. That’s the kind of outfit it is,” Mark says. With that experience under his belt and confidence in his abilities, the industry opened up and he did spells in Nelson for R&B Freighting, at Westport for Johnson Brothers Transport, for his dad on the R-Model at home, and then Container Transport and Storage in Christchurch. He then got a shot at the fuel distribution business through Mobil Oil contractor Dave Chambers and grabbed it with both hands. He left shortly after the Allied takeover, securing a role with Alexander Petroleum Ltd. “I would still rate that as one of the best jobs I’ve ever had, and for company owned trucks they certainly had the best gear anywhere.” While working at Alexanders and keeping the Freightliner Argosy he drove as polished and pristine as is humanly possible, a workmate made the observation that Mark was ‘like a bloody Magpie’. Fleeting moments in time that impact your life forever. Following a change in the work a couple of years in, he went and drove a drop-sider for East Coast Bays Holdings before beginning his true date with destiny at Steve Murphy Ltd. “Steve gave me three months to learn to drive a loader. ‘If you can’t load yourself in the mornings, you’re no good to me,’ he warned.” Although the job was great and the company fantastic, Mark wanted to see his name on the door of his own truck. He made overtures from time to time about potential opportunities, but owner-drivers weren’t something traditionally part of the SML plan – so he thought he’d have look elsewhere. When the chance of a contract with Waste Management came up, he thought that might be his ‘in’ to the world of truck ownership. As it turned out the jousting and banter between two stubborn characters had built a mutual respect and Steve Murphy decided to give a good keen man a crack. He sold him one of the company’s trucks, a K model Kenworth with a 3406C Caterpillar that ‘lunched’ itself six months in. “There’s your first lesson.” Now it was a case of finding out if he was made of the same stuff as Les and Kelvin. In the succeeding 14 years, the timeline that’s led to him being the first person to unlock the Trident’s door has certainly not been plain sailing. The inevitable R&M trials with secondhand trucks, and the battles little guys often have in order to get the attention they deserve have made the journey


Mark Amer. Put on the world to cart stuff!

character building to say the least. It’s a credit to him, and a reflection of both names on the door, that the love for the machines the boy had has not been extinguished by the cynicism that can come from hard knocks. “Murray Sowerby and Stu Wynd would be as much the reason it’s another Mack as anything else. Their handshake is their bond. Murray’s a huge loss, but Stu’s the same sort of bloke from what I’ve experienced.” Mark Amer’s not born of a silver spoon and has worked and battled to get the truck we see today parked outside his home. He’s not the one you go to for a ‘there, there’ moment when you’re feeling sorry for yourself. He’s opinionated, blunt, forthright, and will likely offer a cure to your woes by highlighting your weaknesses first. There’s a brutal honesty that comes as part of association with this bloke. An honesty not readily found these days that makes him the sort you’d want at your side going into battle. There’s an old Super-8 or VHS recording currently doing the rounds on YouTube. It tracks a group of the old TD Haulage crew of the mid-80s around the central North Island, working like trojans. Lithe, fit, skilled, energetic, enthusiastic, witty. There’s one scene that encapsulates the whole era. A young Paul Hopcroft loads a company W-Model, washes his hands, leaps in the cab and is a blur as waybill is completed, gear selected, clutch released, truck moving, mirror checked … everything happening almost simultaneously. Skilled, meticulous, urgency. You watch it and think ‘those days are gone’. That level of commitment, ethic, enthusiasm, attitude, and sense of adventure … But, maybe not. Maybe, if you look hard enough in the forests of Canterbury, you might just see a Magpie, hard at work, doing it the way it used to be.

As such it was another 6x4 and 4-axle that got the stamp of approval. But that was just the start. Living up to his nickname, the truck is much more than it appears on face value; it’s a collection of things put together just how he wanted it … and some serious shine to boot. “People say, ‘Oh they’re all just platforms now’, but, believe me, you can custom build a Mack far more than people think, and more than other brands touting ‘custom-built’.” The first thing Magpie wanted was a hefty chassis, and so the truck has the 11mm-thick rails found on bigger brutes in rugged applications. “I’m not an out and out payload chaser. It’s all very well building them light to carry more but, with cartage rates where they are, it takes a hell of a lot of payload to compensate a big engineering fix. And I wanted something that wasn’t going to move around with a load on.” Likewise bolster positioning was regionally customised to garner the best blend of position, handling, and traction. “We don’t have the bigger loaders down here, things like Wagners and that, and we cart lots of 3.7 and 4.0m wood; so I’ve positioned them precisely with a 2.6m spread. Builders say ‘Are you sure you want them there?’ ‘Yes, I’m sure’. That’s what I like about Kraft and one of the reasons I keep going back. They’ll ask, and that’s fine, but they don’t argue.” The diff and cross locks on the truck are independently activated, meaning Magpie can lock up one or both axles. “A couple of people have said ‘Shit that’s a good idea, I never thought of doing that’. “You have to be able to steer the bloody thing in the shit. I’ve not gone for super-singles on the front steer tyres either. I’ve had previous experience with them on a 6-wheeler and they just understeer too much in this work on these roads.” The trailer is a Magpie special, too. Again, Kraft got the nod because of the willingness to do what he wanted and because, in five years of operation, the previous trolley never saw the business end of a welding rod in order to repair a crack. “I bought a secondhand truck years ago that had Kraft gear and it was light and reliable. They also built my drop chassis design on this and the previous one, others wouldn’t. “I went for Hendrickson INTRAAX disc brakes on advice, the same as last time. When I sold that trailer it still had six of the original callipers on it with one round of rotor replacements. People told me originally to shy away from discs and maybe early on they were troublesome. I’ve not found that at all.”

Drivers loading their first round is par for the course in the big land.

New Zealand Trucking

August 2019



Work and play And then there are those infrequent moments of rest and relaxation. Those precious times when you hang up the keys and go do something the clears the mind and resets the body. In Magpie’s world, those times look like a blue V8 Mack Super Liner – what else? He likes nothing more than to go for a blast in the old girl. In fact, he worked her on the log job towing a B-train for a month while the Trident was coming. Normally it’s an odd job here and there; taking someone


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August 2019

for a spin, attending a charity run – often at considerable personal cost. Or maybe it’s a Sunday run with like-minded mates. “I had two things on my bucket list growing up. To own a brand-new Mack and to own a V8 Super Liner. Time to reset the bucket list!” (Ref New Zealand Trucking magazine May 2016; Magpie’s Mack)

WWW.GOCLEAR.CO.NZ …and now for shiny things

Magpie’s not a career trucker, he’s a lifetime trucker. As such, he’s particular about what he likes and how a truck should look. There’s no disputing the latest edition is a beautifully balanced combination; few set-ups can surpass the aesthetic appeal of a classic 6-wheeler and 4-axle trailer. But the Mark Amer Transport Trident gets it right on so many other levels. Of course, starting with a beautiful base machine helps immeasurably, and the Axle Forward (AF in the nomenclature) front axle Mack Trident most certainly is that. The balance is enhanced by the clever placement of diesel and DEF tanks, exhaust gear, and toolboxes. The truck looks the same from either side. Add some Chris Stanley chrome magic to Mack’s list of available decorations: a pair of straight cut stacks, round air horns, retro bullet lights and a King Bars four-post Warrego bull bar, and you’re in business. On the subject of the bull bar, Magpie didn’t want the classic Aussie cow-catcher underneath – rather, he went for a flat plate that he could mount lights on. Rounding out the visual symphony are SuperChrome rims, a row of Narva spotlights forward, custom light-bars and bumpers aft, plus an illuminated Mack logo stencilled into the steel headboard. The final product is a superb looking, incredibly practical and easy to use tool of trade. A 45-tonne GCM runner, it’s able to cart 29 tonne absolutely anywhere save bespoke and irritating rural bridge limits.

‘You better work!’

A song lyric but oh so appropriate. The reason Magpie is so pedantic about the specification, layout, and position of things on his gear is the overarching requirement for productivity. The truck must be an extension of him like a competitive chopper’s prized axe. Bling is great, and touches on ‘who’ he is, but it must be out of the way and on no account hinder efficiency. He’s one of those blokes who is an illusion when working

An impressive sight watching the truck being unloaded…and deceptively quick.

With thanks One thing business does is engender humility … well, in most it does. The realisation that, for all your efforts, you get nowhere without others. As hard-nosed as he is, Magpie asked specifically that we acknowledge the following people. In his own words: “Top of the list must be outgoing MTD Trucks GM, Murray Sowerby. Without Murray the Mack brand wouldn’t be what it is today. Murray is a hell of a nice guy and his word is all you need that things will be as he says. “Brent ‘Cookie’ Cooke in the ‘mod’ centre at MTD Trucks, for all the little bits and pieces I wanted changed. “People think that now that Murray Sowerby has moved on the Mack brand will suffer but, having dealt with new Mack brand general manager, Stu Wynd, I was very pleased that he holds the same views as MTD has always had. “Craig Macpherson and the team at King Bars in Brisbane, who built my bull bar exactly how I wanted it after just a few phone calls. They even arranged to pick up the truck from the Mack factory to get it fitted before it was shipped over here.

“Graeme Kelly and Jason John at Kraft Engineering, who did a brilliant job setting up the truck and building the trailer to my exact specs. “The team at Truckstops in Christchurch for their excellent backup; they’re as much the reason I bought a second Mack as anything else. “Steve and Chris Murphy, from SML, for helping us get started and giving me a chance to own my own truck in the first place.”

New Zealand Trucking

August 2019



around the machine – methodical and measured in appearance, yet impossible to keep up with when alongside. He’d be dust in the distance when most were chaining their fifth of nine chains. The set-up of the gear contributes volumes to that ability. Day two was ripper with one out of the Dalethorpe skid site back to the Daiken board plant in Sefton, and then a load of sawlogs from the Hanmer site again, this time up to Kaikoura via the Inland road. One huge difference in log trucking once the ditch is breached southward is first round loading. Come to the mainland to blat around the bush and you’d better know how to operate a wheel loader and/or a grapple, as it’s the norm for the truck drivers to put their own first loads on. “It’s not like it used to be, it’s lessening over time, and drivers are trained and signed off now. I started by having a go while the gangs had smoko, and watching good operators. You learn a lot by shutting your trap and watching a good operator,” said Magpie. With a wheelbase of 6495mm the turning circle of the Amer hound is out beyond 20m. Ironically, it’s not a huge thing


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August 2019

in logging, as jiggling and backing into position are all part of life’s joyous moments. If you have to do a five-point turn anyway, a seven’s not such a big deal…most times. The random pulp heading to the Daiken mill was no poster load, but Magpie had it on in no time. It’s a short, sharp drop off the skid back out onto a narrow bitumen council road that sees more than 40 log truck movements a day. In true log truck fashion, everyone knows where the others are via the bush radio. Running loaded along Canterbury’s rural roads, the Trident’s firm ride gave little cause for concern. Magpie’s decision not to go for super singles and opt instead for a standard tyre set-up that kept understeer to a minimum was clearly justified. “Being a long wheelbase 6x4 means they have that ‘feel’ about them anyway. Eight-wheeler drivers usually shit when they drive these.” It would appear also the roading engineers from these parts had been away from school back in the day when camber was covered. So many of the long straights end in a flat corner, so you want to be comfortable in the knowledge that you’re in a sure-footed steed.


Fine tuning of the front tyre pressures has got the steering right where he wants it. “The Macks steer really well. I had an SAR Kenworth and you needed both hands on the wheel of that on these roads, but this thing holds its line no issues at all. “See that little oscillation side-to-side the bonnet’s doing?” he said. “This one’s done that from new, the old truck never did. Doesn’t affect the handling or anything. I’m wondering if it’s the bull-bar. After all, it’s 250kg hanging off the front a metre ahead of the front axle. I might put bigger shocks on it and see what that does.” We were most interested as it was the same movement we picked up in the AROCS last month and commented on. Gary Phipps has weight right up front also in the form of a car parked on his head. That explains it, we thought.


At the board mill, the huge gantry crane (made right here in New Zealand by Brightwater Engineering) had the load off deceptively quickly. As the frost took hold we were away to Hanmer again.

New Zealand Trucking

August 2019


WWW.GOCLEAR.CO.NZ RUNNING ON SCR?... The inland road from Hanmer to Kaikoura is a great test of man and machine. Like so many of our more interesting bitumen arteries the road chases river valleys, catchments, and ridgelines. It was the first corridor opened into Kaikoura following the 2016 earthquake. The occasional stock truck and a Norman’s Transport Volvo were the only heavy gear encountered. You’re only in here if you need to be in all reality. “Whether you take this or the Leader it doesn’t really matter, six of one,” says Magpie. “We’ll come back via the Leader Road for the on-cart home. Bert’s [SML operations supervisor, Jason Lyon] jacked us up a load out of Hanmer back home. He’s a bloody great dispatcher. Been around it so long and knows it inside out.” There was no ‘In the tricky bits I put it in manual’ here. It’s been in manual since the day it rolled off the line at Wacol in Brisbane. Magpie had the Bulldog on a firm leash and his ‘run’, ‘heel’, ‘sit’, ‘fetch’, instructions were issued meticulously via the gear lever and three pedals. “There’s no long grinds in here, just short sharp bastards, one after the other.” No shoulders on the road at all and narrow lanes, it’s these times the firmer feel of a US-style set-up comes into its own. They’re trucks that communicate what they’re doing and the stresses they’re under via the seat of the pants, usually by way of a front pivot and rear airbag/shock cab mount set-up – as was the case here. The interaction is amplified when ‘slim’ is poking up through the floor requiring gears to be changed. It’s amazing what a couple of pivots and a gear lever can tell you. Having a physical connection to the chassis makes it easy to interpret exactly where the truck is and how ‘ol’ mate’ up front on the hood is coping. It’s hard to believe the parent of this machine make some of the most insular and automated driving environments on the planet. As we chatted, we wondered if the over-insular so-called state-of-the-art cabs have contributed to the increased crash rate of big trucks in recent years. In many, there’s no physical connection between driver and his machine, just air, wires, and sensors. And that’s a good thing? We’re reminded of a fantastic comment made by Shane McFarlane in the Satherley T900: “When I was a kid we piled into the HQ and if it was cold or frosty outside you knew it. The old man would be wiping condensation off the windscreen. You drove accordingly. If it’s this cold inside, then it must be bloody awful out. Now the inside is a perfect twenty-two degrees and the windows are crystal clear. You don’t know it’s icy or greasy.” Back to ‘ol’ mate’ up front, in this instance silver on account of the truck not having a full proprietary driveline. Under the bonnet is the 12.8-litre, 6-cylinder, overhead cam MP8 engine. It’s Euro 5 via SCR with with Mack V-MAC IV engine management system. The power peak is 400kW (535hp) at 1450rpm, which hangs around until 1900rpm. Torque hits its 2603Nm (1920lb/ft) straps at 1050rpm and doesn’t throw power the performance bone until 1450rpm … making that particular number a handy one indeed. Backing up the engine, and the first reason for the silver tinge on the hood is an Eaton Fuller RTLO22918B 18-speed transmission that feeds into silver dog reasons two and three, Meritor RT46-160GP axles at 4.1:1. Up front, Mack’s FXL 14.6 axle, at 6600kg capacity, rides on 1397mm heavy-duty


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

parabolic springs and shock absorbers, and rearward the Meritors sit on Mack AP460 air suspension rated at 20,900kg, which is in fact a Hendrickson PRIMAAX. “I like the PRIMAAX,” said Magpie. “Really good on traction and more importantly very stable on the road.” The truck’s on drum brakes with ABS and auto slack adjusters and the trailer is on disc with EBS and ABS. Because there’s no mDRIVE there’s no Grade Gripper (hill start assist), and there’s no additional ‘safety’ trickery or electronic stability. “Just old school. Load it, go, and try not to tip it over.” He’s a forthright fellow isn’t he? The Inland road provided the perfect stage for demonstrating the engine’s stickability with a growly note to the motor when the load was felt, but the dog wouldn’t let go. On a particularly nasty set of switchbacks, just north of the rural hamlet of Waiau, the Mack saw 1200rpm and 28km/h in fourth low (eighth if you’re that way inclined) and that was without a run-up courtesy of an inconvenient bridge at the base. Nothing else saw the truck out of the high range, or sub 30km/h. Kicking it off 1400-odd rpm takes some doing. Not surprising when you think the peak torque is only 176Nm (130/b/ft) off the MP10. Downhill the PowerLeash engine brake will deliver 315kW (495hp) worth of holdback at 2100rpm. Its contribution was clearly evident. Mack make much of the MP8’s frugal appetite, and, considering the work profile, the 2.2kpl Magpie’s seen out of the box with this truck is more than acceptable. “The C16 I had in one Kenworth did 1.6, the Cummins ISX EGR disaster 1.65, the last Mack 2.1kpl. This one is 2.2. It makes a hell of a difference to the bottom line at the end of the month.” Most people see log trucks as 50% loaders but that’s often not the case. Magpie said he would be north of 65%, and offhighway motoring is the nemesis of fuel consumption. “All you have to do is muck around trying to get out of one shitty skid and that’s any fuel economy dreams gone for the day.” Running out to the coast and up the main drag a tad to Kaikoura, Magpie unloads at Prime Pine Ltd. Their yard is right on State Highway 1 so access is easy, although it’s tight and can be boggy. Not today. Trailer up, it’s back to Hanmer via the Kaikoura Coast and Leader Road.


Often the road test is about a firm that bought a truck and how that truck is going. Rarely now is it about an individual craftsman who’s bought a new tool of trade. The only one he has that can turn a dollar. One that he’s fashioned, one that has to be right if he’s to make ends meet. Magpie Amer didn’t replace his existing Mack Trident and Kraft trailer on the back of a cheap deal – he bought it because the people who sold it listened to what he needed and built what he wanted. After 800,000km of trouble-free operation in the previous rig, he knows what’s required in terms of outlay and effort in order to have a bit left over at the end of the month. He needs gear that’s stubborn, tenacious, frugal, that has a huge appetite for work, with a bit of cheek thrown in to keep the party alive. He needs himself in mechanical form. That’s pretty much what he’s built. 


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019





10,800kg (Ready to load. DEF full and 400 litres of diesel)








Mack MP8


12.8 litre


400kW (535hp)



Drum with ABS. Auto slack adjusters


300mm x 90mm x 11mm

Auxiliary braking:

PowerLeash engine brake


2 x 350 litre

DEF tank:

125 litre


Aluminium SuperChrome


Front 295/80 R22.5 Rear: 11R 22.5

2603Nm (1920lb/ft)


12 volt


Euro 5 (SCR)

Cab exterior:


Eaton Fuller RTLO22918B 18-speed Overdrive


Eaton 2 Plate 15.5” (394mm) Easy Pedal clutch with VCT

Front axle:

Mack FXL 14.6 with Unitised Hubs

Two-piece (split) windscreen, peep window with Fresnel Lens LHS door, side close view mirror, motorised exterior heated mirrors, dual roof mounted air horns, retro roof clearance lamps, air intake dual precleaners high snorkels, radiator bug screen behind grille, exterior sun visor stainless steel.


Cab interior:

Front axle rating: Front suspension:

1397mm heavy-duty parabolic springs and shock absorbers

Rear axle:

Meritor RT46-160GP at 4.10:1; diff and cross locks on both axles independently operated

Pleated burgundy Ultra Leather, 460mm rubber grip steering wheel, electronic actuated HVAC system, Mack AM/FM/CD tuner – Premium, USB audio communication connector, ISRI ‘Big Boy’ premium driver’s seat, ISRI ‘Big Boy’ premium air passenger seat with integrated seat belt.


Rear axle rating:


Rear suspension :

Mack AP460 air suspension

Seat covers, cab centre storage box, offset front alloy rims, jump start battery terminals, additional roof clearance lamps, Monsoon, CB radio, bug deflector – dark blue, ‘Mack’ stainless steel kick plates, stainless steel air intakes, SuperChrome wheels, King Bars fourpost Warrego bull bar.


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019



The reputable ch


Kraft Engineering Limited 5 Wikaraka Street, Ngongotaha, Rotorua Phone: +64 77 357 4597

Engineering at its finest


“We are customer-focused”

Harry Wolters, president of DAF Trucks By Gianenrico Griffini

It’s often difficult to get a feel of where things are at in the top offices of the world’s leading OEMs – often scattered around far-flung corners of the globe. However, president of the International Truck of the Year Jury, Gianenrica Griffini, recently met with DAF’s newly appointed top man.


aving celebrated its milestone 90th birthday last year, DAF continues to achieve record after record. Following an outstanding 2018, the Eindhoven-based company is determined to capitalise on the success it has achieved so far, and will do so with a new captain at the helm – Harry Wolters (48). Wolters actually began his career with the company some 23 years ago as a trainee. When you enter the office occupied by DAF’s newly appointed president, you are immediately struck by the atmosphere. The impressively solid desk once belonged to DAF founder Hub van Doorne, and on the table is a highly polished bowl that was presented to the company by the DAF agents in 1953 to mark the company’s 25-year anniversary. The antique grandfather clock has borne witness to numerous important management decisions. The whole space has a formal, stately quality that sits somewhat in stark contrast to the approach that Harry is known to favour: being easy to work with, friendly and approachable. “My door is always open, especially to good ideas that can help the company move forward.”

The European market leader for tractor units

Harry took up the role of president at DAF Trucks on 1 September 2018 and had the honour of reporting one of the strongest years in the company’s history. With unit sales of almost 320,000 vehicles during 2018, the European market for heavy-duty trucks all but saw a return to the record levels of 2008 – and DAF reaped the benefits. European market share in the heavy-duty segment increased to a record 16.6%, making DAF the second-largest truck manufacturer on the continent.


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

The company was also market leader in the important tractor unit segment and the number one import brand in Germany, as well as enjoying a sharp increase in popularity in the ‘international’ markets. More than 8500 DAF trucks were sold in countries outside Europe during 2018 – a figure that is around 65% higher than that of three years earlier.

The extra mile

“The secret to our success? Our excellent trucks,” says Harry. “Our customers really appreciate what the new CF and XF vehicles have to offer: the reliability, the favourable fuel consumption and the comfort – the latter being important given that transport operators are currently experiencing a squeeze on profits driven by a shortage of drivers. “However, it’s important to remember that the trucks are only one cog in the machine. Any leading truck manufacturer must have all elements of its business in order: perfect parts supply, a wide range of financial services, repair and maintenance contracts and easy access to data via a first-rate fleet management system like DAF Connect. We must look at the entire picture, and it goes without saying that this includes an excellent dealer network. At DAF, we have made a conscious decision to work with a network of independent partners. Our dealers are entrepreneurs who are prepared to go the extra mile for the customer.”

Growth in rigids

A record market share, record production figures – what more could one ask for? “The fact that DAF is doing well does not mean that we can rest on our laurels,” Harry continues. “Quite the opposite, in fact. It’s also true that there are segments that have potential for further growth for us. With a market share of almost 20%, we are leading the field in the European tractor unit segment. “We need to shout it even louder that DAF is always able to provide the perfect solution for rigids and for special applications as well. Two, three or four-axle vehicles, single or double drive, leading axles, trailing axles, steered and nonsteered axles – DAF can do it all. So yes, we are keen to grow our rigids business. If you consider that almost 70% of all trucks sold in the construction industry are rigids, it’s not hard to see why this is a focus area for us.”

Added value

DAF has not always been known as a technical innovator. For as long as anyone can remember, the Dutch truck manufacturer has believed that new technologies should only be introduced

WWW.GOCLEAR.CO.NZ New Zealand Trucking magazine, Associate Member


Harry Wolters, president of DAF: young, enthusiastic, inclusive, and ambitious. P HOT O: DA F

if they have been fully developed and offer added value for the customer. “Our focus is completely on the customer. We have a very pragmatic approach,” says Harry. This strategy has certainly not done the company any harm. Perhaps surprisingly, DAF is among the front-runners when it comes to electric and hybrid vehicles. Initial testing of these vehicles is already underway with some of the company’s leading customers. “Reducing CO2 emissions and improving air quality in urban areas are shared challenges,” he says. “As a truck manufacturer, we certainly have a part to play. Let’s not forget, either, that the European Commission has tasked the truck industry with achieving a reduction in CO2 emissions of 15% by 2025 and a reduction of some 30% by 2030. When this sort of requirement is factored in, it’s clear that we will definitely need to make use of all of the available technologies.”

Even greater proximity to the customer Considerable time and resources are being invested in Eindhoven to ensure that DAF is ready to respond when the market shifts towards alternative drivelines. The company is also continuing its usual investments in the traditional diesel engine, as the advent of new fuels such as HVO (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil) and power-to-liquid e-fuels heralds a bright future for the diesel engine (ref sidebar). “We must also remember to factor in the importance of developments in digitisation and what we call servitisation,” stresses Harry. “Big data will bring us ever closer to our customers, allowing us to improve our service offering. Providing an online fleet management system, in the form

Harry M.B. Wolters Employment History 2018 – now 2017 – 2018

2014 – 2017

2013 – 2014 2008 – 2013 2005 – 2008 2002 – 2005 1999 – 2001 1997 – 1999 1996 – 1997 Education

President DAF Trucks Director European sales Member of the Board of Management DAF Trucks Director operations Member of the Board of Management DAF Trucks Director human resources DAF Trucks Manager truck assembly plant DAF Trucks Manager logistics operations DAF Trucks Manager logistics innovation DAF Trucks Controller truck assembly plant DAF Trucks Business engineer DAF Trucks Management trainee DAF Trucks Technical University Eindhoven Masters Degree in Business Engineering

New Zealand Trucking

August 2019


WWW.GOCLEAR.CO.NZ RUNNING ON SCR?... New Zealand Trucking magazine, Associate Member


The new XF and CF range are winners for the Eindhovenbased OEM.


of DAF Connect, is just one example. Using the data generated by this system, we can proactively plan maintenance, proactively ensure that parts are available at the dealership when needed, provide even better advice in relation to future vehicle specifications, and customise training for drivers who could be operating their trucks even more efficiently. The possibilities and opportunities are endless.”

Proud to be part of PACCAR

The real question is whether or not DAF has the scale – i.e. whether or not DAF is a big enough company – to tackle the multitude of challenges facing the truck industry “Why wouldn’t we?” Harry retorts. “We are proud to be part of PACCAR, which is the eighth-largest truck manufacturer in the world in terms of its production figures. If you look at

how condensed the figures are between the fifth- and eighthplaced manufacturers, you could almost consider that we are the fifth-largest. The PACCAR Group has turned a profit eighty years in a row, which is a unique achievement within the industry. The company also continues to invest in all aspects of its operations, regardless of whether the economy is booming or experiencing a downturn. “The synergy between the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF brands is a particularly important element of PACCAR’s success. The brands collaborate on the development of stateof-the-art technologies such as autonomous driving. While operators are unlikely to find Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks on European roads, or DAF trucks being used in North America, they can be certain that the same technology is there beneath the skin. Half of all Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks use a powerplant developed in Eindhoven and, of course, DAF is looking on with interest as Kenworth takes important steps forward in relation to hydrogen-drive technology.” While DAF is among the most successful truck manufacturers in Europe, it also has global ambitions; for instance, in South America and South-East Asia. The Eindhoven-based truck manufacturer does not currently have China or India in its sights, although Harry explains that “we are certainly represented as part of the PACCAR Group”. “We do business with a host of suppliers in both of these countries via offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Pune, where we also have technology centres. We sell a lot of engines in China, to manufacturers of buses and coaches. As things stand, however, we do not think that now is the time to move into the truck segment. We have to be honest with ourselves – there is a very, very limited market for European trucks, not least for pricing reasons. We are keeping a very close eye on developments. As you can see, we are pragmatic in this respect as well.” 

Powerful possibilities for internal combustion: the e-fuel In addition to diesel – the good old-fashioned variety as well as biodiesels including HVO – and alternative fuels the likes of liquified natural and petroleum gas (which DAF considers to be only an interim solution), the Dutch manufacturer is looking into how another fuel option could be used to power its internal combustion engines. Advanced internal combustion engines, that is… Advanced engines need advanced fuels; ‘e-fuels’ in this case. These are synthetic fuels that, according to, “can be CO2 neutral and are a serious option to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while keeping the liquid form, which facilitates transport and storage of energy”. This is a huge boon compared with some other gaseous or liquid fuels that are not as energy dense as diesel (or petroleum, for that matter). E-fuels can either be mixed with traditional fuels or further processed into products with the same properties


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

as gasoline, diesel, heating oil, or kerosene. So, how does one produce an e-fuel? It’s a concept called ‘power-to-liquid’ (PtL) that is based on the FischerTropsch synthesis process. This is a set of chemical reactions that converts a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen gases into synthetic liquid hydrocarbons (such as gasoline or kerosene). The Fischer-Tropsch process is used by several fuel companies around the world. That doesn’t mean the end of the road for the likes of biofuels, though. A combination of PtL and Biomassto-Liquid (BtL) technologies leads to the Power-andBiomass-to-Liquid (PBtL) process. “In this case, the carbon dioxide is provided by the processing of biomass, while the hydrogen comes from the electrolysis of renewable electricity. The product generated is similar to PtL,” according to



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100 not out! Story by Peter Mitchell Photos: Peter Mitchell, Gavin Abbot, Eric Wilson collections

Eric Wilson celebrates 100 years. Next to him is a mud flap the writer had made in the company livery.

With a century under his belt, Eric Wilson can still recall facts, figures, and characters from his time as a transport operator seven decades ago!


hen buildings, clubs, or businesses reach a hundred years of age it’s a great occasion, but when an individual does, it’s the milestone of all milestones. To be invited to a 100th birthday party probably only happens once in anyone’s life, and is a special privilege, made all the more special when you’ve known the guest of honour since you were a child.


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

Eric Wilson (a.k.a. ‘Skin’) celebrated his 100th birthday at the Howick RSA on Saturday 27 April – two days shy of the actual day. Eric was born in Te Puke and is the youngest of eight children – two boys, six girls – born to John and Emily Wilson. He attended school in Te Puke initially, but the family then moved to Rotorua in 1929, where Eric continued school until he was 15. His first job was at the Te Whaiti General Store, and it would be the start of dual careers he would pursue at different times in his life: working in or owning general stores, and driving and owning trucks. Eric wasn’t long in the job when he began driving the business’s trucks, either a 15Cwt (hundredweight) Ford V8 or the bigger ‘Yankee’ machine, a 3-ton Fisher able to take five ton or more. He would pick up from the railhead and deliver to the working men’s camps in the area.


Eric in an International A162 with a load of bridge girders on in the Waioeka Gorge. Photo was taken in the early 50s.

A Leyland Comet stock truck. A great

A fantastic photo, years before the Waitakaruru

example of the era on the Hauraki Plains.

weighbridge was even thought of…thankfully.

Like many in the era, Eric was a territorial and was in camp at Waiouru when World War II broke out in 1939, hearing the news on the radio with his mates. At 20 he was put into fulltime training, living in tents left over from World War I. From here he joined the 24th Battalion and headed for El Alamein in Egypt, where he served his country driving Bren gun and ammunition carriers. Returning from the war, Eric secured work with Andrew and Andrew in Papatoetoe, Auckland, carting coal from the railway station to Waitemata Breweries. “The loads were shovelled on and off, but we got a cold handle after each load,” he recalls. DIC not a factor in those days. Following a move back to Rotorua he got a job with George Dansey, driving a 1939 Chev truck with a pole trailer. One of the regular tasks was driving to Minginui, loading 4000 feet of native timber, and returning to Rotorua. Total time – about

nine hours. Eric made sure he was back in town before 6pm so he could have a couple of handles before heading off to Manukau Timber in South Auckland, owned by Gordon Pollard (later Henderson and Pollard). Eric travelled north with a 44-gallon (209-litre) drum of fuel on board, as there were no service stations open late in those days. Amazingly for the late 40s, there was a 24-hour tearoom by the Frankton Railway Station and Eric would stop there for a meal on his way. Arriving at the destination about 2am, he would take the chains and ropes off and grab some sleep before unloading and returning to Rotorua by late morning. He recalls one trip to Auckland where he had two blowouts between Drury and Otahuhu. There were no tyre services to call out; it was matter of repairing each one on the side of the road in the pitch dark.

New Zealand Trucking

August 2019



Eric (standing by the door) and driver Ross Francis with a boat on board at the Panmure Basin.

After the stint in Rotorua it was back to Auckland, running a general store in the Harp of Erin (Greenlane area at the Gt South Rd/Greenlane Rd intersection). It was here he met Doris Boswell, and they married 12 March 1949. When Eric secured his rehab loan for returned servicemen, he used it to buy a 1938 3-ton Chev and established Eric & D Wilson Ltd, carting phosphate for Winstone Ltd to the Challenge Fertiliser works at Te Papa and Otahuhu. In time he updated the truck to a 1948 Q4 Commer and would cart six to eight loads of milk powder a day from Camp Bunn in Mt Wellington (Sylvia Park Shopping Centre now) to the Auckland wharves. Once again, all loading and unloading was by hand. Other regular work included carting wheat for NRM, but it wasn’t all same-old same-old. Eric also ventured farther

afield when required, like taking Education Board huts to Tokomaru Bay School on the North Island’s East Coast. The roads to Tokomaru Bay in 1950 were a test of both man and machine. There were furniture shifts to far flung places like Benneydale too. One that sticks in his mind the most was one to Tauranga. “This shift was quoted to the lady at £27 ($54), and the old story that there would be ‘man power’ at each end to help load and unload,” said Eric. As you can imagine, Eric’s fuse was getting short by the time he had unloaded it all by himself at Tauranga. “Then she asked if I’d unpack it all and put it away!” Eric’s reply was … blunt. The next big break was winning a contract with

The International AR162 (above) and the Leyland Beaver (right) both well loaded…and both by hand. Note the Beaver is the Homalloy cab variety.


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019


An International AR162 loaded with wool bales and fadges in the Waitakaruru yard. The sheds in the background are still there today.

Papatoetoe-based LW Bonney Ltd to cart coal from Huntly to the power station on Kings Wharf in Auckland. For this job he got a K7 International and had McKenzie and Hughes in Onehunga build a semi-trailer from a secondhand trailer. Getting the hoist gear proved difficult. In the post-war years there were not only shortages, but also import restrictions due to the need for overseas funds. Time was of the essence when his supplier told Eric it would take two months before the equipment could be landed here. But it turns out the supplier wasn’t being entirely truthful. Eric later found out they didn’t have the funds to buy the kit in, and as a result Eric missed out on the Huntly contract. The good news in all this was the International truck Eric ran. International Harvester Ltd directed him toward the firm Rope Construction Ltd, where he secured work carting 12-ton loads of cement. The first job was two loads a day to the new Pipiroa bridge site on the Hauraki Plains and after that, two loads a day to the Mormon school being built in Temple View near Hamilton. The Rope Construction work was good work and Eric carted metal, sand, construction equipment, and bridge girders, including the bridge girders for the first section of the NorthWestern motorway from Waterview to Te Atatu. That project was completed in 1952.

Following that he took bridge girders to Gisborne via the Waioeka Gorge, but the king of kings load-wise for the Rope Construction era was a 12.2m (40’) by 6.1m (20’) pile-driver to the Mohaka Viaduct site between Napier and Wairoa. “A trip that had many hair-raising moments,” said Eric. Hard work was yielding success and Eric bought two more Internationals that he contracted to Ivan Whale Ltd in Auckland. Most of the work entailed tarsealing, mainly in the King Country, and as far south as the Desert Road. It meant drivers Tom and Ray only got home for a short spell over the weekends. Eric struck up a business relationship with Joe Brenan Jr next, carting sand from Puni, south of Auckland, to Brenan’s Onehunga yard. Following his return from the Second World War, Joe had taken over McCarten Brothers Carrying Company from his father, Joe Brenan Sr. It was through this cartage arrangement that Joe Sr offered Eric the opportunity to move south of Auckland to the Hauraki Plains settlement of Waitakaruru, and take over a bigger transport operation, Brenan and Co Ltd. Joe Sr had purchased Waitakaruru Transport off Frank and Henry Smythe in 1953 and renamed it Brenan and Co Ltd. The company comprised a mixed bag of trucks that included Mack, Diamond Ts, Stewarts, Federals, Dodges, Commers, and Bedfords. Joe Sr was to be a silent partner in the proposed deal. Eric accepted the challenge, bringing four of his trucks from Auckland. He took over on New Year’s Day 1955 and renamed the new operation Waitakaruru Transport Ltd, although the Brenan green and black fleet livery was retained. Eric built the fleet into a strong 10-truck operation. The mainstay customer was NZCDC (New Zealand Co-operative Dairy Company), which had a factory in Waitakaruru. The work largely comprised picking up milk cans seven days a week, and delivering cheese to the Auckland wharves in season. It was a big operation for the day. Following an upgrade, the Waitakaruru factory was a world record holder for the production of cheese in the 1952/53 season, and consumed 1750 cans of milk every day in the flush, which equates to 35,000 gallons (159,000 litres). Prior to the upgrade it had been 17,000 gallons (77,000 litres). Although the 30-mile (48km) rail regulation was increased to 40 (64kms) miles in 1961, the strange system was an inhibitor of business progress, and like many rural operators, Eric tried

New Zealand Trucking

August 2019



everything he could to work his way around it. A great example was the transporting of stock from Wairoa on the East Coast, to the Goudie farm on the northwest Coromandel Peninsula. Under regulation stock was railed up to Pokeno and supposedly trucked from there, but the mortality rate at Pokeno was too great to cope with. “The station master didn’t care at all.” Eric contacted army mate Peter Crawford, who now owned Opotiki Carriers. The plan was that Opotiki Carriers would lift the stock from Wairoa and meet a Waitakaruru truck at Taneatua Saleyards in the middle of the night. The Waitakaruru unit was normally a Leyland truck and trailer driven by Ross Francis, although there was a pool of drivers that could be called on. Once loaded he would undertake the long trek to the peninsula, unload, and return to Waitakaruru. A clear demonstration of the hours these men worked and the driving skills they possessed. Oh, and they never got caught either. Although the work was hard and hours long, camaraderie was high. The company social club was widely regarded as the ‘local pub’, with the closest official watering hole being 11 miles (18km) away in Kaiaua. The social club was the scene of many happy times, and staff recall delivering Eric across the yard to his home in a wheelbarrow on a number of occasions. At one stage it had got a little out of hand. Customers and friends of the company returning from outings in Auckland, heading back to Thames and other towns, would pop in for an ale. Funds got embarrassingly high and a huge night was organised with live music in the local hall to burn through some cash. Guests included the McCarten brothers from Auckland and the Brenans from Paeroa. Ironically, people donated money to help cover costs, and the social club kitty ended up in an even more buoyant state afterwards. The good ol’ days! Former employee Ted Gibson (himself 96 this month – there must have been something in the social club’s beer) says Eric was never one to hold a grudge, something he attributes to his years in the war. “If there was a problem, it was sorted out there and then and everyone got on with things.” Eric contributed much to the road transport of the Hauraki Plains and Thames Valley, and staff who worked at the

Waitakaruru firm went on etch their own place in history: Len Chambers, Jim Bryant, Basil and Tex Grbic, Doug Brown, Bill Bathurst ( Jr), and Ian Ramshaw, to name a few. The constant battle trying to do business in the face of rail protectionism led to the amalgamation of Waitakaruru Transport, and Thames operator Jim Parker forming Parker Wilson Transport Ltd. The union meant direct access from Thames to Auckland, with freight having to be unloaded and trans-shipped in Waitakaruru (yeah right!) to avoid the prying eyes of local Bobbies. Eric eventually sold out to Jim and moved back to Auckland around 1964 – 65, turning his hand once again to retail businesses for a spell, with shops in the CBD and then Riverhead, before taking a position as transport supervisor with Lever Brothers in Papatoetoe. His transport career ended after seven years spent running the nine trucks operated by the Gilmours Tobacco department in Auckland. Following a brief retirement stint in Mt Maunganui, Eric and Doris returned to Auckland and settled there. Doris passed away in 2001 after 52 years together. Eric retuned to El Alamein nine years ago on a government funded war veterans’ tour, a trip he enjoyed immensely. He lives in a retirement home now following a fall two years ago. At one hundred Eric is still as sharp as a tack and will quickly finish a sentence or contribute a fact to a conversation in the blink of an eye. He also enjoys the social life at the Howick RSA three nights a week. He and Doris had four children, tragically losing eldest son Peter at 10 to an unknown illness. Daughter Noeleen and sons Craig and Keith are close to their Dad and immensely proud of his life and achievements. Noeleen and husband Wayne Leigh ran a stock transporting firm in Kumeu, while Craig is an auto electrician and Keith is involved in the car sales business. Eric Wilson. A man who has served his country courageously in every way imaginable, whether it be on the battlefield in the pursuit of liberty and freedom, or in the field of commerce, striving to add value to the communities in which he lived, create jobs, and provide for his family. A fair and honest man. Congratulations on 100 years well lived, Eric. Your story is a role model for all. 

Former employee Ted Gibson, himself 96 this month… says Eric was never one to hold a grudge, something he attributes to his years in the war.


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August 2019

Work in progress Writer of this story, Peter Mitchell, is currently compiling the family tree of trucking that originated in Waitakaruru, and ended with Provincial Freightlines Ltd. Photos, anecdotes, and historical information would be greatly received and appreciated, and all original material will be returned to the owner. Please contact Peter on: Ph: 021 026-45867 Mail: 31 Pipiroa Road, Ngatea, 3503. Email:


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Be-dazzled! Story by Dave McCoid Photos supplied by Higgins Contractors

Spraying bitumen and emulsion is known to be dirty, hot, and hard work … and certainly not usually seen at the glamour end of the trucking industry. Higgins Contractors Ltd has put an end to that with a machine they are rightly proud of.


hot summer’s day, men dressed in what looks like space suits, the heat haze rising rapidly from the road, the treatment being applied, and the spray bar on the back of a truck. Driving slowly past, most people feel compassion for the lads and ladies working in such conditions; layering a thick coat of bitumen or emulsion on a prepared surface – a road is born. Traditionally the beast of burden under the tank full of thick black ‘goo’ was not purchased as a show piece, rather a workhorse that would likely never see the business end of a wash brush, much less grace the Top Truck poster in New Zealand Trucking magazine. In 2019, however, that’s no longer the case. Although the work’s as hard a yakka as it’s ever been, the team at Higgins Contractors Ltd were super-enthusiastic about their magnificent gleaming new Isuzu CYJ 8x4. So much so they wanted to be in the Top Truck game, and made their case heard. Hamilton-based Cary Bustard is national surfacing manager for the company and is the first to acknowledge the outcome was a joint effort: “A collective group of national managers, including myself, review what the company needs before deciding on the specification of the truck and the spraying gear. “Specialist Roading Equipment (SRE) in Hamilton undertakes the overall design to comply with New Zealand Transport Agency regulations for weight, weight distribution, length and so on. SRE contracts out the building of the tanks, but engineers and builds all other components, including the telescopic spray bar. The company also provides leading-edge technology with computer control, and job-management control.” The finish is truly a credit to everyone. The mirror finish stainless steel cladding reflects a genuine pride and professionalism. The eight-leg Isuzu was sourced through local Hamilton


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August 2019

dealer CAL Isuzu and chosen not just for its immediate availability with live drive fitted, but also proven reliability, strong support, and a cab/chassis tare of 8725kg. “The Isuzu was lighter than equivalent trucks and allows us to legally carry an additional 2000 litres of bitumen/emulsion,” says Cary. Andrew Shirley drives the big Isuzu and rates it highly. “The truck and the sprayer configuration is a pleasure to operate. The ease of operation allows me to maintain the long hours we work in the extreme hot days in summer.” To vital stats now. Up front is the 15.6-litre 6WG1-TCC motor delivering 343kW (460hp) of power at 1800rpm and 2254Nm (1663lb/ft) of torque at 1300rpm. Transmission is the Eaton Fuller RTLO18918B 18-speed, and the truck comes equipped with a GIGA-Tard permanent magnetic driveshaft retarder. Looking to the rear, Isuzu RT210 axles, at 4.1:1, sit on proprietary four-bag air suspension. Being a product application unit, the truck operates as a rigid only and is able to carry 11,000 litres of product. Lack of performance is certainly not an issue.


Hydraulic and heating controls.

6.0m telescopic spray bar

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August 2019



“The SRE and Isuzu combination provides Higgins with a leading-edge product that allows the company and our operators to provide the highest level of quality in chip seals for our valued customers,” Cary said. 


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August 2019



deal makers YOU’VE MADE US NUMBER 1 IN ISUZU TRUCKS. FIND OUT JUST HOW DRIVEN WE ARE TO STAY THERE. If you’re in the market for a new or used truck




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Top Truck of the Year 2018 – 2019 The team at New Zealand Trucking is delighted to bring you Top Truck of the Year 2018 – 2019. All of the Top Truck monthly winners from September 2018 until this issue are in the draw.

September 2018: October 2018: November 2018: December 2019: January 2019: February 2019: March 2019: April 2019: May 2019: June 2019: July 2019: August 2019:

Kenworth K200 Mack Super Liner International ProStar Peterbilt 362e Kenworth K200 Mercedes AROCS Kenworth K200 Scania R620 Kenworth T909 Freightliner Argosy UD QUON Isuzu CYJ

Those magnificent supporters of the Top Truck competition, Power Retreads, continue to stand by us and the industry, once again supplying the winner of the Top Truck of the Year 2018 – 2019 with a free set of eight premium Vipal drive axle retreads. This prize package is valued between $3500 and $4500! We can’t thank them enough for their support of the New Zealand Trucking monthly Top Truck competition and the annual Top Truck of the Year award.


M&D Barraclough Ltd Menefy Trucking Ltd Container Waste SD Haulage Huntly JC & PA Chapman Clinton Waipahi Holdings Ltd N & P Nicol Ltd P & I Pascoe Ltd Main Line Distribution Ltd Stephenson Transport Ltd Knight and Dickey Ltd Higgins Contractors

In addition, this year’s winner will receive an individual portrait of their truck from outstanding truck artist Rochelle Thomas.

Voting will be via public vote on the New Zealand Trucking website www.nztrucking. Click on the Top Truck 2018-2019 banner at the top of the home page and then tick the box next to the truck you want to vote for. Voting opens Thursday 8 August 2019 and runs through to Sunday 8 September 2019. The winner will be announced in the October 2019 issue of New Zealand Trucking magazine. Good luck to all those who have trucks in contention. Get online and get voting for your favourite truck.

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Duncan McMillan Duncan McMillan was more than happy to stop for a quick chat with Faye Lougher while picking up produce from the Garden of York in Levin. Driving a 2015 UD PK16280 with an Eaton 9-speed synchro for Jets Transport, Duncan does a regular run between Seaview in Lower Hutt, Palmerston North and Feilding. “I do general freight work, a bit of absolutely everything.” Duncan says he’s always loved trucks – “as you do” – and although he can’t recall exactly how he got into truck driving, that interest was probably behind it. “I’ve been driving 12 years and have been with Jets for about eight years.” When asked what he loved about driving, Duncan didn’t hesitate. “Not being stuck in an office – I bet you hear that a lot.” (We do!) The only downside Duncan could identify was the increasing number of cyclists on the road. “They never have to prove they know the road code and they don’t have to pay anything towards the roads. It’s my pet peeve!” A missing list of vexing questions and a suggested few met with the response of “pie not quiche, and spirits not wine or beer, particularly tequila!”

Matt Banner The McFall Fuel trucks look stunning in their yellow and white livery and on a sunny day they can’t help but attract attention. Faye Lougher spotted Matt Banner attending to some paperwork in Shannon and stopped for a chat. Driving a 2015 Volvo FH540, Matt had made two deliveries out of Wellington that morning and was on his way to Palmerston North. “Driving trucks has been something I’ve always wanted to do,” he says. “I’ve been driving for 17 years now, and have been with McFall – previously Rural Fuel – for about seven years.”


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August 2019

Prior to driving fuel tankers, Matt drove stock trucks in the Manawatu for about 10 years. “I enjoy driving trucks, going to different places and getting around the country.” The shortage of skilled drivers is something Matt raised as the big issue in the industry today. “And the time and money it takes to get into it,” he says. The vexing question of rugby or soccer was met with a prompt answer of “rugby”.



Just Truckin’ Around – Overseas Peter Jones Craig McCauley caught up with Peter Jones recently on the highway between Emerald and Claremont in Central Queensland. He has clocked up 33 years behind the wheel and was driving a Kenworth T909 AB-triple (a triaxle semi with a B-double attached to the rear of it via a tri-axle dolly), for Duggan Bulk Haulage of Emerald. Named ‘Casual Affair’, the T909 was anything but, painted in Duggan’s white and red livery with large colourful Autism Awareness messages on the trailer bins. The combination is a standout on Queensland’s roads. He had not long finished giving the complete road-train a wash and was looking forward to having the rest of the day off before heading away to Moranbah the following morning to

collect a load for Mt Isa. When questioned about issues facing the Australian trucking industry, Peter thought overzealous compliance by authorities regulating many sectors of the trucking industry had to rate among them.

It was close to lunchtime when the writer and Peter were talking, and the topic of tucker seemed to be a good one to end the interview on. Would he prefer a steak or a plate of the ocean’s finest bounty? Peter answered lightening quick, “steak”. 

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On the weighbridge! Story and photos by Howard Shanks

Scania NTG R730 8x4 operating as a high productivity PBS rigid and dog combination ticks all the boxes for Tasmanian bulk fertiliser supplier Crezzco.


he sun was desperately trying to pierce through the thick blanket of fog that lingered well into the morning in the sleepy Meander Valley town of Deloraine in northern Tasmania. The serene stillness was slowly broken by the deep throb of the approaching Scania V8. Moments later, Crezzco owner Tony Creswell pulled the new R730 8x4 PBS combination on to the weighbridge and stepped down from the warm cabin. “It’s a bit fresh this morning,” Tony said, introducing himself. “It’s the 44.5 tonne payload that is impressing me,” he smiled as he climbed back into the cabin. Crezzco may well be a small family company that commenced operation back in the early seventies; nevertheless, through diversification the business now operates several quarries, mines dolomite, has a concrete batch plant, and is a major carrier and distributor of Pivot fertiliser in the state. Their truck and earthmoving fleet is equally diverse, with equipment specified to deliver the best outcome for the business. Despite freight rates almost remaining static for the last quarter century, Tony believes that adopting new technologies and specifying components according to need rather than tradition, will lead to higher profits for the bulk haulage side of their operation.


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August 2019

Tony approaches new truck specifying with broad knowledge of the transport industry and its future regulations, along with his understanding of customer needs. This means he configures his trucks and trailers to safeguard the interests of all parties. “Maximising our equipment to the limit is one of our prime focuses now. This Scania NTG R730 8x4 and dog combination provides approximately a 0.72 tonne/kilometre payload advantage over some other vehicles that we investigated. While that doesn’t sound like much, at the end of the month all those point sevens add up,” explained Tony. “Like I was saying earlier, it is here on the weighbridge is where it counts.” This new Scania’s primary role is to haul dolomite from their Eddy Creek Quarry located deep in the steep rugged mountains southwest of Huonville, between the Huon and Florentine Valleys. It’s an area with a long history of contention between forestry operations and environmental groups. It is here that the tallest flowering plants in the world thrive – the Eucalyptus regnans – regularly gaining heights of 80 metres and more. The naturally occurring dolomite that Crezzco’s Eddy Creek Quarry produces is crushed onsite to form a fine powder that is used as a soil conditioning and pH neutralising agent. Dolomite is an economical way to increase soil pH in acidic soils, to raise the magnesium levels in deficient soils while also adding calcium to improve soil structure, and it increases the availability of other trace elements. “Our dolomite has an effective neutralising value (ENV) of 80.92 percent, which makes it a premium grade product,” Tony said. Given the fragile environment in which this Scania has to operate, Tony insisted that it have the latest Euro 6 engine. “It is all part of our commitment to deliver a sustainable


The weighbridge is where everything counts.

transport future, not just for our business but our customers as well,” Tony said. “We are expecting a lot of things from this new R730 in terms of reducing trip times through performance and reliability, and improved fuel economy to reduce the cents per tonne/kilometre to ensure our agricultural products are economically viable for the farmers.” To understand why Tony is so adamant about reducing his production costs we need to explore his market and customer base. At the time of writing the average price a farmer in Tasmania receives for their milk is $0.46/litre, while the average cost of milk in the supermarket is $1.60/litre. By the time the farmer has paid all the expenses associated with producing the milk there is not much left out of that $0.46/ litre to purchase fertilisers like dolomite. “On a good day, it’s a four-hour trip down to our Eddy Creek Quarry where we load the dolomite,” Tony said. “Then it’s roughly four and half hours back. There are a few extremely long steep climbs up out of the quarry and along the Huon Highway into Hobart. That Scania V8 really gets to strut its stuff.” Tony said that on paper the R730 Scania had some impressive features. “The fact that the engine is making 500 horsepower down as low at 1000rpm where it begins making its peak torque was one factor that ticked a box for me. Being able to deliver that sort of power and torque with the latest Euro 6 emission

standards certainly helps us reduce our carbon footprint.” The peak torque of 3500Nm (2581lb/ft) begins at 1000rpm and continues through to 1400rpm where the big-hearted 16.4 litre V8 punches out 522kW (700hp). When it comes to driveability there is no performance compromise; with the Euro 6 V8 it is delivering the goods through the sweet spot range. This V8 engine uses a blend of SCR and ERG to achieve its Euro 6 emission standards, which means there is virtually no increase in AdBlue usage compared with the Euro 5 variant of the engine. “The Scania 4100D retarder is really an essential component for our application,” Tony said. “There are some really long steep descents on the southern part of this run, especially coming down the southern outlet into Hobart where it is densely populated, and the decline ends right in the heart of the city. The Scania retarder is extremely quiet, which means we can utilise it any time of the day without upsetting the locals and that’s a huge advantage.” The retarder mechanically ‘clutches out’ when not in use to minimise parasitic drag and can generate a maximum 4100Nm (3024lb/ft) of braking. “I like the fact that the braking system can be set to hold speed on downhills like a cruise control simply with the press of the brake pedal,” Tony said. “It autonomously blends the foundation brakes with the retarder and exhaust brakes.”

New Zealand Trucking

August 2019



Manoeuvre mode in the Opticruise transmission means getting the trailer into tight spaces is a whole lot easier.

The Scania GRS0925R 14-speed overdrive with the Opticruise shift features a layshaft brake that enables faster gear shifts compared with the older model transmission, resulting in better driveability and constant power delivery. The addition of the layshaft brake means there is a 45 percent reduction in gear shift time. But it’s not all about high speed; at lower speeds a ‘manoeuvre’ setting on the Opticruise stalk enables the truck to be positioned with precision and Tony demonstrated how this worked when he accurately reversed the 5-axle Hercules dog trailer inside the fertiliser shed. This Scania NTG R730 8x4 has the front air suspension that dispenses with the previous Panhard rod arrangement found on early 8x4 models. The repositioning of the front axle gives excellent control with much less wallowing and nodding compared with rival trucks. In addition, the steering gear for the second axle layout is installed lower in the chassis, to aid body builders. The shock absorber mounting for this axle is also revised and no longer rises above the chassis rails. Inside Scania’s flagship R730 cabin, Tony says a driver wants for nothing; it has all the creature comforts. He adds the dash layout is practical, easy to see at a glance, meaning he has more time to concentrate on the road. “That fact that you can virtually operate this vehicle with your fingers through controls located on the steering wheel makes life easy. The controls on the door armrest also add to the ease of this truck’s operation. There is plenty of storage room inside too, not that we probably need the features of the sleeper as we’re home nearly every night, but it’s handy to have all the same.” It’s only early days for the new Scania NTG R730 8x4 with its Hercules 5-axle dog combo. Along with the productivity gains Tony is getting from his new combination, he concedes that given the current driver shortage, it is far easier to get a driver for this unit because they don’t need a


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August 2019

multi-combination licence to drive a truck and dog. Yet it delivers a payload comparable to a B-double with more tyres on the ground. “And that’s another great thing about the new Scania, it has a lot of inbuilt smarts that keep it operating in the sweet spot all the time, including the active cruise with braking,” said Tony. “For instance, if a driver was distracted and didn’t notice a car pull in front of the truck and brake suddenly, the truck will automatically brake. It’s that level of safety which really gives us as owners peace of mind. “The R730 ticks all the boxes for us in terms of productivity, performance, economy and safety,” Tony concluded. “For me it’s all about delivering the biggest payload economically and safely. After all, that’s where it counts, on the weighbridge.” 

Three generations of Creswell: Joel, Theo, Archer, and Tony Creswell.



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Going the Extra Mile


David Sauer from Queensland in his 1966 Oshkosh R model R1638 with a Caterpillar 3306 and a 10-speed Roadranger. With its unusual styling, it’s definitely a truck to turn heads.

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New Zealand Trucking

August 2019




‘Mirror mirror...’ Story by Will Shiers Photos supplied by Daimler

Is there such a thing as too much technology? Will Shiers gets behind the wheel of a mirrorless new Mercedes-Benz Actros.


reckon the word ‘intuitive’ is used far too liberally for describing how user-friendly a truck is. To determine whether or not a new cab is intuitive, I tend to picture my 80-year-old mother at the wheel. Would she be able to start it up and get it out of the yard without too many problems? In the case of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros – absolutely not! In fact, sat in front of the multi-function steering wheel and two tablets, which together form the basis of the new Multimedia Cockpit, I’m struggling to make head or tail of it myself. The latest Actros may not look any different from the outside, but make no mistake, this is definitely a new vehicle. Mercedes-Benz claims it features 100 innovations, including four world firsts, such as the dashboard that is currently baffling me. “It’s very intuitive,” says the instructor in the passenger seat of the 1853 LS I’m about to drive on Spanish roads, “and we’ve had it in Mercedes-Benz cars for a few years.” That’s all very well, but it doesn’t help me as I drive a 20-year-old Toyota Land Cruiser! Fortunately, before we set off on our 150km drive, he spends 30 minutes showing me the basics and teaching me how to navigate the numerous menus. Despite being daunting at first, it gradually starts to make sense. There is a pair of finger

MirrorCam and the way ahead Although Mercedes-Benz is the first to market with a mirrorless system, it’s safe to say that it won’t be the last. The system not only works incredibly well, it also offers a significant fuel economy benefit. It’s my prediction the other major truck makers will follow. I am told that MirrorCam works on 25.25m Scandinavian outfits so, in theory, there is no reason why it can’t work in New Zealand, too. As yet it hasn’t been tested on anything longer.


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August 2019

navigation pads on the steering wheel: the left one controlling the screen directly in front of me, and the right one working the screen to my right (I’m in a left-hand-drive truck). Or I can choose to bypass the steering wheel and use the touchscreens instead. To give you an idea of how extensive these menus are, I find one dedicated solely to internal lighting. Here, I can opt for various colour lights, and increase their intensity by sliding my finger across the screen. I can even arrange for a simulated sunrise to wake me up in the morning. There’s no question that Mercedes-Benz has raised the bar with this interior. As I’m playing with the menus, it occurs to me that they could be quite a distraction. After all, what’s the difference between using Spotify via Apple CarPlay on the truck’s screen or on a mobile phone? As far as I can tell, the key difference is that one is legal in Europe and the other one isn’t… Of all the innovations on this truck, undoubtedly the one that has attracted the most industry attention is MirrorCam. Instead of external mirrors, the truck features a pair of cameras, mounted high above the doors. They feed to two screens, located on the internal A-pillars. The system has been legal in Europe for more than two years, but Mercedes-Benz is the first to bring it to market. I know exactly what you’re thinking – what a waste of time and money; after all, there’s nothing wrong with conventional mirrors, right? This is what I think, too, at least until I start to drive. The first thing I notice is the lack of a blind spot on the approach to roundabouts. With no external mirrors blocking my view, I don’t have to lean forwards to see around them. Also, a quick glance in the driver’s screen while halfway around


Your granny might struggle with the ‘intuitive’ sales pitch, but your nine-year-old wouldn’t … after all, they’re the ‘horses’ for future courses.

the roundabout reveals that the back of the trailer is located dead centre of the mirror. It’s a vastly better view than I would have with glass. Surprisingly, looking at screens feels entirely natural, and takes no more than a minute or two to get used to. MercedesBenz has found a solution to a problem that I didn’t even know I had! I join the motorway, and a few minutes into the drive the instructor asks me to slowly drift into the hard shoulder. It goes against the grain but I do what he says, or at least attempt to anyway. In reality, what happens is that the Active Lane Assist thinks I’ve fallen asleep, sounds an alarm to wake me and brings me safely back into the lane. It’s a great system, and clearly has life-saving potential. I’m using GPS-based Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC), and have set the cruise control at 85kph, with a 5kph tolerance. As a result, the EcoRoll engages frequently – sometimes even on inclines. While this driving style is likely to piss off the New Zealand Trucking

August 2019


WWW.GOCLEAR.CO.NZ RUNNING ON SCR?... Safety New Actros has a host of safety features, including Active Brake Assist 5. Unlike earlier versions, it reacts to static pedestrians, which are apparently a growing problem. They tend to walk out into the road while concentrating on their phones, and then freeze at the shock of seeing a truck bearing down on them. If needed, the system brings the truck to a complete halt – Mercedes-Benz stresses, however, that the driver must always maintain full control. Sideguard Assist, which minimises the risk of a collision with a vulnerable road user on the passenger side, has been enhanced. It is currently unavailable in right-hand-drive vehicles.

traffic behind, it has the potential to save a fortune at the pumps. The new Actros is the first truck to feature level two autonomy, which Mercedes-Benz has christened Active Drive Assist. It not only brakes and accelerates for me, but steers too, keeping the truck within my chosen lane. Putting it to the test I take my hands off the wheel, and grab my notebook and pen. But, before I can write any notes, an alarm sounds that warns me to put my hands back on the wheel. So, instead, I gently grip it while the truck steers for me; which is totally counterintuitive and pretty much pointless. I don’t like the way that it meanders slightly either, which makes it feel like the tyre pressures are low. At one point I’m overtaken by a tanker, which sits dangerously close to my lane. Normally, in such a situation, I would instinctively move to my right to aid its safe passage … instead, my truck wanders worryingly close to it. Had it had mirrors, I think we might have touched. I persevere with the system for a while longer, but the Spanish white lines are of a poor quality and – on several occasions – an alarm sounds to warn me that the system can’t see them and has deactivated, handing control back to me. I can’t see the system behaving any better in the United Kingdom – and having had a brief drive in New Zealand, I reckon it will struggle there too. At one point the road passes through a tunnel and, as the truck enters it, the GPS tells the ventilation system to go into recirculating mode, so keeping traffic fumes out of the cab. It’s one of numerous clever functions of this truck that the average driver is likely to be blissfully unaware of. In the tunnel, I take the opportunity to study the MirrorCam screen and discover it to be bright, giving a vastly better view than conventional glass. The screens have horizontal lines on them. One depicts the end of the trailer and is used as a reversing aid. The others tell me when it’s safe to pull in after overtaking slower-moving traffic.


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

Mercedes-Benz claims that MirrorCam makes the Actros between 1.3 and 1.5% more fuel efficient. It certainly makes it quieter, with significantly less wind noise. We’re leaving the motorway now, and heading for the hills outside Barcelona. Mercedes-Benz has offered its PPC system for several years, but whereas it previously only worked on motorways, the latest version also includes rural mapping. It’s an incredibly clever bit of kit, as it both reads the road ahead and knows what speed to travel. On the approach to every corner a message appears in the central screen, informing me of what speed the truck will take it. For instance, on one particularly sharp bend, it announces that it will be slowing down to 19kph in 200m. It sounds ridiculously slow but, sure enough, when I get there, it feels like exactly the right speed to tackle the hairpin. Another smart function is Traffic Sign Assist, which reads road signs and displays them on the central display. It’s particularly useful for notifying the driver of temporary speed limits, which wouldn’t be picked up by the truck’s GPS mapping. That’s all very well but, as all you Cannonball Run fans will know, there’s nothing to stop girls in Lamborghinis from defacing speed limit signs! So, having spent a couple of hours behind the wheel, do I reckon the new Actros is intuitive enough for my mum to drive? Certainly not! After all, this is a woman with stickers on the outside of her iPhone case displaying all her favourite phone numbers! However, in contrast, I reckon my nine-yearold daughter would get to grips with the Multimedia Cockpit within seconds. That point is worth considering. Europe (as with most of the world – Ed.) has a major shortage of fresh blood coming into the industry, and I reckon the new Actros has just the right level of technology to help make the truck-driving profession slightly more appealing to a younger generation. 




For Queen and colonies Story by Dave McCoid

Photos and video by Dave McCoid, Carl Kirkbeck, and Izaak Kirkbeck

Mother England forged, cast, welded, and bolted steel together, and then glued and screwed rubber, plastic, and Bakelite to that and gave us the Bedford TK. A simple tool to facilitate prosperity in the realm and colonies alike: ‘simple’ definitely being the key word.

Retro Te pleasurests for your

The Retro Tests sam ple truck great era s from th that span e ned the through early 70s to the ea rl y 90s, rou are no h ghly…the ard and re fast rules. degree w To some e aim to in vestigate far we’ve just how come (if we’ve co at all), bu me that fa t the main r thrust is to of fun, go have a b on a nost it algic trip laughs, a , enjoy a nd rekind few le some fan and mem tastic yarn ories from s a great p transport eriod in o history th ur at’s now The main gone. delivery media fo Tests is vid r the Retr eo with p o rint as th other wo e support rds, oppo : in si te from the main test magazin . We hop e’s e you en and read joy watc ing them hing a s much as putting th we enjoy em toge ther.


o, the big boys of today build a truck with eight million sensors, 750,000 microprocessors, data displays with menus 12 screens deep and 10 pages across. Alarms that go off for no apparent reason at the time, only to find out later it sounded due to the methane concentration of a fart you did having fatigue inducing potential. They attempt to downplay all this by selling…sorry, telling us that operation is almost intuitive. Hmmm? Here’s ‘intuitive’. A steering wheel, three pedals, four gears, gauges for speed, fuel, temp, and air, an indicator, a ‘turny’ knob for the lights, a heater, and the good wireless to listen to the Queen’s Christmas message on. Eight areas of basic operation to look at, identify, and work out. Imagine how much time you could devote to concentrating on the road in such a machine…at a break-neck 80km/h! What a thing of beauty! If the ERF brought back fantastic memories of British trucking at its all-time power and comfort highpoint, then John Baillie’s TK Bedford dropped us back half a generation again. Back to boyhood memories of NZCDC dairy tankers driven by men wearing plastic sandals (with 10 toes and healthy fungus-free feet), or the TK on the Shands’ bread run Dad used to help out on. It’s the same for John himself. “That’s where it all began for me. Wallace Transport in Wanganui, riding around in Roy Wallace’s fleet of TK Bedfords


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

then driving one just like this, my first truck with Merv Paull in Wellington, clearing the rail of flour and salt for Foodstuffs. It’s memories. It’s all memories.” Well, that explains the livery! The first thing that strikes you with the Beddy is the onesize-fits-all cab. This TK is the 8.25 tonne GVM model but she’s got the full size accommodation block. On 16” wheels, the Baillie machine is set up for metro distribution from a precurtain era, when a cover was undone and rolled back at each delivery. The deck takes a 6-pallet footprint and there’s nothing so garish or tacky as a load-binder in sight, not on your life! This truck is from a time when mariners and motor carriers shared a common skill. It’s a beautifully proportioned wee time capsule. So let’s blast forth… Entry and exit is a doddle even by today’s standards. Yes, there are no grab handles – that’s what the bloody steering wheel is for. The reality is you’re almost at eye-height with the driver when standing outside so it’s more of a step in, slide out. If you miss climbing in, you’ll catch your shin on the bottom step…suffice to say that’ll be a once-only event. She’s


The Bedford interior is certainly one that

The heart of the matter. The

doesn’t over-complicate things. With

6-cylinder 214 cubic inch

the exception of no grab handles, entry

behemoth. No cab tilt here.

and exit would match many a modern metro distribution wagon.

New Zealand Trucking

August 2019


WWW.GOCLEAR.CO.NZ RUNNING ON SCR?... John Baillie and the Bedford that rekindles so many memories of where it all started for him.

a slide-out-forward sort of arrangement on exit, and in time you’ll wear the paint off the guard with your right bum cheek, like so many did. You could happily jump in and out of this metro delivery horse all day long. Once inside it’s vista panorama, well, that is once you adopt the standard TK ‘SHF’ driving position – Stooped Head Forward. For those who remember breast milk more clearly than TK Bedfords, the TK cab was designed by one of the following noted cab designers, Doc, Sneezy, Dopey, Grumpy, Bashful, Sleepy, or Happy. Any regular human taking a posturally appropriate position in the driver’s seat finds themselves staring straight at the hood lining and sun visor. Adopt the SHF position however and it’s whole new world. You’re eye-level with the cyclist two feet in front of you at the lights who is looking back sympathetically at the truck driver with some strain of Scheuermann’s disease. The teaspoons in the cutlery draw at home have thicker handles than the cab’s A pillars, and the mirrors are the size of Winston Peters’ to-do list. In the right position there’s not much you can’t see from this critter…except what’s behind you of course.

The 214 cubic inch (3.5 litre) 6-cylinder petrol engine develops a whopping 56kW (75hp), and as you’d expect is as quiet as a mouse. There’s nothing at all unpleasant about trundling around in the truck. Conversation between occupants is easily exchanged at normal living room levels. The ride is better than ‘surprisingly good’; it would be easy to spend a day in here. Any trip to the chiropractor would be firmly the fault of the stoop, or the rudimentary seat (especially the bench), rather than any bumps and jarring emanating from the bowels. On the day we went wild in Bedford Nirvana the proud lorry was loaded with 90 ‘shekels’ of transport and warehousing’s favourite blue currency (how we weren’t the victim of hijack is anyone’s guess). Although impressive in appearance, total weight was just under two tonne. The TK was downright peppy away from the lights and appeared to have no issues keeping pace with its more modern cohorts. Once we arrived in the rolling country out the back of Pukekohe and Waiuku however, you soon received a valuable lesson on what power has done for progress.

John’s son Adam stands Deck off and

beside the

prepping the

Bedford with

chassis for

the cab half




New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

WWW.GOCLEAR.CO.NZ A charmed life The Baillies purchased the TK in 2015. It had been a blessed wee thing in its near 35 years of life, having been kept inside for all but three of those years. The truck was bought new from Moller Motors in December 1980 by Olex Cables in New Plymouth (formerly Tolley Industries then CANZAC – Canadian New Zealand Associated Cables). “It was one of the last of the TKs,” said John. “Toward the end the parts bin was being plundered I think, because some had TM mirrors and all sorts. This one’s pretty straight in that regard.” The truck delivered product ex factory to customers, the rail, and transport depots, and picked up raw material and manufacturing inventory on the way back. “We’d made overtures about buying it previously, but they were quite protective of the truck. It’d been around for a long time. Its last ever work there prior to us securing it was a monthly run to the metal recyclers. Apart from some rust in the gutter which was entirely normal for a TK, you really couldn’t have asked for a better example and it even had its own canvas tarp and ropes in the toolbox. “Family friend Graham Cowley from Zotsberry Farm in Te Aroha carried out

The Bedford in Olex Cables colours prior to John purchasing it. It wasn’t a case of ‘rescue’ because Olex were fond of their old truck.

A Bedford TK belonging to Wallace Tra nspor t in W anganui, a company John spent a lot of time at as a young fe lla.

a lot of the work. He firmly believes in ‘preservation, not restoration’ when doing projects like this. That means not making it better than new, and ending up with something that’s a true reflection of what it was. He really enjoyed working on the TK,” said John. “Lance and Wayne Cryer from Puriri were also a great help, supplying and fitting any parts that were needed along the way. A higher ratio diff head, various cab parts, and a few bits and pieces needed to get the CoF.” The journey to the truck we see today took a couple of years, although it was by no means a full-time thing. The

engine hasn’t been touched. There’s a new radiator, brake slave cylinder, and reupholstered driver’s seat. A repair was found in the front cab panel that Graham fixed properly, and John cut about a metre off the rear of the deck as it had a big overhang when they got it and it looked out of proportion. “It was as much a case of hours of cleaning as much as anything else,” said John. There was a bit of healthy debate on paint and livery, but John was adamant he wanted the truck in the colours of Merv Paull. “I was just going to have stickers for the signage but my wife Janet and John Dickey [Knight and Dickey] stepped in and said ‘that’s not going to happen!’, and I was given the phone number of the signwriter to use.” The fabulous brush painted sign writing came via the artisan hand of Auckland-based Ken Baird. The Bedford made its public debut at the 2017 RTF conference, looking resplendent under lights in an auditorium at the Claudelands Showgrounds. People gathered around it like bees around a honey pot, reminiscing and recalling tales. Everyone in trucking has a TK story of some sort. John’s intentions with the truck are simply to just enjoy it in whatever form that takes, be it using, showing, or eking out tales as the Beddy works its magic on those reminiscing about a simpler time.

New Zealand Trucking

August 2019



Efficiency plus.

The Bedford gearbox requires only basic numeracy skills on the part of the driver. There’s a ‘1’ that’s followed by a ‘2’, then a ‘3’, and just when you think it’s going to get complicated there’s a ‘4’ and that’s it! Gear location once learned is a silky smooth, ever so slightly vague experience. This is how we all learned. What fun! Having only four gears probably helps at the lights, but not out in the massive climbs of rural Waiuku (tongue in cheek there – just in case life’s a literal experience). On two occasions the TK needed a pause to gather strength as modern SUVs of almost comparative size rolled on by with children staring incredulously out of the side windows of their air-conditioned world. They owed trucks like this more than they’ll ever be told. “I do the odd job for friends and customers,” said John. “It’s such an easy and capable truck on metro, although it runs out of puff on the motorway. Sitting in the queue at Southdown Rail a while back, I was surrounded by swinglifts and ‘skellys’ waiting for their boxes and the TK really looked out of scale alongside all the modern container trucks. “We put a higher geared diff head on it in the rebuild to give it a bit more road speed. It was ‘really’ quick off the mark before that!” Like we found with the ERF, steering was great in terms of direction; there was no wandering. It was purposeful. Obviously, technique was everything at low speed on account of power-assist courtesy of ‘Armstrong and Co’. Brakes were fine, although you really do start to get a feel for how far we’ve come in the stopping department. The cab’s a rudimentary place, not festooned with complexity, and that’s even after John’s upgrade into the deluxe interior as part of the preservation. Before you get too excited, that essentially means a bit more black vinyl and recesses for


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

the sun visors. Based on the one round dome in the middle of the ceiling against the back wall, drivers back in the Beddy’s day either had little need for interior lighting or ate all their carrots. We’ve listed the gauges and the heater’s a hot/cold jobbie with a 3-speed fan and a steel door to facilitate rapid warmth on a less than clement Taranaki morning … imagine it in Gore? If you had no manual at all, you’d have the switches worked out in about a minute. With its Bedford rear end and suspension the TK tips the scales at a feather-like 3100kg, meaning she’s good for 5150kg if you were feeling cruel, to yourself as well as the truck. Yet again it’s a classic case of how far have we really come, and more to the point, have we made the world more complicated than it needs to be? If you wanted to go out and work in the TK for a day you absolutely could, and John does when the mood takes him. If you broke down there’s a chance that with a few spares, some tools, and rudimentary knowledge, you could get yourself rolling again. “Honestly, if you have a few sockets, a couple of screwdrivers and spanners, and pair of pliers you could probably rebuild it,” John said. It was only because the sun was getting low in the sky that we called it a day. We loved the little Bedford and would happily still be out there now burning around and having fun in rural South Auckland. It has a great vibe, a friendly wee truck that still ‘can’ to coin a phrase from a well-known children’s story. It’s a little truck that will provide John and his family a whole lot of fun in the years to come, and create some wonderful memories. And after all, isn’t that the whole point? 


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JOST launches New Zealand operation in spectacular fashion


Pictured from left: Paul Farthing, export manager JOST Werke; James Mackie, managing director JOST Australia; and from JOST New Zealand, Kate Bucknell, general manager, Rhys Harnett, product specialist, Jaco de Kock, operations manager, and Ray Tewi, warehouse supervisor.

Zealand’s product offering,” she said. The new facility just off Auckland’s southern motorway on Highbrook Drive houses a full range of stock – something Bucknell takes particular pride in. “If [a company] hasn’t got something in stock, there will always be somebody else ready to put up their hand and supply it. We’re showing we’re willing to support the product and brand, and willing to keep everything in stock.” Bucknell said JOST New Zealand intended to work closely with workshops, dealerships and large fleets to provide training on the maintenance and operation of its products. The new facility has a purpose-built training room, offering distributors regular product and parts training to keep pace with all the innovations from JOST Werke. “We are solidly committed to all facets of our industry. We have this new facility. We have dealers around the country, and we have a top-quality product range. “That said, we have only just started; there is a lot more to come. Watch this space.”  PH OT O S: J OS T NE W Z EA L A ND

erman truck and trailer equipment supplier JOST Werke has reinforced its commitment to the New Zealand market by opening an impressive 1500-square-metre warehouse and office facility at a prominent Auckland location. And there is more to come, says the company. This is less than a year after JOST Werke launched its stand-alone operation JOST New Zealand and appointed industry stalwart Kate Bucknell as its general manager. Bucknell has moved quickly to consolidate the company’s position as a key player in the transport industry. She has made key staff appointments, including highly experienced product specialist Rhys Harnett and well-respected sales manager Jaco de Kock. Ray Tewi, the warehouse supervisor, has also been associated with the JOST product for the past 12 years. Along with Bucknell they are believed to have more than 100 years of combined industry experience. The new facility features 1200 square metres of warehousing, which Bucknell said is testimony to JOST’s rapidly expanding product range. “Our stock holding is growing very quickly to meet the demand in New Zealand, and with the global array of JOST manufacturing subsidiaries, the product catalogue for JOST New Zealand is impressive,” Bucknell said. “We have JOST alloy and EverShine wheels, a double ball race turntable… we’re doing well with all those products. We also have the Rockinger 40mm and 50mm fully automatic coupling, which is a direct fit replacement for other market brands, plus JOST landing legs, kingpins, fifth wheels. A lot of our focus is on sensor technology, as a lot of fleets are very focused on safety processes, so we will see our stock holding increase in the near future to cover the sensored range.” Bucknell said that JOST Werke’s recent entry into axles had met with immediate success both in New Zealand and globally. “JOST Werke bought the Mercedes-Benz axle plant and then rebranded to JOST. We’ve had significant interest from the market and have already placed a couple of trailer sets locally to test them in the New Zealand environment. “The recent acquisition of the New Zealand agency for major Australian-based transport electronics supplier Razor International was also a significant addition to the JOST New


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019





The bell’s ringing part 2 YOU DON’T HAVE TO REINVENT THE WHEEL or create a complex concoction of exercises to get a good workout. The most basic movements can effectively target muscle groups and leave you feeling satisfied. Here is a nice and simple lower body and core workout – all you need is a pair of kettlebell weights and you’re away! Remember, resistance training is a fantastic tool for

maintaining bone density, fighting disease, feeling energised, being able to manage a physical job, and just getting through the demands of day-to-day life. Each photo here will help take you through a full lower body and core workout, with technique tips and explanations, so you’ll know exactly what you’re targeting and how to get the most out of each exercise.

Kettlebell side bend – obliques (sides of your core)

Kettlebell goblet squat – glutes and quads

Keep your lower body still, don’t move hips or feet.

Firmly grip kettlebell by the horns (handle side arms) and hold

Dip elbow downward and return to centre. Make

it close to your chest. Set up a wide-foot stance with your toes

sure you do both sides!

pointed slightly outwards. Keep your chest up as you push your glutes and your hips backwards to ensure your knees don’t hang out beyond your toes. Go as low as you can comfortably manage (your elbows are a good depth finder), squeeze your glutes as you come back to the starting position.



Kettlebell calf raise – calves

Kettlebell lunge – quads, glutes, hamstrings Set up with your feet hip-width apart. Hold the kettlebells

Rest the kettlebells gently on your shoulders, gripping

close to your body and take a large step forward. Keep

the kettlebells firmly. Keep your body straight while

the heel on the rear leg raised, keep your body upright,

you lift your heels up as high as you can; pause, then

chest up. Bend the back knee and lower it down as

lower your heels back to the floor. Make sure it’s a

much as you can, maintaining the aforementioned cues.

smooth and controlled movement.

Plant the heel on the lead leg. Squeeze your glutes and drive down through the leading heel, lift the torso.


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019








Kettlebell leg raise – lower core Hold the weight firmly pressed above the chest, ensuring your shoulders are on the floor. Start with your legs as straight as possible. If you have the flexibility, touch your feet onto the kettlebell, lower your legs as much as you can, being careful to make sure your lower back stays firmly pressed against the floor and does not lift. As the leg(s) come up, exhale with pursed lips and pull the tummy button in toward the floor. Take your time with the movement – slow and controlled is best.

Tips: This is an advanced exercise. Progressions: • Feet on the floor and knees bent to 90°. Bring one knee towards the kettle at a time. • Same as above, bring both knees toward the kettle. • Both legs on floor (as in photo), bring one leg up towards the kettle at a time. Remember – with any discomfort in the lower back, cease or back off to a lower intensity progression.

Kettlebell swing – glutes (butt), hamstring, among other secondary muscles Start in a squat position with your chest up, wide-foot stance, and hips and glutes pushed backwards to ensure your knees stay behind your toes. Squeeze your glutes and thrust your pelvis forward to a strong, upright position, swinging the kettlebell upward. The power lift of a kettle comes from the big muscles of the lower girdle, not the upper body. (Imagine being in the

Laura Peacock Personal trainer TCA Fitness Club

bleachers and standing to cheer a last-minute winning All Black try – but don’t arch!) If you have a shoulder injury, do not swing the kettle.



3:12:58 PM

Danielle L. Beston Barrister At Law Log Book & Driving Hours Transport Specialist Work Licences Nationwide Road User Charges Contributor to New Zealand Trucking ‘Legal Lines’ Column Telephone: 64 9 379 7658 mobile: 021 326 642 Referral Through Solicitor Required and Arranged

New Zealand Trucking

August 2019



What’s a cyclist doing in a London tipper lorry?


n this digital age, I’m not sure if anyone uses the London A to Z any more, but Google let me down by guiding me to the McGee Group headquarters in central London instead of their yard in Wembley. I joined the throng of commuter cyclists, largely on separated paths, from Bloomsbury to my destination on the South Bank – not really appreciating it was 15kms from Wembley. Fortunately, the tipper truck I was due to ride in for the day was heading to a demolition site around the corner from the HQ. McGee runs more than 50 tippers, artics, flatbeds, road sweepers, tankers, 7.5 tonne dropsiders, bin lorries and transit pick-ups for decontamination, asbestos removal, demolition, piling, civil engineering and construction services. It recently won an International Corporate Social Responsibility Excellence Award. The company sets its drivers a high bar for safety on streets teeming with pedestrians, cyclists, scooter riders, Uber, bus and taxi drivers. My driver for the day was Andy Weston, who got his HGV licence in the army. He’s been driving for 28 years, 20 of them in London and nearly all of those for McGee. He knows how to control the traffic with his truck to keep those around him safe. Andy’s truck was a near-new Scania P410 XT, fitted with Class 6 mirrors (mandatory in London), deep windows, blindzone sensors, and a trial collision avoidance system called Mobileye. The system computes the trajectory of pedestrians and cyclists and warns the driver if their paths will cross. Unlike traditional sensors that can be set off by pieces of infrastructure, Mobileye only picks up warm (distracted) bodies. By 2023, all new trucks operating in London must have direct vision cabs, where the driver sits low and forward. Direct vision cabs will be a requirement for all new trucks by 2027. Currently, the low-slung direct vision trucks don’t have enough ground clearance at tip sites, so McGee has opened its first dump site with smooth tarseal roads. The direct vision trucks deliver loads to site and then off-road vehicles shift them to where they are processed. At McGee, drivers know they are professionals – specialists – because they drive in downtown London. They are better paid than the norm, and proud of their company, in a sector where tipper drivers have a bad reputation. McGee drivers are required to hold a Certificate of Professional Competence and must complete 35 hours of professional development every five years and a Safer Urban Driving Course every two years. The course includes half a day in the classroom and half a day out on a bike, much like the Share the Road on-bike workshops held in New Zealand. There are nearly 500 serious injury and fatal collisions involving HGVs across the UK every year, and to address this, industry and regulators have joined forces to create the


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August 2019

Construction Logistics and Community Safety scheme (see, which sets standards and provides training to ensure safe construction vehicle journeys. Alongside this is the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) – a bit like our ORS. McGee is recognised at the highest level under the FORS: gold. Achieving this standard requires innovating in all aspects of the business, including modifying vehicles, in-house training, and adhering to the multitude of requirements for HGV operators. To maintain its gold standard, McGee ensures it has a good relationship with the Metropolitan Police Commercial Vehicle team. I went out on patrol with two officers the day after my drive with Andy. The officers chose a scruffy-looking truck to pull over and check. Most newer trucks in the UK use a tachograph to record the time the driver is driving and the truck is being used. This data is stored on two cards with chips like a bank card: one for the driver and one for the vehicle. One officer downloaded the data from each card and popped it into a laptop while the other officer checked out the truck. Having two cards makes it difficult to trick the system because the truck’s record can be checked against the driver’s to ensure they match. Everything was in order and the driver was soon on his way. While the degree of regulation ‘enjoyed’ by operators in London is unlikely to occur in New Zealand, our increasing congestion and emission controls are bound to mean change. McGee has always kept one step ahead of the regulators, investing in new gear, standards, and training to meet requirements as they are established. This has enabled it to attract work from the best customers. For more information about the Share the Road campaign, contact campaign manager Richard Barter on 021 277 1213 or 

Richard Barter, manager of the Cycling Action Network’s Share the Road campaign


Designed for New Zealand roads Whatever you are carrying we’ve got you covered. To find out how Total Tyre Management can help your fleet contact our expert commercial team:



Opioids and the trucking industry

Prescribed opioids can be just as troublesome as non-prescribed. Instructions on the bottles are there for a reason and must be adhered to.


pioid use is a global epidemic and a major issue for employers in New Zealand. In the workplace and on the country’s roads, opioids are causing impairment, poor judgement calls, accidents and even fatalities. Opioids include illegal drugs such as heroin, but they also include an array of powerful medications legitimately prescribed by GPs, usually for pain relief, such as morphine, oxycodone and Tramadol. Employers need to realise that prescription medications like opioids or benzodiazepines (a class of psychoactive drugs used to treat anxiety, epileptic seizures and spasms) are dangerous for drivers – even if they are legal and prescribed by a doctor. These drugs are highly addictive and commonly misused. Side effects include drowsiness, confusion, a lack of concentration, and nausea. People under the influence of the likes of opioids – whether illicit or GP prescribed – should not, under any circumstances, operate a vehicle or any heavy machinery. These drugs may induce fatigue and impair thinking or reaction times. In its work of continual education about prescription opioids, the TDDA constantly advises two things: a doctor’s prescription isn’t a licence to take opioids and drive, and ignorance is not a legal protection. Not knowing that prescribed drugs can lead to accidents won’t protect you in a court of law. This is why these drugs come with warnings not to drive or operate machinery and it is important that these warnings are read and adhered to. As an important and critical New Zealand industry, transport and truck drivers are among the most at risk. Why? Because driving and taking the likes of opioids simply don’t mix. Long hours coupled with the side effects of opioids exacerbate fatigue and are a recipe for disaster. Easy access to opioid prescriptions, low barriers to prescription refills, as well as long (often longer than required) prescription periods, mean the average truckie can quickly find themselves battling an opioid addiction. New Zealand hospital emergency medicine specialist Dr Paul Quigley told that the international opioid crisis was created by doctors over-prescribing prescription opiates. Doctors were prescribing synthetic opioids, like oxycodone, for non-serious injuries, without considering the ramifications. Risk remains even when a well-meaning doctor prescribes opioids to a well-meaning employee. Dr Paul Morrow published an article in The New Zealand Medical Journal, detailing how the opioid death epidemic in the United States of America should be a warning to New Zealanders. The article explains how opioids affect the

American population, and how the potential exists for our own opioid crisis. TDDA test results show that opioids are already among the top five drugs in the workplace. New Zealand businesses should take note of how the American government is combating the problem. In October 2018, the Opioid Crisis Response Act was signed into law. This act authorises funding for the expansion of prevention, research, treatment and recovery programmes for opioid abuse. It also allows hair testing to be conducted to detect opioids. In New Zealand, the transport and logistics industry relies on urine testing as an effective method to detect if someone is at risk of impairment. Some companies are also discussing the pros and cons of introducing new oral fluid testing for random testing programmes. However, opioid use can be difficult to detect and frequently requires lab testing of samples – regardless of the testing method used. At its core, detection of opioid use among employees is about basic risk mitigation and can assist the employee with getting the right assistance and advice before something happens. A business can demonstrate that it is aware, serious, and health and safety compliant towards this growing issue in two simple ways: good policies and accredited testing. These go a long way towards protecting employees, creating safer roads and workplaces, and safeguarding a company’s reputation. Remember, early detection is usually the best prevention for all involved. 

As an important and critical New Zealand industry, transport and truck drivers are among the most at risk.


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

By Kirk Hardy, CEO TDDA (The Drug Detection Agency) TDDA has ISO 15189:2012 accreditation for workplace drug testing (see NATA and IANZ websites for further detail). TDDA is a drugand alcohol-testing leader with more than 64 operations throughout Australasia.


“We’ve used just about everything Teletrac Navman released for the trucking industry, including its new RUC Manager, and it’s all added to our capabilities and profitability as a company.” Sean Sparksman Operations Manager Mangonui Haulage


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Be prepared


ecently, I spoke to a man who had just bought a new truck – new to him, at least. The truck appeared to be in good condition. It had done a lot of kilometres but the body was tidy and there was a good service record. This man knows quite a bit about trucks and engines, even though he is not a transport operator and does not have a fleet of vehicles. The truck was bought for a specific purpose and was fit for task. Driving the truck home, he had three issues. The first was simply fixed by buying a logbook. The second was a little more complicated but was fairly easily resolved; a hose was perished and the truck lost coolant. It cost a bit of money and a bit of time but, luckily, this occurred close to a location where it could be remedied The third was more significant. The truck got a puncture while in the country where there was very poor

mobile phone coverage. The man went to the toolbox to get the tools to remove the wheel and replace it with the spare., but only then did he discover that there were no tools. Several hours later he was able to continue on his way, thanks to the help of some passing motorists. Preparation is key to the successful completion of our tasks. We usually know what we need to do, to do our work. But how often do we stop and think about the slightly more unusual or infrequent tasks? Ask yourself, do you have a system for ensuring that your workers have the correct equipment, tools and knowledge to successfully complete their tasks? Do you have a system that considers the

Safewise works with organisations that need more health and safety knowledge, or more time, than they have in house. For more information, check the website

things that could go wrong and how they will be managed? A simple system, such as a checklist, can prevent a lot of stress. The system should include who is doing the work, and their skills and knowledge, and how to communicate in all areas of work. A mobile phone may be appropriate, but not in all circumstances. Remember Murphy’s Law – if something can go wrong, it will. And often at the worst time. The successful person knows this and is prepared.

Tracey Murphy is the owner and director of Safewise Limited, a health and safety consultancy. She has more than 10 years’ experience working with organisations from many different industries. Tracey holds a Diploma in Health and Safety Management and a Graduate Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health. She is a Graduate Member of the New Zealand Institute of Safety Management and is the Waikato Branch Manager.






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August 2019




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Paid domestic violence leave


ew Zealand has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the developed world. The Domestic Violence – Victim’s Protection Act 2018 (the ‘DV Act’), which came into force on 1 April 2019, aims to limit the effects of domestic violence by supporting those affected to remain in paid employment. There is hope that the new legislation will make a real difference in the lives of employees affected by domestic violence, by giving them more support and flexibility to deal with its effects. It is also anticipated that these new, groundbreaking laws will help to destigmatise domestic violence and empower employees to feel comfortable about raising the issue with their employer, whilst maintaining economic stability as they seek a pathway out of violence. By supporting victims affected by domestic violence, employers will need to pay for the leave and provide the requisite flexibility. However, the ideal result will be a fulfilled and productive workplace with lower staff turnover.

How does it work?

New Zealand Trucking

What proof of domestic violence will be required?

If an employee makes a flexible working request or seeks domestic violence leave, an employer may require proof of domestic violence. Proof is not defined in the DV Act so it is not clear what will be considered acceptable. In deciding against requiring proof in the form of a report from a medical practitioner or a domestic violence support organisation, the select committee reasoned that listing a range of acceptable documents would risk confusing employers – who should be in a position to accept any proof that an employee is a person who is affected by domestic violence. Ultimately, proof is likely to be determined on a reasonable basis. However, lack of clarity about what is reasonable opens the door to possible employment disputes. Interpreting proof leniently risks the possibility of employees being untruthful to obtain extra leave or flexible work arrangements. But, making proof requirements too onerous could result in those genuinely affected by domestic violence not getting the assistance they need… It may be that employers can specify in their employment agreements exactly what proof they require, but case law will need to develop before guidance can be given on where the appropriate balance lies. Although the Privacy Act 1993 already protects employees’ personal information, victims of domestic violence may consider such information particularly sensitive. The DV Act is silent on protecting the privacy of employees affected by domestic violence. So, while payroll employees may be bound by confidentiality, employees affected by domestic violence may still feel uncomfortable with payroll being told to enter domestic violence leave into the system. In these situations, an employer may need to put a privacy policy into place that ensures that the protection of this personal information is paramount. 

Affected employees will be eligible for an extra 10 days of paid leave a year regardless of when the domestic violence occurred, even if it was before they began their employment.

An employee affected by domestic violence is someone who has suffered from domestic violence or is living with a child who has suffered from domestic violence. Domestic violence is defined as physical, sexual or psychological abuse, including intimidation, harassment, property damage, threats of abuse and financial abuse. Affected employees will be eligible for an extra 10 days of paid leave a year regardless of when the domestic violence occurred, even if it was before they began their employment. It will be paid on the same basis as bereavement leave, public holidays, alternative holidays and sick leave. However, it will not be paid out upon termination and cannot be carried over to subsequent years. Employees affected by domestic violence also have the right to request flexible working arrangements for a period of two months or less. Variations to their working arrangements can include hours, days or place of work, temporary alteration of their duties, or any other term of the employment agreement. The employer has grounds to decline the request if they are unable to reorganise work amongst existing staff, it will have a detrimental impact on work quality or performance, or they are unable to bear the burden of the associated additional costs. Any request is required to be dealt with as soon as possible but no later than 10 working days after it is received. The DV Act amends the Employment Relations Act 2000 by introducing a new ground for a personal grievance; namely that the employee has been treated adversely on the basis that he or she is a person affected by domestic violence. This extends to situations where the treatment has occurred because the employee is suspected, assumed or believed to be such a person. Adverse treatment can include dismissal, refusing to offer particular employment opportunities, and any other employment-related detriment.


Additionally, a prohibition against the adverse treatment of employees under these circumstances will also be inserted into the Human Rights Act 1993. This means employees will be able to complain about adverse treatment to the Human Rights commission and seek remedies in the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

August 2019

Please note that this article is not a substitute for legal advice and if you have a particular matter that needs to be addressed, you should consult with a lawyer. Danielle Beston is a barrister who specialises in transport law and she can be contacted on (09) 379 7658 or 021 326 642.

Danielle Beston



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DOUBLE ACT The show has more than doubled the space and exhibitors of 2018 The ultimate trucking industry weekend – destination Christchurch


t’s time to start planning your trip to Christchurch for New Zealand’s ultimate trucking weekend! The upcoming TMC Trailers Trucking Industry Show 2020 will have double the footprint and double the exhibitors of the 2018 show, with more than 20,000 people from throughout New Zealand and Australia expected to attend. The event has become an important one on the industry’s calendar. It’s going to be a weekend-long (20 and 21 March 2020) festival for the industry that’s not to be missed!

Show and Shine

The stars of the show will be the Show and Shine trucks, with more than 45 judging categories, goodie bags for early registrations, and fantastic prizes to be won. More than 300 trucks are expected to take part in the Show and Shine event, which will make for an amazing spectacle. A new layout and pathways will make it easier for visitors to get around the Show and Shine area. There will, in fact, be transport around the event. Dedicated bus stops will make catching one of the minibuses and moving around the show easy for all visitors. No one should miss seeing it all!

Competitions to celebrate drivers and support industries

The show has always been about celebrating professional truck drivers, and it’s now been extended to celebrate their


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

skills and the wider industry. The TR Group New Zealand Truck Driving Championships 2020 will run alongside the show over the two days. Championship categories include Class 2, Class 5 Semi, and Class 5 Truck and Trailer, along with recognition awards for Young Driver of the Year and Woman Driver of the Year. An award will also be made to the TR Group Supreme Driver of the Year. Winners from the 2018 TR Group/RTFNZ National Driving Competition will be entitled to defend their titles in 2020 and will receive automatic entry into the Saturday finals. Information packs will be available soon. The 2020 event will also see the introduction of wider industry competitions to showcase the skills of crane, excavator, and forklift operators. The skills encompassed in these sectors needs to be celebrated and this is the perfect chance to acknowledge the talents of those working alongside the trucking industry. The competitions will inspire and ‘wow’ spectators. The competitions will be short and based on accuracy within a set time frame. The organising team has based ideas on overseas competitions – they promise to be interesting and fantastic to watch. There will be grandstands and the commentary will run throughout. Limited entries will be available on the day, so be sure to register online early. Sponsors of these competitions will be announced soon, with fantastic prizes that will entice operators to have a go. Mimico has already jumped on board to sponsor the 2020 excavator competition and has put up an awesome prize! Challenge your mates and colleagues or represent your company!

WWW.GOCLEAR.CO.NZ Trade, business, and careers

Show sponsors and trade suppliers have been invited to join the show – it’s a great opportunity to meet with existing customers and develop relationships with new ones. Many are using this opportunity to launch new products and host customers on the Friday Trade Day. The show has received huge support from the trade so far, with double the number of Gold Sponsorships sold over previous years already. A new layout will see huge sponsor sites and great placement of trade exhibitors along the main walkways. Careers Transport 2020 will run on the Friday morning. This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase industry careers to the next generation. High schools have been invited to send along their senior students who show an interest in the industry. This invite is also open to adults who may be seeking a career change. It’s a great chance to speak with companies about opportunities in the industry, on a slightly quieter day. Students and advisors are encouraged to prepare for their visit prior to arriving, by prioritising the companies with which they want to engage. Helpers from the industry will be on hand to guide them through the park and make sure they don’t miss anything. Every visitor will be given a careers guidebook, with a map of the show, information about each participating business, and information about career pathways.

Bring on the Classics

A large area has been allocated for Classic and Vintage trucks. It’s always fun to step back in time and showcase these restorations! Truck history boards can be made for participants for $30. Thanks to Mega Pacific, show visitors and drivers will be able to vote for their favourite truck in the People’s Choice competition.

course courtesy of SuperTyre. The kid’s Road Safety Scooter Track will take centre stage. Branded truck-themed scooters will be available for kids to zoom around a dedicated roadway designed to promote safety. Safety officers will be on hand to point out general road safety messages and obstacles. The RC Haulers radio-control trucks will be back and bigger than ever for 2020. The perfectly replicated RC trucks will drive around a city scene, keeping kids – big and small – entertained for hours. Thanks to Mimico, there will also be a kids’ have-a-go digger next to the excavator competition area.

Teletrac Navman Industry Show Dinner and Awards Ceremony

All the winners will be celebrated and awarded prizes at the Teletrac Navman Industry Show Dinner and Awards Ceremony, held on the Saturday evening. The large Canterbury Agricultural Park Equestrian Centre will be transformed into a bar and dinner area that can cater for 1000 people. This will be the ideal place to network and celebrate competition winners after the show, with a fantastic buffet meal and live entertainment. A charity auction, of some one-of-a-kind pieces, will round up the event. This event sells out, so get your tickets early. Ticket price is $65 each.

Book your leave!

There are so many more surprises to come. There aren’t many other events to which you can drive your truck, stay all day with friends and family, and have so much fun. So, make sure you have booked your leave and are prepared for New Zealand’s ultimate trucking weekend: The TMC Trailers Trucking Industry Show! 

Chill out and relax while the kids play The Heartland Bank Lawn will be a great area for visitors to relax with some food, listen to music and try their luck in the Heartland Bank Cash Grab. The TMC Trailers Trucking Industry Show truly has something for everyone, including the kids. It’s a family show and all the kid’s activities are free. The kid’s zone features a giant sandpit, massive truck bouncy castle, and a tyre obstacle

NZ Trucking Association, 23 Islington Avenue, Waterloo Business Park, Christchurch 0800 338 338

By Carol McGeady, executive officer NZ Trucking Association

New Zealand Trucking

August 2019



The unfortunate selectivity of the government’s road safety plan


here are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”, is the phrase famously attributed by Mark Twain to 19th century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. By one definition it describes the selective use of statistics to bolster an argument – and has never been more apparent than in this government’s narrow interpretation of overseas examples to inform its policy decisions. The government is particularly enamoured with the idea of uplifting initiatives from the Scandinavian countries, despite the major geographic, cultural and economic differences that exist between them and New Zealand. Ministers are, of course, extremely selective with the Scandinavian comparisons they hold up as ideal. The facts that Sweden is the ninth-largest exporter of arms, Norway is the fifth-largest exporter of oil, and both are two of the most monocultural countries in the world, never seem to enter the debate or dampen this government’s enthusiasm for Scandinavian solutions to everything from our justice system to social policy. Last year, Parliament’s transport and infrastructure select committee asked Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter about the evidence for the government’s change in road safety policy and was told that it was based on international research. “For example, Sweden has reduced rates of death and serious injury substantially over the past 20 years by implementing safety strategies based on changes to system design, road engineering and planning, and enforcement,” she told the committee. If, as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the Swedish, in particular, must feel awfully chuffed at the moment. Our government’s envious eyes have recently turned towards them to justify a major new proposal for the roll-out of more speed cameras. Sweden, it turns out, has more than 3000 speed cameras scattered across its road network. By comparison, New Zealand police operate only 56 cameras throughout the country. This, the government has decided, needs to change. We need to be more like Sweden. Well, kind of. What Genter and her colleagues do not publicise is that Sweden has more than 2000km of motorway and a further 6000km of ultra-modern expressway, some of which has a speed limit of 120kph. New Zealand, on the other hand, has only 360km of motorway. Our poor-quality roads are therefore no comparison with Sweden’s sophisticated network of motorways and expressways. And, with the government hell-bent on never building another new motorway beyond the Manawatu Gorge replacement, there is also very little chance they ever will be. Because the government is only selectively looking at the information that fits with its view of the world, they do not want to acknowledge the dire condition of many of our roads.


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

To do so would mean that they would actually have to invest in new roads and that would not satisfy the political aspirations of the anti-road lobby. Reports from a recent parliamentary committee, where Transport Minister Phil Twyford said that “New Zealand has overinvested in roads and motorways for decades”, should be extremely concerning to all road users. I must admit I am very much looking forward to hearing him justify that comment at this year’s RTF conference! I’m sure there will be a delegate or two who will challenge his assessment. Having talked to numerous road safety experts recently, including former V8 Supercars ace Greg Murphy, I have also become a big believer in the value of driver training as a road safety tool. Sweden, unsurprisingly, has a comprehensive theoretical and practical training programme, coupled with rigorous testing, which are designed to properly prepare young drivers for the road. If the government is truly investing in the Vision Zero model, this is something that it must consider here. The Swedish test even involves the use of a skidpan, where the student gets to experience and practice loss of control on a slippery surface. This kind of preparation means young licence holders have the skills to identify hazards as well as control the vehicle in difficult situations. I know New Zealand First has done some work in this area. In fact, it is its policy to roll out driver training to all school students, and I support that. However, whether party leader Winston Peters can get Labour and the Greens to invest in it is another matter. If the government is indeed determined to improve road safety then Sweden is a good example of how to do it. However, the answer lies in much more than the government’s current tunnel vision on speed or simply removing vehicles from the road. All aspects of the country’s road network and road transport system must be on the table and proper investment is needed to address all factors affecting road safety. A major part of that must be greater investment in modern, safer roads and the driving standards of those we put behind the wheel. Finally, don’t forget, the RTF conference is fast approaching. The full programme, registration details, accommodation, and sponsorship packages are all available at 

Nick Leggett Chief executive officer


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The Safety MAN Road Safety Truck became a platform for trucking careers promotion at the 2019 Christchurch Careers Expo in May. What better way to promote industry careers than from the inside of a unique and exciting trailer? The NZ Trucking Association proudly facilitated the ‘Trucking Careers Hub’, which was supported by 11 businesses, all passionate about inspiring the next generation. These sponsors included Hilton Haulage, Conroy Removals, TSI Logistics, HWR Richardson Group, Penske NZ, Southpac Trucks, HDPS, Toll Group, TR Group, Proactive Drive, and AMS Group.


Having such an array of businesses meant that students were able to learn about a variety of career options, driving courses, qualifications, work experience, and apprenticeship opportunities. It was also fantastic to have a range of trucks within the hub, including a TR Group class 2 Isuzu, the PROTRANZ DAF, and the Penske NZ MAN. It was great to be able to show students a class 2 truck, which they could be driving just six months after getting a full licence. Eyes lit up when they then got into the MAN and DAF trucks and realised they could be making good money, with no student loan, driving one of these awesome vehicles. The goal of the Trucking Careers Hub was to promote the industry in a positive, professional way, inspire students to consider a career in transport, guide those who are interested in the right direction, provide sponsors an opportunity to promote their career and service options, and be there to answer any questions. The hub was a huge success, with a lot of genuinely interested students and adults coming through to learn about their opportunities.

It was also fantastic to have Proactive Drive there with the driver training simulator, to promote the importance of upskilling. It was hugely worthwhile setting up the Trucking Careers Hub and we look forward to running similar initiatives at future careers expos around New Zealand. If your business would like to participate in the future, get in touch with the team at NZ Trucking Association: or call 0800 338 338.


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Renault Lander 460.32 8x4 Renault Lander 460.32 8x4 Operator: Shane Bunning Ltd Operator logistics Ltd, Maunganui Engine: Cummins X15Mount 458kW (615hp) Operator Roadex Roadex logistics Ltd, Mount Maunganui Driver Frank Richards Driver Frank Richards Transmission: Eaton Fuller RTLO22918 Engine 0Xi11, 460hp Engine 0Xi11, 460hp Rear axles: Meritor RT46-160 Transmission Optidriver Transmission Optidriver Rear suspension: PRIMAAX Rear axles Renault P2191 with hub reduction Rear axles Logging equip:FlatRenault P2191 with hub reduction Mills-Tui Truck body deck with front mounted PK12000 Truck body Flat deck with front mounted PK12000 Trailer: Mills-Tui Palfinger crane 5-axle Palfinger crane Features: First ever ProStar-based HD spec 8x4 logger Features brakes, Bluetooth, Features Disc Disc brakes, Bluetooth, in thealloy world. Premium Plus interior package, Dura-Bright wheels Dura-Bright alloy wheels Ali Arc formed alloy bumper, twin stacks Operation Carting roofing material around Operation Carting roofing material around Operation: shifted thethe Bay of Plenty area BayDouble of Plenty area on East Coast logging duties Drivers: Shane Bunning & Kahurangi ThatcherWhareinga

‘Running! Double Time!’ Kenworth T610 8x4 rigid FuelHauling Hauling FH Fuel FH Operator: Saunders Renault Lander 460.32 8x4 Transport Ltd Renault Lander 460.32 8x4 Engine: Cummins X15 458kW (615hp) Operator Roadex Roadex logistics Ltd, Mount Maunganui Operator logistics Ltd, Mount Maunganui Transmission: Eaton UltraShift PLUS Driver Frank Richards Driver Richards Rear axles: Frank RPL Driveline-Meritor RT46-160 Engine 0Xi11, 460hp Engine 0Xi11, 460hp Rear suspension: Airglide 460 Transmission Optidriver Optidriver Transmission Body: Transport & General Transport Trailers Rear axles Renault P2191 with hub reduction Rear axles Renault P2191 with&hub reduction Trailer: Transport General Transport Trailers Truck body Flat deck with front mounted PK12000 Truck body Flat deck5-axle with front mounted PK12000 Palfinger crane Palfinger crane Features: Kent-Weld front alloy bumper. Brolube Features Disc Disc brakes, Bluetooth, Features brakes, Bluetooth, greasing system. Custom detailed by Dura-Bright alloy wheels Dura-Bright alloy wheels Southpac Trucks New Truck Prep. Signage Operation Carting Carting roofing material around Operation roofing material around byPlenty Truckarea Signs Imaging. thethe Bay of Plenty area Bay of Operation: Bulk duties based out of Te Puke Driver: Shannon

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Renault Lander 460.32WJ 8x4& SA Good Operator: Renault Lander 460.32 8x4 Engine: Scania V8 462kW (620hp) Operator Roadex logistics Ltd, Mount Maunganui Operator Roadex logistics Ltd, Mount Maunganui Transmission: GRSO905 Opticruise Driver Frank Richards Driver Frank Richards Rear axles: 0Xi11, 460hp Scania Hypoid Engine Engine 0Xi11, 460hp Body: TMC chilled curtainside Transmission Optidriver Transmission Optidriver Trailer: TMC 5-axle chilled curtainside Rear axles Renault P2191 with hub reduction Rear axles Renault P2191 with hub reduction Features: kit, roof-mounted LED light Truck body Flat deck Full withcab frontaero mounted PK12000 Truck body Flat deck with front mounted PK12000 Palfinger crane bar Palfinger crane Features brakes, Operation: Disc ThisBluetooth, unit is proudly operated by Warren Features Disc brakes, Bluetooth, Dura-Bright alloyone wheels Good, of NZ Couriers’ longest Dura-Bright alloy wheels Operation roofing material aroundon the longest serving contractors Operation Carting Carting roofing material around the Bay ofrun Plenty area by NZ Couriers, Bluff to operated the Bay of Plenty area

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Operator Roadex logistics Ltd, Mount Maunganui Operator Roadex logistics Ltd, Mount Maunganui Driver Frank Richards Driver Frank Richards DAF CF85 FAT 6x4 rigid Engine 0Xi11, 460hp Engine 0Xi11, 460hp Transmission Optidriver Optidriver Transmission Operator: Waitoa Haulage Ltd Rear axles Renault P2191 with hub reduction Rear axles Renault P2191 hub 343kW reduction Engine: Paccarwith MX13 (460hp) Truck body Flat deck with front mounted PK12000 Truck body Flat deck with front mounted PK12000 Transmission: Eaton Fuller RTLO20918 Palfinger crane Palfinger crane Rear axles: Disc brakes, Bluetooth, Meritor RT46-160 with full cross locks Features Features Disc brakes, Bluetooth, Features: B-pillar blind spot camera, heated driver’s Dura-Bright alloy wheels Dura-Bright alloy wheels seat, Groeneveld auto greaser, Alcoa Operation Carting Carting roofing material around Operation roofing material around the Bay of Plenty area the Bay ofDura-Bright Plenty area alloy rims, stone guard


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Kenworth K200 8x4 rigid Renault Lander 460.32 8x4 Operator: Roadex logistics IP & KE Ltd, Graham LtdMaunganui Operator Mount Engine: Cummins X15 Driver Frank Richards Transmission:0Xi11, 460hp Eaton UltraShift PLUS Engine Rear axles: OptidriverRPL Driveline – Meritor RT46-160 Transmission Rearaxles suspension: Airglidewith 460hub reduction Rear Renault P2191 Logging Industries Truck bodyequip: Flat deckPatchell with front mounted PK12000 PalfingerPatchell crane Industries 4-axle Trailer: Features Disc brakes, Bluetooth, Features: Malcolm Cab Solutions fitments, Dura-Bright alloy wheels Caulfield Signs & Graphics, CTI, Alcoa Operation Carting roofing material around Dura-Bright alloy rims, stone guard Plenty area Operation: the Bay of Logging duties based out of Rotorua

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Operator logistics Ltd, Mount Maunganui Scania P410 Roadex 4x4 rigids Driver Frank Richards Operator: Ryal Bush Transport Ltd Engine 0Xi11, 460hp Engine: Scania DC13 302kW (410hp) Transmission Optidriver Transmission: Rear axles RenaultGRS905 P2191 with hub reduction Body:body McMaster spreaders Truck Flat deck with frontEngineering mounted PK12000 Palfinger4x4, crane Features: hub reduction, CTI, LED work lamps Features Bluetooth, Operation: Disc brakes, One based in Ashburton, one in Southland Dura-Bright alloy wheels Operation Carting roofing material around the Bay of Plenty area

Operator Roadex CT logistics Mount Maunganui Operator: & MALtd, Papuni Transport Driver Frank Richards Engine: Cummins X15 Engine 0Xi11, 460hp Transmission: Eaton Fuller RTLO22918 Transmission Optidriver Rear axles: Meritor RT46-160 Rear axles Renault P2191 with hub reduction Logging equip: Mills-Tui Truck body Flat deck with front mounted PK12000 Trailer: PalfingerMills-Tui crane 5-axle Features: Malcolm Cab Solutions fitments, Caulfield Features Disc brakes, Bluetooth, Signs & Graphics, Dura-Bright alloy wheels CTI, Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy rims, stonearound guard Operation Carting roofing material Operation: the Bay Logging of Plenty duties area based in Rotorua

Operator Ltd, Mount Operator: Roadex logistics DC Trucking Ltd Maunganui Driver Frank Richards Engine: Cummins X15 458kW (615hp) Engine Transmission:0Xi11, 460hp Eaton Fuller RTLO22918 Transmission Rear axles: OptidriverMeritor RT46-160 Rear axles Renault P2191 with hub reduction Trailer: Roadmaster 6-axle B-train Truck body Flat deckCustom with front mounted PK12000 Features: stainless work, Vortox air Palfingercleaners, crane classic round tanks (1750 Features Disc brakes, Bluetooth, litres), microwave, fridge/freezer, Dura-Bright alloy wheels Nespresso coffee machine Operation Carting roofing material around Operation: All manner of flat-deck work nationwide the Bay of Plenty area



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New Zealand Trucking 2019 93 11 NovemberAugust 2015 NZ TRUCKING

WWW.GOCLEAR.CO.NZ RUNNING ON SCR?... new kiwi bodies & trailers New Zealand Trucking brings you New Kiwi Bodies & Trailers. Bodies and trailers are expected to last twice as long as trucks. What’s more, there’s new technology and advanced design features showing up almost every month. New Zealand has a rich heritage of body and

trailer building and we’re proud to showcase some recent examples of Kiwi craftsmanship every month. If you want a body or trailer included on these pages, send a photo, features and the manufacturer’s name to

Heavy Metal for Sims

Fresh out of the Total Transport Engineers LP workshops in Mount Maunganui is this new build on an Isuzu CYJ530 for Sims Pacific Metals Ltd. It has been equipped with a Palfinger 26002EH Knuckle Boom crane complete with grapple. This unit will be Nelson based, working throughout the South Island. Features: Hardox Steel scrap bin bodies, 4-axle trailer chassis that has been designed and set up for the accommodation of a fifth axle if the need arises, Hendrickson 19.5” disc brake axle/air suspension sets running on Alcoa aluminium wheels and Bridgestone tyres, Wabco EBS, and both the truck and trailer have TruckWeight weigh scale systems installed. Total Transport Engineers LP

Twins for Kuru

Kuru Contracting Ltd has just put an identical pair of Kenworth K200 8x4 rigids on the road, freshly outfitted by the team at Patchell Industries Ltd. The units sport 5-axle EVO3 stepped chassis billet trailers and bolster sets. Features: Hendrickson INTRAAX air suspension with disc brake axles and tyre inflation, Patchell load restraint winches, knuckle type ‘push up’ remote extension pins to bolsters, WABCO EBS, SI Lodec and air bag weigh systems, bolt-on push pad to rear of chassis, CTI, Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels, custom stainless steel work. Patchell Industries Ltd

KIWI 16, 17 94

New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

KIWI 175


Pikowai Carriers Ltd from the sunny Bay of Plenty has recently commissioned a matching pair of DAF XF105 8x4 rigids. The trucks have been through the Total Transport Engineers LP workshops in Mount Maunganui where they have had new 7.33m decks custom built and fitted in readiness for stock crates. Features: Stainless steel deck sheets, effluent tanks, tool box, water tank, stainless steel guards. Total Transport Engineers LP

Picard – Patchell Perfection

New for MA & LP Picard Ltd of Rotorua is this striking Kenworth T659 8x4 rigid with a complete logging fit out by the meticulous team at Patchell Industries Ltd, complete with 5-axle EVO4 I beam trailer. Features: Thermoplastic VB550 toolbox, Bigfoot traction air system complete with GPS, air bag weigh system gauges to bolster, ROR SL9 integrated air suspension with disc braked axles, Alcoa alloy wheels, WABCO EBS, SI Lodec weigh systems, pogo stick fitted for pick up chain, and knuckle type ‘push up’ remote extension pins to bolsters. Patchell Industries Ltd

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August 2019




Kenworth W900B, Bayline Trucking Ltd ‘Easy Rider’ Story by Carl Kirkbeck

Welcome! In a day and age where wasting hours on a 4” LCD screen is all too easy, we celebrate a more productive use of spare time. Building scale replicas of the real rigs that carry this country. Something you and others can appreciate. Something that will last for decades. For myself as a young fella growing up around the transport industry, I found by building model trucks my knowledge of the makes and models of both trucks and trailers, their features and specifications, grew exponentially. Modelling can also be great way to get yourself alongside the industry and meet the movers and shakers, who often have a collection, or build models themselves. With these pages we look forward to promoting the hobby in general, with regular features on new kitsets and accessories coming to market alongside stories from around the country featuring builders and their builds, as well as coverage of recent shows and displays. We also encourage your input, ideas and handy hints, so if you have anything that you would like to share with fellow modellers, including photos of your recent projects, either under construction or completed, please feel free to get in touch. Email –


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

This month at New Zealand Trucking magazine we welcome the return of the regular section dedicated to the little wheels of the industry.


hy not start at the top and see just where this modelling thing can go. We are looking in more detail at the Best of Show winner from this year’s NZ Model Truck Association national competitions featured in last month’s magazine. The model came off the workbench of Marty Crooks from Wellington. When looking over Marty’s collection of model trucks it becomes easy to see he has a deep passion for log trucks of the 1980s. Marty, a fulltime builder from the windy city, has a keen eye for detail and proportion when it comes to his creations, an obvious skill honed by his daily duties as a chippie. Another quality displayed in his models is the ability to scratch build something from nothing when required if a piece of the puzzle is not available off the shelf. Marty’s first memory of this particular truck was as a young lad in 1989 when it was featured in the October issue of New Zealand Trucking magazine. On a trip to Bay View a year or so later he saw the truck in the flesh and used the opportunity to

WWW.GOCLEAR.CO.NZ Opposite page: With this setting and camera angle it is hard to distinguish that it is a 1:25 scale model. Left: The heavily modified and custom-built T series cab, and largely scratch built W900B hood. Below: Pre-paint mock up and test fit clearly shows the level of scratch building involved.

land New Zea g n Trucki October rty’s 1989, Ma n. tio ira insp

take photographs that years later would be used as blueprints for the build of the replica you see here. A build like this requires a considerable amount of planning, as well as a varied selection of specific parts from many different kitsets to achieve a realistic likeness. In this case the cab was taken from an AMT Kenworth T600 kit and heavily modified. The bonnet came from an AMT W925 Kenworth, and only the reworked guards being utilised, with new sides and top of the hood being constructed from 5mm sheet plastic. The chassis for the truck, headache rack, and bolster sets were also all scratch built, as were the frame and drawbar of the 3-axle logging jinker. Also included in the assortment of parts required for this build is a variety of aftermarket custom items from Auslowe Model Accessories in Melbourne, Australia. The paint finish was hand-mixed to match the photos and applied with an airbrush set. The end result is a near-picture perfect replica of the original, and proof that good planning is essential. The best part of 30 years’ worth to be fair. 

Our own build – jump on! Next month we will be starting our own build. The intention here will be to show the step-by-step process of a basic build. If you’ve always wanted to give one a go but not taken the first step, jump on board! We will visit a hobby store in Auckland to look over the various manufacturers and their offerings, as well as the tools and materials required to complete the task. This will be a straightforward build out of the box; one easy for beginners to follow and understand. We’ll tell you why we chose the model we did and look over our photo library to choose a company and livery that fits the marque. A real beginner’s guide 101 that we hope inspires you to pick up the hobby knife and glue.

Bring it on!

New Zealand Trucking

August 2019



Ben Bryers has been driving trucks for 14 years.

A day in the life of a TRUCKER!

Ben Bryers

- specialised freight service, APL Direct Ltd

Ben Bryers gets all over Auckland and the Bay of Plenty, meeting lots of cool people as he delivers loads of specialised aluminium products for APL Direct Ltd of Hamilton.


t’s 5am and I arrive at the APL Direct Ltd yard in Hamilton to meet Ben in the staff room. He is signing off all the delivery dockets for today’s run. Once that is sorted, we head out to the truck, which was preloaded the night before. Ben does his vehicle inspection. Everything is recorded on a phone app that is very handy and easy to use. All done, we are ready to go. Ben has worked at APL Direct since May 2018 and has been driving for 14 years. The truck he drives now is fleet number 1, a 2016 Scania with an automated transmission – much easier to drive than having to manually change gear in busy city traffic. Ben’s truck is a curtainsider. This


New Zealand Trucking

Hi kids, welcome to this month’s Little Truckers’ Club. At the time of writing there were plenty of you finding Luke’s CPT Mercedes-Benz stock truck that was hidden in the July issue! We’ll have to get more cunning at hiding them I think! This month we’re back in the cab of a truck, seeing what the driver does in his day’s work. So, read on and find out the who, what, and where…

August 2019

means it has a solid roof and ends, but flexible curtains on the sides. The curtains unhook at the bottom and easily slide open so the driver can load or remove items for delivery. Usually Ben doesn’t tow a trailer and he prefers it that way as some places in the city can be very difficult to get in and out of with large machinery. This truck has three axles and weighs around 10.5 tonnes when loaded. Ben’s run alternates week about, meaning one week he delivers to the Auckland region and the next week he covers the Bay of Plenty. Today we’re heading north towards Auckland. Most of the freight Ben delivers is made by APL. The company has its own factory

that produces aluminium joinery, door components and associated products. They also coat the windows and doors in a powder coat for protection and colour. It’s 6am and the sun is rising as we arrive in Pukekohe. Our first delivery (truckies call them ‘drops’) is at Franklin Aluminium. When we stop, Ben checks his load plan and grabs his docket, then climbs out and opens the curtains so the man who has come out to greet us on the forklift can unload the cases of aluminium. These will be used to make windows. Our next delivery is to Premier Aluminium Joinery in Drury and we arrive at 6.30am. Ben backs into the building. I am told that high-top trucks don’t fit! There’s no forklift in sight – instead they use a block and tackle. This is a series of heavy chains and pulleys attached to the ceiling that lift the cases of aluminium. There are other boxes to come off too. These are unloaded by

WWW.GOCLEAR.CO.NZ hand. The paperwork is again checked to ensure the delivery is correct and the customer signs the docket to say they are happy. They keep a copy and so does the driver, who takes it back to APL Direct. It’s called a Proof of Delivery, or POD. This all takes about 20 minutes and then we head to our next destination: Vision Windows in Takanini. Traffic is flowing nicely. It is school holidays so there are no major hold-ups. In heavy traffic, when the truck comes to a standstill, the drivers turn off their vehicles rather than letting them idle for too long. This saves on fuel costs. From Takanini we head to Summit Windows and Doors in the Auckland suburb of Wiri. When we arrive, one of the factory workers jumps on the forklift and unloads the eight cases of aluminium. This is a difficult task, although the driver makes it look easy! He has to do lots of tricky manoeuvres, being careful not to damage other pallets behind him. From here we head to Ascot Aluminium Ltd, also located in Wiri. Leaving Wiri we hit peak-hour traffic on the motorway heading to Penrose. Luckily, it does not delay us long and we arrive at the next Window Factory by about 9am. Ben is not just a truck driver, he is a skilful forklift driver too. The truck was parked on a slope and it was a bit difficult for the factory workers, so Ben unloaded the pallet of

Sometimes Ben has to unload himself. He has lots of cool skills. Forklifts are no problem.

So, why trucking Ben? “I grew up thinking trucks were cool and discovered it was relatively easy to get into the industry. That was it really, and here I am, 14 years later. No two days are the same, and I love the variation driving trucks gives me in my work. I get to see the country and I enjoy the scenery and sights.”

Tell us what you’ve learned

ns: ice, answer these questio a specialised freight serv ut abo all w kno you Now his working day? Ben does at the star t of 1: What is the first thing ? freight Ben delivers from 2: Where is most of the nia? 3: What year is Ben’s Sca Ben’s truck have? s doe es axl ny 4: How ma usions in Avondale? ke a deliver y to Dynex Extr 5: What time did we ma e, age, and address to: Send your answers, nam – APL Direct Ltd Day in the Life questions .nz, Email – APL Direct Ltd C/o Day in the Life questions Or magazine New Zealand Trucking P O Box 35 Thames 3540

window products. Then we were off to deliver some boxes around the corner at Design Windows. Then it was over the Harbour Bridge to Phoenix Windows in Glenfield. The traffic was a battle and it took 25 minutes to cross the bridge. We arrived at 10.30am. When we got there, Ben parked up for his 30-minute meal break. I snuck across to the cafe and grabbed us something yummy! We then unload and head to Silverdale, where there are two drop-offs; one at Window Makers and another at the same company but a different building just around the corner. Next we pick up pallets loaded with empty boxes and packaging from previous deliveries to take back to APL Direct. They are recycled to be used again for packaging. There were three drop-offs in the Western suburb of Henderson and one at Dynex Extrusions Ltd in Avondale. By now it was about 2pm. Back to the motorway we go, heading towards our last delivery destination, Kirtlan Engineering Ltd in Kingsland. One single strip of metal. No job too big or too small! On the way home we stop in at Drury again and pick up another pallet of boxes. Then it’s the hour-long journey back to APL Direct Ltd in Hamilton. It is about 5pm when we return home. Ben parks up the truck where it will be reloaded overnight, ready to do it all again in the morning. He hands in his paperwork to the office. What a great day out, seeing so much of Auckland, meeting some cool people and experiencing yet another day in the life of a trucker!

s and send them a prize. e from the correct answer We’ll draw out a lucky nam ber 2019. Good luck! Entries close on 8 Septem

New Zealand Trucking

August 2019


WWW.GOCLEAR.CO.NZ RUNNING ON SCR?... WHAT’S ON IRTENZ 16th International Conference

‘Technology & Infrastructure – Rapid change, constrained frameworks’ 20 to 22 August 2019, Rydges Hotel Rotorua Contact: Kate Bucknell

RTF Annual Conference

24 to 25 September 2019 Wairakei Resort, Taupo Contact: RTF 04 472-3877

Road Transport Hall of Fame

Gala dinner and awards ceremony 27 September 2019 Bill Richardson Transport World, Invercargill Contact: Adam Reinsfield adam.reinsfeild@ 027 223-3588

All scheduled events may be subject to change depending on weather conditions etc. It is suggested you check the websites above before setting out.


New Zealand Trucking

August 2019

Alexandra Blossom Festival Truck Show 28 September 2019 Contact:

Mitre 10 Mega Ride in a Truck day 2019

12 October Assemble Mitre 10 Napier 9am sharp/Mitre 10 Hastings 9.15am sharp. Register: Contact: Marie Torr 0274 572 787

Invercargill Truck Show

27 October 2019 Contact: Show organisers – please send your event details at least eight weeks in advance to: for a free listing on this page.



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An opportunity or just another hassle?


he recently announced proposals to amend the driver licensing rule should be viewed by all in the transport industry as an opportunity to take greater control of the quality and standard of the drivers we so desperately need. But, given the industry’s attitude to training, will we act on the opportunities these proposals open to us? The proposals are not new, they were first discussed in 2016. What we have now is just the next step in the process. There are two key things that will affect the industry: changes to heavy-vehicle licences, and the removal of endorsements for special type vehicles. Why the ‘officials’, who put the proposals together, did not take note and act on the submissions from the industry to have just two classes of heavy-vehicle licence – a rigid and a combination – is hard to fathom. I guess all we can do is to keep the pressure on and hope that common sense prevails, and they eventually see the error of their ways. The removal of the Class 3 licence category will not be



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New Zealand Trucking

missed; this is a nothing licence and not part of the progression through the licence classes. There are very few drivers who have a Class 3 as the highest class of licence they hold and there are few combination vehicles for which this class of licence is required. The removal of the waiting time, between when a person under 25 years of age gets their learner licence and their full licence, should be welcomed. Currently, a person who holds a learner class licence has the option of waiting six months or completing an approved course to get their full class licence. This waiting time will disappear under the changes proposed. What this will do to the approved course business is not clear but, certainly, the incentive to do a course will not exist. We should expect that more people will opt to do a full licence test than do a course, but will the testing structure be able to cope with the increase? Currently, less than 20% complete a full licence test… A critical point that must be addressed in this though, is the disparity between the outcomes required to successfully pass a test and those required to complete an approved course. To make sure the most is made of the opportunities the proposals could present, the industry will have to change its approach to training – especially when it comes to bringing new drivers into the industry, training them up to the standard to get a licence and to become safe and efficient drivers. For far too long we have sat back and relied on others to do this, then moaned when there are not enough drivers to meet our needs. To make matters worse, the standard of those that the system does produce leaves a lot to be desired. The other significant proposal is the removal of the need for drivers to hold an endorsement for a special type vehicle: wheels, tracks, rollers or forklifts. This is not a surprise as the need to hold these has been suspect since they were introduced in 1999. The industry will have to get used to the fact that it has a responsibility to ensure anybody who operates any of these types of vehicles is fully trained in the safe use of the machine. Holding one of these endorsements does not, and never has, met the training requirement – although many will argue that it does. Training must take place on the type of machine that is being driven and records of this training must be kept. We have waited nearly three years for something to be done to amend the driver licensing system in aid of our industry. While what has been presented is not ideal, it is something, so let’s make the most of what is proposed while continuing to push for just two classes of heavy-vehicle licence. 

August 2019

WWW.GOCLEAR.CO.NZ TECHNOLOGY & INFRASTRUCTURE Rapid change, constrained frameworks Rydges Hotel, Rotorua 20th - 22nd August 2019

The IRTENZ 16th International Conference Alternative Power Train – Hydrogen, Electric PBS – Tyre impact, Australian and NZ development Compliance – Testing new technologies Autonomous Vehicles – Real-world applications Intermodal Operations – Optimising use of transport infrastructure Commercial Vehicle Technology – Evolving technology

Proudly supported by our major sponsors...


Tuesday 20th August

9.00 a.m. - 10.00 a.m.

10.45 a.m. - 12.00 p.m Chair: Dom Kalasih Opening

12.00 p.m.

Registration Rydges Hotel Foyer Dom Kalasih - President IRTENZ Welcome Presentation Keynote speaker Scott O'Donnell - Richardson Group Reflections on transport and crystal ball gazing LUNCH Associate Professor Jonathan Leaver - Unitec Institute of Technology Hydrogen fueling transport

1.00 p.m. - 2.45p.m Andrew Campbell - Retyna Ltd Chair: John Macleod What's next in transport electrification Emerging Technologies John Woodrooffe - University of Michigan Emeritus 2 years on, are we closer to mass deployment of AV trucks 2.45 p.m.

AFTERNOON TEA Panel Discussion New technology - What are we doing differently 2 years on

Tranzliquid - Gareth Pert, 3.15 p.m. - 5.00 p.m TIL Group - Alan Pearson, Chief Executive Officer Chair: Dom Kalasih Williams & Wilshier - Warwick Wilshier, Managing Director Operator Panel Session Carr & Haslam - Chris Carr, Director Halls - James Smith, Group Transport Manager T R Group - Andrew Carpenter, Managing Director Emmersons Transport - Ian Emmerson, Managing Director John Woodrooffe - University of Michigan Emeritus 5.00pm

CLOSE Evening free


Wednesday 21st August

9.00 - 10.30 a.m. Chair: David Rogers PBS 10.30 p.m

11.00 - 12.30 p.m. Chair: Chris Carr Alternative Fuels

12.30 p.m

1.30 - 3.00 p.m. Chair: John de Pont Infrastructure

3.00 p.m.

3.30 - 5.00 p.m. Chair: Dom Kalasih Compliance Technology


Martin Toomey - Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association PBS vehicle uptake in Australia with Intelligence Access & possibilities for NZ John de Pont - TERNZ/NZTA Report on the B-train PBS trial Les Bruzsa - National Heavy Vehicle Regulator How tyre parameters impact PBS assessment MORNING TEA Jitesh Singh - Waste Management Electric fleet implementation - 2 years on Alan Pearson - TIL Hydrogen fuel cell trucks & the Hiringa connection Richard Briggs - Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority The Low Emission Vehicle Contestable Fund LUNCH Phillip Brown & Chris Carr Considering Urban Design for Heavy Vehicles David Pearks - NZTA Weigh Right John Woodrooffe - University of Michigan Emeritus How next could PBS be applied to optimise the use of the network AFTERNOON TEA Panel Session NZTA - Kane Patena, GM Regulatory NZ Police - Inspector Mike Brooklands, Head of Commercial Vehicle Safety Team VINZ - Gordon Shaw, CEO MTA - Ian Baggot, Sector Specialist-Energy and Environment E Road - Peter Carr, Director, Regulatory Market Development ANZ Trucks & Trailers - Alfons Reitsma, Sales & Product Engineer, Mercedes Benz CLOSE

6.00 p.m.

Happy Hour in Hotel Foyer

7.00 p.m.

Conference Dinner - dress semi formal


Thursday 22nd August

9.00 a.m. - 10.30 a.m. Chair: Steve Bullot Intermodal Freight

10.30 a.m.

Craig Evans - Mainfreight Intermodal transport Andrew Locke, CentrePort Moving logs intermodally Alan Piper - Kiwirail Intermodal Container Freight MORNING TEA Jamie Bell - MTD Trucks Emerging truck safety and environmental technology

11.00 a.m. Chair: Dom Kalasih

Les Bruzsa - National Heavy Vehicle Regulator Emerging Technology that will potentially unlock greater network access to high productivity vehicles - Powered axles - Forced Steer axles Review of the conference presentations & Group Discussion Delegates and speakers will have the opportunity to discuss topics and questions arising from the Conference presentations

12.00 p.m.


(Disclaimer Notification) The IRTENZ has the sole and legal right to make amendments to the current 2019 Conference agenda, including the list of nominated speakers based on unforeseeable circumstances which are beyond the control of the Institute. In the event of changes to either the published program or speaker list, any or all delegate conference costs, including attendance fees, travel, accommodation, food and beverage expenses will not be refunded due to a delegates decision ‘not to attend’ based on late program and or speaker amendments. In the event of a late change to the published conference program, including nominated speakers, the IRTENZ will make every effort to notify all delegates. Contact : Kate Bucknell Ph: 021917506 Email:

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Transmech NZ Ltd NZTTMF member since 2000 Transmech are transport specialists. A longstanding customer base with diverse requirements has provided Transmech with the expertise, experience and the workshop to handle just about every transport requirement, whether it is a build, a repair or a refurbishment. Established in 2000, specifically for the road transport industry, the company was started by its twin founding directors Tony Cook and Anthony Couwenbergh who are still the hands-on driving force behind Transmech and under whose management Transmech has become the highly versatile, multi-faceted company it is today. The manufacturing division includes aluminium and steel tippers, trailer chassis, container trailers and curtainsiders, as well as flat decks, box bodies and tractor setups—all tailored to a customer’s specific requirements. The mechanical division offers servicing of small to large commercial vehicles, clutch replacements, engine rebuilds, brake and gearbox repairs, and a mobile breakdown and after hours callout service. Over at the modifications and refurbishments division, capabilities include chassis

alterations, cab modifications, body swaps and wheelbase alterations. The company also has a fully kitted repair workshop, staffed with a complete complement of certified welders and skilled mechanics able to get any vehicle back on the road with faster turnaround. Transmech, the company with the single focus—serving the road transport industry—proudly proclaims its pride in being able to offer customers such a diverse range of services to enable those customers to have all their needs met in one location.

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New Zealand Trucking

August 2019





Profile for NZTrucking

New Zealand Trucking August 2019  

New Zealand Trucking magazine is New Zealand's original and leading transport industry masthead. For 30 years, we have been the magazine tra...

New Zealand Trucking August 2019  

New Zealand Trucking magazine is New Zealand's original and leading transport industry masthead. For 30 years, we have been the magazine tra...