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NEW ZEALAND

APRIL 2013

MACKsimum
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contents
44 32 50
Editorial 4 Truckstop 6 THE Expo review 24 Murray Jensen 31 Mahalo Contracting 36 Looking Back 38 Truck Stops Invercargill 40 Top Truck 48 Classic Trucking 50 Aussie Angles 58 International Truckstop 62 Light Commercials 66 T-Rex 74 Truck Torque 76 Road Transport Forum 78 Political Point 80 Road Transport Association NZ 82 Legal Lines 84 NZ Trucking Association 86 National Road Carriers 88 New Rigs 89 Pin Up Board 92 Last Load 94 Truck Trader’s 95

Mainfreight show
A couple of Mainfreight drivers and their partners got together and organised a get together and show for Mainfreight trucks. They arrived from all over the North Island, New Zealand Trucking was there to record some of the highlights.

Kiwi trucker leads the V8 Supercars
Few drivers live the dream life that Kiwi trucker Jason Routley does. He drives the black Kenworth K200 that carries the V8 Supercars safety cars around Australia. Taylor Mosen met with him and got the lowdown on his job.

Classic trucking
With the release of Mercedes-Benz’ Acros, the German company has been building construction trucks for more than 110 years. We document their history and report on some remarkable innovations through the period.

14

Bryce Baird finds a dog lover at Road Meals when he visits to check out the latest variant of the Mack Trident, and let us know how loyal the new Volvo influenced bulldog is to its roots.

MACKsimum

loyalty

EDITORIAL
Es ta b l is h e d 1985

ABC audited circulation: 9,020 – October 2011 – September 2012 Nielsen CMI audited readership: 103,000 Q411 – Q312
EDITOR

John Murphy Ph: (09) 634 1800, (027) 492 5601 Email: john.murphy@nztrucking.co.nz Ian Ferguson Ph: (09) 634 1800 Mob: (021) 446 164 Email: ian.ferguson@fairfaxmags.co.nz South Island Tony Orr Ph: (0274) 974 467 Truck Trader Frank Willis Ph: (0274) 989 986 Trish Bexley Email: trish.bexley@fairfaxmags.co.nz Tania McGillivray Paul Scott John Berkley Angela Smith Bryn Nealie Willie Coyle

ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER

ART DIRECTOR

OFFICE MANAGER & PROOF READER

PUBLISHING EXECUTIVE

PRODUCTION MANAGER

DESIGNERS

DIGITAL IMAGING

NORTH ISLAND FEATURES

Wally Bowater Ph: (0274) 994 414 wc.tm.bowater@xtra.co.nz
SOUTH ISLAND FEATURES

Bryce Baird Ph: (027) 433 0852 bryce@tractiondvd.com
CONTRIBUTORS

Too many ports?

Niels Jansen (Europe) Jon Addison Danielle Beston Howard Shanks (Australia) Peter Burdon Specialist Magazines

MANAGER

I

 Stephen Lowe, Manager,

n mid-February I spent a couple of days at the New Zealand Transport Summit. It was a high level summit mostly discussing the roles of aviation, shipping and rail in transport; a significant factor was the almost complete omission of road freight. There was no obvious reason why road transport was not represented at the summit, but there were some good insights that we can learn from when planning for the future. International Transport Forum Secretary-General, José Viegas gave a standout address explaining many of the issues that European ports had faced over the last decade or so. As ships have got bigger the number of ports has reduced and individual ports have specialised in a narrow band of freight. Many of the European ports

have massive cities around them, and in some cases the cities have rejected the ports, perhaps this is what Auckland is doing now. Growing ports typically could not increase their land area and had to handle the increased freight volumes more effectively. Improvement in the transport of freight to and from the port has been a key part of the answer. In some instances dedicated underground roads or rail tracks have been installed to get the freight moved without the added problem of inner city traffic congestion. It was made clear that we have too many competing ports in New Zealand. The Managing Director of Maersk New Zealand, Julian Bevis spoke of the consequences of upsizing ships and ranked the Port of Tauranga well ahead of

Auckland in effectiveness. Questioning the value of our ports drew some interesting responses. Two I recall clearly were; the number of ports is necessary because if one was inoperable, for example due to an earthquake or strike action, the others were needed to take up the slack. The second response was that the road and rail infrastructure was inadequate for transporting freight to ports if they were fewer and further apart. Both naive arguments for such a high level group of delegates. Coastal shipping is obviously suffering significantly. There were a number of reasons mooted for their problems – the government is not supporting them (they wanted an exemption from ETS charges and didn’t get it), road and rail are getting government supplied tracks

and roads to move freight, and international vessels (that do not pay ETS levies) are free to take freight between New Zealand ports. It’s unlikely that any government would take a retrospect step and intervene to make this commercial sector more profitable. International shipping isn’t profitable either, returning a mere one percent profit per annum on average over the past decade. Excess capacity and high fuel prices, combined with low freight volumes have forced ships to call at fewer ports where possible and steam at slower speeds to reduce fuel costs. This means long freight delays and disgruntled customers, especially in New Zealand where we are so far from the markets. Interestingly there appeared to be a reluctance to form alliances, both with-

in a mode and at an intermodal level. The road transport industry has already gone through some significant changes and is probably ahead of other transport sectors when it comes to improved service. We are comfortable using rail, air and coastal shipping when they are practical options. There are obviously synergies available and these need to be explored. All that aside, the general outlook of the conference was one of optimism for New Zealand, our position and products combined with our relationship with Australia and our ever increasing trade in Asia are signs that we will do well in the future. 

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The Evolution of MAN.
In 1893 when Rudolf Diesel and MAN developed their revolutionary engine, the automotive world was changed forever. The diesel engine was a breakthrough in technology that produced the highest thermal efficiency of any internal or external combustion engine. Man has always been at the forefront of original thinking and this can be seen in our New Zealand range of trucks and buses. To find out how your business can benefit from our continuing evolution visit www.man.co.nz

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New Zealand Trucking magazine is published by Fairfax Magazines, a division of Fairfax New Zealand Limited.© 2003 Fairfax New Zealand Limited. Fairfax Magazines, 317 New North Rd, Eden Terrace, PO Box 6341, Wellesley St, Auckland. Fairfax New Zealand Limited, Level 8, Majestic Centre, 100 Willis St, Wellington. All material in New Zealand Trucking magazine is copyright and must not be reproduced or reprinted without the prior permission of the publisher. The editor welcomes contributors but reserves the right to accept or reject any material. No responsibility is accepted for unsolicited material, and any submission will be returned only if accompanied by a stamped, addressed envelope. All letters addressed to New Zealand Trucking magazine or the editor will be assumed to be for publication unless clearly marked “Not for Publication”. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information, neither Fairfax Magazines nor Fairfax New Zealand Ltd accept responsibility for errors or omissions or for any consequences arising from reliance on information published. The opinions expressed in New Zealand Trucking magazine are not necessarily the opinions of, or endorsed by, the publishers unless ­otherwise specified.

Evolve to MAN

MACKsimum

loyalty
By Bryce Baird

When Mack’s current line of trucks first poked their snouts out the kennel, those that had a soft spot for the brand gave a sigh of relief. Mack was back. The French influence had been culled out of the breed, and now Mack’s Trident looks as staunch as. However, an automated transmission, AdBlue tank and other features show that Mack’s pooches haven’t been killing time by sleeping on the porch...

The word loyal has never been quite the same since the ocean yacht racing crowd hogtied it to their advertising campaign during the glory days of the America’s Cup. However, down in the lower half of the South Island it still means something other than the contrived manipulation the word has been degraded to. Down south loyalty is earned, not created during a brain-storming session in an ad agency. In the lower half of the South Island there are plenty of companies that are either brand heavy or brand absolute, thanks to loyalty. Those salesmen that had the energy to throw on a thick coat, chuck the snow-chains in the boot of the HQ Holden and head south to cold-call and hard-sell products that were at the time unknown, found fertile ground in the south, where once a product proved itself, and they got to trust the salesman, loyalty was an unspoken part of deal. Mack was one of those unknown brands once upon a time - believe it or not. Apart from the recollections of war veterans

who’d seen the Yanks use them in military applications around the globe during both World Wars, they were once as rare as a Ferrari seven-toner side-tipper on our shores. The small number of Macks that ended up here after the war were used mainly in heavy haul or house-shifting, but apart from those old war horses, the brand was just a big question mark for those first few intrepid buyers. However, there were plenty of operators in the South Island that could see the potential in the brand, and the lower half of the island became a bit of a Mack Mecca by the time legendary truck salesman Ron Carpenter had finished with it. Stan Francis of North Otago Road Metals could see that these big burly Yank rigs were just the ticket for the work his companies were engaged in, and that they were a huge improvement over the British gear he’d started with back in 1955. The N.O.R.M. R-series Macks eventually became legendary down south, and together with the other brand they took a shine to, Volvo, the die was set. The company has since changed

its name to Road Metals, however their loyalty to the brand has never wavered. In a great example of synchronicity, their two brands of choice eventually became entwined, as Volvo now owns Mack, which is reaping the benefits by having an increased amount of Volvo technology built into its trucks. Current Road Metals managing director, Murray Francis, (Stan’s son) knows the strengths of both brands and their place in his fleet, but you don’t have to scratch him very hard to find that his favourite brand has a pup bolted to the bonnet. Having said that, he still gets misty-eyed when talking about the Leyland Octopus he spent three and a half years driving for his dad, when he was barely out of his teens and working on some of the ‘think-big’ projects of the day at Twizel and Manapouri in the seventies and eighties. The Road Metal boys take great pride in that pup on the bonnet so it was almost inevitable that a Trident was going to appear in the colours after a long run of R-series, CH’s, Visions and then a Granite. Road Metals went all out with this Trident, blitzing it with chrome and accessories and making the Christchurch based truck a standout rig in a city that probably has one of the highest densities of bulk truck and trailer rigs working in the world at present. Road Metals runs 23 mainly truck and trailer Mack combinations in the operation that includes four Volvo FM series and a couple of Mack eight-wheeler MC models converted to water trucks, and a crane truck. They have 68 employees spread between their Christchurch and Oamaru bases, and have three quarries in Christchurch, one a joint venture with Isaac Construction, and another 214 hectare (500 acre) quarry about to open at Rolleston, making four in the area that should provide 100 years of resource Murray says. It’s been an expensive process that has taken three and a half years in the environment court and $1.5 million in costs that Murray says, “aged me ten years I reckon! I won’t see much benefit from this, but the next generation and the one after that will thank me for it!” he predicts. Murray has a great sense of history and brand loyalty, and Road Metals long term plans for the future will probably mean good things for Motor Truck Distributors. The company have had most of the range of Mack conventionals over the years as well as COE Qantum and MC versions under their colours. Murray admits that he’s been very happy with the Granite, but he thinks the Trident has more to offer his operation. “We’ve got three now, and we like the better cooling and think they are a stronger truck for the job and we probably now prefer the Trident over the Granite to be honest.” Compared to the Granite, you get a bigger, harder, more capable tool for the job with the Trident, it can be spec’d with a GCM of 131 tonne whereas the Granite only gets 106 tonne. The Trident gets a power boost and a stronger spec if you need it too. That suits Road Metals as they are air-horn deep in the Christchurch deconstruction and rebuild work and know there is plenty of work for the rig over the next few decades. Murray’s son Dan Francis, the third generation in the company, was happy to throw a bit of bling at the truck when he specified what they wanted, as it’s going to be around for a long time and much is going to asked of it over the next few decades. The attention to detail on this rig is impressive, such as the

Ali Arc bumper, stainless air-intake caps, and even white aerials to better match the company colours! Quenton Cattle, who at 39 has ticked off a lot of boxes on his driving wish list, is plenty thrilled to be entrusted with Road Metal’s new flagship. We caught up with Quenton at dawn on a typical day at the coal face that would see him scooting around the city carting aggregate from quarry to wherever it was needed, but the main focus at the moment for the Mack is a massive new subdivision on Preston’s Road north of Christchurch, that is being readied for a couple of thousand new houses. “It has to be said that Quenton didn’t want to be put on the truck in all honesty,” Murray claims, “he liked the CH he was on and it was hard to get him out of it.” Quenton had a couple of reservations, the prime one being that he didn’t really want to be put into a truck with an automated transmission, but he had grown fond of the old Mack. He says that when he drives manual transmissions, “I don’t use a clutch, and Murray said, ‘well you won’t mind the auto then!’ Damn - he’s got me I thought!” His dedication to the job and his attention to detail and how thoroughly he prepares for and carries out his tasks is quite something to behold and it didn’t take us long to see why Murray wanted Quenton on the Trident, as he treats this rig like it was his first born. Quenton considers that he’s found a good workplace, he says, “that’s what I love about this company, they have a real passion for trucking”. Road Metal’s drivers have long been regarded as amongst the best on the road down south and their level of professionalism and how well they present the gear is bordering on legendary. It’s probably unfair to single anyone out from the old brigade, Road Metal still has five of the original dozen drivers they had in the Twizel days on the payroll, but Billy Sergeant is probably the best know of that team down south and it’d be fair to say that Quenton is carrying the torch that the Billy lit when he jumped into his R-series Mack back in the seventies. In fact, Quenton said that the only drivers he’d like to see in this truck if he took a break would be either Billy or Murray. And we suspect Murray would only be allowed a drive because he owns it! Quenton’s passion for trucking was ignited when he worked at a local garage at Washdyke, where some of the customers were truckies. His first experience behind the wheel was in a TK Bedford artic which he used to cart urea between Ravensdown and Timaru Port when he was working for Bob Merhtens. He progressed to driving Hino FS and Nissan CW330s for City Care on landfill cartage in Christchurch, shuttling between the refuse facilities at Bromley, Styx and Parkhouse and the Burwood landfill carting rubbish and green-waste. But he had ambitions to drive bigger gear and hopped over the ditch to Perth where he attended a driving school attaining the credentials to drive road trains. He achieved a 99 percent pass rate which gave him his MC (multi-combination) rating, and then started working for West Australia Freightliners in a K104 Aerodyne B-double doing a Perth-Brisbane-Sydney run two-up. Eventually the work overwhelmed him, with the distances and time on the road burning him out and he returned to New Zealand and started driving for Neta New Zealand on a 450hp Nissan Diesel which he spec’d with extra lights, air-horn and other items. He was hunted down by Steve Laing in Oz who convinced

him to come back and drive again and he stepped into “pocket-sized” road trains of 90-tonne all up carting from Iron Knob for BHP Steelworks. After a spell in a C-15 powered Sterling B-double in Woolengong, he eventually found himself running a crushing plant in Queensland. He’d rented a place for two and a half years that came with a German Shepard dog, Heidi, as part of the deal. He moved on and to cut a long story short, he found out a few months later that Heidi was in a terrible state with the new tenants not looking after her. He phoned the owner, who was overseas, and said he was taking the dog. He brought her back home to New Zealand, where she regained its health and blossomed.

He still hankered for Australia and made his way back there, with Heidi of course, but neither were happy, so he came back again which was when Murray came into the picture. “Heidi was the only reason I came back to New Zealand,” Quenton mused, and he effectively gave up his road train dreams to care for the dog. Murray Francis heard the story and even though he didn’t have a position at the time, took him on because, “anyone who would do that for a dog has got to be a good person in my book,” and being a dog lover himself, he helped house Quenton, and Heidi who lasted another five years. Quenton still had the itch to drive road trains and had one last spin of the dice to get it out of his system, however the job

didn’t meet expectations. He was driving a Mack Titan with a Cummins 620 doing the sweating. With gross weights of 171.5 tonne, four trailers and an overall length of 57.5 metres, that Cummins probably didn’t do much grinning, as Quenton says, “the work was tough on the trucks”. “It was preferred that didn’t use your engine brake with these combinations, you ease up and roll for a couple of kilometres before intersections,” he remembers. But the real crunch for him, beside the terrible living conditions (the accommodation was right beside the workshop) was that animal strikes were an inevitable part of the job. “If we hit a horse or a cow we had to finish the job with what we had on the truck, usually a hammer. Being animal mad, I couldn’t physically do it, and was lucky that

I never had to,” Quenton says. Murray had held his job and his old truck open for him, and even paid for his flight back gambling that road train work isn’t always what it is cracked up to be and picking that Quenton would be back. Flash forward a few years, and Quenton is wrestling with what to name the Trident. It was his partner Cyndi Friend, that came up with ‘Leader of the Pack,’ which struck a chord with Murray as well. The Mack is undoubtedly the ‘Alpha’ in the fleet and Quenton is meticulous in his attention to detail and how he drives it. He’ll drive it in manual until it’s warmed up as he explained that when in auto mode, “it uses the engine brake to slow the

revs between changes, and I don’t like that happening when it’s cold. I don’t use the engine brake until it is up to temperature.” “A truck’s life starts from day one,” he emphasises and he’s particular about giving this truck a good start in life, “you are representing the company when you are driving it and you should treat it as if it is your own.” Despite coming from the Volvo parts bin there is little resemblance to what you will find in a Volvo with how the transmission is controlled. It’s a true two-pedal operation, however the auto on the Trident is controlled by a panel on the console, with plus or minus buttons instead of the more usual lever or control stalk to walk up or down the gears. The transmission controller is simplicity personified. You’ve got a R, D and M button, for Reverse, Drive and Manual, and large plus and minus buttons for when you are in manual. It can’t get any simpler that, and Quenton said he finds it easy to use in the real world of quarry trucking despite his initial reluctance to an electronically controlled transmission. He has turned into a believer already. “I don’t think you can find harder driving than in Christchurch at the moment,” he reflects, and reckons the auto helps negotiate the endless obstacles that rebuilding a city throws up in the way of roadworks, traffic jams and inconsiderate drivers. Having the auto has made the day easier Quenton reckons. “I think Volvo have done their research and, as for fatigue at the end of the day, I don’t go home tired. I would be at home with either [manual or auto] but for the nature of this job I don’t think you can fault it. You do feel you have a lot more control.” His last truck was a Vision, and as you’d expect, “this truck eats the Vision for dinner. Its performance is impressive, especially when pulling away at the traffic lights. The auto gives a nice flow of power, but it think it’s the sheer horsepower that makes the difference. The Vision was slow off the mark and wouldn’t start pulling until it was in the high box,” he says. Quenton used to drive CX Appeal and Just Magic II, a CH, but the Trident has won him over. However, he still reckons that it’s too early to tell if this will be one of the great models. After all, he drove a CH so he’s got high expectations! On paper however, there’s not much to prove and plenty to like. This latest evolution of the new Mack range has become even better than its predecessor with a power upgrade to 535 horses from the 12.8 litre MP8 engine, which now features SCR to meet Euro5 (ADR80/03). It achieves 1920lb/ft of torque (2603Nm), which is a nice improvement over the 1770lb/ft (2400Nm) in the last Granite we looked at in late 2010. While it has slightly less horsepower than the 14.8 litre 560 horse DD15, it has more torque than the Detroit’s 1850lb/ft (2508Nm) and the 15 litre 550 horse (410kW) ISX EGR Cummins. It can be ordered with the 500 horse setting, but we doubt many will. Even though we never got to experience any real hill work with this Trident, we’d expect to feel an improvement in pulling power over the 500 horse version of the MP8 and for the type of work this truck undertakes torque is king. It’s also equipped with “performance mode,” Quenton says that will make the transmission change at 1,850rpm, instead of the usual 1,400, and use every gear instead of jumping over a few at the low end of the box. He’s used it a few times and it does make the truck strain on the leash a bit more, but he’s happy with what he’s got under the foot without engaging that mode. The other major improvement is that this pup has Mack’s keenly awaited mDRIVE transmission. It’s taken a while for Volvo to slide this technology over to the Mack desk, but it was worth

the wait as fills a gap in the Mack option sheet which didn’t have Eaton’s Ultra Shift lurking there like many of its competitors. It’s not hard to understand why Mack has waited for the Volvo automated box of cogs when Volvo arguably leads the herd with automated transmission technology. There’s still a lot of engineering time and money that has to be spent to integrate an Eaton Ultra Shift and that money was better spent implementing in-house products. The 12-speed, Tm D12AD (direct) transmission is one choice in a five option list, with Mack’s highly regarded T31821 18-speeder still on offer for true traditionalists, and the three remaining options being increasingly beefy Eaton 18-speeders. The rear axle options are equally comprehensive with Mack, Meritor and Dana options from 44,000lb to 50,000lbs (18 to 22.7 tonne). This particular truck has Meritor’s well proven RT46-160GP diff-locked axles riding on Mack AP460 Air Suspension, and the combination of the MP8, mDRIVE transmission and Meritor axles has to make for a robust toolset. The extra torque of the 535-horse version of the MP8 lends itself well to having fewer cogs and follows the path that most European manufacturers have been on for a few years now more torque means fewer cogs are needed. One thing that Quenton would like is a few more notches on the engine brake as even though the ‘Powerleash’ unit offers 315kW (495hp) of engine retarding at 2,100rpm, which is effective, it is either on or off and doesn’t offer fine control. Add to the mix that this Mack has disc-brakes all around, ABS, front under-run protection, alloys all around, polished alloy fuel tanks both sides combining to give 610 litres of fuel, 240 litres of hydraulic fluid and 125 litres of AdBlue, and this truck has plenty of range and is right up there with modern safety equipment initiatives. At the moment the truck will probably be sticking around Christchurch for the time being, however the Road Metal boys often get to roam over much of the South Island includeing the West Coast and Fiordland, so that extra fuel capacity may well come in useful sooner or later when the big pup points the snout south. Mack’s new Trident has an overwhelming sense of bulk when you take a walk around it. Quenton says “It’s a lot of truck to drive, it feels much bigger than the other Macks, but the view out of this thing is remarkable for the height of it.” The extra bulk probably means extra weight, however it’s hard to judge against the Granite as this truck has AdBlue, more fuel tanks and plenty of extras. Road Metal’s Granite is carting around 500kg more than the Trident. He does miss the mirrors on the Vision which could toggle up and down, and reckons the Trident’s mirrors, “look dated as if they should be on a ‘95 CH.” As far as the drive goes, Quenton says, “for traction this would be the best of the three [Macks] I’ve driven, and its far better than the Vision. The front wheel is so far forward so that the weight is over the axles. The only time I’ll dump the airbags is to be a little lower if I’m under a little digger to give him more room to work with. The Vision gave quite a rough ride, I don’t miss the Vision at all”. The 6x4 has a 5,445mm wheelbase and an axle spread of 1,370mm. With 16,500km on the clock, Quenton says he can start to feel the engine loosen up, at the moment he’s averaging 1.8 km/litre, but the Vision managed 2km/litre and he reckons the

500 horse setting, but we doubt many will. Even though we never got to experience any real hill work with this Trident, we’d expect to feel an improvement in pulling power over the 500 horse version of the MP8 and for the type of work this truck undertakes torque is king. It’s also equipped with “performance mode,” Quenton says that will make the transmission change at 1,850rpm, instead of the usual 1,400, and use every gear instead of jumping over a few at the low end of the box. He’s used it a few times and it does make the truck strain on the leash a bit more, but he’s happy with what he’s got under the foot without engaging that mode. The other major improvement is that this pup has Mack’s keenly awaited mDRIVE transmission. It’s taken a while for Volvo to slide this technology over to the Mack desk, but it was worth the wait as fills a gap in the Mack option sheet which didn’t have Eaton’s Ultra Shift lurking there like many of its competitors. It’s not hard to understand why Mack has waited for the Volvo automated box of cogs when Volvo arguably leads the herd with automated transmission technology. There’s still a lot of engineering time and money that has to be spent to integrate an Eaton Ultra Shift and that money was better spent implementing in-house products. The 12-speed, Tm D12AD (direct) transmission is one choice in a five option list, with Mack’s highly regarded T31821 18-speeder still on offer for true traditionalists, and the three remaining options being increasingly beefy Eaton 18-speeders. The rear axle options are equally comprehensive with Mack, Meritor and Dana options from 44,000lb to 50,000lbs (18 to Trident will improve over time. Inside the cab the feeling is luxury with deep burgundy buttoned linings, walnut dash, the optional ‘Elite’ leather grip steering wheel and sheepskin covers on the ISRI ‘Big Boy’ driver seat. We couldn’t think of many better places to spend a day. It’s great that Volvo has recognised that the classic American cab has plenty of appeal and shouldn’t be homogenized with their European designs. Perhaps the only thing that jars is a couple of blanks above the radio that ideally would have been filled with coms devices, however the MCX780 Road Metals use wouldn’t fit in the dash. Quenton points out that the lack of a gearstick means he can have the hand-pieces down low and handy. He doesn’t like having them above the windscreen. Road Metal’s even ordered the full windscreen over the twopiece, an option more commonly ticked by the fuel cartage industry. Together with the stainless steel intakes, exhausts, the big grille and other touches, this truck has plenty of presence. Adding to the presentation are the Transport Trailers four-axle trailer and the bin they created for this combination. There’s some real pretty engineering on show here, and Quenton has added extra mud-flaps in strategic locations to further protect the underpinnings. There is little doubt that the CH Mack provided the benchmark that all future Macks will have to meet. With an axle forward distance of 737mm against 1297mm on the Granite, an “adequate” turning circle, as well as extra grunt under the pedal and good cooling - on paper the Trident looks to be an even better tool for this application than the Granite. Quenton summed it up by saying, “It’s quieter and smoother and I think this is a much, much better truck than the Granite.” Despite his reluctance to get into the Trident’s saddle due to losing the gearstick, Quenton is impressed by his new mount. He’s not the type to make rushed decisions, but we reckon that the combination of the mDRIVE, more horsepower and great ergonomics of this big pup may yet unseat the CH someday. The transmission controller is simplicity personified. You’ve got a R, D and M button, for Reverse, Drive and Manual, and large plus and minus buttons for when you are in manual. It can’t get any simpler, and Quenton said he finds it easy to use in the real world of quarry trucking despite his initial reluctance to an electronically controlled transmission. He has turned into a believer already. “I don’t think you can find harder driving than in Christchurch at the moment,” he reflects, and reckons the auto helps negotiate the endless obstacles that rebuilding a city throws up in the way of roadworks, traffic jams and inconsiderate drivers. Having the auto has made the day easier Quenton reckons. “I think Volvo have done their research and, as for fatigue at the end of the day, I don’t go home tired. I would be at home with either [manual or auto] but for the nature of this job I don’t think you can fault it. You do feel you have a lot more control.” His last truck was a Vision, and as you’d expect, “this truck eats the Vision for dinner. Its performance is impressive, especially when pulling away at the traffic lights. The auto gives a nice flow of power, but it’s the sheer horsepower that makes the difference. The Vision was slow off the mark and wouldn’t start pulling until it was in the high box,” he says. Quenton used to drive CX Appeal and Just Magic II, a CH, but the Trident has won him over. However, he still reckons that it’s too early to tell if this will be one of the great models. After all, he drove a CH so he’s got high expectations! On paper however, there’s not much to prove and plenty to like. This latest evolution of the new Mack range has become even better than its predecessor with a power upgrade to 535 horses from the 12.8 litre MP8 engine, which now features SCR to meet Euro5 (ADR80/03). It achieves 1920lb/ft of torque (2603Nm), which is a nice improvement over the 1770lb/ft (2400Nm) in the last Granite we looked at in late 2010. While it has slightly less horsepower than the 14.8 litre 560 horse DD15, it has more torque than the Detroit’s 1850lb/ft (2508Nm) and the 15 litre 550 horse (410kW) ISX EGR Cummins. It can be ordered with the

22.7 tonne). This particular truck has Meritor’s well proven RT46-160GP diff-locked axles riding on Mack AP460 Air Suspension, and the combination of the MP8, mDRIVE transmission and Meritor axles has to make for a robust toolset. The extra torque of the 535-horse version of the MP8 lends itself well to having fewer cogs and follows the path that most European manufacturers have been on for a few years now more torque means fewer cogs are needed. One thing that Quenton would like is a few more notches on the engine brake as even though the ‘Powerleash’ unit offers 315kW (495hp) of engine retarding at 2,100rpm, which is effective, it is either on or off and doesn’t offer fine control. Add to the mix that this Mack has disc-brakes all around, ABS, front under-run protection, alloys all around, polished alloy fuel tanks both sides combining to give 610 litres of fuel, 240 litres of hydraulic fluid and 125 litres of AdBlue, and this truck has plenty of range and is right up there with modern safety equipment initiatives. At the moment the truck will probably be sticking around Christchurch for the time being, however the Road Metal boys often get to roam over much of the South Island includeing the West Coast and Fiordland, so that extra fuel capacity may well come in useful sooner or later when the big pup points the snout south. Mack’s new Trident has an overwhelming sense of bulk when you take a walk around it. Quenton says “It’s a lot of truck to drive, it feels much bigger than the other Macks, but the view out of this thing is remarkable for the height of it.”

The extra bulk probably means extra weight, however it’s hard to judge against the Granite as this truck has AdBlue, more fuel tanks and plenty of extras. Road Metal’s Granite is carting around 500kg more than the Trident. He does miss the mirrors on the Vision which could toggle up and down, and reckons the Trident’s mirrors, “look dated as if they should be on a ‘95 CH.” As far as the drive goes, Quenton says, “for traction this would be the best of the three [Macks] I’ve driven, and its far better than the Vision. The front wheel is so far forward so that the weight is over the axles. The only time I’ll dump the airbags is to be a little lower if I’m under a little digger to give him more room to work with. The Vision gave quite a rough ride, I don’t miss the Vision at all”. The 6x4 has a 5,445mm wheelbase and an axle spread of 1,370mm. With 16,500km on the clock, Quenton says he can start to feel the engine loosen up, at the moment he’s averaging 1.8 km/litre, but the Vision managed 2km/litre and he reckons the Trident will improve over time. Inside the cab the feeling is luxury with deep burgundy buttoned linings, walnut dash, the optional ‘Elite’ leather grip steering wheel and sheepskin covers on the ISRI ‘Big Boy’ driver seat. We couldn’t think of many better places to spend a day. It’s great that Volvo has recognised that the classic American cab has plenty of appeal and shouldn’t be homogenized with their European designs. Perhaps the only thing that jars is a couple of blanks above

the radio that ideally would have been filled with coms devices, however the MCX780 Road Metals use wouldn’t fit in the dash. Quenton points out that the lack of a gearstick means he can have the hand-pieces down low and handy. He doesn’t like having them above the windscreen. Road Metal’s even ordered the full windscreen over the twopiece, an option more commonly ticked by the fuel cartage industry. Together with the stainless steel intakes, exhausts, the big grille and other touches, this truck has plenty of presence. Adding to the presentation are the Transport Trailers four-axle trailer and the bin they created for this combination. There’s some real pretty engineering on show here, and Quenton has added extra mud-flaps in strategic locations to further protect the underpinnings. There is little doubt that the CH Mack provided the benchmark that all future Macks will have to meet. With an axle forward distance of 737mm against 1297mm on the Granite, an “adequate” turning circle, as well as extra grunt under the pedal and good cooling - on paper the Trident looks to be an even better tool for this application than the Granite. Quenton summed it up by saying, “It’s quieter and smoother and I think this is a much, much better truck than the Granite.” Despite his reluctance to get into the Trident’s saddle due to losing the gearstick, Quenton is impressed by his new mount. He’s not the type to make rushed decisions, but we reckon that the combination of the mDRIVE, more horsepower and great ergonomics of this big pup may yet unseat the CH someday.

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SPECIFICATIONS

6X4 DAY CAB
GVM: GCM: Engine: Engine Capacity:

MACK TRIDENT
26,000kg 70,000kg (up to 131t available) Mack MP8, SCR, Euro5 (ADR80/03) 12.8-litre 535hp (399kW) 1920lb/ft (2603Nm) Single Plate 430mm (17”) Mack mDRIVE 12-speed Donaldson 279mm single dry element, dual canisters Meritor RT46-160GP Advantage 300mm x 90mm x 8mm 321mm springs Mack FXL with unitised hubs Axle forward (AF) 737mm BFA Air, ratings 18 to 21 tonne Sheppard HD94, ratio 16.9:1 S’ Cam, ABS, Traction Control Powerleash engine brake retarding power 315Kw (495hp) @ 2,100rpm 10-stud polished alloy disc 12V Burgundy pleated roof trim with overhead console and matching door trims. Rear wall and 2 door storage pockets. Premium wood-grain finish dash with integrated cup holders. Central locking. Power windows. Internal heat/noise rejection lining. Black rubber floor mat. Fibreglass bonnet and polyfibre fenders with splash aprons. Bonnet tilts forward 75°. Chrome grille surround and side air intakes, polished stainless steel cab skirts and air intake. engine hours, engine coolant temperature, fuel/urea level, primary and secondary air pressure, oil pressure and oil temperature.

Wheelbase: 5,445mm

Maximum power: Maximum torque: Clutch: Transmission: Air Intake & Filter: Rear axles: Chassis: Front suspension: Front axle: Axle position: Rear suspension: Steering: Brakes: Engine Brake: Wheels: Electrical system: Cab Interior:

Cab Exterior:

Instruments&Guages: Driver information display: Co-Pilot speedometer/odometer (electronic), tachometer/hourmeter (electronic), voltmeter,

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