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NZ TRUCKING including Truck & Machinery Trader April 2013

NZ TRUCKING
April 2013

Macksimum Loyalty Classic Trucking V8 Super Cars Truck Trader

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TRUCKING

NZ

April 2013

NZ TRUCKING including Truck & Machinery Trader

$7.90

Fairfax Media
Includes

gst

April 2013

TRUCKING
April 2013
April 2013
$7.90

NZ TRUCKING including Truck & Machinery Trader

NZ

Fairfax Media

Includes

gst

MACKsimum Loyalty

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Feature Article

MACK simum loyalty


By Bryce Baird
When Macks 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 Macks Trident looks as staunch as. However, an automated transmission, AdBlue tank and other features show that Macks pooches havent been killing time by sleeping on the porch...

Feature Article

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he 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 Americas 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 brainstorming 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 the deal. Mack was one of those unknown brands once upon a time believe it or not. Apart from the recollections of war veterans whod seen the Yanks use them in military applications around the globe during both World Wars, they were once as rare as a Ferrari seven-tonne 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 hed 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, (Stans son) knows the strengths of both brands and their place in his fleet, but you dont have to scratch him very hard to find that his favourite brand has a pup bolted to the bonnet.

Mack was one of those unknown brands once upon a time - believe it or not.

Mack have increased the rating of their MP8 power-plant to 535hp and have gone to SCR to meet Euro 5. The cockpit is classic Americana with lots of woodgrain, buttoned lining and silver bezels giving the cab a plush feel. The lack of a gearstick on the floor opens up the cab as well giving more room for the operator.

Feature Article

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 hes been very happy with the Granite, but he thinks the Trident has more to offer his operation. Weve 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 specd 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. Murrays 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 its going to be around for a long time and much is going to be 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 Metals 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 Prestons Road north of Christchurch, that is being readied for a couple of thousand new houses. It has to be said that Quenton didnt 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 didnt 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 dont use a clutch, and Murray said, well you wont mind the auto then! Damn hes 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 didnt take us long to see why Murray wanted Quenton on the Trident, as he treats this rig like it was his first born.cartage in Christchurch, shuttling between the refuse facilities at Bromley, Styx and Parkhouse and the

Quenton considers that hes found a good workplace, he says, thats what I love about this company, they have a real passion for trucking. Road Metals drivers have long been regarded as amongst the best on the road down south and their level of professionalism and how well they present their gear is bordering on legendary. Its probably unfair to single anyone out from the old brigade, Road Metals still have five of the original dozen drivers they had in the Twizel days on the payroll, but Billy Sergeant is probably the best known of that team down south and itd be fair to say that Quenton is carrying the torch that Billy lit when he jumped into his R-series Mack back in the seventies. In fact, Quenton said that the only drivers hed 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! Quentons 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.

t ou all ident t n r we st T f tals r late der o y of e t M hei a al t len ad Le Ro ake and had p it visu l m t to ou has give l fue l nd a l sta Pack ed to g du s wi on e n d i e y d d nk e th g a clu rp r ta blin ch, in d sha e rea n pu ks, an AdBlu rig. e tan t the of th o e p s id ss thi

The ride and traction capabilities from Macks AP460 Air Suspension is impressive compared to the other Macks hes driven says Quenton Cattle, the Tridents driver.

d, n a go h t r c ar don ithe b e e o res y, I ith his j you r ei a w t l th he d e of fee ne of t homture do o d e end at e na You v h at h e b e r t h t i t . o lv at ould t fo faul o V ue w bu n l. k g I ] a o n hi fati ed. auto u c ontr t I for tir or yo e c k as ome ual thin mor h an nt lot [m do a I ave h

Feature Article

The Road Metals boys are known for keeping their gear looking stand-out, and this rigs Transport Trailers bin and four-axle trailer are equally as impressive as is the Mack.

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. Hell drive it in manual until its warmed up as he explained that when in auto mode, it uses the engine brake to slow the revs between changes, and I dont like that happening when its cold. I dont use the engine brake until it is up to temperature. A trucks life starts from day one, he emphasises and hes 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. Its 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. Youve 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 cant 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 dont 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 dont go home tired. I would be at home with either [manual or auto] but for the nature of this job I dont think you can fault it. You do feel you have a lot more control. His last truck was a Vision,

and as youd 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 its the sheer horsepower that makes the difference. The Vision was slow off the mark and wouldnt 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 its too early to tell if this will be one of the great models. After all, he drove a CH so hes got high expectations! On paper however, theres 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 Detroits 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, wed 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. Its also equipped with performance mode, Quenton says that will make the transmission change at 1850rpm, instead of the usual 1400, and use every gear instead of jumping over a few at the low end of the box. Hes used it a few times and it does make the truck strain on the leash a bit more, but hes happy with what hes got under the foot without engaging that mode.

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