Monday, August 29, 2011

Not working on Sunday

The ultraliner hangs out with a ch and the superliner. They're hooked up to trailers, 2 tippers and a flat deck and watching out for work.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


This a V8 Superliner, started out as a 440hp custom built for Ross Douglas. Before he traded it he took the engine out to 500 and Truckstops added what is a Kenworth sleeper box on the back of what had been a logger hauling shorts with a pull trailer behind. Many years later when we brought the truck it was a short distance away from being wrecked in a small shed down a drive, rusted and a non runner.  It had a tidy up after that and a motor overhaul 10 years ago with a full paint and panel just under 2 years past. It's putting out around 650 hp now, it's heavy as hell in the steering at low speed, tough on the clutch and hard to see over the bonnet in tight yards but on the highway or motorway she's a dream truck despite her 28 years. She's a truck with a few stories to tell and a mountain climber like no other. 


This is an ultraliner 350hp, 12 speed. It has a reco motor and gearbox with less than 50,000ks on the clock. We did the motor up 2 years ago despite the fact that the old motor was still running well but using a little oil having done well over a million ks. Like the R Model below this truck is an ex tanker truck. It's very light in the steering and has an air over hydraulic clutch which makes the clutch as light as a feather and difficult to get use to after driving a mack without such luxuries. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mack Trucks that found their way to New Zealand.

I've started this blog for those that might be interested in NZ Mack Trucks and Mack Trucks generally, not necessarily owners but those that have driven Macks over the years or who might collect or restore such trucks and also those that may have an interest in this Truck brand. Anyone is welcome to send photos, information, ask questions about trucks or parts or relate stories that the might know about Mack Trucks. I hope to eventually put up photos of trucks that I'm involved with and tell some of their histories as far as I know.

I hope some folks out there might be able to send some details of the early model Macks and the current crop as well. There'll be hundreds of mechanics and service people who have worked on these trucks in NZ and thousands who have driven them.

I'm the first to admit Mack Trucks aren't for everybody, the early models sure didn't have driver comfort as a priority and the clutches drove many drivers off running because you almost need a compression jack to depress them. But a Mack Truck finds it's own rev range when it starts humming along, the engine quietens and you can hear the turbo whistling away and the truck is really working. But it was probably holding on the hills that made Macks well known in New Zealand, and the bare torque that seemed strong enough to haul a mountain.

All the trucks I'm involved with all still work. The R Model is having it's second panel and paint in about 18 years. The motor was done up a dozen years ago and is still going strong. She's been on her side once and had the cab replaced. The current body has had the roof replaced earlier and taken back to bare metal this time around. It has a 285 hp doing about 315 hp. I've been told about the smaller Mack motors and how much grunt they have, but the 285 enjoys a good reputation for being a hill battler. She began life as a tanker truck as did another in this fleet that I'll write about later.