Skip Golden spent sixteen years using other brands before buying the truck he’d always wanted. Now he’s onto his second Mack, and counting.
The Rodney District in the north of New Zealand’s north island is renowned for its steep, hilly country. This is where you’ll find Skip Golden’s fleet of tippers hauling aggregate, sand, fertiliser and scoria to road and construction sites.
“We originally bought the Trident to haul high-quality aggregates into our supply yard,” says Skip, “but it’s constantly out on a range of bulk and spreading jobs now, its got the torque to handle the hills around here with ease at 50 tonne.”
In the market for a new truck, Skip test-drove the majority of other brands before he got into the MP8 535hp Trident. He’d only driven one block in the Trident before he turned around and said “I’ll take it.”
“Its such a solid truck,” says Skip, “I see other firms buying trucks that are just going to start spitting rivets once the weight comes on, I’m not worried in the slightest about that with the Mack, for a start, it’s bolted not riveted."
Skip also finds the Trident a comfortable and enjoyable truck to drive with fantastic visibility.
“The mDRIVE transmission makes it effortless to drive,” says Skip. “With some of the other brands you need a few days of driver tutoring to learn the controls. With the mDRIVE there’s just two buttons and an accelerator – it couldn’t be easier. I can’t fault the transmission and I can’t trick it. Given our terrain, when you combine the torque and the mDRIVE that’s a successful recipe.
Skip also views the Trident as a long-term investment
“I’m interested in more than initial purchase price,” says Skip, “I look at the whole-of-life cost, I aim at higher-end drivers and I take into account re-sale value at the end. Same goes for out-of-warranty costs, reliability, fuel economy and aftersales support.”
Speaking of aftersales support, after 16 years with another manufacturer Skip was amazed at the difference in attitude shown by Mack.
“When you buy a Mack you honestly feel like you’ve joined a family,” says Skip. “Nothing’s a problem for them. When they say they’ll sort it out they do. I can honestly say I’ve never experienced anything like it in my career. For me, aftersales support always sells the second truck, and with Mack it already has.”
With another Trident on order, Skip is looking to update the bulk of his truck and trailer units with Macks as each one comes up for replacement.
“The axle-forward Trident gives us a good turning circle, and helps us optimise axle groupings for maximum payloads. With the AP460 series rear suspension, I know I can put that truck off road in the most adverse situations and get out again.”
Having helped another leading truck manufacturer adapt their trucks to suit NZ’s topography, Skip knows a suitable truck when he sees it.