“I’ve changed enough gears to last me a lifetime.”
Don Shaw has been transporting cattle in Queensland for fifteen years. Recently he started driving a Mack Super-Liner with mDRIVE and he loves it.
Just north of Rockhampton on the road to Mackay you’ll find Shaw’s Transport, a company that Don Shaw started fifteen years ago with his wife Lorraine. Specialising in carting livestock, the Shaws take their two Super-Liners and Mack Titan all over central Queensland, from Mackay in the north to Toowomba in the south.
“We’re mostly running 4½-deck units,” says Don, “crocodiles they call them, God knows why. We pull a 30-foot A-trailer, a 40-foot A-trailer and a 30-foot B-trailer and with that configuration we can get just over 200 cattle on each truck.”
10,000 head a year
The company does a lot of its work shifting cattle from one property to another and to feedlots down south.
“We’re moving 10,000 head a year from the Nebo area near Mackay down to Warwick and Toowoomba,” says Don, “and we also get out to Tambo and Augathella. It’s a bit of a feast-or-famine really, typically it’s full-bore from Easter onwards, then we’ll pull up at Christmas for a few months before it starts all over again.”
Away three, home four
While a typical day can vary dramatically from one week to the next, Don and his drivers are often away for three nights of the week.
“When we’re shifting livestock for a big pastoral company or carrying cattle to the meatworks at Mackay or Rockhampton we can be away for a while, but the Super-Liner’s a pretty comfortable truck.”
Fuel economy is key
With his trucks regularly covering distances of 1,000 kilometres or more, fuel economy is extremely important to Don.
“We’ve been getting good results with the Macks. I’ve done over 300,000 kilometres so far pulling road trains in my Super-Liner, and it’s averaging 1.6km/litre, which is pretty good pulling crates. My old Super-Liner only managed 1.4 and the best I’ve got with another type of engine is 1.2.”
European technology under the bonnet
Don’s well aware that the new Macks incorporate the best of what the Volvo Group has to offer in terms of engine and gearbox technology, and, as he’s owned a couple of Volvos in the past, he was delighted to find that he could get an MP10 with mDRIVE under a bonneted cab.
“I like the combination of this driveline with a bonneted cab,” says Don, “I love the mDRIVE, I’ve changed enough gears to last me a lifetime, and my drivers like them too. The new Macks are good to drive, and we’ve got them all on airbag suspension so they give a very smooth ride.”
Old for new
Don has traded up to his current Macks in short order, the new trucks being just two years, 18 months and 6 months old, so he must like something about them.
“We’ve always dealt with subbies,” says Don, “but I got a bit tired of the trouble, so I decided to get a third truck myself. I chose the 685hp Super-Liner with mDRIVE, and I’m pretty happy with it.”