“There’s a big variety of trucks here, but the Macks are the most reliable by far.”
Adrian Hill and his family run a fleet of logging trucks in the Taupo region of New Zealand’s North Island. He relies on his Macks to handle some pretty rough conditions.
Hill Log Haulage is a family business in the true sense of the word. While Adrian oversees the operation, his wife Robyn manages the finances and their daughter Casey handles the truck dispatching.
Between them, they keep the sawmills and export ports of the North Island well supplied with timber from the plantations of Taupo.
From small beginnings
“We started the business about 25 years ago when we bought out another company,” says Adrian, “I started out as an owner-driver with one truck, and I got rid of it as soon as the contract allowed and got myself a Mack CH.”
Having trained originally as a boilermaker, Adrian tried it as a career, but after a stint driving R-Models the trucks kept calling him.
“Every time I heard an engine brake I was custard,” he says with a laugh, “so we got into it ourselves.”
Now the company has a fleet of 16 trucks, 15 of them Macks, including six Quantums, two 8x4 CHs and 7 Trident 8x4s, two of which are brand new and still in the workshop being fitted with their bolster trailers.
So why the Trident?
“Back in 2006 I’d just ordered two CHs when we decided to go to the Brisbane Truck Show,” says Adrian. “Robyn took one look at the gleaming Tridents on the Mack stand and we’ve been ordering them ever since.“
Of course there’s more to the decision than just a good-looking truck. The Trident is the ideal truck for the job, especially in the 8x4 configuration.
“In New Zealand the government charges fuel excise on the basis of hub metres, so it’s more economical to run an 8x4 with a 5-axle trailer,” says Adrian, “but I reckon they’re safer than the 6x4 anyway, they’re more stable and don’t slip and slide in the hills.”
Hills and more hills
And hills are one thing they’ve got plenty of in Taupo.
“There’s some rough country here alright, especially in winter,” says Adrian, “but the Tridents handle it. We’ve got five of them with mDRIVE and the drivers love it. There’s one old bloke I had to persuade to get in it, but now he won’t get out of it. He says ‘The manual’s good, but the mDRIVE is great.’”
Adrian’s pretty confident that his Macks are the best trucks around.
“There’s a lot of brands of truck around here, probably too many,” he says, “but I reckon the Macks are the best. When we compare the Macks with some of the other brands? My God! We’ve been buying them from Robbie Shaw at MTD Trucks for decades now, he’s almost family. Good people, really professional.”