Martin Rieck's Super-Liner pays for itself in fuel savings

The son of a champion sheep shearer and a native of South Australia’s corner country, Martin Rieck grew up amongst the Coolibah trees of a million-acre cattle and sheep station.

These days however, you’ll find Martin behind the wheel of his 685hp Mack Super-Liner, hauling cattle from properties in central and western Queensland to sale yards, feedlots and abattoirs around the state.

Outback station life has equipped Martin with that unique mix of mechanical sympathy and animal empathy that seems to be unique to livestock operators working in such harsh and unforgiving terrain.

It’s a lifestyle that breeds resourcefulness and rewards a tough work ethic.

The station, which had been in the hands of the Rieck family since the 1950’s, was sold a few years ago and these days Martin works as an owner driver based in Chinchilla, Qld.

Subcontracting to a local livestock transport company, Martins’ Super-Liner can on any given day be found hauling a B-double, an AB- Triple or as a road train. Most days he can be found hauling beef cattle. He regularly covers ground between Boulia, on the eastern edge of the Simpson desert and Roma. Often the job sees him coming down the Toowoomba range to Beenleigh to Brisbane’s south.

“I did a load of camels once…….never again! It takes about five hours to load them and another five hours to unload them, they just don’t co-operate!”

“I ended up buying a truck for the property,” says Rieck. Reflecting on his start in transport, “It was a UD and I was just pulling single deck trailers with it, I’ve always had my own crates on the station.”

“I do love working with livestock, first and foremost that’s what I was brought up with and I grew up around machinery.”

“Out here, especially further west, you’re your own boss, you can just poke along doing your thing.”

The Super-Liner is Martin’s first Mack, in fact it is his first new truck. “I knew a few people that had Macks, they seemed to get a good run out of them.”

For Martin, however it’s the fuel efficiency of the MP10 engine that has been the initial stand out, “With fuel prices the way they are, I’d be broke if I still had my old truck, it’s great on fuel, it’s about$30 grand a year better on fuel than my last truck.”

“I’ve been speaking to blokes that are running Darwin and they reckon the money they’re now saving on fuel with the MP10 is covering the repayments on the truck, and I reckon they’d be right.”

The Super-Liner was also Martin’s first foray into the world of automated manual transmissions, “I used to think that it wasn’t a real truck unless it had a manual gearbox until I actually drove one.”

The performance of the m DRIVE transmission however has made Martin a convert.

“That automated gearbox, going through towns, through Toowoomba and into Brisbane, it’s just one thing you don’t have to worry about, changing gears I mean. The manual override is great off-road and in hilly country.”

Overall, it’s hard to get a negative comment on the truck out of Martin regarding his Super-Liner. With typical dry country understatement, he just tips his hat back on his head nods towards his truck.

“It is comfortable, everything seems to be in the right spot.”