Tuesday, September 27, 2011

RFL, Rodair, Ergomatics

I had a comment from Jamie, asking if I had any photos of Ergomatic Leylands or AECs in Rodair or RFL livery. Rodair and RFL were the two big players in the refrigerated transport league in the 70s and 80s. Although I remember these rigs well, I didn't have a decent camera at this time, so only have photos of their units of a later era.
An RFL R series Mack at a truck show in Auckland.

An F series Mack with small sleeper pod and 3 axle self steer trailer parked in Queen St Masterton. The RFL rigs parked in Queen St after the shops had closed and drivers stayed in the Empire Hotel.
You may ask why they had a sleeper pod if they stayed in hotels? Well I think the pod was actually used to store the paper work as those American day cabs were fairly skinny.

An RFL Fuso passes a motorcycle on the Auckland motorway. This was the other configuration that RFL used, consisting of two short two axle semi-trailers with a single axle convertor dolly under the second trailer to make it into a 3 axle full trailer. Tractors pulling these A-trains were usually single drive.

A single drive Mack R series with A-train; again outside the Empire Hotel in Masterton

Here is a tandem drive Mitsubishi with A train unloading at General Foods depot in Masterton. This building is now occupied by The Sign Factory. Notice that this trailer has the axles slightly spread, compared with...

....this Mitsubishi which has a short trailer with close coupled axles.

Through the main street of Taupo, heads this Mack Cruise-Liner of Rodair with three axle self steer semi-trailer.

To give Jamie his fix of Ergo here is the only photo I have of an everyday working Ergomatic cabbed AEC Mammoth Major and trailer I spotted in Tauranga in the early 80s or late 70s.
A restored Leyland Beaver with extra lift-axle at the Vintage Harvest in Carterton in 2010

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Yep, it's more trucks from the 80s, 90s and 00s again.
This Scammell S26 of Freightways Express parked outside Copthorne Solway Park Motor Inn in Masterton has a fairly plain paint job, but lots of extras: chrome vertical exhaust stack, aluminium wheels and tanks, chrome bumper and front panel over grille and air-horns on top of cab. I'm not sure what the unusually shaped objects on the B-train are.

Schdroski Transport displayed this MAN at a truck show at Hutt Park in the Wellington area.

"Deputy Dog" was a 1987 Mack Super-Liner R722RS of Clive Taylor Transport, again this is at Hutt Park..

Hutt Park again for this Scania R142M of Retko Haulage.

Three axle Scammell S26 with three axle trailer and a load of beer at Copthorne Solway Park. Unfortunately not my favourite brand (Lion Brown that is, not Scammell)

A 1988 Nissan Concrete Special was a model developed by the NZ Nissan importers for the concrete business. Seen here in Capital Concrete livery.

MacAuley's Transport yard in Masterton is the setting for this 1994 Peterbilt 362 of Equipment and Transport Leasing.

A Cochrane's Transport Freightliner Argosy is about to spend the night at Masterton Motor Lodge.

Contrasting colours of truck and trailers on this 2000 DAF XF530 at Day's Bay near Wellington

Before Premier Bacon operated their stunningly liveried Hino 700, they owned this 1999 Hino FS with minimal sign-writing.

NZ's Mack importers. Motor Truck Distributors completely restored this 1960 Mack B615RS as a promotional exercise.

John Lockley operates many unusual American rigs. Here is his 1991 International Navistar 8200 at Petone.

A 1992 FLA Freightliner of Kevey's Transport, with just the sheets lashed to its B-train's decks, rests at Seaview.

Also at Seaview is this Scania and trailer of New Zealand Couriers.

The Brett Morris International Transtar 4670 was quite an impressive rig when it hit the road in 1991.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mack Attack and others

Coincidentally this post starts with three Mack Ultra-liners, but read on for other types.
F & M Misa's "Black Velvet"was painted in gloss black with lots of chrome and polished aluminium. It is a 1988 MHS686RST towing a three axle self-steering refrigerated semi-trailer carrying dairy products for Anchor Foods.

Another Mack Ultra-Liner coupled to a tri-axle curtain-side in Johnson and Johnson livery.

A "Touch of Paradise" has a nice clean face, without the addition of a bull-bar.

This Volvo F series of Gray Brothers is about to descend the northern side of the Rimutaka Hill Road, with half a house in tow. House moving has become a big business in NZ, probably due to the fact that most houses are wooden and therefore more flexible and tolerant to being transported. When a property developer buys several houses and sections to develop a commercial venture, he or she often puts the houses up for tender for removal, rather than demolishing them.

The NZ Army operates a large number of Mercedes-Benzes of various models. This is a 1983 2228 with tracked vehicle on trailer behind. This was at an army exercise which was open to the public only 2 minutes drive from my home on the banks of the Ruamahanga River.

This Foden with high top sleeper is towing a trailer containing a civil defence display. Note the generator to power the display sitting behind the cab.

Fairground equipment is the load behind this 1967 International F210D with Detroit power.

Martin Smith was well known in Masterton for keeping his buses for many years, but always in immaculate condition. I remember this Leyland Cub in regular use when I was a young lad in the 60s, some 30 plus years after its 1934 build date. Martin has long gone from this world and his buses are now in the hands of collectors. I'm sure there would have been very little restoration involved.
Martin also owned an even older Leyland , which I unfortunately don't seem to have a photo of, but it can be seen in the background of this photo.
This 1988 International Transtar F4670, with extra axle in front of the drivers, was operated by Tony Pye of Carterton.
 I believe Tony still operates loggers, but now in the Mount Maunganui area.

Cramming as many cars as possible into the legal length limit has never been a priority in NZ, so it is quite rare to see a car hauler like this 1988 Scania P112 of Car Haulaways, loaded with 10 vehicles.

Roach Transport of Mount Maunganui operated this Fiat 1735 with twin-steer conversion, to carry pre-assembled trusses and other components for building houses.

Mogal Heavy Haul's Mercedes Benz 2235 (22 tonnes 350hp) would have been considered a high powered truck in 1988 when it was built.

Ford Cargos only came to NZ in small numbers, as Ford dealers began supplying re-badged Hinos after the production of the D series ended.
This light weight unit of Warren McKellar, looks as if it was probably used to transport a race or rally car.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Scammell Automatic Coupling

Scammell automatic couplings were used by several British truck manufacturers in the 50s and 60s. The tractor unit simply reversed under the semi-trailer and the landing gear folded up between the tractors chassis rails. It was then only necessary to connect wiring for the lights and brake lines if fitted.
This is what the coupling looked like on the chassis of the tractor. This also shows the rails on the chassis which the trailer part of the system ran up to engage.

Here is the trailer part.The flanged wheels at the top roll up the rails and the large wheels sit on the ground to support the trailer's weight. As you can see the pivot (turntable) is at the top above the small wheels.When coupling, it was necessary to push under the trailer (especially if fully loaded) with some force to prevent the truck (tractor) from stalling. Stalling could have dire consequences..............

Town Milk in Masterton had Bedfords with Scammell couplings. The S Bedford (petrol powered) in this photo was coupling up to a trailer full of glass bottled, wire crated milk when the truck stalled at the critical point, i.e.just as the landing wheels had folded up. The driver immediately hit the brakes, but finished up in this precarious position.
Getting out of the predicament was a tricky exercise as large jacks or forklifts were not readily available in Masterton at this time (mid 60s).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Another Selection of Truck Photos

M.Chamberlain was the operator of this Australian model International F4870 loaded with new Chep pallets. Note the HA Viva parked behind.

A 1988 Scania R142M being unloaded by hand at Foodtown Lower Hutt.

This 1987 Scania T112H (H denoting the heavy duty chassis) has a load of logs on flat decks at Fox Glacier.

Riccarton Borough Electricity Supply operated this 1981 Bedford TL with Palfinger  in the Christchurch area. Although TK Bedfords were a very popular truck in NZ, TLs were quite rare as at this stage we had entered the Japanese truck era and General Motors dealers were supplying Isuzus with Bedford badging.

This Hall's refrigerated B-train is awaiting a ferry crossing to the North Island at the Picton terminal. The truck is a 1987 International SF2370.

A 1986 Mack G290GT Midliner in the livery of Johnson & Johnson.

Speedlink Parcels was a division of New Zealand Railways. A 1988 Isuzu CXZ167TC snapped at a truck display at Hutt Park.

"The Homestead" at Ward (northern South Island) is the setting for this 1986 Mitsubishi 415PPR of Gill's, filling up with stock to go the slaughterhouse.

One of Don Bell's all Benz fleet. This one a 2244 parked in Palmerston North.

A Scania R143M of Rudd Transport at Masterton Motor Lodge.

Another R142M. This one an 8 wheeler of 1986 vintage, operated by Waverley-Patea haulage in typical NZ stock truck configuration is parked at Faulknor"s Service Station in Masterton.

At one stage, Herb Renall's all Mack Ultra-liner fleet also included this logger. Seen here parked at his former Masterton depot in Ngaumutawa Road, where the Vehicle Testing Station is now located.