A few more comforts of home

In Great Dashboards of the Past, Mack, April 20221 MinutesBy Dave McCoidMay 27, 2022

In this series we look at great dashboards of the past, when character, quirks and idiosyncrasies dominated the driving department’s control centre. When gauges were physically connected to hot and cold bits and, when they worked, told you if those bits were hot or cold. When Kysor alarms bleared on summertime ascents and you could manually control shutters and fans. When switches made shit happen when it wasn’t important and didn’t when it was. Yes, the great dashes were yesterday’s infotainment – sometimes low on information but always high on entertainment.

Our first great dash was from the Les Hayden FR Mack in Greymouth. The RP (Reinforced Plastics) cab was certainly a rudimentary workplace and – bear in mind – Les even tarted his up a bit with some additional upholstered panelling. As we promised last month, our second great dash comes from Mr Hayden’s co-conspirator in miracle truck restorations, Murry Bruning, and the interior of his FR Mack, TNL fleet No.217.

This is what it must have looked like when driving your brand-new FR Mack away from the Palmerston North factory back in 1978. Goosebumps!

Fleet No.217 features the steel cab that succeeded the RP cab. It’s a more refined workspace for the driver with a significant increase in trim and vinyl panelling.

Note the big Pyrometer on the wrap. Many Mack drivers drove the Bulldog on the Pyro’s feedback.