Bringing the best to the land

8 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMarch 20, 2017

Running a successful rural carrying business takes a lot of nous. Peter Sole‘s latest addition has brought the bulk side of the business to life!

Keeping abreast of the latest and safest technology, Peter Sole Transport Ltd has recently taken delivery of a new 8×4 Isuzu CYJ460 fitted with a Trout River live bottom body (Ref New Zealand Trucking April 2016 Issue p. 60). Fitted by New Zealand licensees Reid and Mowat Engineering in Dunedin, the body features tapered sides and a chain-driven belt that ejects the contents through a hinged rear door.

Peter had seen this type of set-up in Australia at his brother Ian‘s transport operation. “He has five of this configuration in service and I had a close look at them with reference to my business at Brixton,” Peter said. “It looked to be a good piece of gear so I made contact with the New Zealand manufacturing agent in Dunedin and we have progressed from there.”

The body is manufactured from Hardox sheet steel supplied by Real Steel in Upper Hutt. The Trout River system can cope with discharging any particle product from grains to hot mix bitumen without having to lift the deck by hoists. The moving floor is powered by a hydraulic motor driven from the PTO.

The motor in turn drives a 100mm chain under the discharge belt. Because drive is transmitted to the chain, the belt doesn‘t bear both drive and load pressures. Longevity therefore is exceptional, with belts in Australia now in their ninth year of service. The cleverness doesn‘t end there either. The system is set up so the PTO output speeds and belt discharge rates can operate independent of each other. Adjustment and inspection facilities for the drive and discharge mechanism are located on the side of the bin.

Photos from top: Loading follows normal conventions on the company weighbridge, however the Trout River live floor comes into its own unloading. Getting palm kernel into the back of a low barn is no issue. A hand remote gives the operator even more control.

“I have done considerable work with hot mix and have found that cleanliness is very important,” Peter commented. “But, of course, if you purchase new gear you either keep it clean or it will deteriorate very quickly. We have had good success with delivering palm kernel to farm sites where we can‘t use a conventional tipper.”

The truck was supplied by Moller Johnson Ltd in Hawera and is powered by Isuzu‘s own Euro 5 6WG1-TCC 6-cylinder common rail diesel engine rated at 338kW (460hp) and producing 2255Nm (1663lb/ft) of torque at 1300rpm. A Roadranger 18-speed gearbox and Isuzu RT210 rear end complete the driveline.

Servicing the land
When Joanne and Peter Sole registered Peter Sole Transport Ltd in 1990, the couple had already been running their agricultural contracting business, P D & J Sole, in Brixton near New Plymouth for about 10 years.

Peter spent his youth on his father‘s farm in Brixton, and after marrying Joanne began breeding pigs on a block next to the family farm. They eventually purchased 30 acres of land from Peter‘s father Jack, building a new home on the property in 1976 and settling in to concentrate on producing pigs for a living.

When the pig farming industry suffered a downturn in the late 70s Peter started driving for local carrier Clark & Rogers on a stock truck. Not long after joining that company it was sold to Osborne‘s Transport.

Peter had to make a move and he purchased a transport licence that came with a 1973 International 2150. The truck was not in top condition but did allow him to make a start in his own business, carting phosphate from the New Plymouth wharves and working with a local contractor carting fertiliser to their spreader.

Trading as P D & J Sole Transport, the business grew and by 1990 the operation was running 10 trucks. At that time it was appropriate to register Peter Sole Transport Ltd. Over time repairs and maintenance on older trucks became costly and the company‘s accountant suggested replacing old trucks with new ones, as the business would be more profitable operating on dealer warranties than on R&M out of their own pocket.

The first new truck to enter the fleet was an FS380 Hino 6×4 bulk tipper purchased in 1999. The continued increase in work, reduced maintenance and fuel consumption, proved the advice to buy new was good for the business. As a result the company has followed the ‘new truck purchase‘ format ever since.

Photo: Peter Sole with his new charge.

“We are not the sort of operation that budgets on covering hundreds of thousands of kilometres per year but we certainly run up plenty of engine hours so a warranty is very important,” Peter said.

Today Peter Sole Transport Ltd works in all forms of agricultural contracting, from farm road construction to fertiliser supply, hay making, product purchase and supply, to pretty much any service or product the farming community has a demand for.

The 30 acres the pair had purchased next to the family farm back in the seventies meant there was little adjustment required regarding location as the business flourished. Being a typically well-run rural based carrying business, Peter knows every aspect of his operation intimately; carrying a small number of dedicated staff, with Joanne splitting her time between the business and a part-time role as a dental therapist at the local school.

Peter Sole Transport Ltd is another great example of a family business enjoying success through energy and endeavour.



(From top) The tailgate opens to reveal the bin and belt. Trips for tailgate. The rear door operates pneumatically using brake pots. The PTO-driven hydraulic motor that operates the chain.