On a steel horse I ride

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMarch 27, 2017

Central Southland Freight is a family-owned business based in the small Southland town of Winton, where it has been operating for more than 25 years.

The line ‘on a steel horse I ride‘ from a Bon Jovi classic adorns the rear wall of Allen Wilson‘s cab. Although in the song this is a bus, it could, in Allen‘s case, be his Freightliner Coronado.

Central Southland Freight owners Garry and Helen Price worked very hard, especially in the early years of the company, to establish a good reputation with their customers, which continues to this day.

Oamaru- born Allen Wilson started his driving career 25 years ago with Charter Trucks in Christchurch and has been with Central Southland Freight for nearly 10 years. General manager Corey Price said Allen‘s professionalism, loyalty and his general attitude while being a part of the CSF team led to him getting the nod to drive their new flagship truck. The Freightliner Coronado, which New Zealand Trucking covered in the August 2015 issue, was the promotional truck for Harley Davidson.

During its time with Prestige Commercial Vehicles as the Harley Davidson truck, the Coronado covered most of New Zealand towing a trailer shipped over from Australia. The inside of the trailer contained a Harley Davidson Custom Shop, which opened up so the public could walk through and view all the different options for customising their Harley Davidson motorcycle.


Once the trailer was shipped back to Australia the Freightliner was put on the market and purchased by Central Southland Freight.

The Coronado was stripped of its Harley Davidson signage and repainted by the team at Bairds Collision Centre in Christchurch, with the finishing touches added by Insignia Signs in Invercargill.

However, there are subtle reminders on the tractor unit to remind everyone that it was once the Harley Davidson promo truck, none more noticeable than the HARLYI licence plate, the name on the bug deflector, the Harley Davidson badge outlined in the Coronado grille and mirrors, plus the interior, which has leather seats made by Otago Auto trimmers with Harley Davidson logos.

With a DD15 engine, 18-speed UltraShift transmission and 560hp, the Freightliner has slotted into the Central Southland Freight fleet nicely, and once it finishes the current seasonal contract it will be hooked back onto its Roadmaster flat-deck quad travelling nationwide transporting a variety of goods.