Could I have the narrow Argosy cab please? The one with the nose.

7 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 10, 2017

When it comes to uniformity of cab, Freightliner has the opposition well and truly licked.

Mack and Western Star have abandoned the whole COE thing generations ago and although there‘s no mistaking you‘re in a K-Whopper, whether it‘s a T or a K, they still miss the uniformity cigar by a country mile compared with the Freightliner.

The Coronado cab is essentially a narrow Argosy, all you have to do is look at the side profile to see that, likewise the interior with the dash is identical. It‘s a great incentive for fleet buyers where the likelihood of drivers swapping ‘ships‘ on a daily basis is high. There‘s no ‘Now, where are the bloody wipers in this thing?‘ at all.

Like the Western Star it‘s all-American and you can pretty much copy and paste everything we said about the Western Star‘s ambience across to the Coronado, even the bit on a slightly ‘fleet‘ feel to the gauge and buttoned vinyl ‘Westernness‘. Admittedly, being a spec build, the Hammond 122 doesn‘t have every box ticked on the ‘trick my cab‘ options list, and there‘s room to move if you want to push further into the world of a personal signature. It‘s a quieter, more refined space than the Star was, but the Kiwitrans truck had the edge on trim matching and finish, even with that dastardly loom! Okay, maybe that made them even.

Interestingly Bill Hammond also pointed out the uniformity of the switchgear in his Western Stars being a pain. It‘s interesting because the Coronado also has only the one stalk for indicators and dip, and yet you don‘t have anywhere near the same switch confusion. There‘s enough spread and difference in the switches to know what you‘re going for, and yet the whole presentation looks clean and tidy. Having said that, there‘s just no substitute for engine brake, wipers, and cruise somewhere close to you.



(Top left) The interior is all Freightliner, simply a narrow Argosy. (Top right) Not the OCD uniformity of the Western Star but infinitely more useable and still very tidy. (Bottom left) Another tidy overhead console. (Bottom right) The grab handle on the inside no doubt helps aerodynamics but certainly hinders the natural entry rhythm.

Our all-time favourite was the Kenworth multi-wand set up. It may have looked like a bad hair day, but everything was right there, and stayed put, regardless of what the steering wheel was doing (why they built the wands out of uncooked spaghetti though, was always a mystery).

Being a long wheelbase 6×4 conventional you can‘t really critique the ride; it‘s as good as it‘s going to get, isn‘t it? Visibility is great with no air cleaner intakes. It‘s got massive mirrors, which take a wee bit of peering around, although their manoeuvrability more than makes up for any minor compromise. With phenomenal adjustment on the remote control, the scope Graham has for seeing everything that‘s going on in poky yards or farms has the potential to save thousands of dollars in minor repairs.

The last Coronado we went for a burn in was the Tomoana 114 (New Zealand Trucking Aug 2016). The Hammond truck is the 122, with extra snout ahead of the front axle. BBC on this truck is 3099mm compared with 2901mm on the day cab 114. However, the front axles centre to back of cab on the 122 is 1940mm compared with 2145mm for the 114. It makes it easier to get weight on the front obviously, but like all conventional set-backs, it gives the truck a profile that‘s an acquired taste.

Show it the Hammond love though, and things instantly improve.

“It had a bumper on it originally that looked like it had come off a bloody S-Line,” said Graham. “Bill put this Ali Arc bumper on and it‘s a hundred percent improved.”

The extra snout makes the DD15‘s home nice and spacious and access to daily checks on the left-hand side is a breeze.


The DD15 sitting in its home with daily checks on the left a cake-walk. The bonnet comes up with mere finger-tip effort.

Height and step-wise, access to the truck is great, a biggie considering there are some jobs Graham does that are bit of a day-long in-out affair.

Having said that, both Bill and Graham point out to us the absence of a grab handle on the outside of the cab, installed low down on the B-pillar once you open the door instead.

“It‘s a bit weird,” said Bill. “Your natural action is grab the handle with the left as you open the door with your right. We looked at fitting one, but it‘s a major as there‘s no reinforcing or mounting behind the panel where it would go.”