In September 2023, Million Mile Club2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 29, 2023

New to Steve Murphy of Kaiapoi, El’Matadog was initially set up for logs as a rigid with a three-axle pull trailer, and later converted into a tractor unit pulling a five-axle B-train. Painted in the striking white and blue of SML, the 2003 Mack Trident was a sharp-looking piece of kit when it hit the road.

According to the records, BKF986 worked out of the Kaiapoi yard on various logging duties through to 2016. Then, Clive Taylor of Paraparaumu purchased the rig to add to his well-established Mack fleet. Being a tractor unit made it a versatile purchase, with the ability to work either pulling low loaders or a tipulator when the need arose.

El’Matadog, new to Steve Murphy of Kaiapoi, was initially set up as a rigid with a three-axle pull trailer. Photo: Mark Amer.

In 2021, when Tania and Andrew (Sooty) Breach took over the reins from Clive, they found that El’Matadog had been a solid performer. “It was still decked out as a tractor unit when we purchased the business, but as time went by, the decision was made to change it into a rigid tipper. So a new Hardox body was fitted, with a matching four-axle pull trailer put behind it. Later, we had a new five-axle built to increase loading,” explains Sooty. “It really has been a good truck all-round. It’s had a new radiator and it popped the front power divider once. But it’s solid considering the work we have had it doing, running aggregate up to Cambridge and Taupo, and returning back with rock for Ohakune and the Manawatu, and sitting at 54 tonne, so you really can’t grizzle with that.”

El’Matadog is now in the process of being put out for well-earned retirement. With younger pups entering the fleet, it is only fair that the old dog gets the chance to lie in the sun and chew on a tasty bone for a while. But keep an eye out – you know what they say, you can’t keep an old dog down.