Heavy Haul K100E

In September 2023, Million Mile Club3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 29, 2023

This solid Kenworth K100E, new to Fridge-Tranz in 1995, now resides in Whangarei with the team at Rozendaal Heavy Haulage. The K100E started life towing a tri-axle Fairfax refrigerated semi-trailer, transporting food between Auckland and Taranaki with Damon Brian at the helm.

In 2006, TU5183 changed hands and headed for a new home in Whangarei. Initially, it retained its old livery, but in 2007, the K100E was treated to a gleaming new coat of bright blue. Tony Rozendaal explains: “It’s a good-looking colour and, with the addition of the white stripes and some scrolls, it looks quite tidy.”

TU5183 had just over 1,500,000km on the clock when it arrived at Rozendaal’s in 2006 and is now closer to the 2,500,000km mark. “We don’t do the sort of mileage that line haul clocks up. It’s more shorter, harder runs into the bush to pick up or drop off equipment,” says Tony. “It is a great truck. We had the old 3406E replaced by Goughs in 2008 with a new C15. At the same time a new radiator and gearbox were fitted. We have also fitted double-cross locks to the Eaton diffs, as well as adjusted the ratio from 4:56 to 4:3. Apart from that, there’s just been regular maintenance. And, with its 3.9m wheelbase, you can put it anywhere. It turns on a dime.”

New to Fridge-Tranz, TU5183 was a distinctive sight on its regular run from Auckland to Taranaki.

For those of you who have just read the Mini Big Rigs story, you would have seen the K100E featured there as well in 1:25th scale. Rozendaal driver Neil Shayler drove it for some time, provoking him to build a replica of the truck and its MTE trailer. As we mentioned in that story, Neil added a set of Australian Outback-style over-the-roof air intakes to the 1:25th scale model. On seeing the completed model, Tony suggested that he do the same to the real truck. Neil, used to working in 1:1 scale with his classic truck restorations, seized the challenge. Looking at the installation, you would easily be mistaken for thinking it was all plumbed up on the Bayswater assembly line.

The K100E was an iconic truck in its day, and nearly 30 years on, this tidy example is not afraid of a hard day’s work, and is likely to be grafting for some years to come, especially in the care of the Rozendaal team.