MEN ARE FROM MARSH

In Tests, July 2021, Scania45 MinutesBy Dave McCoidAugust 29, 2021

If there were one assignment in trucking capable of testing the operational envelope of any OEM’s machine, it would be agricultural contracting. It’s a relentless seasonal cycle of hard work, with capability and versatility key attributes of both machines and operators. When Ben Brownless decided to add more trucking firepower to the Bay of Plenty operation of Marsh Contracting, his choice resulted in a truck with something XTra.

Rolling grassland at the base of the Kaimai ranges in the small urban-rural area of Oropi, barely a stone’s throw from Tauranga – what a perfect location to rendezvous in the pre-dawn with an agricultural contracting operation. There’s a busyness to the scene as Marsh Contracting’s G500 XT Scania and Davis & Hay Contracting Ltd (Engineers) five-axle trailer pull in the gate. A tractor is poised at the head of two rows of baleage (baled and plastic wrapped grass), and the lights on the rig draw an arc in the darkness as it executes a big circle, eventually taking position between the neat lines of paddock ‘marshmallows’. It was now ready for loading.

For starters, and let’s be honest, agricultural contracting hasn’t always lent itself to the glamour side of the road- transport industry. It was, therefore, a mild relief to behold the snazzy white and green Scania complete with the Griffin logo on the cab extenders as the first rays lit the sky.

“Phew! It really is the Bay of Plenty,” we thought.

In today’s era of truck and trailer configurations, the six- wheeler and five-axle combo has a certain chutzpah; a cool factor. The fact the XT had the five-axle trolly on-hook was certainly a ‘money and the bag’ situation; in other words, too good (‘Toogood?’ … never mind).

Loading as dawn breaks over the Bay of Plenty.

“G’day,” says part-owner of the rig and Marsh Contractors operations manager Ben Brownless as he appears from the shadows. “There are two loads of these to go to Galatea today. Should be good; it’s a transport job for another contractor. The rest of our truck crew are on kiwifruit, but these need to get down there today.”

The evening before, Ben had relocated one of the company’s immaculate Valtra tractors to the Oropi site from Marsh’s HQ on Old Coach Road in Pongakawa. Among the myriad things attacking the senses at the time is obvious pride in the gear and the brand, with both truck and tractor not just clean, but sporting the same smart company logo. If you were the farmer-customer, you’d quickly conclude this was the kind of outfit that wouldn’t leave you worrying if gates had been shut on the way out or not.

Ben was studious in the loading of the bales. For the uninitiated, wrapped baleage is notorious, with each bale roughly the same, yet individual – like people, really. Ben checked each one for water ingress, something that makes the baleage inside go gooey, and then carefully placed them on the deck, pushing each one tight against its mate. Although the plastic gives the impression of being quite ‘frictiony’, like a British airman in Colditz, the bales will look for any opportunity to bugger off, given the hint of a chance.

The loading complete, loose plastic ponytails whipped off with a knife, and all strapped down, we headed for the gate in just over an hour.

Crossing the Matahina Dam.

Time for an upgrade

The Scania’s just on 18 months old with 60,000km on the clock, so there’s been plenty of time to ascertain whether the purchase decision was the right one.

“Yep, no complaints at all so far. It’s night and day from the other trucks,” Ben says. “We looked around before we bought, though. We had a MAN here for a drive, and DAF and Mercedes-Benz were also on the short list. Being an XT, the Scania has that bit extra in terms of clearance underneath and durability. Some of the places we take the trucks are pretty severe. The Scania’s had a couple of experiences of being towed in and out of places by tractors, but she’s up to it so far.”

Underlying the decision to invest in a front-to-back new truck was a desire to up the ante on the trucking side of the business. Marsh runs four trucks, an older Mercedes- Benz, a Mitsubishi, a DAF CF and now the Scania. Until the arrival of the XT, the trucks’ core role was to support the harvest and field operations rather than out and out trucking services.

“The trucks are all quite old, and we wanted to take the trucking to a new level. We couldn’t do that with what we had. So we sat down and made a plan, and I voiced an interest in having a share in the new truck if possible. Neville [Marsh – owner of Marsh Contracting] was happy with that and left me to get what I thought we needed. Aside from its spec, availability was one of the big things. They’d brought some in as stock items, and Andrew Lane at Scania here in the Mount said it was pretty much available immediately. I do have to say he was great to work with. He puts no pressure on you, letting us make decisions the whole way.

“Now we can actively target transport work with good gear. What we’re doing is looking to add value to our existing customers. For example, I can now whip to the Mount and grab some palm kernel for someone we service in other areas of the business. We can also be more effective when it’s time to help in the agricultural contractors’ pool. No one really has enough gear to cope when the heat’s on in the peak of the season, and the ag contracting guys all help each other, moving around as each needs a hand to get whatever done, on time.”

A famous corner in Bay of Plenty trucking, turning off SH2 onto SH34 towards Kawerau.

Atom Ant

This subhead is possibly a little disrespectful; this is a 500-horsepower truck, after all. As we so often say, it wasn’t that many new moons ago that such power was at the top of any trucker’s Santa list. A recent conversation with a senior salesperson from a leading OEM ended with us wholeheartedly agreeing that 600 is the new 400 in terms of truck power. In the mid- to late- 1980s, a 400hp Cummins, Caterpillar or Detroit was the big, capable motor that was a benchmark in terms of productivity. In 2021, that’s gone up at least 50%, more if it’s torque you’re considering. An old 400 motor was probably about 1695Nm (1250lb/ft); now 2779Nm (2050lb/ft) is the line ball for a 600hp engine.

The DC13 in the G500 is outputting 373kW (500hp) and 2550Nm (1881lb/ft) of torque. Let’s line that up with the big boppers of another time. It’s a hearty 652Nm (481lb/ft), more ‘twisty’ than the Detroit 60 Series in Ulhenberg’s 1989 Kenworth T600A test, and wait for it, 523Nm (386lb/ft) more than Crooks and de Lautour’s V8 Mack Ultra Liners in 1986. (I know, that one makes you smart.) Then, of course, we had a trawl through the Griffin archive in the magazine. Tom Preston’s magnificent 1990 Highline 143m Scania falls short of the Marsh truck by 520Nm (385lb/ft). Yikes! And let’s not even go near the impact of the electronics and shift speed of modern Euro AMTs. When the first electronic motors appeared, they were in many ways a pain in the arse to drive. But nowadays with smart engines and cog- swappers? Gosh, would the old girls even see where the new trucks went?

Yes, it might therefore be a mild kick in the groin calling the G500 ‘Atom Ant’, but in other ways not. When we first thought up the subheading, standing in the paddock watching the bales being loaded, it was more about the truck’s capability against its modest physical presentation. In this era of Aerodynes, Stream-Spaces, Globe Trotters, and Top Lines, Ben’s G500 is akin to the halfback among the props. Until that is, you have a glance at the GCM on the load certificate – 100 tonnes. Say what?

Yes, it’s a nuggety XT; suffice to say, you’re not going to bend it in a rush. Let’s keep on going with the spec from front to back. Behind the Euro-5 13-litre power unit is Scania’s near- ubiquitous – in terms of the marque – Opticruise GRS905R 14-speed AMT. You’ll go a long way to find a gear lever in a new- generation Scania. In fact, Jackson Roadhaul owner- driver Gavin ‘Bock’ Mical was the only NTG we could recall encountering with ‘oar’ on the driver’s left. Of course, Bock’s reasoning is impeccable: “I like changing gears.” There’s no disputing the meaning of life stuff, and after all, what’s the use of going to work if you’re not going to enjoy it?

At the rear of the transmission are proprietary 21-tonne rated RPB735 hub reduction screws with diff-lock at a 3.65:1 ratio. They’re mounted on heavy- duty parabolic leaf springs, with shock absorbers and stabilisers, as is the 7.5-tonne-rated AMT600 front axle.

Front shoes are big and chunky 385/65 R22.5 and holding up the tail end are 295/80 R22.5, with all rubber mounted on polished Alcoa alloy wheels. And the whole thing is packed into a compact 4640mm wheelbase.

There is a weight price for all this robustness, though. Tare on the Scania’s load certificate is 11,420kg. When you consider Skip’s Super Liner last month was 12,000kg with a house attached, and the McNicol ProStars in 8×4 trim and packing an X-15 tipped the scales at 10,900kg, you do have to take a wee gulp.

But the XT is all about longevity and survivability in industries such as construction and forestry; in fact, any place low on allure factor for the humble lorry.

The Scania has no trouble negotiating farm gateways.

You’re being followed

The shortness of the truck is nicely compensated aesthetically by the 8.5m, five-axle Davis & Hay Contracting Ltd (Engineers) trailer. Yes, there’s that name again, and we know you’ll likely be scratching your head.

“We built the truck deck in our workshops, and Davis built the trailer,” says Ben. “They’re based in Timaru and are a supplier of ours, and they do heavy transport repairs and the like. I asked Todd [Davis, Davis & Hay Contracting Ltd (Engineers)] if they wanted to build a whole trailer from scratch. He said it had been something he’d wanted to do, so they did. We’re really happy with the result.

“We went five-axle for a bit of future-proofing. It made sense, and I wanted max stability for this line of work also – obviously, dump the airbags when tipping, twin under-body rams and a set of scissors to help with stability. She’s pretty mint, I have to say.”

The design for the trailer came from TransTech Consulting and Design Engineering in Dunedin. The trailer features high tensile construction, SAF Intradisc disc brake axles and air suspension, WABCO EBS braking, and is shod with 265/70 R19.5 rubber around Alcoa alloy rims.

If you do a bit of toing and froing between the islands, the combing rails and drawbar give away its construction origins being south of the drain. It’s a lovely looking piece of kit, tipping the scales at 6220kg with a fixed headboard minus sides and tailgate.

“Having worked with Marshes previously, we were happy to build the trailer; they are good people to deal with,” says Todd Davis. “I’d like to thank NJ & DM Repairs, too, for their help in the project.”

Ben went for twin rams, and a scissor to help optimise stability.

And now for something completely different

The famous Monty Python line typifies a day in the Scania’s life so well. While there’s generally a seasonal feel to what’s on the back, there’s never a dull moment and whatever needs doing, needs doing, if you get our drift.

“The peak of the season runs from August to May – that’s when it’s busiest. It starts with grass silage, and that runs into maize silage which runs into maize grain,” says Ben. ”Then there’s orchard manure, the kiwifruit season and in amongst it, stock feed. There’s no end to it, really. In terms of the harvesters, they’re all down now for winter maintenance, so the workshops are full bore.”

The previous day, having a walk around the yard, we see the Scania’s sides and bins in their racks, ready to go at a moment’s notice. The bins have power tarps fitted for speed and ease of operation.

“Yep, they’re a good system. Like anything, you must treat them right and keep them clean, maintained, and running free all the time. A little bit of regular housekeeping pays off hugely when the heat’s on.”

Ben’s in control of the machinery side of the business and at times that means stepping out of the truck and into a tractor. “No, I don’t mind it at all. I like the tractor work. Up until now, I’m the only one who’s really driven the Scania, but that’ll likely change, and I need to think about manning it as the transport work grows. It’s a hard one because you can’t just put anyone in either the trucks or the machines. They have to be agricultural people who know the ins and outs of the rural scene. If a chopper [maize harvester] driver or truck driver doesn’t understand how to load trucks on the side of a hill for instance, then it’s likely not going to end that well. Luckily, I have someone in mind for the truck, so I think we’re all good.”

In terms of operational boundaries, the Marsh truck will spend most of its life ranging from the far-eastern Bay of Plenty in an arc down and around Galatea, Artiamuri, and Te Awamutu.

“Contractors like Pearce Ag Contractors in Gelatea, AT Cook from Artiamuri, and Whakatane’s PJ Brogden and AB Contracting are good examples of contractors in our business community – people we help and who help us,” says Ben.

“Where the grain silos are is the biggest determiner of where the truck goes in the grain season obviously. Because they can’t be moved the product must go to them. That’s probably the time of year the trucks do the most kilometres. We don’t do huge kilometres as a rule, nothing like a linehaul truck, but in saying that, many of our kilometres are difficult ones.”

(Above left counterclockwise) 1) NTG cockpit is now a familiar place and one we always find appealing in both aesthetics and use. 2) G XT cab is low so there’s an engine tunnel, but it is still ‘crossable’, with useful daily storage. Super easy to clean, too. 3) Avoid behind the seat that would be enhanced immeasurably with a locker or two, accessible from the outside would be even better.

Time to bail

The baleage job to Galatea is a Pearce Ag Contractors’ job, and the 150km run from Oropi to Galatea will be a good outing in terms of ‘sussing’ the combination. We skirt the edge of Tauranga up through Malfunction Junction, across the causeway, then a right at Bay Park onto the Te Puke expressway. Once off that, it’s an easy run out around the coast to Matata and then onto Te Teko and Te Mahoe at the base of the Matahina Dam. From there, a decent patch of work commences up and beyond the dam through the rolling hill country alongside Lake Matahina, eventually down the Rangitaiki River Valley, through Kopuriki, and out onto the beautiful Galatea Plains flanking Te Urewera. A truly stunning part of New Zealand all-round really.

It’s fair to say I held minor trepidations about the ride the XT might offer, considering its all-steel undercarriage and short wheelbase. Ben must have a sixth sense because without prompting, he says, “You’ll be surprised at the ride. I was.” He was not wrong. When we jumped in mid-trip, the XT rode way better than we expected, with barely an occasional hint this is a truck that means business. There was the mild left-right cab thing that all Scanias have, but in terms of fore/aft, it was pleasant indeed. The fully air-suspended cab does a remarkable job of baring the flag for the brand’s ride reputation. Obviously, being a G cab rather than an R helps with centre of gravity. It would be interesting to have a crack at a day cab R and just see if those occasional hints of a more serious side turned into something more ‘agricultural’ in terms of in-flight comfort.

“Mate, I used to get out of the old Mitsi and I was broken. It’s rough-as, and changing gears all day, I was buggered. In this, it’s like you’ve done nothing.”

At just 20m overall length and with a tare of 18,040kg, the combination is good for 27 tonnes on the deck. The first load had us at about 42 tonnes, and on the second, Ben chucked a few more bales on to leave a neat truck load remaining.

The complete unit is decked out with scales in one form or another. The truck has a full SI-Lodec cell system, and the trailer has SI-Lodec air-bag sensors. As it turns out, Marsh Contractors is big on the weight of things, with a portable weigh platform business operating out of the engineering workshops. (See sidebar.)

“You wouldn’t be without them,” said Ben. “There can be a lot of variances in the weights of the loads we cart. So much affects the end product – rain or lack of it, soil, you have to know what’s on the deck. I don’t do the overweight thing. I mean, we live only a few kilometres from the Pongakawa checkpoint. We pass it every day. You’d be bloody mad to put a kilogram too much on.”

Ten or so kilometres from Matata, we make the switch from SH2 to SH30 via SH34, and then it’s a right just east of Te Teko. Before you know it, the XT is climbing the Matahina Dam wall.

The Scania operates all the time with a useful margin north of that magic 10hp/ tonne. Regular readers will know what my opinion on that subject is; those who don’t believe it should be a base requirement for HPMV have probably never carted so much as a feather to a mattress factory.

It’s a short climb up onto the dam, after which the road again climbs sharply. The Scania had little trouble on both ascents, and at the weights it runs, sixth appears to be the highway hero in terms of ‘dig in’ and hang on. The big climb on the far side of the dam was despatched at 26kph and 1650rpm. It’s a 13-litre so there’s not quite a handshake and exchange of peak numbers at a specific rpm value, but when torque tails off at 1300rpm, the power is still well into the mid 300kW area.

The Scania with bins on in the maize field. Power Tarps make covering easy. Photo: Brownless collection.

Ben’s in the ‘A’ for easy and ‘M’ for hard club when it comes to the operation of the transmission, and that’s a common finding in trucks not in the super-power club or that cart high-volume, low-weight cargos. It is worth clarifying though that Ben’s idea of hard going is not necessarily aligned with the average black-top bandit’s.

Nothing needs to be said about Scania’s 4100D retarder. It’s without doubt one of the industry’s bar- setters, and along with others of its ilk, has created a clear two-layer environment in terms of options for ‘whoa- ing’ up the payload. As good as modern engine brakes are, they’re no match for today’s downhill at V1 and no brakes, brigade. Not that Ben’s in that club in any way, shape or form.

He’s set up the Scania so all the descending is managed off manipulation of the brake pedal, a system Andrew Lane recommended to him and one he said is a no-brainer. “Yeah, it’s easy. I just use the brake. I set it all off the descending speed and she does the rest.”

Ben was a volunteer fire brigade member for several years, and it shows in his approach to most things; loading, driving, general ‘truckmanship’… now there’s a word. He’s immensely capable, cautious, with no hint of cavalier, which was reassuring as we approached the hideously shadowed and greasy descent from the Rewewhakaaitu turn-off, down and over the Rangitikei River on Galatea Road. It had Scania and driver in full caution mode. There are spots in the narrow box cutting the sun doesn’t find in winter, so it’s a case of tread warily.

Next was a lovely meander down the Galatea Plains. The Marsh truck is not fitted with Adaptive Cruise or Emergency Braking to Stop, and you could argue in the workplaces many XTs are likely to end up, it’s no big thing. Maybe the real trap in this era of some do and some don’t is ensuring that when you swap, you’re fully aware of what you’re climbing into. We have no doubts the time is fast approaching where there’ll be no option.

We arrive at the farm of Mike and Ann Rolfe and motor quietly up the drive and onto the farm race. The Rolfes’ is a classic husband and wife operation that looks extremely well-run if the stewardship around general tidiness and access are anything to go by. Mike’s a big, effervescent character, larger-than-life, and he was having one of ‘those’ days with the yearlings having been naughty while he was trying to get maintenance work done on the cowshed before leaving for a short holiday, the first in two years.

“Bloody hell, she’s all on. Now the air-con on the tractor’s just shit itself,” he says as he alights from the near-new CASE.

The bales were to come off by the heard homes, and as you’d expect, with locks in, the XT had no issues at all winding its way around the cow, calf, and implement sheds, through a gate, down the dip in the race past the effluent ponds and up onto a pad in front of Daisy and friends’ winter resorts. Being a short wheelbase 6×4, the turning circle is not far off big ute territory, and it would be interesting to go back at the end of the truck’s life with Marsh and find out the gnarly places Ben’s been able to get the combination. In fact, we just might do that.

“It’s been really good on traction so far. Yes, it’s been towed in and out of jobs, but only places no truck would go, places you wouldn’t even try. It’s certainly got into places the others haven’t managed, that’s for sure.”

We quizzed Ben about central tyre inflation, and he said it was something they didn’t really consider. “I guess you have to stop somewhere.”

The first straps came off as Mike put the soft hands on the tractor, and before you knew it, Ben was heading back for the second load.

In terms of service life, he thinks he’ll have a look at around the 500,000km mark. It’ll take a lot longer to amass that tally than, say, a pure highway haulier bought at the same time. If the trucking work grows as is hoped, and the Scania is manned full-time resulting in the kilometres coming quicker, that targeted timeframe for assessment will likely be adjusted accordingly.

“It was a bit of a dip your toe in and see. If we bought a good machine and offered the service, would the customers respond? At the moment, you’d have to say yes. I get torn two ways more and more now. Whereas early on, I could just park the truck and jump on a machine.”

To date, the fuel consumption is sitting at 2.45kpl (6.91mpg). There’ll be a lot contributing to that number for sure, including load factor, average speed, and the fact the guy paying the bills is driving it. But neither is it all pros. The rigours of the work profile would certainly contribute to plenty of fuel-consuming moments, so it’s still a testament to the engineering harmony in the drive train and the operator.

Mike whipping off the first load in the morning and second at day’s end (facing page).

The Griffin’s workingman’s club

Being a G cab and an XT to boot, there’s generally more black finish around the grille, bumper, steps, guards, and lower extremities. But the truck’s work environment, along with the tasteful and not overdone presentation of the rest of the rig, means it all comes together visually.

Having sampled three different R-series cabs in the past three years, the impact of this G XT’s more utilitarian ambience is certainly felt as you make the effortless three- step ground-to-floor entry.

As Ben said, the Marsh truck was ex-stock, and he says he would have made a couple of minor changes had he been able to spec it up himself. Being a G, it’s lower than an R, with three grille bars as opposed to the R’s four, and that does mean an engine tunnel on the inside. It’s a small price to pay when you consider the lower cab is handy for things such as access to fert hoppers, clearing trees, etc. Although, Ben did add the roof spoiler to enhance the overall look.

“It had the cab extenders, which was great. I wanted somewhere to put a Griffin logo,” he laughs. “I added the roof spoiler, though. It just needed it.”

Even with the engine tunnel and day-cab roof, there’s plenty of ‘human’ room for driving, and ignoring the hoist control and scale read-out to the driver’s immediate left, there’s also plenty of space to clamber cross-cab if needed. A day-cab it might be, but in 2021, that doesn’t mean the rear wall is an inch from Ben’s seatback à la FR Mack vibes. Ben says there’s even a flip-down rest bed available if wanted.

Because there are no external access lockers, coats, overalls and the necessities of trucking life end up in the voids behind the seats. We thought at least one little locker accessed from outside would be a good idea. Other storage? There’s a small overhead locker front and centre, a big catch-all between the driver and passenger and a pull-out drawer in the centre console with the Scania oddments, tray and cup holders on top.

The finish is all about business, with rugged plastic, vinyl and rubber the only show in town. It’s perfect for this truck. Carpet would just make you scream, and whoever’s on cleaning duty could literally get this thing looking like a new pin with a mop, bucket, a can of Mr Muscle, and a cloth.

Driving-wise, it’s pure Scania; there’s nothing unfamiliar at all. If you drove Owen’s S730 at Talley’s or Bomb TeHuia’s R620 at Sea Products, you could jump in Ben’s lorry and shoot off for a load of grain.

All the advantages of the NTG’s big screen and driver possie are here. It is a superb set-up.

There’s no snazzy red framing on the binnacle, but the gauges are superbly clear. Trip, telematics, driver coach etc. are in the central data screen mid-binnacle, and infotainment, switches, climate, tractive effort, and brake levers are on the wrap. Steel springs mean the only airbag the driver can adjust is the seat. Scania does a busy tiller – again, you know where we stand there, too. (For those who don’t, we say it’s less than ideal in New Zealand and especially so in this sort of application.) The left spoke is landlord to music and phone, the right, vehicle data. The toggles at the bottom of the hub accommodate cruise and descending. The left wand is where you go if you want to wipe the screen, indicate or dip, and the right wand when you shift or retard. (There’s descending there too, FYI.)

Scania does the busiest driver’s door sill in the game, too. It creates a nice wrap and cockpit feel to the driving experience. But we’re still not sure about the headlight switch being there. Yeah… na.

Individual quirks aside, few would argue, the NTG has one of the best sheds in the business.

Mission ‘Impumicebale’

Our next rendezvous with the XT was carting pumice for race rock from the Marsh’s Marball Orchard Pumice Quarry just down the road from headquarters. There were five loads to a farm in Maketu, a mere 30km round- trip. It typifies the endless variation in the Scania’s life.

With a bit of the wet stuff around in days leading up, and early morning dew, Ben had the rear end locked up motoring around the quarry on the first load. By the time we got back for the second she was all good – no locks, happy days.

The Marsh family has owned the quarry about three years. The Chinese Lovol digger passes three tonne at a time, so that’s nine visits from the bucket, and we’re off at 45 tonne.

“I was contemplating an automatic ring-feeder, but the pumice gets stuck in them and causes problems.”

Yesterday it was long leads, today the XT is the village delivery truck, nimble and easy to poke here and there. Before we knew it we were at our destination, certainly no need for Stag Park or Riverlands today.

“We wanted the length in the trailer and the pay-off was drawbar length so you can’t jack-knife it,” says Ben.

It was a dump-and-run scenario, with Dan the weather man predicting shyte in the coming days. Way back when, she’d have been a pressure day in the good Albion Riever to get 130-odd tonne of pumice done in front of the looming weather – but in 2021, with power, gears that change themselves in 0.6 of a second, and under four loads to the 100 tonne, Ben’s only issue is what happens once this job is complete.

Better work stories

If trucks had a Cars-style motion picture and there was a scene where the Scania met up with some mates for an ale at a bar, it would have great work stories, that’s for sure.

Seriously though, how do you buy a truck for this line of work? Agricultural contracting is one of those occupations that pushes the boundaries in terms of defining the word ‘utility’.

For Marshes to get what it wants from a machine, it needs that variant built to take on what may. One that is a bit ‘meatier’, one that has better clearances, is easy to manoeuvre, won’t be hit, or more to the point, damaged, by all and sundry dangling down or sticking out in front of it. One that is easy to clean and keep presentable. It must also be quick to operate – like a big field tractor, no faffing about with changing gears. It must be able to cart off the paddock one day then rack up 600km the next, delivering not just its load of baleage to the customer, but its owner at the end of the day feeling fresh and fantastic.

Are there such trucks? Ben Brownless seems to have found one.

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Acknowledgements

On behalf of New Zealand Trucking magazine and our readers, many thanks to Ben, Tammy, Neville and Jill for your time, and allowing us to feature your new Scania G500 XT and five-axle Davis & Hay Contracting Ltd (Engineers) trailer. It was a fun, and as is so often the case, inspirational couple of days. Thanks also to Todd Davis, Davis & Hay Contracting Ltd (Engineers), and Deon Stephens and Andrew Lane, Scania New Zealand. Thanks to Mike and Ann Rolfe for farm access.

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