Neighbourhood bully

In October 2023, Million Mile Club4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineNovember 23, 2023

Staying within the Graeme Wright Transport fleet in Puriri, we find our second inductee this month. Back in 2007, Gunner was in the right place at the right time when he received the call from good mate and MTD salesman Carl Capstick offering the pick of two Mack CL666RS Super-Liners that were a cancelled order. “One had a Roadranger and the other an 18-speed Mack box. We went with the Mack box purely because it gave us much lower gear ratios in reverse for manoeuvring in tight locations,” Gunner says.

The big Mack was painted in the fleet’s distinctive lime green and white, and an existing Mills-Tui body and matching four-axle trailer were removed from an older Volvo in the fleet, refurbished and fitted to the Super-Liner. Once the unit was ready to get to work, the keys were handed over to Gary ‘Cog’ Fisher. Cog’s eye for detail was a big influence during the initial setup of the rig, as well as the way it was to be presented (winning it the November 2008 New Zealand Trucking magzine Top Truck). The Super-Liner’s solid stance, with its massive one-piece fibreglass hood and big square stainless-steel grille, certainly is distinctive and partly responsible for its rather fitting name, Neighbourhood Bully. It is one of those trucks that you really cannot miss going down the road.

Carl Capstick (centre) handing over Neighbourhood Bully to Gunner Wright (right) and Gary ‘Cog’ Fisher back in 2007.

Under the hood is a big red Cummins Gen2 Signature, running at 620hp. This received a preventative in-frame rebuild at 800,000km in the company’s workshop. Since then, it has not had spanners to it, just the normal auxiliary things like the air compressor and turbo. The 18-speed Mack box has had two rebuilds, as well as a front diff.

So, yes, just like the Volvo, the Mack has been a solid performer, a clear indication that the company’s attention to detail when it comes to routine maintenance is truly paying dividends.

An unfortunate turn of events a few years back nearly spelt the end of the road for the Bully, however the White Brothers Panelworks team in Hamilton worked their magic. “When we got the truck back from them, you could not see any evidence of the damage at all; they really knew their stuff and did a fantastic job of rebuilding the Bully for us,” Gunner says.

The big hood out the front is what nearly wrote off the truck, as it was no longer in production and there were none available. So it was out with the old moulds in Australia, and a new one was formed from scratch. This was quite a process, and took the best part of two months to get it out to New Zealand.

The current pilot of Neighbourhood Bully is Nick Cusack. Nick has been at the helm now for the best part of five years, and the pair can be found on regular runs around the Coromandel Peninsula delivering the likes of topdressing fertiliser to Cape Colville… definitely some challenging roads with some challenging road users, but what a rig in which to see this part of the country.