No bad days in Canterbury

In December 2023 - January 2024, Top Truck9 MinutesBy Craig McCauleyJanuary 6, 2024

Many family businesses in the New Zealand transport industry operate with pride and passion, dedicated to their trade. Scott Carrrying Co. is one of those estalishments.

Kane Scott of Scott Carrying Company, based at Kaiapoi, is an operator who takes great pride in his work, and the Scania R540 put to work early this year provides the proof.

Kane is no stranger to the pages of New Zealand Trucking magazine. He drove the Road Metals Mack Trident Rock Dog that was Top Truck in July 2017 and went on to take out the overall Top Truck prize for the 2016/2017 year.

Throughout his formative years, Kane had plenty of exposure to the trade, with his father and stepfather both driving trucks.

A chance conversation between his mother and Allan Sims (manager of the Goodman Fielder transport operation) at a Christmas function, saw his school books closed for the last time and Kane’s career begin under the transport apprenticeship scheme of the era.

Tamara and Kane.

Wheeling stacks of bread around the factory and loading trucks led first to a forklift licence, then class 2, 4 and eventually class 5, under the accelerated licensing scheme.

“It seemed like an eternity from when I got my class 5 until I was allowed to do anything,” he says. Eventually, runs between Christchurch and Timaru or Oamaru in a Volvo FH520 became commonplace.

After some relief driving across the Goodman Fielder linehaul fleet, Kane was keen to try carrying stock, so a move beckoned to Frews in Oxford, where he piloted a Hino FS.

Livestock cartage continued with three years at Canterbury Plains Transport (CPT), driving firstly a Mercedes-Benz Actros and latterly a Scania R620, all over the South Island.

The Scania at CPT set the scene for the future, with comfort and reliability being its strong points, Kane recalls.

Aggregate cartage for Road Metals followed, firstly in a Mack Granite, and then in the winning Mack Trident, Rock Dog. When Chris Hancox, his mate and mentor from the Goodman Fielder era, departed the transport operations seat at Road Metals to pursue his own business, Kane took over the role.

From early in his career, Kane sought to do something for himself within the industry and looked at several owner-driver opportunities as they presented themselves.

While pursuing one of these, Kane met up with another old workmate from the Goodman Fielder days, Andrew Johnson (AJ), and the two had a conversation regarding Kane’s desire to “have his name on the door”.

AJ at that time operated Belfast Contractors, a two-truck operation servicing one of Canterbury’s major smallgoods processing operations.

Jett and Orlando, the next generation of Scotts.

Shortly after that meeting, AJ made contact to see if Kane was interested in the Belfast Contractors business and these discussions led to Scott Carrying Company first trading in October 2020. A pair of Iveco Stralis 460 tractor units came with the business, which involved moving a mix of ambient and temperature-controlled cargo around Canterbury.

He kept an eye open for any potential prospects to grow the business and an opportunity arose moving refrigerated product for a key customer between Christchurch and Auckland; this run was started with an existing Iveco.

When Kane could see this was a good fit for the business, a case was put together to utilise an HPMV quad-quad combination, which came to fruition early this year.

There was only one option when it came to what would head the new combination. “A lot of people around me have Volvos and I’ve spent a fair bit time driving them. They’re good trucks but my experience with the CPT R620 was great,” explains Kane.

He ordered an R540 fitted with Scania’s six-cylinder DC13 Euro-6 engine that produces 397kW (540hp) and 2700Nm (2323lb/ft) of torque between 1000 and 1300rpm. This model was chosen partly for the tare offered in comparison with the larger V8-powered version, as well as for the good fuel consumption the six-cylinder model is renowned for.

Scania’s GRSO905R 12-speed transmission and a 3.07:1 ratio RB662 tandem bogie take care of transferring the torque to the tarmac, with Scania air suspension fitted to all axles.

Kane said the intention was not for the driver to live in the truck. But, should he get delayed, particularly regarding the Cook Strait ferries, he could grab some food en route to the terminal and overnight there.

Inside the CR20H cab is an 800mm wide bed, fridge, microwave and television, plus ancillary cab cooling, making for a comfortable night’s rest.

Fruehauf supplied the 15.5m-long Schmitz Cargobull quad semi. It rides on SAF INTRADISC axles that are fitted with the TYRE PILOT inflation system, and both truck and trailer run on Alcoa Dura-Bright rims.

“I believe the Cargobull is a good body, with impressive thermal ratings. I liked the product and related well to Tony Symons, the Fruehauf sales rep of the time. He understood what we wanted to achieve,” says Kane.

Temperature control is supplied to the Cargobull body by a Carrier Transicold HE19 MT refrigeration system.

Externally, the combination is adorned with a tasteful amount of extra lighting, plus the European-style sun visor and stoneguard. Kane spent a period of time researching trucking in Europe and focused on designing the Scania to look like something that would be seen there.

Hamish Stuart drives No Bad Days and is responsible for its immaculate presentation.

He went to Andrew Geddes of Timaru Signs & Graphix, who transferred these ideas onto the white canvas, and the result is spectacular. Andrew comments: “When you combine the Scott Carrying graphics and detail, subtle pinstriping, scroll work and personalised features with the adapted stripe package and colour selection, the Scania has a unique look.”

Kane is quick to acknowledge the truck’s presentation is entirely down to its driver, Hamish Stuart, who treats it as his own. He washes it before departure each week and it quite often gets a once-over again before departing Auckland for the south.

Scott Carrying Company is very much a family business. Kane and partner Tamara have two young sons, Orlando and Jett, who, in the words of their father, are “truck-mad, off the charts”, and spend as much time in and around the trucks as possible.

When you are surrounded by great people and great equipment, you can see why the New Zealand Trucking magazine Top Truck for December 2023/ January 2024 carries the name No Bad Days.