In Western Star, Kenworth, Back Down The Road A Bit, July 2021, Mack3 MinutesBy Carl KirkbeckAugust 10, 2021

This month, the gallery slot goes to our very own Carl Kirkbeck, a.k.a. ‘Capt K’. A young transport industry enthusiast growing up in Thames during those exceptional years from the mid-1970s to mid-1990s, Carl looked for every reason to get out and capture linehaul action.

As with many of us growing up in that era, television shows and movies such as Movin’ On, BJ & the Bear, Smokey & the Bandit, and Convoy were huge influences on Carl.

School holidays found him in the passenger’s seat of Neville ‘Yogi’ Chambers’ W-model Kenworth, a local contractor to Thames Sawmilling Co.

Yogi gave Carl his first taste of ‘over the road’ Kiwi styles – taking a load of kiln-dried timber through to Otaki in his brand new Kenworth T600A, with an overnight stop in Taupo involving a good session with a couple of lads from Mogul Road. “That was a damn long day, that one,” says Carl.

“This experience ignited the desire to see more of the industry at work, and through my late teens, the camera was never far from hand, and I was always at the ready to snap a Polaroid or two of typical Kiwi rigs carrying the country.

“Here are a handful in my collection that might stir a few memories.”



1) As Carl mentioned above the trip to Otaki with Neville ‘Yogi’ Chambers in his brand new Kenworth T600A ignited a desire to see more of the linehaul industry at work. 2) R&L Main was one of the real grafters on the North Island linehaul routes when general freight was carted under covers… many covers. Here Peter Hollis’ Scammell S26-40 is loaded with hay just North of Marton, ready for a night run through to Matamata. 3) Still warm following a run North to Whangarei from Auckland, Tony Stratton’s stunning Western Star. An early example of Dynaflex pipes in New Zealand. 4) Glorious names of linehaul’s past don’t come any more nostalgia-filled than the Hawkes Bay’s Produce Freighters. Here an FR Mack 8×4 sleeper with a 3-axle trailer gathers strength prior to a blast Eastward, ex Dominion Breweries, Otahuhu. 5) What study of New Zealand linehaul would be complete without Murray Yeoman’s legendary K-model Kenworth Aerodyne. Carl happened upon Murray loading at Pukekohe one Sunday afternoon ready for another run South. 6) A classic early 80s C Series ERF, ‘Midnight Magic,’ having a breather at Stag Park. The truck shines in one of our famous New Zealand transport liveries.