Sea Swedes

In Tests, Scania, December 202044 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 24, 2020

“The Coromandel Coast is not for trucking’s fainthearted. The Te Huia family are icons of the road, and over the past four decades it‘s Scania‘s equally iconic Griffin that‘s often provided the wings beneath their wheels.”


Photo: Sea Products 1998 Ltd‘s fleet of three R Series Scanias. A great opportunity to check out past and present all on the same job, in the same company.

Driving a loaded truck and trailer unit out of Sugar Loaf boat ramp and mussel barge terminal on the southern side of Coromandel Harbour is not for those prone to a nervous twitch. The journey from the terminal takes you a couple of twisting, winding kilometres up Te Kouma Road and then joins State Highway 25 at the base of Manaia Hill‘s northern flank. It‘s then up and over the steep ridges that plummet into the inlets and bays from the Coromandel Peninsula‘s rugged peaks, before winding your way down the Coromandel coastline to the township of Thames. To give you some idea, the journey from the intersection of Te Kouma Bay Road and SH25 to the northern entrance of Thames is a mere 44km, but in that distance, your rig will alter course 427 times. That‘s 9.7 times per kilometre, enough to make a ballerina dizzy. You‘d think it would be tortuous on tyres, axles, bushes, clutches, brakes, and engines, and you‘d be dead right. Even the intersection from Te Kouma Road out onto the main drag is a climbing 170-hairpin lift-off, and yes, if you know where to look you can roll through, but it‘s by no means a guarantee. A lift-off, loaded, with the truck immediately on full lock and diff-locks in, is always on the cards. It takes a special kind of driver to work trucks in this country, and like countless other roads in Godzone, it‘s a part of New Zealand‘s roading tapestry that has made Kiwi drivers heading off on their OE over the years so dearly sought after.


Photo: Both trucks waiting for the next barge load.

Family ties
So, what kind of special person does it take? The sort of person who might be leaving late or running well behind schedule, and simply shrugs it off. You won‘t make up time in here even if you try; you‘ll just wreck gear or worse. If you‘re not on the edge of a 200m-drop into a gully, you‘re skirting the ragged coastline with anything from two to 20 metres onto the rocks below, or hard up against a bank that‘s just begging your curtain or Dura-Bright rim to come one inch closer. If you wanted a KPI for operating on this road, the only one that figures is you arrived safely with the gear and load unscathed. In terms of having an affinity with the road, few would match Sea Product drivers Carl ‘Pin‘, and Stephen ‘Bomb‘ Te Huia (see sidebar).


Photo: Bomb loads a stillage of sacks.

Their Dad, Wally, pioneered the Coromandel to Auckland and return freight run in the late 60s for local businessman Bruce James, before the truck he drove was absorbed into the Colville Transport operation in 1975. He stayed on doing the run, as he did when that company was acquired by Thames Freightlines Ltd in 1976. Taking on an owner-driver contract set the scene for what would become a legendary status for not just the unflappable, ever cheerful, and jovial Wally, but wife Shirley and their family of five truck-crazed boys also. Being local, their commitment to ensuring the people of the Coromandel got the goods they needed was relentless and unfailing. Unloading and loading freight was often a family affair, with the day of the week or time of the day it all took place being of little or no consequence. The freight run days maybe gone, but Te Huias on the Coromandel Coast road most certainly aren‘t. Sea Products 1998 Ltd co-owner Jason Bull can rest assured that his high-end fleet of Scanias is pretty much in the best hands he could rest responsibility for them to.


Photo: Both trucks pull out, heading for their respective destinations.

Back to the future
And that brings us back to the Te Kouma boat ramp and the barge terminal, on a crisp autumn morning in early May, with two pristine Scania R620 truck and trailers glistening in the sun. We‘re here with Pin and Bomb, waiting for a Paddy Bull Ltd mussel barge to appear around the headland laden with the shelled bounty fresh from the commercial farms about an hours ‘steam‘ – it‘s boating jargon – away. Pin, 57, and Bomb, 49, like their three brothers Royce ‘Jumbo‘, Russell ‘Foxy‘, and Ben … ‘Ben‘, are Te Huia to the core. The skill level on the job is stratospheric, but the true essence of life is finding even the tiniest thing that will allow you to take the piss out of one of the others, or whoever‘s in target range in all reality. The Te Huia family ethos is framing incredibly hard work with good, fun humour that never hurts or offends. It‘s their Dad and Mum to a tee. Suffice to say the half hour we had waiting for the barge went in the blink of an eye, and resulted in aching ribs. It also gave us a moment to look at Scania‘s latest and last generations sitting side by side. As we said back in the APL Direct review (New Zealand Trucking magazine – March 2019), Scania is a master of evolution.


Photo: Pin at the Drury factory. Product on, product off.

Each carrier of the famous bike pedal and Griffin logo has a completely different look that‘s instantly recognisable, and that‘s a clever thing. The immediate standout on the latest NTG (Next Truck Generation) is glass. There are acres of it. The windscreen is bigger and wraps around to A pillars set slightly aft of their predecessors; all part of improving the left-right clearance that‘s the bane of so many modern ubersafe cabover trucks. There‘s more glass in the enormous doors, which also have a lower sill line. All this sets up the pulled-down grille, with quarter panels more prominent in the cab‘s visual impact also. Overall, it‘s a ‘squarer‘ look, one that you have to say you can get right, and, well, not so right, in terms of cosmetics. Most efforts you see are aimed at softening the visual impact of the huge windscreen, and Sea Products has chosen grille highlights in blue to draw the attention away from the glass, and it works miraculously well. You just keep looking at the blues cab lines that flow into the blue grille bars. The result looks great. Bomb gets to reside in the High-Line cab, as opposed to Pin‘s ‘Normal‘ sleeper – there‘s also a flat roof sleeper in the range. Having the High-Line pulls the admirer‘s attentions in yet another direction, which again helps soften the omnipresent glass. Interestingly, the Scanias are as much part of the back to the future theme as their drivers are.

The Scania brand features heavily in the driving lives of Te Huia generation two. Pin took over the Coromandel freight run working as an employed driver for Thames Freightlines Ltd when Wally decided to have a crack at semiretirement – ‘Yeah nah‘ – even now you‘d have guessed that failed; he was back behind the wheel in no time. At the time he finished on the run, Wally had an FR Mack A-train, but that was soon replaced with a 32m Scania truck and trailer. From there Pin progressed to a 112m, before getting a V8 142m that had come to the now Provincial Freightlines Ltd (PFL) via their acquisition of Paeroa-based Provincial Transport Ltd. By this time Pin had moved on to the company‘s bulk division. Bomb, too, has Scania in his past. Readers will remember him at the wheel of a brand new PFL 124c 470 compound turbo, featured as the main test truck in Truck & Driver magazine back in the mid 2000s, and it‘s worth noting Royce and Russell have strong ties to the Griffin also. To round things out, Wally ended his career on a 124c skeletal logger at PFL also. ‘What about Ben?‘ we can hear you all saying. Ben‘s never driven for a crust but works in a senior operations role at C3‘s Mount Maunganui log terminal. So, yes, Scania has been a recurring brand, and was a lead contender in a wellconsidered choice when a loyal but aging DAF needed replacement at Sea Products 1998 Ltd in the early twentytens.

Here and now
Pin started at Sea Products 1998 Ltd just over eight years ago, having spent more than a decade in operations and management at PFL, and then Linfox Logistics when that company brought Provincial Freightlines in 2007. “Time had run its course there, and I was ready do something with less pressure and more enjoyment. For me, that‘s always trucking. This job‘s the perfect compromise, Jason lets us run the trucks and we have a huge input into what‘s purchased. ‘You have to drive and it and work it, so you have to be happy with it‘, is what he says. “It also allowed me to come home to Coromandel, not just to live, but to work also, something I‘d been working toward for ages.” When Pin started the fleet comprised a couple of smaller locally based trucks that supported the barges, and distributed product, with the sole line haul truck the DAF CF85 8×4 and 4-axle Domett trailer. It fed the main processing plant in Drury from the Coromandel operation, as well as servicing the company‘s farms in Northland, and spawning grounds in Kawhia. The DAF was a loyal and honest trooper in what is a harsh working environment. The Sea Products life is not easy on a truck. There are no good roads to ply, and lots of salt to contend with. With the DAF at life‘s end, Pin started scouting the market for its replacement.


Photo: Bomb rolls north from Kopu.

Having looked at a decent breadth of offering, the decision was made in late 2012 to go with Scania, and an R560 8×4 was bought. “It towed the old 4-axle trailer for a while before the new 5-axle one arrived. She‘s done 660,000km now with routine servicing, and is the overflow truck. At some stage next year we‘ll probably build a new 5-axle for Bomb and then the 560 will get the 4-axle trailer,” said Pin. With continued rapid growth in the business and demand for the company‘s product, more gear was needed. “We never just go ‘yep, order another one‘, we always have a look at the market, and what‘s on offer. Jason puts a lot of trust in our knowledge of trucking and we have to repay that by doing the right thing when helping spend his money. Take the new one. Bomb wanted to have a good look at a Volvo but they couldn‘t match the Scania on price; it just didn‘t stack up.” With another round of vetting complete, it was again a V8 Scania that joined the fleet in 2017, this time an R620. “The performance improvement was instantly apparent when the 620 arrived,” said Pin. Then he laughs. “Compared with the old man‘s Detroit powered TK, or the 237 Mack, the 560 was in a different universe, but the 620 was a step up again from that. Pretty much a gear up on all the hills at full weight.” The arrival of the new R620 meant the need for an additional driver, and Pin knew just where to go.

At the time Bomb was driving for AZTEC Forestry Transport Developments contractors Chris and Jodi Angus out of their Matatoki operation. He‘d been in log trucking for a long time and the unsociable hours it often demands were starting to take their toll. Bomb was in search of a better work-life balance in terms of hours of the day when he could be awake and enjoying life with the family. “Chris and Jodi were great to work for, but 1am and earlier starts take their toll eventually on both you, and the family.” The opportunity was too good to pass up, and so he joined to drive the R560 around the time the R620 arrived. And now in 2020, the NTG R620 has motored up Te Kouma Road, in the gate, and taken its place in the top yard, with Bomb stepping out of the ‘old girl‘ (yeah right) and into the NTG, which in itself is classic Te Huia style (apples never fall far from the tree). “Nah, I‘ve had a new truck, so it was right for Bomb to have this,” said Pin.

Muscle up
The operation, being what it is, sometimes requires a product-over-plant mindset, and on occasions the trucks will run all or part of a journey truck-only. “If I said to Jason we need a 730, he‘d be ‘yep, cool‘ but the truth is we don‘t. Bomb‘s running 22.5m at 45 tonne at the moment and we‘ll probably up that to 48, and then 50 with the new trailer, and I run 50MAX. That‘s all you can do on our routes, and on occasions, running up North and that, we often go truck-only,” said Pin. Wise words they are too, because there are precious few Sea Product kilometres that warrant a power to weight exceeding the 12.4hp/ tonne the R620s deliver in a worst-case scenario. We say that because the bulk of the climbing profile the trucks engage in is the nasty stuff, the narrow, twisting, short-burst, hairpin type stuff. There‘s next to no Napier-Taupo style Titiokura, Turangakumu, or Otago‘s Kilmog type hill that allows a 700hp banger to blast its load to the top ASAP. For Pin and Bomb it‘s all about finesse. Over-aggression will simply blow the R&M, fuel, and tyre budgets to smithereens. The best indicator of the care taken at the wheel is a 2.11kpl average consumption over the 260,000km life of Pin‘s R620 to date. The natural laid-back style of the brothers means they trundle up and down the coast with the big V8s just percolating. Combine that with the load factor and the adaptive cruise, and pennies soon become pounds. Some ‘zoomer‘ forming a romantic obsession with the throttle and brake is going to get a much different result.




Photos: You get a whole lot of displacement for your dollar. There‘s no question about that. Daily checks are under the front panel. And yes! You can even dip the oil on an NTG if you want.

“When the coast road was closed last year for a month or so we had to get out via Whitianga [another 67km of ups and downs]. It also increased the time pressure maintaining the schedule. That blew the economy to bits and it‘s taken the thick end of year to get the life-to-date average back,” said Pin. Bomb hasn‘t had the joy of the coast road being closed in the new wagon, so he‘s off to a roaring start at 2.34kpl, which is what Pin‘s trying to claw back. We‘d love to know what they could achieve with Ecoroll and a Euro 6 burner. As a rule the Scanias don‘t do colossal annual kilometres. The most common run is Coromandel to the processing plant in Drury, South Auckland, a round trip of about 260km, taking about four hours‘ travel time. Add some drops in Auckland and you can tack on 60- or 70-odd kilometres. The trucks not only service the company‘s harvest and farming operations in Coromandel, Northland and Kawhia, but also ensure the business has everything it needs to function, things like mussel buoys, the timber frames and nets the mussels and oysters call home as they mature from their juvenile state, the special rope the frames hang on, bits for the barges – the list goes on. Average payload therefore can be hugely disproportionate compared with its value to the business.

Trip of two halves
In terms of trucking journeys, the run out from Te Kouma to Drury is as two-sided as it gets. For pretty much the first half you risk RSI in both shoulder and elbow joints, and you‘d have to know your smart-wheel better than the back of your hand if you harbour intentions of optimising the functionality. The second leg, however, across the Hauraki Plains through the gentle rolls of rural Maramarua and Mangatawhiri and on up the Southern Motorway, is as passive as it comes in New Zealand. The Sea Products trucks are specced with the offroad mode in the Opticruise AMT transmission, giving them Power, Economy, and Off-Road. This allows the trucks to claw themselves up the hills with snappier shifts. As we said above, the first 170° upward facing give way intersection out is, to put it bluntly, hideous. As we rolled out of Te Kouma Road the 28 tonne of bulk bags on the deck gave us close on 50 tonne GCM. The bags are weighed at the time of loading so keeping on the right side of the constabulary is not hard. “The trick is knowing where to look for traffic as you approach the intersection,” said Pin. “If you have to stop it can be a mission, so not stopping is the idea. A new guy up here recently in a B-train stopped for traffic, and, well, she was a bit of an act watching him get going. I thought I was going to have to get the tractor for a moment.” With the diff-locks in, Pin wheels the Scania around and into the climb. Shifts are made manually all the way through the hills until he‘s down onto the coast.

Photos: The natural happy place for a Te Huia. Carl ‘Pin‘ (top) Stephen ‘Bomb‘ (bottom) Te Huia – few drivers have more experience on the Cromandel coast road.

“It just makes too many shifts in auto and loses so much. Coming home empty, from the time I start to climb away from the coast I‘ll make five gear changes getting back to the load-out terminal. If I leave it in auto, it makes 28.” Pin snaps through the changes in off-road mode initially. Once out on the coast he switches to auto power mode until the road simmers down a bit, about 18km from Thames, where he changes to economy and leaves it to do what it wants to until the Bombays. ‘M‘ for climbing is pretty much the mantra in the tricky stuff. “It‘s the best way of driving out that I‘ve figured through a bit of trial and error.” Bomb, on the other hand, pretty much leaves his in manual. “Oh it‘s just too busy,” he laughs. “Changing, changing, changing, I just change when I want.” Interestingly, the new generation GRSO905R 14-speed Opticruise transmission in Bomb‘s NTG is noticeably slicker on the shifts, courtesy of the layshaft brake that, according to Scania, improves the shift time by 45%. “Oh yeah, hell yeah,” said Pin. “I drove Bomb‘s and man, you notice it all right.” Powering up the Manaia Hill (FYI, say the steepest part of Eastern Titiokura or Crib Wall on Porters maybe, something like that) the Scania holds 6th at 30kph and is ticking over at a sweet-sounding 1600rpm. The V8 in both gigs is the Euro 5 variant, with Scania offering the bent 8-pot in either 5 or 6 currently.

Peak torque of 3000Nm (2213lb/ft) is flat from 950 – to 1400rpm, with peak power arriving at 1900rpm. The two lines cross at 1400rpm, with power right on 448kW (600hp). So, the message is, don‘t aim for the number on the lower right side of the grille when your welly‘s on the throttle, just let it bobble along; it‘ll save you distillate come day‘s end. As we rolled through the easy country, that‘s exactly what the trucks did if left in ‘A‘, 1400 and lower, never seeing more than 1600rpm. Cruising the NTG chalks up 90kph at 1400rpm, while Pin‘s seems like it‘s on Valium at 1200rpm. Thrust-wise there‘s not much in it when comparing the trucks, although Bomb‘s has a mere 13,000km on the clock and Pin‘s has 260,000. Pin‘s adamant that it won‘t be too long before the new truck has the edge. “You can feel it‘s there, it‘s just not quite there yet.” Being 8-wheelers with that pesky, yet glorious second steer, traction needs to be watched at times. The Domett bodies and trailers have huge stainless steel catch-tanks that harness the salt water leaking from the cargo. The salt air might be a true sailor‘s paradise, but trucks hate it, and significant dosh is spent keeping Neptune‘s condiment out of places it has no right being. The guys drain all but the two rear tanks on the truck while unloading at Drury, the reason being traction heading home. “It just gives you that bit of comfort heading home, especially if it‘s raining,” says Pin. Of course for work like this, one of the really great tools in Scania‘s arsenal is its legendary retarder.


Photo: Bomb in Opua. Servicing the farms in the far North is part of the weekly agenda.

The old adage of go down in the gear you went up in, or even one lower, went out the window in the Griffin‘s world years ago. Now it‘s a case of descending velocity being in direct correlation to your level of common sense and general mental state. Being graduates of the Wally Te Huia University for drivers, probably the trucking equivalent of Oxford or Cambridge, the brothers‘ common sense is high, and their approach to restraining gravity‘s potential reign of terror optimises everything that‘s fabulous about the R4100D retarder. “You have to watch them,” said Pin. “They‘re awesome, but in the wet she‘d lock you up.” The auxiliary brake setup comprises a five-stage retarder with exhaust brake included on stage 5. At full noise she‘ll provide a mindblowing 4100Nm (3024lb/ft) of hold back. On the NTG it‘s clutched out when it‘s not in use, so doesn‘t contribute to unwanted drag, saving fuel. Both trucks have descending control, but for the same reason an R730 wouldn‘t really contribute much more in this country, neither is a truck-managed descent much used. The terrain‘s too variable. Having been in Europe recently you can see clearly the mindset that spawned outrageous power and managed descending, but we‘re a generation or two away from enjoying max utility from such wizardry in all reality. In terms of not much use, neither do these machines sport lane departure. SH25 is one of those roads where the size doesn‘t befit the prize, and big truck combinations simply don‘t always fit. If it were there, the lane departure microprocessor would be in a permanent state of PTSD.



Photos: Making sure the salt water from the mussels stays on board while moving is imperative. (Top) The big stainless tanks can capture over a tonne of water. (Bottom) The rear tanks are often left two-thirds full to preserve traction when empty.

Gentlemen – choose your carpet
Comparing the ride of two R620 Scanias is like comparing two of your granny‘s date scones. The NTG is literally more of a magic carpet because Pin has one layer of steel between him and the planet – his passenger two – whereas Bomb and his guest have nothing but air! It‘s interesting to note, the air front end on the NTG was at times firmer than the older truck. The ride was just as nice and they floated over the endless imperfections, but there was a detectable intolerance for silly road nonsense on the part of the NTG. The big ups with the air front though, are negotiating the boarding of a barge, or the irritating dip backing into the Drury factory. Bomb simply lifts himself clear, and all‘s good. In fact, you might see him at the next Beach Hop with air-ride street cruisers bouncing up Whangamata‘s main drag, we‘re picking. “They lifted the rear catch tanks on this too,” said Bomb. “They can be prone to scraping on the other truck. There are six bumper options for these and the one it arrived with was way too low, so we got this one with more clearance.” The Hauraki Plains provides a great ride and handling test. Built on peat, the road has about a 20-year life between rebuilds. Based on 1990‘s criteria, she‘d be about ready for the ripper now, but under Phil and Julie-Anne‘s reign, it‘s probably halfway buggered if that. The NTG has the front axle 50mm forward of the previous truck, designed to curb dive under brakes (up to 2m improvement in emergency stopping), improve centre of gravity, stability, and ride.

It‘s certainly quicker to respond to steering inputs; there‘s just no question, and this is endorsed by Bomb. “Oh yeah, it reacts instantly. It‘s more way responsive than the old truck.” The use of cruise control is imperative on roads like this; the impossible to avoid throttle action if motoring on the right foot not only annoys engine rev consistency and therefore consumption, but it irritates the heck out of cab geometry also. The NTG has an air passenger seat, which added to the serenity. Pin said his was supposed to come with one but it must have fallen overboard coming through the Suez Canal or something because it certainly didn‘t turn up with one. Suffice to say it was a credit to both machines that the ride was difficult to pick in terms of preference. Air, steel, air, steel, foam, or, air, air, air, air, foam … the jury‘s out. Handling and braking were both on point. You can tell when they‘ve nailed the ergonomics and driving possie. I took the wheel of the NTG and placed the truck on the road instantly, and further up the track a road crew were playing the ‘how narrow can we make the coned lane‘ game, and it was no effort at all to slip the big Swede through while chatting with Bomb. The steering‘s feather light, and the brakes progressive and reassuring; although you all know me by now, I love an organ-pedalled brake. It‘s just a thing. The windscreen and general reposition does help with leftright vision no question, but there‘s also no doubt we may soon all be reflecting on days when trucks had mirrors. Even though both trucks fairly represent the last decade‘s top echelon in what European vendors pedal in term of a freight carriage, you can see what almost €2 billion and 12 million test kilometres in R&D brought you in the NTG.

‘Bling‘ it on!
If it lights up, or shines, it‘ll find its way to a Te Huia truck. Again, it‘s all part of the family genome. Pin even drills holes in truck posters, inserts tiny LEDs where the lights on the truck are, wires it all up behind, plugs it in, and glory be! A poster like no other. His elation is only matched by partner Mel‘s fear of what night the house is going to burn down. Women! Bomb didn‘t like the Scania hooter, so there are train horns hiding somewhere in the bowels. What this all means is the Bulls are again on a winner, knowing their food industry flagships will turn up at customer sites in a state that any part of the truck or trailer could be eaten off. In fact, Pin won the New Zealand Trucking magazine truck of the year in 1999 when he was driving a CH Mack for Provincial Freightlines Ltd. As such the Scanias have their share of stainless steel, additional lights, Dura-Bright alloy wheels, and polish! “Zephyr‘s the best polish I‘ve come across. It‘s bloody great stuff,” said Pin.

Summary
‘It‘s what‘s on the inside that counts‘. The old chestnut parents tell their kids who weren‘t blessed with the Brad Pitt or Halle Berry looks gene. But when talking trucks, nothing‘s truer. The Bulls have a lot on their plate without thinking about where their 620hp Scandinavian flagships are, much less how they‘re being driven. It‘s all very well having the pinnacle gear on the road supporting their maritime farming businesses, but if they don‘t have the equivalent in terms of drivers at the wheel, it could easily go badly, quickly. Luckily, they have the best of both. As trucks, and practitioners of the profession go, they couldn‘t do any better in 2020. The reality is the trucks come down to preference, consistency of plant, and the vendor relationship. In terms of drivers though? Well, they have go back to 1969 and a glass half-full, jovial, hardworking, skilful and humble husband and wife team to thank for their evolution.

MORE MAIN TEST READS BELOW…

WONDERFUL FOOD, WONDERFUL STORY

The ANZ Truckometer is a well-respected economic measure, working on the premise that truck activity is an indicator of commercial vibrancy. Likewise, the Sea Products Truckometer is an excellent gauge of the rise in popularity of mussels, the bivalve mollusc currently enjoying wonder-food status in the global pantry. Within pretty much the space of a decade, Sea Products 1998 Ltd has gone from one DAF truck and trailer to three R series Scanias – that‘s a great Truckometer result. Sea Products 1998 Ltd is one arm of a family business symbiosis built by the Bull family and it‘s a shining light when it comes to jobs and prosperity in regional New Zealand. Jason, his brother Mark, and their uncle Peter A.K.A. ‘Paddy‘, own Sea Products. Sea Products specialises in oyster growing, and processing, as well as mussel processing. Peter‘s aquafarming operation under the name Paddy Bull Ltd focuses on mussel growing. All in all, a fabulous, incredibly humble, Kiwi success story. If you wandered into the Drury factory and asked the guy where you might find Jason, he‘d likely stick out his hand and say ‘g‘day‘. Hence, we had no chance of a pic for this sidebar, “That‘ll be the %$#& day.” In terms of the trucking, it‘s another example of the trucks being part of a bigger picture, part of the means to the eventual ends. Like their barges, the Bulls rely on machines to get what is a time-sensitive product to wherever it needs to be.

From the moment the mussels emerge from the water into the light of day, the clock is ticking. Operations revolve around harvest times and barge movements, all called and conducted by Jason and Mark. That means odd hours at times, and the absolute reliability of all machinery. In trucking parlance, an NTG R620 8×4 Scania and trailer with fridges, insulated curtains, and stainless decks and drains is not far off being the ferry at the top of the CapEx tree, but the truth is you could probably buy four of them for the price of one decent harvesting barge. The point being, it‘s all relative, and those wee truck things can‘t be the reason operations halt, and that in turn is the reason the transport happens in-house. ‘Where‘s that truck?‘ is not a call Sea Products will ever make. ‘It‘s almost there‘ – when it‘s actually 120km away – is not an answer they will ever hear. When it comes to supporting local, you won‘t do better than Sea Products 1998 Ltd.

SO MUCH ROOM, SO FEW FLOWERS


Photo: Both the NTG and it‘s predecessor offer their driver a workplace our forebears wouldn‘t have thought possible in a truck.

Riding in either cab is a surreal experience; they‘re both like a high-end hotel room. Both interiors consistently registering around 66 to 67 on the noise meter. Scania does dashboa