Top Truck – Dirty deeds

In Top Truck5 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineDecember 5, 2018

Cabover Peterbilts are somewhat rare in New Zealand, so when you see one you tend to remember it. The SD Haulage 362e Pete is without doubt one of those trucks!

Photo: Stephen Day and the Peterbilt he has poured his heart and soul into.

This 2000 362e model Peterbilt cabover has had a colourful life here in New Zealand and could easily be the subject of an ‘After Lifer‘ article. However, when Stephen said, “I‘ve always dreamed of having my truck as the poster in New Zealand Trucking magazine”, we just had to make that dream come true. As a young boy growing up, Stephen Day was always around trucks because his mother worked at Ian Wedding‘s yard in South Auckland. Stephen left school at 15 and started working at Wedding‘s yard also, washing trucks amongst other jobs.

Stephen began his own trucking journey with his first job at Topsoil and Sand Supplies in Te Kowhai, where he worked and saved hard. In 2015 at the age of 25, Stephen had enough money together to buy the Peterbilt. The truck came from Barker Contractors Ltd in Waipawa. Wasting no time, Stephen rebuilt the head on the 373kW (500hp) ISX Cummins, which at that stage had one million kilometres on the clock. For the next year he worked the Pete on a truck-only contract with Topsoil and Sands; however six months after purchasing the truck, Stephen returned to Barker‘s to buy the trailer. Originally imported from South Africa as a right-hand drive tractor unit, the truck was owned by Colin Unsworth, who ran in Owens colours towing a curtainside B-train. Interestingly the Pete won the New Zealand Trucking magazine Top Truck in July 2001 so is no stranger to the limelight. In 2004 the truck was purchased from Jaks Trucks by Stu Golden, who turned the truck into a tipper. Stu sold it in 2008 and from there the Peterbilt went through a few owners.

Photo: The duo at work together. Stephen‘s about to embark on his plans for the interior. We wait with bated breath.

Stephen recently replaced the old ISX with a new 463kW (620hp) Gen 2 Cummins Signature crate motor. The original gearbox has also been replaced with a remanufactured 22 Series 18-speed Roadranger gearbox and a new clutch. In September 2017 Stephen ordered a new truck bin and trailer from Transfleet Trailers in Auckland, the company that did the original set of bins for Stu Golden. The bins have slippery deck liners which have been added to help reduce wear and tear and increase productivity. The trailer has the latest Hendrickson integrated axles.

A custom bumper, powder-coated by Boss Powdercoating in Hamilton, was made from an offcut from the new trailer headboard, narrowed by 30mm and then folded to suit the shape of the truck. With the custom visor, outstanding paint work by Shane O‘Connor, and subtle final touches by Cliff Mannington at Trucksigns that include skulls amongst the pinstripes, the 362e Peterbilt has taken on a dark but classy look. Both units have had plenty of lights added to go with the bullet lights on the cab, the bumper, and the West Coast Mirrors.

By November 2017 the rig was ready to roll and get back to work hauling out of the Stevensons quarry in Huntly to the Longswamp section of the Waikato Expressway project located between Hampton Downs and Te Kauwhata. The interior is still a work in progress, but Stephen already has a plan in place. This is one young trucker who deserves recognition for taking pride in his ride.

Photo: Stephen‘s truck won the July 2001 Top Truck prize when it was new and running in Owens colours for Colin Unsworth.