Top Truck – High country hound

In Top Truck4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 12, 2018

Amongst a large kennel of bulldogs this Mack Trident is a standout! 

Central Machine Hire Ltd is a long-standing locally owned Central Otago company that started back in 1973 with one bulldozer, working around the region on local high country farms. Excavators were added to cover an increasing workload that included the Cardrona Ski Field road, ongoing construction work between Hawea and Makarora on SH6 (Haast road), and the Tarras irrigation scheme. A 1974 R-Model Mack was also purchased from North Otago Road Metals of Oamaru to tow a transporter. It was one of three that were brought in from the United States by the original owners, and it still works for Central Machine Hire today. Due to the reliability of the R-Model, and the building boom in the 1990s, Central Machine Hire purchased another two Macks for tipping work. This was still just the tip of the iceberg though, as a quarry operation has since been added, along with more trucks and machinery as the workload increased.

Photo: Driver Barry Arnesen is impressed with his new ride.

The need for bigger trucks with more capacity was evident, so two new Macks were recently added to the fleet, one for tipper work and the other for heavy haulage, and it ‘s the transporter that graces this month‘s Top Truck poster. A 6×4 Mack Trident with set-forward front axle and an MP8 535 horsepower engine, the truck‘s work requirements meant the management at Central specced a manual Eaton 18-speed overdrive transmission with forward gear ratios from 14.40:1 to 0.73:1. Out the back are Meritor RT46-160 GP differentials with a capacity of 20,800kg (46,000lb). The truck also has a compensating and sliding fifth wheel installed by Garry Douglas Engineering. Barry (Arnie) Arnesen has been with the company for four and a half years and was been behind the wheel of a 2002 CH Mack that he kept in immaculate condition. Arnie was asked what he would like on his new truck and came back with a list as long as your arm, so the following extras were fitted – tinted windows, dual toolboxes, stainless rear guards, alloy decking, mirror finish wheels, and a custom-made sun visor.

Photo: The Mack‘s interior. Always a treat on the eye.

The Mack Trident, named ‘Silver Bullet ‘, works mainly in the Central Otago area but if the occasion calls for it the truck can be spotted travelling further afield.

Jason Winder from Central Machine Hire says, “I guess you can say we bought the Mack Trident for Arnie. He is an awesome operator and is very proud of his Mack. We know she will be looked after for many years to come and will be seen at a lot of shows going forward.”