Top Truck – Solid like A-ROCS

In Top Truck4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 14, 2018

Gavin and Trina Nichols‘ new Mercedes-Benz Arocs presents a fantastic image for their business and reflects strong customer and supplier relationships, all entrusted to a passionate trucker and one of life‘s genuine blokes.

Running under the company name of G & T Nichols, Gavin and Trina are relative newcomers to the Mainfreight group, joining around two years ago as part of the Full Truck Load (FTL) division. Since joining they have been able to take advantage of opportunities within Mainfreight, which has seen their company grow to include three FTL units, with a fourth on order. “It‘s been a bit of a learning curve but I have enjoyed the challenge and hope to continue to build on what we have achieved to date,” says Gavin. The addition of the new Mercedes-Benz Arocs to their fleet was a decision made because of the Mercedes Benz OM473 16-litre Euro 6 engine and Mercedes-Benz PowerShift-3 12-speed automated manual transmission. The gradability offered by the motor‘s 460kW (625hp) and 3000Nm (2213lb/ ft) torque significantly reduced the time spent on hill climbs, which has been confirmed by driver, Richard Arnold. “ The new truck is awesome, and it ‘s running and pulling very well. It‘s just ticked over 28,000 kilometres. At 49 tonne last night, it was pulling up the Taihape Divi in ninth, which is three gears up on my old Mercedes. I‘m hoping it ‘ll get even better with time.”

Thirty-two-year-old Richard has been with Gavin and Trina for two years and has been trusted with looking after the big Mercedes Arocs as he travels all over New Zealand. Richard treats the truck as if it were his own, and goes out of his way to attend truck shows, often winning prizes. Life on the road is tough at times, but the 2.5 metre wide L-Stream Space cab with comfort sleeper definitely helps, with Richard commenting that he sometimes sleeps better in the truck than he does at home. The cab is fitted with work and anti-fatigue lighting, fridge, TV, and Bluetooth-equipped touch screen navigation and multimedia audio system.

Richard finds the safety features and auxiliary braking of the big Arocs very helpful in the day-to-day driving. The truck has a TMC 14-pallet curtainside body on a steel deck, and pulls a rebuilt 22-pallet Domett 5-axle curtainside trailer with mezzanine floor. To better accommodate the long haul nature of the work, a larger fuel tank with a 530-litre capacity has been fitted, along with a bigger 60-litre DEF tank.

Photo: Richard Arnold. Lovin‘ his big new Arocs.

Photo: Where it all happens. The clear, efficient Arocs dash.

Cliff Mannington from Truck Signs flew down from Tauranga to Christchurch to work on the truck and apply the ‘Casper the Ghost ‘ artwork; that is is a nickname Richard picked up when he first started trucking, as he was seen by many as a friendly guy always helping people out. Gavin, Trina, and Richard‘s enthusiasm and passion for the road transport industry and the professional way in which they approach their respective roles make them more than deserving Top Truck candidates.