Why not ‘Grind 2 Halt‘

5 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineApril 8, 2018

If you‘re a trucker looking for a first-class coffee in the industrial area of Richmond near Nelson, there‘s every chance it won‘t be long before you grind to a halt at 44 Beach Road, at the premises of Mortimer Upholstery / Marine and Transport Covers. That‘s the location of ‘Grind 2 Halt‘, Steve and Kaye Hill‘s fabulous coffee cart, made by Steve himself from an old Kenworth K model cab.

Being a diesel mechanic and marine engineer it‘s safe to assume Steve‘s a clever man. Driving log trucks early in his life instilled a love of the Kenworth brand and he‘s currently in the midst of a concours d‘elegance level restoration of an ex-TNL K124CR in the shed at home. Enter the scene an ex-Rob Dahm donor cab Steve bought about a year ago. Once plundered for parts it sat outside, at which point Steve‘s enterprising sweetheart, Kaye, had a ‘you beaut‘ light bulb moment… “Coffee cart!”

These people are doers, so Steve downed tools on the restoration for the time being and got stuck in. Initially the intention was a façade, in a similar vein to Willie Malcolm‘s fantastic mobile bar, but…

“I was talking to Willie and he said if he did another one he‘d do the whole cab. So I thought I‘d heed that advice,” said Steve. However, the need for some serious head-scratching soon became apparent.

“The integrity in these cabs is in the engine tunnel; once it was out it was just a wobbly mess, so I had to build the tub it‘s mounted on to give it strength, and Kaye the room she needed.”

It wasn‘t long before Steve and Kaye realised the day cab wasn‘t going to provide the storage space needed for Kaye‘s bits and pieces. As the men who drove it would agree, it‘s a little cramped. So Steve being Steve, he added the quarter cab. Problem solved.

Mounting the whole thing on a car trailer for mobility was obvious, but it also meant no one would be able to reach up and get their coffee off Kaye; so Steve being Steve, built the axle and wheel on a cantilever principle, allowing the trailer to be lowered to the ground. What a bloke!

Once completed it was time for make-up; enter the scene Steve Foot aka ‘Footie‘, proprietor of Footie Signs & Designs in Brightwater. Much thought went into the colour and graphics.

“We wanted the colour to be in synch with the product and the truck. Something like blue wouldn‘t work,” said Kaye. “And the name, Grind 2 Halt, it‘s a mix of grinding the beans, stopping for coffee and the old cab‘s last ever job probably.”

Much thought has gone into the detail and titivations – things like the entry and exit via the actual passenger door,

the fact the cab lights all work, there‘s Kenworth bugs on the upholstered door panel, there‘s a clever play on the Cummins engine graphic, and the original build plate is still there on the left-hand door – the list goes on and truck buffs will be enthralled as they natter and sip away on their first, second and third coffees.

The Kenworth will be at 44 Beach Road Monday to Friday and is most definitely available for shows and functions.

So there it is. No, your eyes aren‘t playing tricks, that really is an old Kenworth cab with a lovely friendly lady looking at you ready to make your next coffee, so why not ‘Grind 2 Halt!‘