Sprinter. The Can Do Van. Argosy. Awesome. - Mercedes-Benz New by xiangpeng



           Sprinter. The Can Do Van.

                         ISSUE 12 December 2011
                                                                                 Issue 12
                                                                                 A bold new face for Freightliner’s cab-over Argosy is just the exterior    02
                                                                                 evidence of a host of new and improved features in the power train
                                                                                 and inside the cab that will ensure the model’s continuing success.

                                                                                 A van for all seasons – with the largest model line-up in the industry     06
                                                                                 and a long list of options the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van can be
                                                                                 tailored to suit practically any application.

                                                                                 Trucks & Trailers Ltd, the country’s largest and longest-serving           08
                                                                                 Freightliner and Mercedes-Benz truck and van dealership is now
                                                                                 in the hands of a new generation, but is promising the same high
                                                                                 standards of service.

                                                                                 With its emphasis on quality, Auckland-based Hallmark Chauffeur            10
The end of 2011 is fast approaching and the year has certainly been              Drive chooses Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibuses, Viano people
an interesting one for the industry and for New Zealand as a country.            movers and S-Class passenger cars to provide customers with the
This issue of Driveline is my first as General Manager Commercial                perfect travel experience.
Vehicles, although having been involved with the publication since its
inception six years ago, I’m pleased to say that we are never short of           Premium productivity is the common thread among the new                    12
interesting customer stories to share.                                           Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner trucks put to work in recent months
From the new ownership of Trucks & Trailers Ltd in Manukau and                   by high-profile operators around the country.
an indepth look at the South Island logging industry, to the quality
combination of Hallmark Chauffeur Drive and Mercedes-Benz,                       Three new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Vito vans demonstrate the             13
we also look at the launch of the new Freightliner Argosy and the                variety of chores that light commercials encounter and prove that
versatility of the Sprinter across various markets and applications.             they are capable of working just as hard as the bigger trucks.

Since the last issue of DriveLIne, our commercial vehicle sales team
is completely new so we are taking this opportunity to introduce you             Improved performance and reduced cost don’t often go hand in               14
                                                                                 hand, but a major study pitting genuine Mercedes-Benz brake
to everyone and for the first time we look at the long term value of
                                                                                 components against after-market alternatives proves that quality
using genuine Mercedes-Benz components in your vehicles.                         does pay.
This year has proven to be one of our strongest for commercial
vehicle sales for some time and I sincerely thank our customers for              Mercedes-Benz is both a supplier and a customer for a new towbar           16
the trust they have put in our company, our brands and our dealers for           design, testing and manufacturing operation in Tauranga that’s
this. We’re looking forward to a positive year in 2012 with continued            part of the world’s largest towbar maker, German-based Westfalia
growth for all our brands and wish all our customers continued                   Automotive.
success for the new year.
                                                                                 A new Mercedes-Benz Actros 3260L stock truck is a dream come               18
                                                                                 true for its driver and a spectacular representative on the road for its
                                                                                 owner, King Country’s 2500 acre Tapanui Station.

Dave Ballantyne                                                                  The flexibility of its factory seating arrangements is the key to the      20
General Manager Commercial Vehicles                                              new Vito Shuttle, making it a real cross-over between the family car
Mercedes-Benz NZ Ltd                                                             and the working van as well as an eight seat minibus.

                                                                                 Freightliner Argosy logging trucks are proving they are tough enough 22
DriveLine Contributor                                                            to handle some of the country’s most challenging forests as they play
                                                                                 a major role in handling the Nelson and Marlborough logging boom.
One of New Zealand’s most experienced motoring, motorsport and road
transport journalists, Jon Addison was Chief Reporter of the Auckland Star and   The Mercedes-Benz New Zealand commercial vehicle team may have 26
editor of The 8 O’Clock sports paper before becoming founding editor of the      a new look, but underpinning it is extensive experience of Freightliner
industry leading magazine New Zealand Trucking, a role he held for 15 years.     and Mercedes-Benz trucks and vans and the industry overall.
He now specialises in light commercials and has twice driven Mercedes-Benz
Vito vans in the Energywise economy rally, winning the class driver ranking on   Specialised knowledge of both the transport industry and the               28
both occasions.                                                                  financial solutions for providing its trucks has been the foundation of
Designed, and produced by ideafactory. neroli@ideafactory.co.nz                  the success of Mercedes-Benz Financial – and its customers.

ISSN 1179-8289

     Big Improvements Behind
           The Bold New Face

                       The strikingly bold grille may be the face of Freightliner’s new Argosy cab-over
                       truck, but it’s what is under the cab – and inside it – that sets the new model apart
                       from its predecessor.
                       Under the stylish new cab there’s now the choice of Detroit Diesel DD15 or
                       Cummins ISX heavy-duty diesel engines.
                       And inside the cab the Argosy has moved up to a whole new level in quality,
                       comfort and style, says Bruce Clarke, Mercedes-Benz New Zealand National Sales
                       Manager – Heavy Commercial Vehicles.
                       With its combination of high performance, low tare weight and proven American
                       power train, its predecessor has been a huge success for Freightliner since it was
                       launched on the New Zealand market in 1998. But Freightliner has re-engineered
                       and re-configured the chassis platform to accommodate the new generation of
                       heavy-duty American engines.
                       “The most obvious change – the new grille that’s been suggested to look like
                       something between a Schick razor and a transformer – isn’t there just for its good
                       looks,” Bruce explains. “It has made room for a massive 1650 square inch radiator.
                       The new EGR type (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) engines generate as much as 20%
                       to 30% more rejected heat than non EGR engines and the cooling system has to
                       be capable of handling it.”
                       The new Argosy has been tested under arduous conditions at ambient temperatures
                       of up to 48oC in Australia and previously under high ambient temperatures in the
                       United States without stressing the new cooling system.
                       Either side of the new grille are redesigned air intake cowls and below it is a new
                       bumper incorporating a radiator protection bar for optimum air flow and low weight
                       while providing strong frontal protection. The cab shell is designed with sufficient
                       strength to meet the ECE R29 standard.
                       “The Argosy cab is largely the same as the old one, but it has been raised
                       by 100mm,” Bruce adds. “This was necessary to create space for the taller
                       Cummins ISX, but it also increases airflow under the cab, which improves the
                       cooling further.”
                       The cabin was extensively tested in Freightliner’s wind tunnel to achieve the
                       lowest air resistance possible to optimise fuel consumption. The higher cab
                       mounting also enabled Freightliner to make the floor inside the cab completely
                       flat, which allows for easier movement around the interior.
       new grille...   While other changes around the big cab-over Freightliner may appear subtle, they
                       effectively add up to a new truck.
       ..something     “We’ve taken to describing it as the ADR80/03 platform and the old model as
                       the EPA04 platform, which is the American standard similar to the previous
between a Schick       ADR80/02,” says Bruce. “It’s actually still possible to order an Argosy with the
                       new cab, but with the EPA04 platform and a Detroit Diesel Series 60 engine.”
razor and a            ADR80/03 is the latest Australian standard for exhaust emissions. Both the ISX

transformer            and DD15 meet the new standard, but to accommodate them in the Argosy meant
                       a range of changes that resulted in the new platform, which includes new features
Bruce Clarke           like power coated priming of the frame rails.
                       These changes can effectively be summed up as revised air intake and exhaust
                       system architecture, new wiring and new plumbing. While making the alterations
                       Freightliner rationalised the specification to appeal to both Australian and New
                       Zealand operators, which resulted in cost savings that partly offset the price
                       impact of the new ADR80/03 technology.

There are now two main air intake options, the    normally an 18 speed gearbox, with either          On the inside the new doors are colour moulded
“pallet” type with a flat intake at the rear of   manual or AutoShift gear changing. Then            into the plastic surfaces where wear is at it’s
the cab, which has been the most common in        around the corner is the 18-speed UltraShift       highest. Durability was a major consideration
New Zealand, and the more traditional frame-      Plus, Eaton’s next generation of automated         in the interior surfaces of the doors.
mounted low air cleaner with a vertical intake    transmissions.                                     The new doors and outside mirrors will also
tube, which has been the main option across       Under the new Argosy chassis the options           remain cleaner as the redesigned air intake
the Tasman.                                       available from a range of proven American          cowls either side of the grille create a blanket
It’s a similar situation with the exhaust         componentry carry over from the outgoing           of air that directs road spray away from the
options, says Bruce. The particulate filter can   model, but the dominant specification will         doors and mirrors.
be mounted horizontally under the frame or        remain multi-leaf parabolic springs at the         Along with the flat floor inside the cab the new
vertically behind the cab.                        front and Freightliner’s Airliner air suspension   engine tunnel has been designed to provide
The ADR80/03 platform gives truck operators       at the rear.                                       increased space for the driver’s left foot.
a range of power and torque ratings for both      The truck will be available in 6x4 tractor and     However it’s the overall effect of a higher
the Cummins and Detroit Diesel engines. The       8x4 rigid and tractor configurations.              standard of interior trim, which now matches
ISX will be offered at outputs from 485hp to      The new Argosy cab will be available in a          the Coronado’s that will impress operators
600hp and up to 2050ft/lb of torque, while        range of sizes, culminating in the 110 inch        and drivers, says Bruce.
the DD15 ranges from 500hp to 560hp and           sleeper cabs popular with owner drivers. It’s      “It’s much improved with buttoned vinyl in the
up to 1850ft/lb.                                  suspended above the chassis on completely          sleeper and a two tone slate grey and light
New engine mounts for both heavy duty             new, larger front mounts, which were               grey dash,” he explains. “But the trim panels
units have been engineered for reduced            introduced towards the end of the ADR80/02         are now also all fully injection moulded, which
transmission of vibration and greater             platform’s life, and rear airbags.                 results in better quality, better alignments and
durability.                                       From the outside the most obvious change to        improved fit and finish.
Behind either engine the standard                 the cab is that it is now fitted with doors that   “Overall, the improvements have taken the
transmission will be an Eaton Roadranger,         are shared with the Coronado.                      Argosy interior to a whole new level,” he adds.

Sprinter – Too Much Success

           The unprecedented success of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter in the campervan and
            ambulance markets may be typecasting it and seeing it slip under the radar for a
             host of other applications.
              That, at least, is a concern held by Mercedes-Benz New Zealand National Sales
               Manager – Vans, Blaine Barratt, who says it’s easy for local van operators to
                overlook the Sprinter’s chameleon-like ability to be adapted to virtually any
                  “Our standard Sprinter range is the broadest on the market, but with the
                   options we are able to access from Germany we can specify a vehicle ex-
                    factory to suit nearly any application imaginable,” he says. “We are able
                     to supply a price competitive basic panel van to suit a tradesman or a
                      luxurious 20 seat minibus and pretty well anything in between.”

                                          the ability to work like a truck
                                         even from the smallest van in the
                                 range, the tradesman oriented
                                 short wheelbase 210CDI.

The basic Sprinter models in New Zealand include vans ranging from           The driver’s seat is adjustable over a wide range, including for height,
7.5 to 17 cubic metres, two minibuses and single and double-cab cab          and the steering wheel adjusts in four directions to enable any driver to
and chassis trucks. Vans come in three wheelbases, three roof heights        find a comfortable position. Powerful air-conditioning keeps the large
and a range of body lengths.                                                 windscreen and side windows clear and the side mirrors are heated.
Then there are fuel efficient four cylinder and V6 Euro 5 diesel engines     And on the options list are driver friendly features like automatic
with four power and torque ratings, along with a choice of six speed
                                                                             headlamps, rain sensing screen wipers and even a rear park distance
manual or five speed electronic automatic transmissions.
                                                                             warning system.
“The trend worldwide is to automatic transmissions and the Sprinter
                                                                             While it may drive like a car the Sprinter has the ability to work like a
is the only vehicle in its sector in New Zealand that is fully automatic,”
                                                                             truck even from the smallest van in the range, the tradesman oriented
says Blaine. “It means that despite the size of the bigger vans in the
range they are as easy to drive as the family car.”                          short wheelbase 210CDI. Although its footprint is around the same as
In fact much of the success of the Sprinter both in New Zealand and          that of a double cab ute it can pack away almost a tonne and a half
throughout the world is that it works like a truck but drives like a car.    of load and has an internal volume of more than 7.5 cubic metres.
Most of the vans in the range can be driven on a standard car driving        Add a high roof and valuable ladders can be stowed safely under the
licence and even the bigger vans require only a Class II licence. This       roof instead of vulnerably on a roof rack, and there’s still more interior
means that almost anyone in a business can drive the van without             space than most other vans in the class offer in the first place.
specialist training or qualifications.                                       At the opposite end of the range the awesome 519CDI extra-
Mercedes-Benz goes to great lengths to ensure the driver is completely       long wheelbase, super high roof Sprinter has the 17 cubic
at ease behind the Sprinter’s steering wheel – and to even greater           metre load volume of a small truck, but retains the driving
lengths to protect the driver and load if things do go wrong.
                                                                             dynamics, economy and safety of all the Mercedes-Benz range.
One example: While many vans on the New Zealand market lack any
                                                                             Wide sliding doors and 180deg opening rear barn doors enable pallets
form of stability program the Sprinter’s Adaptive ESP actually takes
                                                                             to be loaded with a forklift and Mercedes-Benz offers a wide range of
into account the weight and position of the van’s load and centre of
                                                                             lining and load securing options.
gravity and intervenes accordingly. The Sprinter’s cab structure is
designed to protect occupants in the event of a collision and there are      “However the vans in the standard Sprinter range are really only a
airbags for both occupants of the cab.                                       starting point,” adds Blaine. “The options list extends to features like
Another: The Sprinter’s standard Adaptive Brake Lights flash rapidly         all wheel drive, dual air conditioning, side windows and even doors that
under hard braking to warn following motorists and can even switch           open automatically when the driver approaches with both hands full,
on the vehicle’s hazard warning lights.                                      then close and lock themselves when he walks away.”

                                                                                                      day to day                                              visit Mr Tem
                                                                                                                                              d during the
                              n over the ow
                                               nership                     rceivable   difference in                  AG in     Stuttgart, an                            it had
                tion has take                                 make no pe                                                                                  nounce that
A new genera                                        est                                       based firm.                                to officially an
                                   countr y’s larg                           the Manukau                               was pleased
               Trailers Ltd,
                              the                             operations at                      really change
of Trucks &                               s-Benz and                              role haven’t                         been grante
                                                                                                                                                           l was also fu
             est-standi  ng Mercede                           “Mar  k’s and my                  in an ad    visory                         sed Mr Tempe
 and long                           alership.                                   still around                            Melbourne ba                            lers during
                     k and van de                              and Don is                                                                      Trucks & Trai
 Fr eightliner truc              re in the     industry.                      says.                                      in hi  s praise of                               rds set
                 something ra                                  capacity,” he                               became                                        es the standa
  And that’s                                      bigger                                    of ownership                                  that it match
                                  says: “The                                 onal change                                  visit, stating               d Freightlin
                                                                                                                                                                     er dealers
         under Don
                                                   or ates      The generati                ans Tempel,
                                                                                                         President                      des-Benz an
  As fo                            ned by corp                                 a visit by H                               by Merce
                  are mostly ow                                 public during                     cer and K
   dealerships                  e one     stay in fam
                                                                                Ex ecutive Offi                            worldwide.                             e top facilitie
                  n’t often se                                   and Chief                             Commercial                                it’s among th
   and you do                                                                  anagin   g Director –                       “As   a dealership                ks up wel    l on an
                                                                 Rebstock, M                enz Austral
                                                                                                          ia/Pacific                        and and stac
    ownership.”                        handed over
                                                                              Mercedes-B                                    in New Zeal                                idering the
                            dy have                               Vehicles,                                  eneral                                     pecially cons
           d his wife Ju                            pany’s                                    Ballantyne, G                            ional basis, es
    He an                          right, the co
                                                  m                             g with Dave                                  internat
                   r son Mark W                                   Pty Ltd, alon                     cles, Merce
                                                                                                                                             arket,” he sa
     reins to thei                         es, and Chr
                                                           is                         mercial Vehi                            size of the m                                 carr ying
                      ager –    After-sal                          Manag  er – Com                     k 20 ye  ars of                              d Truc ks & Trailers
     General Man                       – Sal  es, who has                         alan  d Ltd, to mar                         Don   Wright starte                   the back of
                        al Manager                                 Benz New Ze                             Mercedes-                                repairs from
      M ackey, Gener                  since 199   6 and is                         ailers  representing                        out  heavy truck                  terwards op
                       e company                                   Trucks & Tr                  ownership
                                                                                                              required                          and soon af
      been with th                   ily.                                         change of                            r       ute in 1987
                       e of the fam                                 Benz. The                           office Daimle
       practically on                          in ownership                             e global head
                      es that  the change                           appr oval from th
       Chris stress                    transition th
                                                       at will
        has been     a year long

     w Ge nerat ion A
 A Ne

                                                                                                                                                        rvice backing
                                                                                                 mpany has                               e excellent se
                                site of the present                           Man  ukau the co                         e trucks and th
                ises on the                                    quarters in                              ui and of th
his first prem                              anukau. head                                d Mt Maungan                                                      showroom,”
                     Wiri Sta tion Road, M                    s offices in Rotorua an              .
                                                                                                                   them up.                 uch from the
head   quarters in                       cede  s-Benz sale                      just on 50 people                     does n’t come so m                    on built up
                         arded the Mer                          oys a staf f of                       quarters “It                           e 20 years D
 The bu  siness was aw                      e lo ngest empl                      that  the Wiri head                   explai ned. “Over th                      ers and
                             and is now th                       Wright says                           n offices he                            a lot of custom
 truck fran  chise in 1991                          ing Mark                            administratio                          tionships with
                                   dealer, incl
                                                 ud                       d sales and                      plans good
                                                                                                                                                 oking after th
                  cedes-Benz                               showroom an                      ished, and                             dicated to lo
  serving Mer                              Zealand.                           been refurb                            has been de                          e  around 27
                  r dealerships,
                                   in New                     ve recently                           the service                            that there ar
  passenger ca                                    ner as ha                           to improve                           Wright adds                         all can do
                        ny introd  uced Freightli           are no  w under way                   dard,   making Don                       New   Zealand and
   In 19 95 the compa                        e German                     ea to    a similar stan                      an ds of truck in                     y of f people
                                  ongside th                reception ar                                stomers. br                          choose to bu
                 ucks brand al                     uently                                cessible to cu                         but “people
    a Daimler Tr                    and subseq                     am  more easily ac                      es s of the job,
                    z brand,                           of the te                           that the succ
                                        establish one                       pel stresses                         p they like.
                                                                                                                                 ”                         hich has been
                          enz Vans to                        But Mr Tem                            ar partnershi                            er service, w
            Mercedes-B                              ercial                  lers during  the 20 ye                            with custom
     added                           ensive comm             Trucks & Trai                                e quality Alo
                    most compreh                                                            med from th
     the countr y’s                                                           s-Benz stem
                     .                                        with Mercede
      vehicle ranges            tensive stat
                       the ex
      As well as

                   rucks & Tra ilers
At                T
       As a  dealership p
       it’s a mong the to d
               New Zealan
facilities in up well on
and stacks ional basis
 an internat
                                                                                                                                                     udes Gisborn
                                                    ific                                                                             of Taupo incl
                                                                                                                      area north                              parts of
                el, Merce   des-Benz Au                                                           Trailers “O
                                                                                                                                         of the toughe
  Hans Temp                                                                       tset, Trucks &                          thland, two                              “The
                                                               7 since the ou                             g and Nor                                 he adds.
                                                available 24/                 gh level of en
                                                                                                                         untr y on
                                                                 fered a hi                                           co                                     are both
                                                has always of                                      ed the the                               Freightliners
                                                                                   pany engineer                           s-Benz and                        ve learned
                                                                fact the com                       ersions M
                                                                                                                                            the years we’
                                                 expertise. In                      nd drive conv                            ks, but over                        further
                                                                  tliner right ha                                     h truc
                                                 original Freigh                                    Argosy toug                                  improve them
                                                                                   s for FLB and                 many smal    l tweaks that
                                                                -steer system                  one of the
                                                  and the twin
                                                                   such     success that                nited for ou
                                                                                                                        r roads.”
                                                                                                                                                   e dedication
                                                                                                                                                                    of all
                                                  trucks, with                           nt to the U                              says that th                            s
                                                                    gineers was
                                                                                      se                          Don Wright                            ring the need
                                                   company’s en                                h the factory                             staf f to ensu
                                                                     e Freigh  tliner throug                      Truc ks & Trailers                      here   possible
                                                   States to guid                                                                          met and w
                                                                                                                            omers are                                riding
                                                    twin-steer build.                               rticular ly of cust                    wn to    a single over
                                             t,                    a lot of wor    k in-house, pa                        ed ed boils do
Left to Right.             ackey, Mark
                                                    “We still do                                         liver y exce                           trucks.
               ck, Chris M                                                              d truck pre-de                        a passion for                    ve to have a
Kolja Rebsto                                                        ha ve a dedicate                     Chris  . theme –                      dustry you ha
      Wright, Han
                   s Tempel                          now that we                       ilding,” says                            es: “In our in
 Don                                                                  separate bu                            we He stre
                                                     centre in a                            se alterations                           ucks to succ
                                                                           like wheelba                              passion for tr
                                                      “Alo ng with jobs                   ring that th e trucks
                                                                       fort into ensu
                                                      put a lot of ef                    in service.
                                                                       e as possible
                                                       are as reliabl

The Mark Of Quality
In the dictionary hallmark is defined as “the mark of quality” and            Access is through electric doors and automatically retracting steps and
that’s precisely the standard of service being brought to a burgeoning        there’s a full PA system so that the driver can communicate with or
passenger transport niche by Auckland’s Hallmark Chauffeur Drive.             provide a commentary to the passengers.
And Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibuses, Viano people movers and                 But what clinched the Sprinter for Mike Graves was its air-conditioning
S-Class passenger cars underpin the company’s image and presentation          system. “Nothing beats the Mercedes-Benz air-conditioning,” he says.
at the very top end of the tourism and corporate travel market.               “In summer it can turn the interior into a refrigerator.”
“There’s been a paradigm shift in the tourism market – it’s no longer cost    Now Hallmark Chauffeur Drive has a steady stream of clients
driven,” says Hallmark Operations Manager Mike Graves. “Customers             through repeat business and referrals from international hotels
seek quality and safety as paramount considerations.”                         and travel agents, but Mike says initially many had the wrong
Hallmark customers include international business executives, heads of        impression, believing they were being offered no more than up-market
state and even a royal family.                                                taxi provision.
It may seem odd to be transporting a royal family about the country           “But once we presented the vehicles to them and they could see the
in a van, but Hallmark has gone to extreme lengths to create a fleet of       standard of the fit-out, the interior space and flexibility and the overall
vehicles that rival the standards set by the private jets bringing many of    quality of the operation they were reassured they were the right vehicles
the company’s customers to New Zealand.                                       for them.”
Consider one of the Hallmark Mercedes-Benz fleet – a 2010                     The quality of the vehicles at Hallmark is matched by the quality of its
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 515CDI with long wheelbase and super high              chauffeur/guide drivers, many of whom are successful businessmen
roof. It seats ten adults in the main compartment and an eleventh             who have retired early and do the work because they love meeting new
beside the driver yet still has stowage space at the rear for more than       people and showing off New Zealand to them.
30 suitcases and bags.                                                        Even though their qualifications enable Hallmark to offer chauffeurs
“The seating in this Sprinter is really special,” Mike explains. “The seats   fluent in more than ten languages, the company still offers them
are space age design in full leather. They are mounted on full-length         professional training as tour guides and chauffeurs.
floor tracks so can be moved about to best suit the mix of passengers.        Mike says the drivers prefer the Mercedes-Benz to other vans in the
They are fully adjustable, they recline and they can be rotated to face       fleet. While as professional drivers they would have no trouble with
each other in groups.                                                         manual gearboxes, he specifies automatic transmissions in all the vans
“And behind them is a floating panel that can be adjusted to increase         to make their job easier and better enable them to attend to the needs
space for passengers or luggage depending on the demand,” he adds.            of their passengers.

Established in 1986, Hallmark Chauffeur Drive now offers around-
the-clock service and New Zealand’s largest and most diverse luxury
passenger vehicle fleet, these days numbering more than 30.
The company offers two levels of luxury service – Exclusive, where
the Mercedes-Benz vehicles operate and Premium, with mid-range
vehicles. The Exclusive grade vehicles cover only around 30,000km a
year as they can spend long periods idle while their passengers are at
events, functions or meetings. Mike says that after around three years
the Exclusive grade vehicles are moved down to Premium grade and
replaced by new vehicles.
The fact that this policy is well matched to the Mercedes-Benz three-
year vehicle warranty is a factor influencing his choice, Mike adds.
However he has found that once specifications are compared, the
Sprinters stack up against other vans as offering value for money.
“Vehicle acquisition can be examined not only in competitive price
points, but further to superior features, extended warranties and
nationwide emergency solutions,” he says. “Thus acquiring top-end
vehicles has proved a wise investment.”

Customer Trucks
              Anchor Atego
              A smooth riding factory rear air suspension system ensures it’s milk, not
              milkshakes, being delivered around Christchurch by a new Mercedes-Benz
              Atego truck. The 1324L Atego rigid four-wheeler works out of the Fonterra
              depot in Hornby for contractor Anchor Southwest Ltd.
              It’s the first Mercedes-Benz in a small fleet that until now has been
              all-Japanese, and was selected partly because its six-speed Telligent
              automated shift gearbox broadens the range of drivers capable of
              delivering milk to the region’s dairies.
              Powering the Atego is the Mercedes-Benz OM906LA engine rated at
              240hp and a lusty 850Nm of torque.
              Sales consultant: Theo Ferreira, Prestige Commercial Vehicles, Chch.

              Productive Coronado
              Running under new high productivity (HPV) regulations and covering
              around 330,000km a year, this new Freightliner Coronado is destined to
              haul massive volumes of freight during its working life.
              The new 6x4 tractor unit was purchased by Auckland based Fitchett
              Hoggard Ltd to pull a six axle B-train between Auckland and Wellington
              daily for Freightways.
              With the huge mileages planned for the rig the DD15 million kilometre
              warranty, which even covers the turbocharger and injectors, was a factor
              in specifying one of the first Coronados on the road in New Zealand.
              Sales consultant: Ron Price, Trucks & Trailers, Manukau.

              Linfox Actros
              Another Mercedes-Benz Actros has gone to work in the colours of Linfox
              Logistics (NZ) Ltd to deliver FMCG and retail goods around the North Island.
              Pulling a Maxi-Cube quad-axle reefer for chilled and frozen products or a
              curtainsider for ambient temperature freight, the new Actros 3248 twin-steer
              prime mover is based at the Linfox Mangere depot and routinely operates
              between Auckland and Palmerston North, but ranges beyond its regular
              run as demand dictates. Under the Actros day cab is an OM501 engine
              rated at 480hp and 2300Nm, driving through a Power Shift G330 12-speed
              transmission and Mercedes-Benz H7 diffs on eight-bag air suspension.
              Sales consultant: Dave Ballantye, National Sales Manager, Commercial
              Vehicles, Mercedes-Benz NZ Ltd.

              Machinery Line-hauler
              A new Freightliner Argosy 6x4 tractor put into service by Palmerston
              Transport Services heads one of the most unusual – and efficient – heavy
              machinery rigs in the country.
              Based in Palmerston North the Argosy pulls a B-train low loader, whereas
              most machinery low loaders are semi trailers. The difference: The
              Palmerston Argosy can cart two 13 tonne tractors, which would overload
              a semi.
              The new Argosy has a 525hp Series 60 Detroit Diesel engine under its cab,
              running through a manual RTLO20918B gearbox.
              Sales Consultant: Ben Tacon, Phil Wheelans Trucks And Vans,
              Palmerston North.

Customer Vans
                Koru Sprinters
                Auckland-based Koru Cabs has long been known for its fleet of black people
                movers, but its growing number of silver Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibuses
                marks a step up in size, quality and image.
                Specialist in airport and hotel transfers, VIP transport services and mini
                tours, the company recently won an exclusive contract to provide transport
                services for Air New Zealand air crew, and has added an initial seven
                Sprinters, purchased in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz Finance, into its
                Auckland fleet.
                Among the factors influencing the decision to move up to the Sprinter were
                reliability, longevity, driver acceptance, customer experience and brand.
                Sales consultant: Ken Jeynes, Trucks & Trailers, Manukau.

                Hard Working Vitos
                Few vans would work as hard as a pair of Mercedes-Benz Vitos that cover
                high mileages, often on poor roads, always loaded to near capacity for
                Dannevirke based RDS Systems Ltd.
                A long wheelbase Vito IIICDI purchased after being recommended to the
                company has now covered more than 200,000km, is still running well.
                A growing client base and service team has created demand for a second
                vehicle, a new Mercedes-Benz 116CDI Vito. The Vito’s extended service
                intervals, good handling on sealed and unsealed roads and extensive
                safety features made RDS Systems’ decision easy.
                Sales consultant: Rod MacNeill, Phil Wheelans Trucks and Vans,
                Palmerston North.

                Trendsetter Sprinter
                The busy re-building of Christchurch has led local company Trendsetter
                Homes to put to work one of the most novel Mercedes-Benz Sprinters in
                the country. It’s a creative solution to the problem faced by many families
                planning to purchase a new home - getting to the housing company’s
                office. So Trendsetter Homes’ Tony Anderson decided to take the office
                to the customers to show off his range of sections and house plans.
                The mobile office is built into a long wheelbase, high roof Mercedes-Benz
                Sprinter 313CDI with a six speed manual gearbox. The high roof gives the
                van stand-up, walk around space.
                Sales consultant: Richard Field, Prestige Commercial Vehicles,

                                                     All our vans
                                                     are designed to
                                                     protect the most
                                                     important cargo:
Better Brakes Save Money
As Well As Lives                                                                                 before the test was completed and another’s
                                                                                                 disc showed advanced wear, while the genuine
                                                                                                 set lasted more than twice as long as one of
The importance of truck safety has led to     Actros heavy trucks sold by three European         the others.
Mercedes-Benz emphasising that aspect of      after market manufacturers.                        Although this particular test was on brake
its braking systems over the years, but now   The tests showed clearly that while the genuine    components, experience here shows the same
a major product test has shown that better    Mercedes-Benz components cost more in the          sort of results would be achieved with many
brake components can also save transport      first place, their greater durability and longer   other truck components.
operators money.                              operating life made them cheaper in the long       The Mercedes-Benz programme involved
The test pitted genuine Mercedes-Benz disc    run. In fact in the durability section of the      three separate tests done under controlled
rotors and pads against sets designed for     test one other manufacturer’s pads wore out        conditions on an inertia dynamometer.

CRACK TEST                                                   Mercedes-Benz
In this test there were 500 brake applications, one
every 40 seconds, at 85km/h and under a constant
braking torque of 2800Nm. All of the after market
                                                             Through ‘n’ Through
discs had cracked by the time 150 applications had           New Daimler Trucks Field Service Representative Ian Sparks grew up around
been made, while the genuine Mercedes-Benz ones              his family’s truck fleet, but after 28 years on the service side of the industry
lasted the distance unscathed. So the genuine brake          says he is now “Mercedes-Benz through ‘n’ through.
was the only one to pass the cracking test.                  “My family owned a small fleet of 11 vehicles in Britain and my earliest memories
                                                             are of climbing over trucks being repaired by my grandfather,” he says.
PHASE TWO:                                                   But rather than work for the family firm Ian trained as a technician on heavy
WEAR TEST                                                    trucks, vans and buses for Mercedes-Benz Hertfordshire.
                                                             Then in 1996 the Sparks family immigrated to New Zealand and Ian, his wife
This test put the brakes through six cycles of braking       Denise and daughter Sam have since gained their citizenship.
at different temperatures, speeds and torque                 In New Zealand he stayed in trucking and stuck with Mercedes-Benz, although
applications. One set of after market pads wore              his first job as foreman at EuroStar Trucks in Albany saw him working on
through before the test was completed and one disc           Freightliner as well.
showed advanced wear. This was the test that showed          Ian then moved to Truck City Ltd in East Tamaki, covering Mercedes-Benz,
the genuine Mercedes-Benz brakes lasting more than           Freightliner and Sterling brands. During his time at Truck City he twice won the
twice as long as one of the after market sets.               New Zealand Mercedes-Benz Technician of the Year award.
                                                             He then moved back to the North Shore for a technical support role with the
PHASE THREE:                                                 120 strong Mercedes-Benz fleet of Smith & Davies Ltd before being appointed
BRAKE POWER TEST                                             Field Service Representative at Daimler Trucks.
The test of brake performance measured remaining             These days working on trucks is more likely to involve a laptop than a three-
braking torque after a series of applications at different   quarter-inch drive socket set, and Ian says the “traumatic changes” in the
pressures and speeds. The genuine Mercedes-Benz              industry over the years will continue.
brakes remained at 100% through the test. Two of the         “Technicians have had to grow with the products and develop skills they hadn’t
after market brakes dropped to 81% of their original         really set out to achieve,” he says.
power, while the third plummeted to 69%.                     “Fuel systems have developed beyond recognition and technicians have had
                                                             to train as electricians as well,” he adds. “Mercedes-Benz has led the way and
CONCLUSION                                                   still does and I’ve been fortunate enough to be
Mercedes-Benz put the superior results achieved by           part of this.”
the genuine brake parts down to factors such as high         Outside his work Ian is soccer mad and
quality materials and excellent heat dissipation. But        still plays in a competition league for
the over-riding factor is perfect matching of the friction   over-35s on the North Shore.
characteristics of the brake rotor and the pads.
While these were European tests, if anything, the
differences between genuine and after-market parts
would be more pronounced in New Zealand because
our steep terrain is particularly hard on truck brakes.
Mercedes-Benz uses the slogan “Quality Matters” and
the tests showed that as well as producing outstanding
braking performance, which impacts directly on truck
safety, the genuine brakes outlasted the after market
When the after market brakes have to be replaced
twice as often as the genuine ones it’s not just the cost
of the components that adds up, there’s the labour
and the down-time to take into account as well.
And it doesn’t apply only to brake parts – the same
applies across the board.

     Towbar Firm Takes On The World
     A small Tauranga towbar manufacturing company has been purchased         At this stage the first four, funded through Mercedes-Benz Financial,
     by the world’s biggest towbar maker, which plans to make it a centre     have been commissioned and are working throughout the Auckland
     of design and manufacture for the Southern Hemisphere.                   and Waikato regions. Customers can call an 0800 number to order a
     German company Westfalia Automotive Ltd bought the majority              towbar installation for their vehicle.
     shareholding in Starck Industries Ltd in July to establish Westfalia     Mercedes-Benz Financial works hand in hand with Mercedes-Benz
     Automotive Asia Pacific Ltd and is retaining directors Stuart Terrell,   Commercial Vehicles – Vans and with van dealers to create a “one-
     as Chief Executive Officer, and Henk de Kock to run the business.        stop shop” for purchasers, efficiently tailoring the finance as part of
     The company supplies OEM branded towbars for Mercedes-Benz               a single transaction for simple asset acquisition.
     cars, SUVs and vans and growth in the New Zealand
     market is forging further links between the two German
     Growth plans include a towbar installation service at
     the customer’s home or place of work and eventually 15
     Mercedes-Benz Vito vans will carry the technicians and
     components to clients nationwide.

Stuart says an important factor in choosing Vitos was their compact        He adds that towbars these days should be designed in conjunction
exterior dimensions, particularly their low roof height, while having      with vehicle manufacturers to preserve the integrity of rear crush
sufficient internal capacity for the work. This enables them to get down   cells and deformable structures in the event of an impact, but in New
tight driveways and behind houses, and especially into underground car     Zealand any unqualified person can design and install a towbar.
parks, for towbar installations.                                           “They should also be inspected as part of the Warrant of Fitness
However the New Zealand market will become a relatively minor part         test,” Stuart says. There are safety standards in place for cars and
of the company’s overall operations with Westfalia Automotive Chief        regulations covering the safety of light trailers, but nothing relating to
Executive Officer Jens Waldau saying the establishment of the Asia         the connection between them.

                                                                           Westfalia makes a
                                                                           range of towbars to fit
                                                                           different makes and models
                                                                           of car and van.

Pacific company would “significantly strengthen the growth of the          Along with laser cutting and other machinery for the manufacture of
Westfalia Group in the Southern Hemisphere.”                               towbars, Westfalia Automotive Asia Pacific is importing sophisticated
  He says that Starck Industries had already been working with Westfalia   testing equipment to ensure they meet the Group’s exacting standards,
     in the development of market specific solutions, and customers had    as well as regulations in place in the countries they will be exported to.
        shown very favourable reactions to these innovations.              The company has already achieved registration for Australian ADR
          The Tauranga company is already exporting towbars and            certification as a design and manufacturing facility for towbars.
           sophisticated wiring looms to Australia and Westfalia Group     The high end Westfalia bicycle carriers are also being exported
            is targeting the expanding Asian market in particular.         from Tauranga to Mercedes-Benz Australia and will become available
             Once at full strength it will have a staff of around 60       in New Zealand.
             in an 1800 square metre building, carrying out design,        Westfalia makes a range of towbars to fit almost 2000 different makes
             development, testing and manufacture of bars to suit a        and models of car and van. They include fixed, removable and foldaway
             broadening range of vehicles.                                 installations.
             Westfalia, based in Rheda-Wiedenbruek, has 1000               Most are supplied as OEM accessories, with only the certification
           employees worldwide and makes around 1.4 million towbars        plate identifying their manufacturing source. In New Zealand vehicle
         a year, accounting for almost a third of the overall European     distributors supplied with Westfalia bars include Mercedes-Benz, BMW,
       market and almost half of the German market. The company            Ford, Subaru and Mazda. Internationally some 32 of the world’s largest
   invented the modern European type ball head towbar in 1932. It also     car companies include Westfalia towbars in their accessory catalogues.
makes bicycle carriers and in partnership with Bosch and Hella has a       Along with the towbars themselves, associated wiring looms these
specialised wiring operation.                                              days generally require input from the vehicle manufacturer to ensure
Stuart Terrell says that New Zealand has fallen behind the rest of         compatibility, Stuart says. Systems such as vehicle blind spot warning,
the world and now remains “the wild west of the towbar world – the         trailer sway control, electronic stability program and even onboard
last country still using inch-and-seven-eighth balls, for example.” The    diagnostics that warn the driver of a failed lamp bulb can all be affected
international standard is 50mm.                                            by the trailer connection.

The Ultimate
“Station Rig”
When the new owners of the King Country’s          livestock trading options supply and demand
Tapanui Station decided to buy a station rig       can be tracked almost to the minute and the
they didn’t for a minute consider the usual six    Tapanui Station rig is expected to travel close
wheeler approaching the end of its working         to 60,000km a year, almost all of it loaded.
life – like everything else about the property     After trying other brands of truck Peter
they wanted to maximise the potential by           Lipscombe and the farm owners tested a
purchasing the best unit for the job.              Mercedes-Benz Actros 3255 twin steer from
For driver Peter Lipscombe, who has been           Trucks & Trailers Ltd and that convinced them
around livestock and stock trucks all his          to order the next available 3260 with a sleeper
working life, the past 20 of them for Tapanui      cab. It has the 600hp rating for its 16 litre
Station’s owners, it sounded like a dream          V8 diesel engine, driving through a 12 speed
coming true, and now that his Mercedes-Benz        PowerShift automated transmission and
Actros 3260L has its first 20,000km under its      Mercedes-Benz 13 tonne planetary drive rear
wheels, that’s exactly how it’s panned out.        axles. Actual ratings for the Euro 4 compliant
“It’s quite impressive – magic, really,” Peter     engine are 440kW at 1800rpm and a massive
says. “There’s not really a thing about it I’d     2800Nm of torque at 1080rpm.
change, with the possible exception of a           While Peter is impressed with the pulling
longer crate on the truck.”                        power of the big V8 engine, he’s even more
Tapanui Station’s new owners took over the         taken with the hold back produced by the
2500 acre sheep and beef farm near Te Kuiti at     standard Active Engine Brake in conjunction
the beginning of the year and soon afterwards      with a Voith R115 transmission retarder.
decided to put a dedicated stock truck to work     “Coming down the Brynderwyns with a full
carting in store sheep and beef and taking fat     load on you don’t have to touch the brakes at
stock to freezing works.                           all, and even down the Kaimais you only need
“Having our own truck gives us more flexibility    a couple of brief touches,” he says.
and control,” explains Peter. “For example,        Traction, always a Mercedes-Benz strong point,
we can load a line of lambs at three in the        has also impressed Peter. “Up in Northland
morning when it’s still nice and cool, with less   in pouring rain everyone was having trouble       at first, but you get used to it. Now I’ll still shift
stress on milk lambs.”                             getting out but the Actros had no problem at      manually on a winding road, but otherwise I
The big Actros ranges throughout the North         all – it just digs in its toes and goes.”         leave it in auto.”
Island both collecting the store animals and       The Actros also boasts an electronic              Tapanui Station sent the Actros to Jackson
delivering to works. These days with a range of    “manoeuvring mode”, activated by a rocker         Enterprises for the truck deck and four axle
                                                   switch on the dash that engages a program         trailer, and fitted both with Nationwide crates
                                                   limiting engine speed to 1000rpm and makes        set up to cart either two decks of cattle or four
                                                   reversing into difficult loading races a smooth   decks of sheep. Peter hasn’t yet carted store
                                                   and trouble free process.                         lambs but estimates capacity will be close to
                                                   Peter is also pleased with the 22 metre wall to   700.
                                                   wall turning circle – “pretty good for an eight   He is based in Morrinsville and drove stock
                                                   wheeler”.                                         trucks for several Waikato based carriers
                                                   The clincher for the big Mercedes-Benz is         before joining the Tapanui Station owners as
                                                   the comfort of the sleeper cab and the ease       a livestock agent, farm hand and driver. These
                                                   of driving, particularly with the PowerShift      days when not behind the wheel of the new
                                                   transmission. Peter admits that having no         Mercedes-Benz he’s likely to be operating a
                                                   clutch pedal and being able to leave the          digger on maintenance and improvements to
                                                   gearbox to its own devices was “a bit strange     the new King Country farm.

Shuttle – The Most Versatile Vito

While it’s most likely to be spotted outside an airport or international hotel,
the new Mercedes-Benz Vito Shuttle is such a versatile vehicle it could turn up
anywhere from a construction site to a luxury lodge.
“In fact many of the first buyers of the Shuttle were choosing them for family
transport,” says Blaine Barratt, National Sales Manager – Vans for Mercedes-
Benz New Zealand. “The Shuttle is a real crossover between the family car and
the working van.”
Secret of the Shuttle’s versatility is in the flexible passenger seating – three rows
of top quality factory seats that can accommodate eight adults in comfort and
with space to spare. The back two rows can also be folded away or removed
completely to provide as much as five cubic metres of load space.                                      Maximum eight seats option.
Even when all three seating rows are in use, there’s enough room behind them
for the passengers’ luggage or sports equipment. When the third row is folded or
removed the Shuttle can accommodate five adults and a huge amount of gear.
In the comprehensive Vito range the Shuttle fits between the more van oriented
five seater Mixto and the luxurious flagship Viano. Based on the long wheelbase
Vito 113CDI it comes as standard with a five speed automatic transmission
behind the thrifty BlueEfficiency OM651 four cylinder diesel engine that is strong
on performance with ratings of 100kW at 3800rpm and 310Nm from 1400-
2600rpm, yet is capable of fuel use as low as 7.2 litres/100km.
The appeal of the Shuttle as family transport lies in its responsive power train, along
with car like driving dynamics resulting from its new generation all independent
coil spring suspension, slick 11.0 metre turning circle and all disc braking.                 The back row of seats can be removed
“It’s as safe as the best cars, too, safer than the other vehicles in its class                      to create more luggage space.
in fact,” adds Blaine. “With adaptive ESP stability program, integrated safety
belts in all eight seats and front and side airbags it meets the top ANCAP 5 star
safety standard straight out of the showroom.”
Other safety equipment includes daytime driving lights, Adaptive Brake Lights
that flash during emergency braking and can automatically switch on the hazard
warning lights, ABS (anti-lock braking) with BAS (brake assist), electronic brake
force distribution and ASR (acceleration skid control).
A feature of the new Vito suspension is that Mercedes-Benz tailors it at the
factory to suit the vehicle’s end use, so a passenger oriented version like
the Shuttle rides a little more softly than a van in freight or tradesman’s
                                                                                          Or both rear rows of seats can be removed
configuration. It can still cart an 895kg payload and tow a 2000kg trailer, but it
                                                                                               creating even greater luggage space.
cossets its passengers to a degree unheard of in other van based mini buses .

The Mercedes-Benz Comfort grade seats, with folding arm rests and            specification, which includes cruise control with speed limiting, electric
quality Lima anthracite fabric upholstery, also play an important role in    windows, heated electric mirrors, automatic air conditioning with a duct
passenger comfort.                                                           to the rear compartment, a multi function steering wheel and a quality
Access to the seats – or the load compartment when the seats are             audio system with auxiliary inputs.
removed – is made easy by wide sliding doors each side of the vehicle.       And while Mercedes-Benz emphasises low whole of life operation costs
Even at speed on the motorway the interior of the Shuttle remains eerily     resulting from low fuel use, extended service intervals and high resale
quiet as road and wind noises are subdued by thick carpet throughout the     value, the Shuttle’s purchase price is a remarkably low $55,500 (plus
vehicle, as well as full moulded interior linings and a padded headlining.   GST).
Despite being designed to withstand the rigours of a working life the        “We’ve been very aggressive with the pricing,” says Blaine. “Dollar for
interior of the Shuttle is as stylish as most passenger cars.                dollar it beats the Toyota Previa, but offers the high-tech diesel engine
This is important both to the shuttle operator wanting to offer a point of   with 30,000km/12 month service intervals, ANCAP 5 star safety levels
difference at an airport pickup, and to the tourism operator who might       and a huge range of options.
have passengers in the vehicle for considerable lengths of time.             “Then there’s the Mercedes-Benz badge,” he adds. “It stands for quality
The style extends to the exterior as well. Standard on the Shuttle are       and reliability and that counts regardless of whether the Shuttle is doing
alloy wheels and colour coded bumpers.                                       duty as a family car or as the flagship in a tour operator’s mini bus fleet.”
Despite its working van origins the Shuttle has an unusually high standard

From catching a flight...
                       to sending a crew on site.

Argosy Trucks Tackle
Hauling logs is among the toughest challenges      as the horticultural mainstays of pip fruit and   The three main log cartage contractors
for any truck and the forests of Nelson include    wine that the region is famous for. In fact       servicing the industry deliver logs to Port
about the most demanding logging terrain in        logging and wood processing now employs           Nelson, Port Picton and the region’s mills
the country, so it’s a testament to Freightliner   almost 2000 people and pours $340 million a       and processors, rarely venturing beyond
that Argosy logging trucks are thriving there.     year into the local economy.                      Greymouth on the West Coast or occasionally
The three major logging contractors working        Around 16% of the region’s productive land        Canterbury. All cart logs exclusively and their
the top of the South Island have put a total of    is planted in production forests, yielding        trailers and logging gear are practically all
20 Argosy eight wheelers to work in the past       more than 2.4 million cubic metres of wood        from Patchell Industries.
four years and they are doing their bit for the    a year. Around one third is exported as logs      Longest-serving logging contractor of the
local economy as well as contributing to their     and the rest milled or processed, particularly    three, and the first to put an Argosy into the
owners’ profits.                                   by the Nelson Pine Industries Ltd GoldenEdge      local forests, is Borlase Transport Ltd. Owner
During that period Nelson and Marlborough          MDF plant at Richmond, the world’s biggest        Duncan Borlase started in the bush with a log
have experienced a logging boom that has           single site MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard)       loader in 1977 and two years later bought his
brought the industry into the same league          producer.                                         first truck, a 290hp International 3070.

Tough Terrain
The Borlase fleet now numbers 16, two in          could get at the time,” he explains. “As it turns   Contract Carriers Ltd, which in 2008
50:50 partnerships with their drivers, and        out you don’t lose much in log length as the        absorbed the eight logging trucks operated by
eight are Freightliners. Duncan admits to         engine sticks out behind the day cab and            iconic TNL (Transport Nelson Ltd). Although
having “a bit of a soft spot for Cats” and four   there was only 140kg-odd weight difference.         dominated by Scanias, the fleet has been
of the Argosy 8x4s have Caterpillar engines,      But the ride is definitely a lot better.”           bolstered by seven Freightliner Argosy truck
with three Cummins-powered and the newest         Superior riding helps attract and retain            and trailer rigs during the past year, with three
one motivated by a Detroit Diesel Series 60.      good drivers and meshes well with Duncan            more due early in 2012.
While the imperatives of maximum log length       Borlase’s policy of offering some partnerships      General Manager Phil Harris says that when
and minimum tare weight dictate 63 inch day       in their trucks. He says giving the driver          it comes to trucks capable of handling the
cabs on almost all of the Freightliners, two of   a vested interest encourages him to work            Nelson region’s steep and rugged terrain
the Argosys in the Borlase fleet have 90 inch     harder and offers the opportunity to reap           “simple is good,” while trucks designed to meet
sleepers and Duncan says that’s what he’ll        greater rewards.                                    the latest European emissions regulations
probably stick with in future.                    Easily the biggest log cartage operation in         are becoming increasingly complex and fuel
“We took the first one because it was all we      the district is the 60 strong fleet of Waimea       economy can suffer.

                                                                                                      problems, primarily with the emissions gear.
                                                                                                      “In logging you need simple gear and things
                                                                                                      like sensors and valves don’t last,” he explains.
                                                                                                      “The European trucks can be very expensive
                                                                                                      to maintain because of dust and dirt affecting
                                                                                                      the electronics.
                                                                                                      “Mind you, our forests are among the harshest
                                                                                                      in the country on gear – we’re on the tops of
                                                                                                      mountains and there are places we don’t even
                                                                                                      go into when it rains.
                                                                                                      “For our conditions the component type truck
                                                                                                      is best – and the less electronics the better,”
He specced the Argosy eight wheelers               logging contractor, Stuart Drummond                Glenn adds.
with day cabs and Series 60 Detroit                Transport Ltd, also has its own workshop,          His standard spec includes big Rockwell
Diesel engines, which he says “have been           which General Manager Glenn Heybourn says          46160 diffs and manual 18 speed Eaton
around a long time and are tried and true.”        is now necessary because of regular roadside       Roadranger gearboxes.
Phil adds that the Series 60 engines are           inspections of trucks.                             “We’ve tried AutoShift 18 speeds,” he says.
performing well and on similar work and at a       “Every time a truck is in the workshop it gets     “We had a driver who had limited use of one
similar age are slightly ahead of the European     what is virtually a CoF (Certificate of Fitness)   arm so bought our first auto for him, but
trucks on fuel economy.                            test to make sure it’s going to pass the           for our application we’ll probably stick with
Waimea Contract Carriers is unusual in having      roadside inspection,” he explains.                 manuals in future.
a full inhouse engineering facility as well as a   The Drummond fleet of 22 logging trucks            “The gearbox can’t see what’s in front of the
truck workshop, which Phil says is cost driven.    includes seven Freightliners, five with 550hp      truck,” Glenn points out.
“It comes back to economies of scale, but it       Caterpillar C15 engines and the latest two         That’s a reflection of the demanding terrain
also enables us to maintain better control         with Detroit Diesel Series 60 EGR engines          encountered in the Nelson and Marlborough
over the quality of the work done. We are          rated at 525hp.                                    forests, and even between them and the ports
able to train guys to look after logging trucks    “We prefer Cat, but they stopped making            and log processors.
specifically and in our way.”                      truck engines,” Glenn says.
Along with routine maintenance and repair          “The jury is still out on the
work, the company builds its own trailers and      Detroit Diesels.” One of the
    logging gear, although using predominantly     Drummond         Detroits    has
        Patchell components.                       clocked up 240,000km running
            The other large Nelson region          24 hours a day for 18 months,
                                                   while the other has done
                                                    150,000km and both have
                                                                encountered a few

              STEVE KLINAC                                                 BRUCE CLARKE                                   DAVE BALLANTYNE

New Team Are Old Hands
There’s a completely new look to the               Dave, who had been National Sales Manager          specifications for Freightliner trucks, which
commercial vehicle sales team at Mercedes-         – Heavy Trucks for 12 years, was promoted          were then being introduced to New Zealand
Benz New Zealand, but it’s underpinned by          to General Manager and his previous position       with factory support.
years of experience of the truck and van brands    was filled by Bruce, who had until then            While his title may have changed over the past
and of the motor vehicle industry overall.         been responsible for field and technical service   17 years, Dave says the fundamental – and
Between them new General Manager                   for Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner trucks          most rewarding – aspect of his job, interacting
Commercial Vehicles Dave Ballantyne and            and buses.                                         with trucking people, hasn’t.
National Sales Manager - Heavy Commercial          Both men trace their careers with Mercedes-        “Fortunately over the years I’ve been able to
Vehicles Bruce Clarke have amassed 35              Benz back to the period when German Motor          build really strong relationships with our dealers
years working with Mercedes-Benz and               Distributors was the importer, Dave starting in    and customers and one of my priorities still is
Freightliner trucks.                               1994 and Bruce the following year.                 maintaining those relationships,” he says.
“Our experience of the two brands is extensive,”   And both are qualified diesel mechanics so         “Our overall goal is to improve the market
says Dave.                                         share a thorough knowledge of the technical        shares for both Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner,
Changes in the team that supplies and supports     and mechanical aspects of commercial vehicles,     but my primary aim is to listen to what our
dealers around the country began last year         which is vital when it comes to navigating the     dealers and customers are telling us and
when then National Sales Manager for vans          complexities of the specifications of trucks and   use that information to improve the experience
Brian Carr took up a new role at Mercedes-Benz     vans sourced from different parts of the world.    of buying Daimler commercial vehicles,”
Australia and a few months later then General      In fact Dave joined German Motors in a sales       Dave adds.
Manager Ian Walker moved to Freightliner in the    engineering and support role and immediately       Bruce traces his career back to the end of the
United States.                                     became a member of a team planning local           heavy transport petrol era when in 1980 he

                              BLAINE BARRATT                                          JOHN CAMPBELL               SUSANNE HOEBER

started as an apprentice on petrol buses and        basically selling what’s in the brochure, whereas   practically every brand of truck on the market
trucks for New Zealand Road Services.               with Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Vito there’s a      has proved a real asset in turning SelecTrucks
“Bruce brings a very extensive working              huge flexibility in what can be ordered from the    into a leader in the used truck market, fielding
knowledge of our heavy commercial vehicle           factory and that requires a much greater depth      enquiries from as far away as Australia as well
range to his new position,” says Dave. “He          of knowledge of the vehicles,” he explains.         as working closely with Mercedes-Benz and
also brings a strong focus on both product and      Also new to the trucks and vans team, but with      Freightliner dealers around New Zealand.
driver training for our salesmen and customers.     26 years of experience in the motor industry,       The “veteran” of the Mercedes-Benz New
“It is a real asset that he was already familiar    is Steve Klinac, the new Product and Marketing      Zealand commercial vehicles team in her
with our brands, systems, dealers and               Coordinator.                                        current role as Sales and Product Coordinator
customers and was able to hit the ground            With his father Tony driving for, among others,     since 2009 is Susanne Hoeber.
running during a very busy time for truck sales.”   RFL and Freightways, Steve has been around          Hailing from the home of Mercedes-Benz,
Meanwhile Blaine Barratt took on the role of        trucks “since I was a baby” but has worked          Stuttgart, she visited New Zealand to improve
National Sales Manager – Vans in January            mostly on the car and light commercial side         her English, but liked the country so much she
after 14 years on the retail side of the motor      for Holden, Nissan, Audi, Porsche and, most         returned and has become a resident. Susanne
industry, most recently as corporate account        recently, Ford. He also had his own business        joined Mercedes-Benz New Zealand in after-
manager and in fleet sales for John Andrew Ford     recruiting staff for motor companies.               sales support for vans in 2005 before being
in Auckland, both for passenger cars and light      One of the country’s most experienced               appointed Sales and Product Coordinator in
commercials.                                        truck salesmen, John Campbell, manages              November 2009.
He says that while a different set of skills is     SelecTrucks, the nationwide used truck              “Sue is the ‘glue’ for our team,” says Dave
required in supporting dealers rather than          operation of Mercedes-Benz Commercial               Ballantyne. “She has the ability to provide
customers directly, the major change in his         Vehicles.                                           backup to the other team members across
work results from the different approach            John had been selling trucks for more than          the different department functions, which is
Mercedes-Benz takes with its vans.                  25 years when he took up his role at the then       extremely valuable.”
“With Ford, Mazda and Mitsubishi you’re             new SelecTrucks in 2008. His experience of

  Major Financial
                                                                                        The relationship that Trevor and Dino have built with Wayne has
                                                                                        enabled him to grow the fleet in the knowledge he has the backing of
                                                                                        one of the best brands of trucks and the best finance solution for his

                                                                                        business needs.
                                                                                        Trevor says that the success of Mercedes-Benz Financial in the
                                                                                        commercial vehicle field resulted from specialised knowledge of
                                                                                        transport operations such as Burnells.
                                                                                        “Truck operators often don’t want to discuss their financial arrangements
  When Christchurch bulk transport operator Burnell and Sons Transport                  with the truck salesmen and it is vital that the finance representative
  Ltd purchased its eighth new Freightliner truck this year a major milestone           understands trucks.
  was marked for Mercedes-Benz Financial, which reached total financial                 “Dino is a walking calculator when it comes to finance, but he knows his
  volume of $500 million since starting operations in New Zealand.                      trucks as well,” Trevor says.
  Mercedes-Benz Financial, established here in 1998 and Burnells,
  founded in 2000 when Wayne and Kathy Burnell bought a two tip truck
  operation Wayne had been driving for, have grown together, and that’s
  the result of personal relationships developed among the Burnells, Dino
  Pavlovich, General Manager – Commercial Vehicles for Mercedes-Benz
  Financial and Trevor McCallum, Freightliner sales specialist at Prestige

  Commercial Vehicles.
  The relationships began when Dino met Wayne and Kathy shortly after
  they had bought the business and were looking to replace one of the
  original Isuzu tip trucks with a new Freightliner purchased from Trevor.
  Since then the fleet has grown to a Freightliner Columbia and seven
  Freightliner Argosy tippers, all purchased from Trevor and funded by
  specialised finance packages through Mercedes-Benz Financial.
                                                                                                  M I L L I O N F I NA NC E
  The trucks are all employed on tipper work around Canterbury and
  carting bulk commodities, such as potatoes, further afield.

Our job: to make your job easier;
finance solutions for your business
Mercedes-Benz Financial is a business name of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services New Zealand Limited.
Dealer &
           TRUCKS Sales
           Trucks & Trailers Ltd (Auckland)                 Ph: 09 262 2465
           Phil Wheelans Trucks & Vans (Palmerston North)   Ph: 06 350 0484
           Phil Wheelans Trucks & Vans (Wellington)         Ph: 04 568 7950

           Prestige Commercial Vehicles (Neslon)            Ph: 03 544 9580
           Prestige Commercial Vehicles (Christchurch)      Ph: 03 344 4900
           Prestige Commercial Vehicles (Dunedin)           Ph: 03 477 9286

           TRUCKS Service/Parts
           Keith Andrews Trucks (Whangarei)                 Ph: 09 430 3900
           Truck City (Auckland)                            Ph: 09 274 6523
           Trucks & Trailers Ltd (Auckland)                 Ph: 09 262 2465
           Tidd Ross Todd (Hamilton)                        Ph: 07 849 4839
           Central Diesel Services (Mt Maunganui)           Ph: 07 574 8407
           Parts & Service Taupo (Taupo)                    Ph: 07 378 2673
           WR Phillips Ltd (New Plymouth)                   Ph: 06 755 2069
           Jim Young Motors (Napier)                        Ph: 06 836 6126
           Phil Wheelans Trucks & Vans (Palmerston North)   Ph: 06 350 0484
           Phil Wheelans Trucks & Vans (Wellington)         Ph: 04 568 7950
           Truck Specialists (Nelson)                       Ph: 03 544 6090
           Prestige Commercial Vehicles (Greymouth)         Ph: 03 214 1325
           Prestige Commercial Vehicles (Christchurch)      Ph: 03 344 4900
           Prestige Commercial Vehicles (Timaru)            Ph: 03 687 4650
           Prestige Commercial Vehicles (Cromwell)          Ph: 03 445 0853
           Prestige Commercial Vehicles (Dunedin)           Ph: 03 477 9286
           Prestige Commercial Vehicles (Invercargill)      Ph: 03 214 1325

           LIGHT COMMERCIAL Sales
           Keith Andrews Trucks (Whangarei)                 Ph: 09 430 3900
           Coutts North Shore (Auckland)                    Ph: 09 443 3808
           Trucks & Trailers Ltd (Auckland)                 Ph: 09 262 2465
           Ingham Sears (Tauranga)                          Ph: 07 572 8260
           Phil Wheelans Trucks & Vans (Palmerston North)   Ph: 06 350 0484
           Phil Wheelans Trucks & Vans (Wellington)         Ph: 04 568 7950
           Prestige Commercial Vehicles (Christchurch)      Ph: 03 344 4900

           LIGHT COMMERCIAL Service/Parts
           KeriKeri Autohaus (KeriKeri)                     Ph: 09 407 9785
           Keith Andrews Trucks (Whangarei)                 Ph: 09 430 3900
           Coutts North Shore (Auckland)                    Ph: 09 443 3808
           Auckland Autohaus (Auckland)                     Ph: 09 303 3563
           Trucks & Trailers Ltd (Auckland)                 Ph: 09 262 2465
           Ingham Prestige (Hamilton)                       Ph: 07 846 8940
           Ingham Sears (Tauranga)                          Ph: 07 572 8260
           Morrell Motors Ltd (Taupo)                       Ph: 07 378 5759
           WR Phillips Ltd (New Plymouth)                   Ph: 06 755 2069
           Jim Young Motors (Napier)                        Ph: 06 836 6126
           Mercedes Benz Hawkes Bay (Napier)                Ph: 06 834 2340
           Phil Wheelans Trucks & Vans (Palmerston North)   Ph: 06 350 0484
           Phil Wheelans Trucks & Vans (Wellington)         Ph: 04 568 7950
           Wellington Star (Wellington)                     Ph: 04 385 3260
           Houston Prestige Ltd (Nelson)                    Ph: 03 545 6732
           Truck Specialists (Nelson)                       Ph: 03 544 6090
           Prestige Commercial Vehicles (Greymouth)         Ph: 03 214 1325
           Prestige Commercial Vehicles (Christchurch)      Ph: 03 344 4900
           Prestige Commercial Vehicles (Timaru)            Ph: 03 687 4650
           Prestige Commercial Vehicles (Cromwell)          Ph: 03 445 0853
           Prestige Commercial Vehicles (Dunedin)           Ph: 03 477 9286
           Prestige Commercial Vehicles (Invercargill)      Ph: 03 214 1325
           Armstrong Prestige (Christchurch)                Ph: 03 343 2468
           Hansens Autos (Queenstown)                       Ph: 03 442 9702


To top