Giti Tyres Big Test: Mighty Merc
Location: The Saddle Road, across the Ruahine Ranges. Time: Nightfall, early winter.
Conditions: Heavy drizzle, turning into steady light rain as the climb progresses.
Payload: Fabricated metal bridge beam – 22 metres long, by 2.2m high….and weighing 50.5 tonnes.
Holy rows of eight Batman, this sounds like a job for a REALLY serious heavy-haul combination!
And that's what we've got Robin – in the form of Tomoana Warehousing's Mercedes-Benz Arocs SLT 8x6 and its associated TRT trailers.
The truck – currently the only one of its type in the country – has been purpose-designed for this sort of work. Even so, it is really being put to the test tonight.
Pirelli Trevor Test
We venture into the realm of the heavy haulers with this Trevor Test, when we catch up with Tomoana's Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3363 AS.
Its heavy in every way, with a truck and trailer combined tare weight of 57 tonnes and a loaded weight today of a modest 107 tonne. It's rated with a 33t GVW and 250t GCM.
Making up the weight is the giant Mercedes-Benz 8x6 tractor unit, hooked up to a TRT gooseneck trailer with three rows of eight and a rear electronic self-steer trailer with four rows of eight.
The bridge beam that we're carrying today is not actually one of the bigger ones – weighing-in at just over 50t and destined for the Transmission Gully motorway project.
The Trevor Test kicks off in Waipukurau, on our way down to the Saddle Road, where the Arocs will cross over into the Manawatu and then carry on down State Highway One to Paekakariki.