Giti Tyres Big Test: Ultimate Truck Just Got Better
Career Truckie Reg McCorkindale has reached retirement age...and then some. But even though he's already notched-up around half a century behind truck steering wheels, the Dunedin driver's very happy to keep going "for a while yet."
That's no big surprise when you meet Reg and his new truck - which he rates the best he's ever driven. And that's saying something when you consider that his last three were all 730-horsepower Scanias!
It rates as even higher praise when he reckons that, in fact, this truck is much, much better than the 2017 R 730 he hopped out of a week or so ago. And that in itself was a truck bristling with power, torque and technology - the latter including predictive and adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking.
So what the hell is this new wonder-truck? Well, it's yet another Scania - unsurprisingly since that's the only truck make that Reg's boss Warren Good has bought in the last 32 years.
Reg reckons he thought his R 730s were as good as it gets....but this S 620, one of the flagship models in Scania's new-generation truck range, is "way better" than them. So good, in fact, that he's moved to confess: "I am an extremely lucky man...I'm just bloody spoilt. Oh, this is an incredible bit of gear, this."
He's not alone in thinking so: Longtime Post Haste contractor Good hasn't actually bought this S 620 - it's an evaluation truck that's on trial with his WJ & SA Good Ltd operation in Dunedin....as importer CablePrice launches the Scania New Truck Generation in New Zealand.
But it's clear that Good's already sold on the new-era trucks, launched in Europe just two years ago..
Pirelli Trevor Test
It's a classic autumn morning in Southland when we catch up with the first Scania S 620 in the Southern Hemisphere.
Today we're carting MDF out of the board mill at Mataura up to Port Chalmers, with an all-up weight of around 44 tonnes - quite a bit down on the rig's usual loading, around 50t.
Like all the new-model premium European trucks it's a fair climb up into the cab, with four well-spaced steps and well-positioned grabhandles each side of the door.
It brings to mind my favourite Led Zeppelin song, Stairway to Heaven, climbing into the warm and extremely well-appointed cab - getting out of the foggy, chilly weather.
All of these new Euros with their...