They say that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. In truth, SOMETIMES it MAY be.
But in rural New Zealand, it probably ain’t gonna happen without the right soil, the right amount of rain, just enough sunshine…and fertiliser. Lots and lots of fertiliser.
Which is where Dargaville’s Jason Williamson and his new Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3348 come into the picture: He’s the owner of Spreading Northland – running a fleet of bulk spreaders that work all over its home region.
And when the demand is there for lots and lots of fert, it’s logical – right? – to go for a spreader that’s bigger, better….grippier. Meaning, it can spread more fert.
Hence the Arocs – the first 6x6 in a Williamson spreader lineup that otherwise comprises 4x4s – three Mercs, two Scanias and a FUSO.
We’re here in Dargaville on a sunny Northland day to find out how the theory behind the latest purchase is working out in practice.
The Arocs and its three-axle automat trailer are heading out to a farm at Aranga – on the West Coast, 40-odd kilometres north – to go about its business. Spreading some lime and fert.
It’s been a long time since I was last in a bulk groundspreader – and that 4x4 was way different to the towering Spreading Northland Mercedes-Benz Arocs 6x6 that’s our test truck this month.
After watching regular driver Michael make it look easy as he spreads the first couple of loads on some steep paddocks on a farm at Aranga, north of Dargaville, it’s my turn to have a go.
The climb up into the cab of this construction model Merc is a steep one – the high ground clearance making it a big stretch up to the first step. Once you’re on it though, the next two steps are not so bad – aided by grabhandles on each side of a wide-opening door.
Once in the cab it’s a simpler Merc layout compared to what I’ve experienced in the make’s highway trucks. But in saying that all the standard functionalities are still there – in the same place. The main dash has the standard tacho, speedo and AdBlue and fuel gauges, with a digital screen in the centre for a variety of settings.