Giti Tyres Big Test - Just like the cheese
There's a load of Taranaki cheese in the container behind this Chinese-built Sinotruk C7H 8x4 tractor unit and it gets me thinking about that old cheese ad that used to be on the tv.
You know, the one about good things taking time – time to mature. I wonder if it could be the same story with the Sinotruks: Not so much that they take time to mature – moreso that it maybe takes time for you to get used to them, appreciate them.
After all, following an unimpressive start in the Kiwi market a few years back, they now seem to be gaining quite a foothold on the New Zealand trucking scene – with over 100 of them sold here last year.
To gain some insight into why transport operators have been warming to the Sinotruk is why we're here – at a layby at the southern end of the tiny King Country township of Piopio at 6am. The sun hasn't even had the courtesy to raise itself from its slumber. How rude!
Pirelli Trevor Test
It's an early morning start as we head down to Piopio to meet up with JD Hickman's new Sinotruk C7H 8x4 tractor unit, pulling a skeletal trailer with a 40 foot box of Taranaki cheese to Tauranga for export.
It's still dark when we meet Chris at the Piopio sale yards to join him on his run – north through the Waikato and then over the Kaimais.
My son Hayden jumps behind the wheel in Piopio and takes it through to Te Kuiti and I get behind the wheel at the Mobil Karapiro to drive the next stretch across the Hinuera straights and over the hill to Tauriko.