Selling a new truck to long-time Masterton transport operator Bruce Baker demands a lot of patience. In fact, until last year many might have considered it impossible.
But now there’s a brand-new DAF CF 530 in the blue, white and red colours of G & B Baker Ltd. Like its three sisters in the fleet – a Hino 700 and a pair of Freightliner Argosy’s of mid-2000s vintage - the new DAF is at work carting logs away from rugged Wairarapa forestry sites.
G & B Baker Ltd has always run its log cartage business - and in earlier days bulk work and general freight as well - with a fleet of carefully selected second-hand trucks.
Bruce and his wife Jeanette take a cautious approach to business. The decision to purchase the new DAF was based on local contacts and long-term relationships, a significant amount of value-for-money research and confidence in the booming Wairarapa forestry industry.
I have to be honest; I love a logging truck test.
Getting out into some of the harsher environments New Zealand can throw at a truck really gets me excited. Not only do you get to experience highway running and some rural roads but also off-road tracks ranging from flat and smooth to narrow, steeply rutted and with tight turns.
I can’t think of a better environment to test a truck.
The truck we are testing this month is the first DAF CF Euro 6 dedicated logging unit to go on the road here in New Zealand. I tested the DAF XF when it was first launched here in another tough environment doing livestock, so it will be interesting to see how the CF compares.