Giti Tyres Big Test: Pioneer ProStar
Once upon a time (well, three to seven years ago,to be more precise) New Zealand had Cat logtrucks.
Then, in 2017 the Cat headed off towards extinction, with no new progeny to be produced.
The short-lived Caterpillar experiment in selling its own brand of trucks – running re-purposed, re-engineered Cat C15 engines – was over.
Now though the first of a new breed of Cat lookalikes is being seen in the forests of New Zealand's East Coast/Poverty Bay. Similar…but not the same.
This new beast answers to a different name: It's an International ProStar R8 HD 8x4 logger – the first of its kind in the world, in fact. It has a red engine (a Cummins X15), rather than the Caterpillar yellow donk, and a lot of improvements, refinements.
But other than that, this is the same truck…because the Cats were, of course, rebadged ProStars – built for Caterpillar by International owner Navistar, using its ProStar cab,
Pirelli Trevor Test
It's really not that surprising that Shane Bunning's International ProStar eight wheeler, fitted with Mills-Tui bolsters and towing a five-axle Mills-Tui trailer, is the first 8x4 ProStar logger….
Given that our use of eight-wheeler conventionals here in New Zealand is more common than probably anywhere else in the world.
I jump into the ProStar's cab at the metal stockpile just before the end of Paritu Road – where it joins State Highway 2/Wharerata Road, on the Bartletts Hill, for a run back to the Gisborne port.