This is, it’s clear, a very specialised freight operation. That much is transparently obvious.
We are, after all, talking about glass here. Hundreds of pieces of it….in a whole range of sizes – recently made by Architectural Glass Products (AGP) at its spectacular, state-of-the-art new factory at Hautapu, near Cambridge…
And now, closing in on 3am, this fragile load is about to head off on its way to Palmerston North – for transfer onto smaller trucks that’ll deliver it to factories making aluminium windows and doors, as part of the APL group.
Okay, so that’s around 400 kilometres…and a helluva lot of potholes, slumps, bumps, washouts and the like – all with the potential to wreak havoc on fragile freight.
But it’s okay: Just as AGP’s world-class factory has been purposebuilt, so too has this new Scania R500 B-train unit entrusted with carrying AGP’s glass products on its longest linehaul delivery run.
The combination has been similarly well-considered and purposefully designed – and is now just-as-thoughtfully used – by APL Direct, the transport operation dedicated to carrying the products of AGP and its sister manufacturing companies within the PGL Group.
When you think Scania, you think V8 – well most do…and it’s the V8 that has gained an almost cult following (which will no doubt get bigger when it launches a 770-horsepower model next year).
But we aren’t here for a V8 this time – it’s the six-cylinder 500hp engine that we are interested in.
We start off in Cambridge at 3am – catching up with APL Direct’s new R500 model towing a stunning new Roadmaster six-axle B-train setup that was designed and built to cart AGP’s glass.
The whole unit looks great, with nice clean colours and graphics and an amazing light show – even inside the trailers, where there are neon lights running down the centre.