Double Coin Imaging Awards

 
DIY Master Class

DIY Master Class

Double Coin Imaging Awards

 March 2022   

Carterton owner/driver Mark “Pom Pom” Thomas has a surprising story to relate about the immaculate new Kenworth K200 logger he put on the road in January.

“Everything behind the cab is actually 10 years old,” says Pom Pom.

“It’s all used gear.”

The standout finish of the metallic blue and silver K200 2.3 Flat Roof Sleeper 8x4 is the result of Pom Pom putting his engineering and electrical talents to work and pulling out all stops during an intense nine-week DIY build.

Pom Pom, operating as SEM Haulage Limited, had previously owned a CAT-powered 2007 Kenworth K104B he’d bought from Alan Forbes.

“Alan Forbes is a very honest man, and I bought a great truck off him. I ran it for 26 months and I looked after it. In that time, it had four clean sheet COF inspections,” says Pom Pom.


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Carterton owner/driver Mark “Pom Pom” Thomas has a surprising story to relate about the immaculate new Kenworth K200 logger he put on the road in January.

“Everything behind the cab is actually 10 years old,” says Pom Pom.

“It’s all used gear.”

The standout finish of the metallic blue and silver K200 2.3 Flat Roof Sleeper 8x4 is the result of Pom Pom putting his engineering and electrical talents to work and pulling out all stops during an intense nine-week DIY build.

Pom Pom, operating as SEM Haulage Limited, had previously owned a CAT-powered 2007 Kenworth K104B he’d bought from Alan Forbes.

“Alan Forbes is a very honest man, and I bought a great truck off him. I ran it for 26 months and I looked after it. In that time, it had four clean sheet COF inspections,” says Pom Pom.

SEM Haulage has a close working relationship with HP Transport (Joe Potter) and NZ Forest Works (Rob Calder), mainly working in the Wairarapa/Wellington region and anywhere lower North Island. 

“One day I was driving along and started to think about a new truck,” says Pom Pom.

The K200 8x4 with a Euro 5 618hp Cummins X15 was ordered in April 2021 and arrived as a cab/chassis in mid-October.

“Mark O’Hara and Southpac were awesome to work with from start to finish,” Pom Pom says.

Behind the scenes Pom Pom had a plan ready to action. He’d also purchased a used Patchell Industries log trailer and logging gear for the truck.

He sold the K104B as a complete unit and started on the build.

Originally from Shropshire in the UK, Pom Pom is multi-talented. Before he went line-haul driving in Europe he gained his auto electrical qualifications and emigrated to New Zealand in 2004.

And between driving trucks he also worked for Masterton’s DA McGovern for three years, gaining multiple engineering and welding tickets during his stint there.

Pom Pom knew DA McGovern’s facility and knowledge was the place to build the new K200. Pom Pom went into action.

“I worked every day, and I mean every day. I was even there on Christmas Day and on New Year’s Day,” he says.

“I totally stripped everything out of the trailer replacing all the running gear. I rewired and re-piped everything and fitted an ABS/EBS braking system.”

“Everything has been refurbished and updated. It’s really a brand-new trailer.

“The colour is PPG Forbes blue,” says Pom Pom, who also did the painting himself.

On his previous truck Pom Pom had used some stone and silver graphics to cover its original yellow and orange Forbes signage. He decided to evolve the design on the new truck.

“I wanted something nice and subtle that would be easy to repair if it got scratched. I chose the silver pinstriping and the old English style lettering which I think sets off the blue really well.”

The SEM Haulage name is the initials of Pom Pom’s three daughters – Sophie, Eloise and Maizie.

The Kenworth truck build consisted of new headboard, wheel carriers, new Patchell bumper, tank guards, CTI, cameras and LED lighting. Other details include stainless drop visor, twin stainless 6-inch exhaust stacks and stainless grill bars.

“I wanted the dual stacks, and they came in a kit from Southpac. I fabricated the exhaust system and air cleaners.”

One of the few jobs Pom didn’t tackle himself was the fitment of the BroLube greasing automatic system, a feature he considers to be vital.

With a short amount of time away in Palmerston North for certification and compliance at Emmetts Service Centre, Pom Pom estimates he put in about seven weeks solid work over a nine-week stretch.

“The original plan was to be on the road on January 10th and we did our first load on January 12th,” he says.

The truck works in some demanding forestry sites and Pom Pom has been impressed so far.

He says it was an easy decision to stay with a Kenworth.

“If I was doing line-haul I would probably choose a Volvo or Scania. That’s what I know from driving all over Europe for nine years and sleeping in a different country every night,” he says.

“For logging work the Kenworth is a durable truck which I can pretty much maintain by myself. They are a ‘nuts and bolts’ truck, easy to work on and ideally suited to logging work.”

The four-axle trailer was a deliberate choice.

“At 48-tonne with a four-axle, 5.8-metre wheelbase trailer there are really no sites I can’t get into,” he says.

“The four-axle tracks so well, as I have lengthened the drawbar and mounted the draw beam and ring feeder forward as per build drawings.”

Pom Pom’s summer in the workshop has saved him a considerable amount of money. And it’s also saved time as he hasn’t waited to secure a build slot for a new trailer and truck gear.

At first glance this new K200 stands out for its understated appearance and thoughtful design. Learn a little of the back story and it’s a showcase for the skills of a meticulous and talented engineer who has built himself exactly what he needs.  

Gallery

Transporting Imaging Mar 2022
Transporting Imaging Mar 2022
Transporting Imaging Mar 2022

 


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