f
l

Freightliner Argosy & 18 Meter, 50 Ton Stem Trailer an Industry First

It's a real wow moment when Mark Pittar Transport's latest addition enters Pan Pac Mill in Napier. Aesthetically the black Freightliner and Patchell trailer is a good-looking pair, but the job the truck and trailer combo do together has revolutionised Mark's business and is keeping this contractor very happy.

Since joining the industry in 1999, Mark knew something could be done to assist him in taking longer stems and a greater payload. Years later he began his homework and engaged with Patchell's to see what they could come up with. In 2016 Mark took a risk and had the 5-axle stem trailer built, the first of it's kind to legally cart 18-metre logs at 50 ton, and long story short, it's worked.

The Freightliner Argosy is a vital part of the combination. With its front of bumper to first axle measurement and low tare Mark is able to maximize his payload and load length without compromising the driver environment. The Argosy sleeper cab puts everything he would want in easy reach and also provides lots of room and a bed if required. The drivability and traction offered by the DD15, Airliner suspension, and clever trailer design mean that Mark's team can get the job done effortlessly. "It's taken a bit of practice loading the trailer as the logs are now facing down at the front not back, but we've got the hang of it now. The way the logs are loaded is safer as there is no overhang," says Mark. "It drives like a dream, with zero tail swing."

Mark started driving in 1989 at 19 years old. His grandfather had trucks and always told him it's in the blood. In 1999 Mark started as a contractor at the Pan Pac Mill, soon after he bought his first truck and in 2004 bought his second. Mark now has a fleet of nine trucks, seven are Freightliners, and a team of 14 drivers. Mark has learned that Freightliner is his truck of choice. "I can get 900,000km before I have to think about a motor rebuild," he says.

Mark has bought 14 Freightliners in total from Trucks & Trailers. Trading and updating his assets is something he reviews regularly. The trucks get a good work-out, they are on the road from 2am most days and do three runs a day from the forest to the mill. These days can last as long as 12 hours, mostly off-road. "It's important that we have the best gear to get the job done efficiently, quickly, and safely. We have learned that Freightliner is the truck we can trust and we have a great relationship with the team at Trucks & Trailers," says Mark.

Written by: Kelly Fry, Trucks & Trailers
Phone: 0800 327 777 www.trucksandtrailers.co.nz