Greg Payne has been around Macks since he was a kid when his father used to drive trucks for Freight Haulage in the seventies and eighties.
Now the family connection has come full circle and Greg is the Manager of Freight Haulage, where he oversees the 28,000 square metres of storage and logistics, the company’s fleet of 40 trucks and its 56 employees at Invercargill, at the southern end of New Zealand’s South Island.
Returning to Mack
Greg started in the company 25 years ago, and after a 10 year hiatus to try other things, he says “I took the opportunity to change back into an industry that I’d been in since I was a kid.”
He knows the company well and looks back fondly on visits to his father’s workplace where Macks were a strong presence in the yard. “We had a lot of R-series Macks and when I returned to the company, I started purchasing Macks again,” he says.
These days, Freight Haulage works in a 30-kilometre radius around its Invercargill base, where a thriving smelter industry produces finished metal products for export or requires raw materials for delivery to the plants.
‘It’s a big increase’
Freight Haulage is also one of the biggest movers of import and export containers out of the Southland port at Bluff, and Greg says that the company has started buying Macks in recent years because of their light tare weight.
“That allows me to cart bigger tonne boxes on the road, compared to the previous trucks where I could only cart 25 tonne,” says Greg, “the new Mack carts 42 tonne with the six-axle B trains, it’s been a big increase.”
“We looked at a lot of trucks before buying the Mack,” he adds, “we dropped a seven tonne axle on the front and super singles on the Macks just to get the weight forward, and that just worked for us.”
The larger loads mean that the company has been able to find new efficiencies.
“We’ve gone from originally 24 to 27 tonne loads on about seven trucks down to four trucks with a much higher capacity of 42 tonnes,” he says.
‘They’ve just proven themselves’
Greg didn’t have to think too hard before making the decision to make his recent purchases of four Mack Granites to add to the company’s fleet. He says Mack’s reputation and history was a big factor in their decision.
“Of course the reliability of the Mack speaks for itself. They are indestructible. They’ve proven themselves and we have run quite a few.”
“We bought the 6x4 Mack Granites predominantly to cart metal out of the smelter, and we move on average 500 to 600 tonne per day by road. Each Mack also carts export containers back out of Bluff back to the yard,” he said
Greg is also impressed with the comfort and versatility of the Macks.
“They’ve come a long way from the R-series Mack. The drivers are enjoying the comfort and the mDRIVE is definitely a positive – a big step forward.”