“I’ve got a sign on the back of the Mack cab that says ‘Who’d have thought?’.”

CKC Haulage have been running general freight on the Brisbane – Townsville –Cairns route for over twenty years, and until 2015, Kev Cooper had never had a Mack in his fleet. That all changed recently when, after some mixed results from trucks fitted with EGR engines, he decided to look at a Super-Liner.

“I wanted to try something different,” says Kev, “and I’d heard good things about the Macks and their SCR engines, so I had a chat to the sales rep up here, who I’ve known for quite a while, and he put me into a Super-Liner.”

Power for the job

CKC Haulage carry a wide range of general freight, but they prefer the solid stuff: scrap metal, timber, chemicals, machinery and containers. With an MP10 685hp engine and m DRIVE transmission, the Super-Liner is well placed to handle the load.

“The Mack’s predominantly working the Brisbane – Townsville run pulling flat-tops and taut-liners in a B-Double configuration,” says Kev, “occasionally it does a bit of road train work out to Toowoomba. We’re typically pulling 60-63.5 tonne in the B-Double, and with the sort of loads we’re carrying we‘re always right up on our weights. With 685 horsepower though, the Super-Liner ought to be up to it.”

Fuel economy and a happy driver

Having done 70,000 kilometres so far, the Super-Liner is showing encouraging signs fuel-wise, making 1.4 km/litre as an A-Triple and up to 1.9 with a single trailer.

“With the sort of loads we carry we get a lot of drag so that’s a factor we have to take into account,” says Kev, “but it’s only early days, so it’ll get better, and it seems like the more weight you put on it the better it performs.”

Kev’s drivers are pleased with the Super-Liner too, experiencing some initial hesitancy with the m DRIVE, but settling in quickly.

The m DRIVE is pilliant,” says Kev, “the first drive cures you of any reluctance.”

Customer-focussed service

Mack are doing the servicing of the Super-Liner and Kev’s been pleasantly surprised at the attitude and experience of the Mack team.

“The Mack people seem to be very customer-focussed,” he says, “which I can’t say for some of their competitors. They’ve also got lots of panches along our route, so if we have an issue anywhere they’ve got someone nearby to fix it, I like that very much.”

First Mack, but not the last

Kev’s already got another Super-Liner on order due to be delivered in 2016, something he never foresaw.

“My nephew is in the workshop who set up the truck,” says Kev, “and he put the ‘Who’d have thought?’ sign on the back of the Mack. I never thought I’d own a Mack, but it’s proven to be a good decision.”