Grant Reid, owner of South Auckland’s WPBH Earthmoving, was the first operator in the country to get the new HD Euro on the road, adding two FV470K1 6x4s to his fleet in February. With each registering an 80-litre daily fuel saving compared to his existing trucks, he hasn’t looked back.
Grant, who set up business in 1991, describes himself as an “old-school” truckie – but the HD Euro has caused him to re-evaluate. Like most truck drivers, when it comes to sticks Grant was firmly stuck in his ways.
“I’m used to an 18-speed gearstick. I like to see where the gears go,” he says, “but now that I’ve driven it [the HD Euro], I’d never go back to a manual box.”
It’s an opinion shared by his driver Toko Whare, who’s been behind the wheel of one of the new trucks since it was bought. “I love it!” he says.
Having previously driven a 400hp unit with an 18-speed Roadranger gearbox, Toko admits the new Inomat II automated transmission did take some getting used to, but now he’s a convert. “It’s quite a different style of driving.”
Toko uses a combination of fully automatic mode and cruise control on the motorways around Auckland. He says he’s already feeling the benefits from the driver-friendly transmission, especially when traffic starts to build.
“It really takes the stress out of it and I don’t get numb feet from resting on the clutch or the brake. I’m not as tired at the end of the day either.”
While regularly running in ‘auto’ mode, Toko has the option of flicking over to manual when the truck needs to be held in a certain gear for upcoming hills, bends or when working around a quarry.
The two trucks run 44 tonne stickers. Both have steel tippers and pull a steel or aluminium trailer with tares of 17 or 16.3 tonnes.
They regularly run at their maximum legal weights, either hauling backfill from an Auckland construction site or hardfill out of a quarry.
Toko’s impressed with the power and torque of the new OM457 12-litre engine. “She really pulls – and she keeps on pulling,” says Toko. “It’s a driver’s dream.”
They’re proving a dream for Grant too, who’s impressed with the efficiency of the Euro V compliant 331kW (470hp) engine that originally attracted him.
“I wanted the extra horsepower and torque and I’m really pleased with the result,” he says. “It means each truck can complete four trips a day, instead of the three my 400hp 18-speed Isuzus are capable of.
“Not only is the HD Euro faster on the same trip, it uses 20 litres less fuel than the Isuzu – over four trips, that amounts to an 80-litre fuel saving. You can’t argue with that!”
Sourced from Truck News #61 May 2012