“I called Worrick and he was there in a flash to help me out”
“But that’s just for starters! I have often seen him in his own time going the extra mile to organise those around him to ensure the run goes smoothly.
“Early on in the piece, it was very reassuring for me to be able to ring him, often at an ungodly hour, to ask about an array of issues to avoid making possible mistakes.
“On one occasion at 4am on Worrick’s day off a truck in front of me was transporting a house which caught fire after snagging overhead wires. The road was blocked and I needed to reverse for quite a way to make a detour. At that stage my backing skills were poor – I called Worrick and he was there in a flash to help me out.
“That was just one example of his whole approach and mindset. He’s invaluable as a role model, not only to newbies like me, but also to his contemporaries, as his energy and enthusiasm is infectious.”
The 62-year-old Worrick himself is matter-of-fact about his attitude to work: “Hey, I’m just like anybody else – I like to finish my day’s work as early as I can, get home feeling refreshed, and relax.
“So anything I can do to make the overall process smoother and more hassle-free, that’s what I’ll aim for.”
He cites his current job, during the milk offseason – carting out of Canterbury Coal’s opencast mine near Coalgate to Fonterra’s Darfield plant: “Two other Temuka trucks are also carting out of Coalgate to Fonterra Clandeboye. I confirm they’ll be at the mine when it opens at 7am, then I arrange to arrive at 7.30. There’s no point in sitting waiting for them to be loaded, so I give myself an extra half hour at home before picking up the truck at Darfield for the first loop.”
For this short offseason period the 8x4 FH16 and its five-axle trailer are fitted with alloy tipper bins. In season, the bins are replaced by tanks – 11,000-litre capacity for the truck, 17,000 for the trailer. His day starts before 3am, when he picks up the Volvo from near his home and heads to Goodman Fielder subsidiary Meadow Fresh on Blenheim Road. There he loads up (normally with milk permeate) and heads to the Westland Milk Products plant in Hokitika.
The run over, with an all-up weight typically of 54t, takes under three and a half hours. At Hokitika the tanks are unloaded and hotwashed, the truck cleaned and Worrick has his break before hitting the road again. Most days he’s back home by 1.30pm.
The Meadow Fresh Westland run has been going around seven years. When the contract started, Worrick relocated from Temuka to Christchurch, since then being essentially a solo operator, arranging maintenance and CoFs for the truck locally.
Often in the season the Westland Milk Products plant at Rolleston, south of Christchurch, will have product for the nightshift driver to take to Hokitika. On the way to the Coast in the early morning Worrick liaises with them to see if they might prefer to give him the load on his way home instead of waiting for the scheduled 4pm pickup by the nightshift.
It makes sense….but it can have a cost, he admits: “I get rapped over the knuckles several times a year for breaking the strict schedule for the pickup times in the afternoon.”
But, he reasons: “Rolleston and Meadow Fresh are only small facilities, with very little silo capacity. So if they have a silo with maybe a trailer load’s worth in it, then we’ll arrange for me to swing by on my way back to town. It takes more than an hour to
wash a silo out, so this means they can have the job done well ahead of time – instead of waiting for our nightshift driver to do the scheduled pickup after 4pm.”
As far as Worrick’s concerned it makes sense – and delivers increased efficiency – for everyone….even if it isn’t exactly to a prescribed schedule. The benefits include the fact that “our night driver can get onto his run much earlier.”
The same concern for overall efficiency is evident from Worrick’s unvarying custom at Hokitika: “While the tanks are unloading I have time to wash both truck and trailer on one side and the truck on the other. Then, while the tanks are being hot-flushed I can finish the trailer. It’s time I’d otherwise be standing around chatting, and it means the gear is also clean all the time.”
Despite being able to do the round trip in significantly less time than other drivers, he keeps the Volvo speed-limited to 89km/h. Going harder, he reckons, would gain maybe five to ten minutes on a one-way crossing....but at the cost of poorer fuel economy.
As it is, the 750hp FH16 consistently sits at or near the top of Temuka Transport’s economy ratings abstracted from the Volvo Dynafleet monitoring app – despite regularly running one of the country’s most challenging routes.
Born and raised on a mixed sheep, cattle and cropping farm not far from Clandeboye, Worrick has driven on and off for most of his life, but for around 20 years worked in a freezing works – supplementing that in the evenings during the hay season with contract hay work for Temuka Transport. In the winter, this was extended to occasional trips north to Culverden to pick up loads of milk.
The process of moving from the meatworks as his core job, with driving as a fill-in, was a gradual one: “Every season the question would be: ‘Do I go back to the works or stay on driving?’ But Temuka boss Rowdy Aitken would say, ‘go back for another season at the works, and we’ll call on you when we need you.’
“That changed after the dairy work started to grow explosively, prompting a rapid expansion in the size of the fleet.”
The shift to fulltime driving came around 2001. Since then, Worrick has driven “maybe a dozen” new Volvos for Temuka Transport, beginning with 480hp tractor units on runs as far afield as Takaka in Golden Bay.
He’s been in the FH16 for around three years: “I was on my way back from the West Coast when I got a call from company general manager Gutsy Aitken to come down to Temuka straight away.
When I arrived at the yard the 750 was sitting there and the loader was standing by ready to transfer the tanks from my 510hp FH12 to it. Forty minutes later I drove out with a new truck and 240hp more.”
From Gutsy’s perspective, Worrick fully deserves the topline truck: “He’s one of our best drivers. He takes ownership of his role and follows it right through, almost as if it was his own business. He coached Gary very well. He’s got a good balance of experience and vehicle skills, and he’s all about loyalty.
“His route is one of the toughest challenges in the country, and he’s regularly at the top of the fleet in terms of the readouts. Dynafleet is probably one of the most important tools we’ve picked up and it’s great to see how enthusiastically the drivers of Worrick’s generation have embraced it. There’s a real pride across the fleet now in rating well, and it works: Fuel savings alone are more than $250,000 a year.” T&D
THERE’S NOT MUCH GOOD THAT’S COME OUT OF THE global COVID-19 virus pandemic….but maybe, for the lovers of traditional-looking, light tare weight Kenworths, there is one, at least.
In a bizarre spinoff of the global health emergency, PACCAR Australia took the opportunity to pull off an unexpected “virtual” launch of a new T410 SAR – slap-bang in the middle of the lockdown.
The addition of a T410 SAR has been on the cards – a logical follow-on to the launch early last year of the more aero T410 and T360…and, like them, using the 2.1-metre-wide, high-quality Kenworth cab first seen in 2016 in the T610.
You’d have to think that the T410 SAR’s May announcement was ahead of expectations – not only for customers, but also for the truckmaker itself…given that the launch happened without any actual in-the-flesh (or metal) T410 SARs in existence!
Hence the only PR pictures available for the launch were straight off the drawing board. Yep…computer-generated “virtual” Kenworths.
Richard Smart, general sales manager of New Zealand Kenworth distributor Southpac Trucks, confirms it: “During the COVID-19
lockdown, Kenworth Australia had a lot more engineering resource to bring the project forward – quicker than we were expecting.
“It has now been released for order. We can now spec it up and build it.”
And just as quickly as it was launched, the T410 SAR has rapidly picked up buyer interest, regardless of its “virtual” launch.
That interest, of course, comes on the back of the T410’s success over the past year. As Smart points out, “the T410 was at the lighter end of the scale – with the PACCAR drivetrain.
“It’s been exceptionally well-received, it’s very well priced and it’s also a lot lighter than we ever thought it was going to be.”
So Southpac has already got a handful of orders in the system, “for some of our favourite Kenworth customers.” The newcomers are expected to start arriving in NZ in September or October.
Based on where the T410 has proven popular, Smart expects the T410 SAR to end up in urban tipper work, container cartage, fuel distribution and metro food delivery applications.
PACCAR Australia says the T410 SAR is “yet another example of the benefits of local Australian application-engineering for Australian road transport operators.”
“Driven by a continuous innovation and product development process, influenced heavily by customer and driver feedback, Kenworth has taken the features of the T410 and applied these and more to bring the all-new T410 SAR to its customers.”
What it amounts to, PACCAR reckons, is that “the best in the business just got better.”
The new truck brings, as PACCAR Australia sales and marketing director Brad May says, a combination of “classic Kenworth styling with modern enhancements.”
It also, PACCAR reckons, delivers “the best attributes of both a cabover and conventional truck, offering excellent manoeuvrability and visibility and, like a cabover, a minimal overall length…
“With the serviceability, ease of cab access and low tare weight of a bonneted truck.”
The new model, with its set-forward front axle offering better weight distribution, has a shorter bumper-to-back-of-cab (BBC) length of 2850mm and can be rated at up to 70 tonnes GCM for a variety of heavy-duty applications.
It comes with the PACCAR MX-13 engine – in 460 horsepower or 510hp ratings – Kenworth pushing the integrated offering of the MX-13 coupled with the PACCAR 12-speed AMT first offered last year in the T410.
Brad May acknowledges that “to develop a new product that meets the needs of our customers, consultation is paramount and is the foundation of its development.”
And feedback received from customers on the integrated PACCAR combo in the T410 “has been positive.”
The PACCAR 12-speed has a maximum torque rating of 1850 lb ft and a 50 tonne GCM capability. And, says PACCAR, it is “smoother and ticks all the boxes in terms of class-leading weight, durability and serviceability.”
Alternatives include the Eaton 18-speed UltraShift Plus AMT…or even an 18-speed Roadranger manual.
Says PACCAR: The UltraShift Plus option “delivers the performance and reliability needed for years of trouble-free operation and is available with a torque capacity of 1850 lb ft or 2050 lb ft, and a rating of up to 70t GCM.”
The transmission controller for both AMTs has been moved away from the dash to a more user-friendly stalk controller on the right-hand side of the steering column – close to the exhaust brake controls. As well as making for easier operation, the changed location of the controller provides more space in front of the dashboard to allow easier movement around the cab.
PACCAR says that since the MX-13 engine’s introduction to the Kenworth range in the T409, it has “gained popularity and earned the respect of drivers and fleets alike. Its performance and responsiveness has delivered fuel economy and operational benefits, making it a leading contender against other 13-litre options.”
It also “provides exceptional levels of refinement and service simplicity.” The truck’s electrical architecture, which no longer requires 24v-12v inverters, is “even more simple, durable and costeffective to service and maintain.”
PACCAR believes the new model will find a home as a rigid or in
single-trailer or multi-trailer combinations – so far only as a 6x4….. but with 8x4s “confirmed” for release later this year.
Buyers get a choice of premium traditional diamond pleat trim for the cab interior, in a range of contemporary colours, “or the smart new fleet-spec trim.” The T410 SAR also offers four sizes of sleeper cab – including a new 600mm flat-roof version for car-carrying applications, due for release early in 2021.
Says May: “Of paramount importance in delivering new product is the need to maintain the exceptional performance, quality, durability and productivity for which Kenworth is renowned. Our extensive testing and validation process supports this, as does our own research and development, further enhancing product as innovations come to hand.”
Given the four years since the 2.1m-wide cab was released in Australasia, there’s been plenty of opportunity to make some improvements, as May points out: “Further development of the platform has enabled us to refine and enhance many key elements in the T410 SAR.”
And PACCAR Australia chief engineer Noelle Parlier adds: “This development has allowed us to bring a product to market with all the Kenworth hallmarks and more.”
Safety-wise, the T410 SAR carries the full EBSS safety suite and offers improved ingress and egress for the Kenworth driver, enhanced visibility within the cab, and improved ergonomics.
Says PACCAR: “A trademark of the 2.1m cab, enhanced visibility, has been achieved by the intelligent design of the windscreen, doors and mirrors and the driver is in complete command – easily glancing at anything without having to turn or duck their head.
“The more expansive windscreen provides a panoramic view of the road and the large door windows allow for a first-class view to the side of the vehicle, giving a full 180-degree view from the driver’s seat.
“Large, adjustable, aerodynamic, power adjustable mirrors with high strength cast break-away brackets reduce mirror vibration and offer an optimal rear view of the vehicle. Intelligent mirror placement, sitting low on the cab, also allows for an effective forward line of sight, both over the mirrors and between the mirror and A-pillar – making for exceptional cross-traffic visibility.”
The T410 SAR is available with state-of-the art collision avoidance and mitigation technology including active cruise with braking and lane departure warning.
The 2.1m-wide cab was “designed with driver comfort and control in mind and offers more safety options, greater visibility, improved ergonomics and space than those before it.
“The instrument panel, switches and controls have been positioned intuitively with dashboard instrumentation visible at a glance. Everything has been situated to allow drivers to maintain concentration and reduce fatigue.”
An optional seven-inch display provides access to satellite navigation systems, radio and media functions and virtual gauges, unique to Kenworth. Cruise control and audio controls are on the steering wheel.
And driver comfort is enhanced by “an advanced heating and airconditioning system, with automatic climate control.” T&D
With no actual in-the-metal T410 SAR trucks built, the new model was given a “virtual” launch, with computer-generated images only. This one visualises a T410 SAR as a B-double tractor unit
Above: The T410 SAR shows off its more traditional styling, alongside the already-released, more aerodynamic and modern-looking T410 Opposite page: The launch during the COVID-19 lockdown was for 6x4 versions of the T410 SAR only.....but 8x4s are expected before year’s end