Grant Marshall has liked Volvos since he first drove a FH12 for Jason Miller 25 years ago. He was an owner-driver for NZ Couriers for 15 years and bought a few secondhand ones when he set up in business handling liquid/solid waste in 2004. The business is called Waste Away South Ltd, and it has evolved significantly in the past 10 years. When the time came to put a new truck on an important run carting edible oils across the Southern Alps, Grant was happy to find a Volvo was the best option.
It’s not just any Volvo either; it’s a 700hp FH16 with an XL cab, with all the leather and luxury that comes standard in Volvo’s top-of-the-range product. The truck was complemented with a new Patchell B-train with matching insulated stainless-clad tanks on each trailer.
Five days a week, more or less depending on demand, the truck leaves Timaru well before sunrise with 30 tonnes of edible oil from Bakels, bound for the Westland Dairy Company where it’s used in some of the product they produce. It’s a round trip of more than 700 kilometres, virtually from sea level on the east coast to sea level on the West Coast, peaking at 922 metres as the truck crests Arthur’s Pass. It’s a tough route, steep and twisting, often made more difficult by snow and ice, but the Volvo has the features to handle it comfortably, safely, and economically, all while making good time.
New Zealand Trucking caught up with Grant and the truck in Waste Away ’s yard in Washdyke, just out of Timaru. The truck was not heavily used during the off-season in July and regular driver Gary Riddle was out of action recovering from a hip replacement. Good hips help when it comes to climbing up to the high driver’s seat in a FH Volvo. Grant said he aims to put a 6-axle curtainsider B-train behind the truck when it ’s not towing the tanks, it can then cart oil blends in cubes across to Hokitika, returning with other goods.
The truck operates under the name of Marshall Transport, a division of Waste Away that Grant set up in 2012 to handle the specialist role of carrying food grade oils. The business operates throughout the South Island and carts a number of liquid products, including molasses and tallow. The Volvo is solely carrying an edible oil blend, which is loaded at about 50 degrees Celsius and must remain at an acceptable temperature throughout the journey. Custom insulated tanks were necessary and Grant contacted Patchell Industries to make a suitable B-train tanker unit.
As well as good insulation properties, Grant wanted the nine-axle combination to be able to be approved up to 58 tonne (depending on the route); it also needed a complex piping system and a CIP (clean-in-place) facility. What ’s more, he needed it urgently. He says, “Patchell’s worked out weights and dimensions to ensure a 30 tonne payload at 50MAX and they pulled out all stops to build it on time”.
He says that even though Patchell’s were a thousand kilometres away, they kept him updated and worked with him on the finer details such as piping, lagging, lighting and axles. He points out that even with the temperatures they’ve been faced with this winter, the product is so well insulated it only drops a couple of degrees in 14 hours and reckons, “ They were brilliant to deal with and the quality is awesome”.
The striking yellow cab is highlighted by the work of Timaru Signs & Graphix’ master craftsman Andrew Geddes. Neat blue and black detailing and pin striping enhances the yellow cab, and the unique ghosted Marshall Transport logo on the side of the roof section is outstanding.
Grant says he got a call from Wayne at Patchell’s suggesting they build a custom stainless steel surround for the plastic DEF tank. It hides what is probably the most ordinary feature of the extraordinary truck and sharpens up the appearance of the left chassis nicely.
Grant Marshall – the quintessential kiwi battler.
Grant Marshall is the owner and managing director of Waste Away South Ltd. Born and bred in Timaru, he’s come up through the driving ranks, starting as a relief driver at Post Haste when he was 16 and becoming an owner-driver at 18.
Waste Away operates more than 25 trucks in a variety of specialist roles from refuse removal to edible oil cartage, including jetting trucks, skip and front loader trucks, hydrovac units, swing lifts, vacuum trucks and tallow tankers. The company has expanded from its head office in Washdyke and spread throughout the central South Island. As well as Marshall Transport, it operates under the names Wastetech Services Ltd Dunedin, Wastech Services Central Otago Ltd, and Southern Logistics Ltd.