Phil Taylor has the bug, the truck bug that is. It’s something that some of us catch in our younger years, either watching or listening to trucks, or in Phil’s case, spending school holidays riding around in his cousin’s FR Mack, working for Mainfreight in Dunedin.
Phil went on to enter the transport industry proper at the age of 16, working for Paterson and Barr delivering furniture and whiteware. His career in the industry has been varied, working in general freight and bulk cartage, but he has also worked for some iconic trucking companies like Aztec Haulage, Peter McDowell Transport, Kenworthys, JPM Holdings, and now, after 28 years, he’s at Southern Transport.
In his first three months at Southern Transport Phil was given number 42, an 8x4 CH Mack with a 3-axle trailer, which ironically is the same trailer (converted to a 5-axle) he now tows behind the Mack Trident. The log gear off number 42 was refurbished by Transport Engineering Southland and is also on Phil’s current truck.
Based in Mosgiel, Otago, Phil puts the 535hp Mack Trident to work, mainly carting from the Taieri to Craigpine at Winton, returning with export logs from Ernslaw One. Lately the work has been varied, carting from Lawrence and Palmerston running export logs to N.F.A Holdings Ltd in Dunedin.
Phil freely admits he just loves the truck. “I smile every morning when I put the key in the door. I’m very thankful that Geoff put me on this truck,” he says.
The Mack runs the MP8 Mack engine which produces 1950lb/ft of torque with a 12-speed mDRIVE AMT. This has impressed Phil, “It’s such a relaxed drive, everything about it is effortless”.
The unit is fitted with a Bigfoot central tyre inflation (CTI) system and SI Lodec scales, as well as the Cortex electronic RUC system, which Southern Transport runs on all of their equipment.
Phil has also added his touch to the Trident with chrome rocker switch surrounds, chrome toggle switch extensions, chrome park brake knobs, tinted windows, green LED lighting in the hood flutes and under the doors and front bumper, plus LED light aerials which are amber forward and red rear.
This Mack Trident is the first to join the Southern Transport fleet and with Phil behind the wheel it’ll be a Top Truck for many years to come.
Photo: Phil is known for looking after the gear he drives.