Green light for first Freightliner Cascadia on the road in New Zealand

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

The first Freightliner Cascadia to land in New Zealand has hit the road for McKillop Contracting.

Alex ‘Tex’ McKillop was keen to get into the all-new conventional truck, which landed in the country late last year before going through an extensive build up including liberal amounts of stainless steel and a dramatic green glow lighting package.

Purchased through Trevor McCallum at CablePrice in Christchurch, the 116 Cascadia is hauling refrigerated goods between McKillop Contracting’s home base in Dunedin and Christchurch and between Christchurch and Invercargill for TSI Logistics on a two-driver rotating shift. 

It clocks up a total of 1200km each day and joins two Freightliner Argosys and two 114 Coronados at McKillop Contracting, a company that Mr McKillop started 19 years ago. He says the Cascadia, which is the best-selling truck in the United States, made a very positive impression when he took it for its first run.

“It is a big step forward, a game changer. The refinement, the driver comfort and the way the engine and gearbox work together is really impressive,” McKillop says.

The Cascadia features glowing FREIGHTLINER branding on the rear cab extenders. There is also a large amount of stainless steel, which adds additional presence, and plenty of yellow LED marker lights. 

“I just come up with all these crazy ideas and Phil at Fitzsimon Motor and Engineering Services in Christchurch just makes it happen,” explains McKillop. “A lot of work has gone into it and the end result is brilliant,” he adds.

The McKillop Contracting Cascadia sports a 13-litre Detroit DD13 engine that generates 376kW (505hp) and 2505Nm (1850lb/ft) and is linked to a DT12 12-speed automated manual transmission.

It features the Detroit Connect safety package, with adaptive cruise control and Autonomous Emergency Braking, which can detect and brake for pedestrians. The Cascadia also features a driver airbag and lane departure warning system.