FMX subs for UD



To put that “a lot” in perspective, this is a company hauling a million tonnes of eucalpytus and pine logs out of the province’s forestry blocks – currently, mostly from the big stands around the western Southland town...


“It might be a bit north of a million tonnes – we have 83 trucks doing logs,” says Loader. 

Most of those 83 – carting the eucalpyt to Invercargill to be chipped, then shipped to Japan for papermaking, and hauling the pine logs either to local sawmills or to the port at Bluff, for export to China – are UDs/Nissans.
In fact, the Japanese make is almost synonymous with the D.T. Kings name and colour scheme – unsurprisingly, given that the 79-year-old trucking company’s majority shareholder (D.T. King & Company) is also the majority owner of South Island UD Trucks dealer, Commercial Vehicle Centre (CVC).

So, as Loader confirms: “We’ve had a long association with Nissan,” he says. And yes, he calculates that “around 90% of our fleet would still be Nissan.”

But in the past few years, it’s an association that’s become problematic. Simply because the Volvo Group – in the interests of positioning its UD Trucks range and its Volvos so they don’t compete with each other in this part of the world – came up with a strategic marketing plan that saw reduced horsepower ratings for UDs sold here and in Australia.

“Unfortunately,” says Loader, “we can no longer get anything from Nissan with more than 420-horsepower (304kW).” And no 8x4 either.

Despite those serious limitations, the Japanese brand HAS continued to do remarkably well in the New Zealand  heavy truck market – still ending up fourth make last year in the overall market (above 4.5-tonnes GVM).

But for the likes of D.T. King’s logging operation, in this high-productivity motor vehicle (HPMV) era, UD’s current top-of-the-range model – available only as a 6x4 anyway – just doesn’t cut it, as Loader says...

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