NZ Truck and Driver News
WE HAVEN’T EVEN STARTED OUR TRIP BEFORE driver Aman Preet makes it clear that he’s got a
bit of a soft spot for Hino’s 700 Series flagship model. To the point where he actually waxes lyrical about it: “I’ve seen fire in the mountains, snow on the ground, black ice and floods in a Hino.”
Sounds like Aman and Hinos have been through thick and thin then. To hell and back….well, almost. What he’s talking about, mostly at least, is the yearplus when truckies on the run that Aman’s about to begin – a Mainfreight run down to Christchurch – were forced to take the much more dangerous “inland route” from Picton south, after the September 2016 Kaikoura earthquake wiped out State Highway 1.
With thousands of trucks a day running on roads unprepared and unsuited for such heavy traffic – the route taking in the Lewis Pass, numerous one-way bridges, tight corners, potholes and alpine weather – it was an arduous, even perilous trip.
Bad enough that it prompted many drivers to simply seek alternative work. So, as Aman reckons: “It was good to have a truck that I could depend on. “The drive was tough and so many people didn’t want to do it back then.” I just nod. Even though SH1 through Kaikoura is open again (and considerably better than before), I immediately feel happy that I’m only doing a short part of this trip south.
Aman’s boss, Mainfreight contractor Navi Sidhu is also a Hino fan, evidenced by the fact that three of his five trucks wear the big stylised H badge on the front – two of them the latest additions to his Navineel Transport fleet.
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