A fourth customised Mack prime mover in the limited-edition Outlaw series from JT Fossey Trucks is now in operation.
The latest in the series, a Mack SuperLiner, looms large in the wheatbelt of northern NSW where it has gone into service for MJR Haulage, a local carrier owned by Jaime Kiehne, who recently welcomed its delivery ahead of the upcoming grain harvest.
Marking the fourth iteration of the fledgling Outlaw series, MJR Haulage’s Mack SuperLiner comes in British Racing Green, a continuation of having a different colour scheme for each vehicle in the series to date.
A bullbar, LED lights, chrome exhaust stacks and stainless-steel guards are included as standard fittings.
In addition to tinted windows, the truck features strip lights fitted under the cab, LEDs on the floor of the cabin which, incidentally, also houses a new microwave, fridge and television.
“The truck has been halfway down the east coast of Australia getting fitted out,” Kiehne said.
The PTO installation was performed in Brisbane; the signwriting took place in Newcastle.
“There’s nothing I’ve had to ask for. It’s just been done for me,” said Kiehne.
“A great deal of imagination has gone into the truck.”
As a process, fitting the truck out has taken the better part of five months, with every detail complementary to the overall look and design of the vehicle.
Rated to 131 tonnes (GCM), the Mack SuperLiner is powered by a 685hp MP10 going through an MDrive manual automated transmission with group rear axles and suspension, Icepack and hydraulics.
The truck will pull roadtrains and cart grain into and out of feedlots around the region known as the Golden Triangle with occasional forays into the Darling Downs, where most of the work is at present.
Kiehne, who works five to six days a week depending on the season, typically carries barley, Mung beans and wheat.
Many of the shuttle routes are tough going. The job requires Kiehne to do a lot of rough running on dirt roads. It’s a whole new experience in the Mack.
“The Mack delivers a brilliant ride. It’s comfortable — there’s no noise,” he says.
Importantly, for Kiehne, it’s much easier on his body which has “copped it” over a 30-year career in the saddle.
In 1992 he had a serious bike crash which has left him with arthritis of the spine.
“There’s not an ounce of pain in this body with the Mack,” he said.
“To have a new truck and run it up the rougher roads in Australia without a rattle — it makes the council look good.”
On the weekends, prior to this latest truck, Kiehne said he would be exhausted after returning home where he would then service his own vehicle.
Even his wife, Rachel, has already noticed the changes in his improved levels of energy around the house.
“The other night I got home and washed two trailers and a dolly and put them away in the shed,” Kiehne recalled. “I had that much energy left.”
Kiehne has just had the engine and diff oils replaced. He will clean out the transmission and filters to “give it a good start to life.”
This Mack SuperLiner comes with a five-year service plan with the first service at 53,000kms which includes every tune up, all oils and filters.
“The amount of money that is going to save me is unbelievable,” he said. “Overall, when taking in that five-year period, the maintenance progress will save me thousands of dollars.”
It’s the first time Kiehne won’t be servicing his own truck in three decades. To regularly look after the engine, gearbox and diffs is time consuming.
“Saves me doing it,” he said, elated.
It’s not just time and energy he is conserving.
Initial fuel burn figures, according to Kiehne, have impressed him hovering around 1.5 to 1.6 kilometres per litre.
That’s fully loaded.
Mack Trucks Australia is in the process of setting up a program for Kiehne that will help him deliver additional gains on fuel economy.
“I think that will be a big help,” he says, aware the truck can be tracked at all times.
It’s a much bigger truck weighing in around 500kg more than his last truck, a Western Star 4900 paired with a Caterpillar C15 engine.
As the Mack SuperLiner uses a fully automated manual gearbox unfamiliar to Kiehne, it means he is essentially relearning to drive.
For that reason alone he is enjoying the experience.
“The truck just drives perfect. It feels like you’ve it had it 12 months and gotten all the crap out of it,” he said.
“The technology is unbelievable. After the week I’ve just done in it you don’t feel like you’ve done a day’s work.”
MJR Haulage is situated in the small town of Yallaroi, about an hour from Moree and three hours drive from JT Fossey in Tamworth.
The Outlaw series is the brainchild of John Saint, JT Fossey Dealer Principal. Following the centennial celebrations of Mack in 2019, Saint was energised to make a statement that would make the Tamworth business stand out in Australia.
Every one of the Outlaw Mack units come out of the factory as a base standard truck. The goal for Saint was to be able to add every available option to it. Every unit becomes, in its own right, a special project, customised to the Outlaw specification according to Saint.
“The people involved understand the quality of the truck,” he said.
“Different guards and exhausts are added. We build it carefully in increments to ensure the presentation is comprehensive and cohesive,” Saint said.
JT Fossey Trucks, according to Kiehne, has excelled with its pre-delivery.
“John Saint has been a pleasure to deal with,” he said.
“He’s a lovely guy and it’s been a privilege to get to know him and do business with his people. They are a credit to him.”
Kiehne is still discovering little things the JT Fossey Trucks team and partners, who include the likes of Haultech, King Bars, Joe Bradley Fibreglass, Mr Wong Hydraulics, Showman signs and others, have done in the customisation — small enhancements and cosmetic improvements,
“I don’t have one complaint. Just to look at the vehicle I’m continually surprised,” said Kiehne.
“The detail that has gone into this truck is immense.
“Credit to JT Fosseys. It might be the best truck John has done. I want to see the next one. He has got to up his standards now.”