Mainfreight FR700 1984

Shot in the mid 1980’s, this FR700 Mack “True Blue’ contracted to Mainfreight and spent much of its time under a Steelbro Sidelifter.

The Sidelifter was a revolutionary piece of kit back in the eighties and Steelbro enjoyed significant overseas sales and was one of New Zealand’s export success stories.

Mainfreight has gone on to become one of New Zealand’s most successful companies, and co-founder Neil Graham was particularly proud of the fleet he helped establish in the South Island – with ‘True Blue’ being their ‘King’ rig back in the day.

Perhaps the most iconic truck of them all, or at least in the top-three greatest models of all time – the R-Series Mack transformed expectations of what could be expected of a truck, when it was introduced in the seventies.

It ushered an era of reliability and capability that other brands strove to emulate.

‘Southern Pride’ is a fine example of the type of combination that evolved after de-regulation.

The Christchurch-based tractor worked for the then-fledgling Mainfreight – which was Mack heavy in its early years, the brand being a favourite of many of Mainfreight’s owner-operators back in the day.

Mainfreight_25misty_blue_&_southern_pride_night_chch_80s sW

When I started doing these night-time studies in the eighties, Mainfreight Co-founder, the late Neil Graham, saw how this technique really made his colours stand-out – and he commissioned me to shoot various trucks in this livery around the country.

One of my favourite shots is this one – Misty Blue – a Detroit Diesel 6V92 International and Southern Pride – an R-series Mack, side by side.

International, as a brand, was on the wane, and the R-series Mack had already emphatically made a name for itself in the New Zealand road transport scene.

Grizzled veterans that deserve a special place in the pantheon of  great trucks.

As always – if you want to send me more history on these trucks – email me – these trucks are part of our trucking history and the more info the better.