Here we have friends of Diesel News, NZ Trucking Magazine’s Dave McCoid and Carl Kirkbeck, taking us back to the early nineties and having a go at driving a classic, a V8 Super Liner. This is the truck which made so many people in the trucking industry Mack fans.
The first five minutes of this video let us just sit back and watch a classic truck haul a full load up a winding mountain climb. This is the Mack Super Liner truck at its best.
There’s something about the old trucks of this time and there’s definitely something about a V8, whether it’s in a truck or a car. This model was peak V8 and one of the most memorable models to come out of the Mack organisation.
Talk to people who used to drove them and their eyes glaze over and they drift off into a short daydream, probably driving at full noise through a cutting or a tunnel with the windows wound down, where it was possible to get the best appreciation of this unmistakeable engine noise.
Just sitting in the driver’s seat brings back memories of just what it was like to drive these trucks, back in the day. All of those aspects of these trucks which are unthinkable today come to mind. My last experience of taking the wheel on a R Series Mack for a full shift was back in 2002, and looking back now I wouldn’t want to repeat the experience on a regular basis.
The air start also presents us with an unforgettable sound, capable of waking up any sleeping truck driver within earshot. The cramped, narrow cab leaves no room for much at all. Driving a classic, a V8 Super Liner, the low roof and minimal driver’s seat suspension make for a working day during which the driver felt every bump and received the odd bang to the head on the bigger ones.
Anyone who drove trucks at that time will tell you how much they enjoyed driving these classics. However, ask them if the would be willing to put in a couple of weeks of full shifts in a truck like this today and they would run a mile.
The kiwi boys even try an recreate a classic V8 Super Liner video clip, where Mini Me, a Heavy Haulage Australia prime mover, took off on a long straight flat road in South Australia pulling a Drake eight line platform trailer with a 300 tonne mobile crane on board.
Here’s the original: