THE PURPLE PHANTOM OF THE QUARRY- GLS Transport

For Garry Stafford, his Mack Super-Liner in Phantom Purple sets a new standard in B-doubles – Words and images by Warren Caves

As NSW, and Sydney in particular, are set to embark on some serious infrastructure projects in the next 10 years (Badgerys Creek airport, WestConnex, proposed M12 Motorway and many more in the pipeline), this has led many to believe transport opportunities are ripe for the picking in the tipper section of the industry.

One such person is Garry Stafford of GLS Transport Southern Highlands. Garry, a quarry manager for the past 13 years for Hi-Quality Group QuaMack_GLS-Transport_18rries, owned by the Hallinan Family,is no stranger to sand, rocks and aggregates of all types and has been in the quarrying business with his father Les Stafford and brother Wayne Stafford since 1974.

GLS Transport was started by Garry and his wife Susan in April 2014, starting with a CH Mack and three-axled dog trailer purchased from his friend Chris Leckey from CJL Haulage and last year adding Trevor Dyson as a subcontractor with his 600-horsepower Western Star 4900 and quad dog.

Garry and his wife Susan felt that there were significant opportunities in this sector of the market to invest in new vehicles to capitalise on these upcoming infrastructure projects.

This investment came about when Garry was picking up some parts for his CH Mack at the new 18 million dollar Mack facility at Blacktown (Sydney). While there he spied the Purple Phantom Super-Liner in the yard and sent a picture to his wife explaining that this was “The Dream.” She replied to leave it as just that, a dream.

However, seven months later here is the truck in all its glory. Garry says he attributes a lot to Susan, who he says has actually been behind him 200 percent to give him the confidence to get to this point. Along with her unquestioning support, Garry expressed his gratitude to Trevor and Robin Dyson who have been long-time friends, with Trevor being a great supporter of what Garry is trying to achieve. Garry also added that his employer Hi-Quality group has “very graciouMack_GLS-Transport_4sly” allowed him to enter into the transport side of things and realise his dream while still managing their quarries.

The Phantom Purple custom paint actually came about as an unfulfilled order truck, and Garry says he will probably carry on with that colour for any new equipment to set a theme. Garry takes a lot of pride in the appearance of his vehicles and says, “With the major players you need to show you are for real, are compliant and can do the job, and appearance plays a big part in that”.

David Lynch of Mack Trucks handled the sale of the Super-Liner to GLS and Garry cannot speak highly enough of David and the level of service he has received in getting the truck ready. Garry says that the new facility at Blacktown is great and they have got it right with a well fitted out drivers room with ensuites, washing machines and driers, plus the state-of-the-art service facilities.

The quality of service he has received from the service department, in particular Shane Slater and Helen Williams, has been outstanding, so much so he now exclusively uses this workshop for all the work carried out on his two Macks – a one stop shop he says.

“The Super-Liner will be serviced at 40,000 km intervals under Mack Care with oil sampling along the way,” Garry added.

The Super-Liner itself is equipped with a MP10 direct-injected overhead camshaft engine at 685 horsepower mated to an mDRIVE 12-speed overdrive automated transmission, which Garry says they are very happy with.

Joining GLS to take command of the Purple Phantom is Andrew Nonnenmacher, who brings with him a wealth of experience gained through driving all types of heavy vehicles, including road trains in Western Australia. As part of the induction course to a new Mack, Andrew will be joined by one of the manufacturer’s full-time driver trainers for a day or two to help get the most out of the engine/transmission combination, including the manual hill descent speed control and power leash engine braking. Such is the pace of technology that any information about the performance of a new engine or transmission can be of real value to a driver aiming to get the maximum benefit from the truck.

The Super-Liner utilises SCR (selective catalytic reduction) to reduce engine exhaust emissions and comply with Euro 5 standards. With the MP10 showing a torque curve with a long plateau from around 1000 rpm out to peak at 504 kW and 3118 Nm (2300 lb-ft), around 1500 rpm before tapering off this unit should offer excellent driveability and return good economy figures whilst minimising driver fatigue.Mack_GLS-Transport_9

Garry expects to get in the vicinity of 1.85 km/l with the SCR Mack and will be running on BP Ultimate Diesel, and at around 56.8 tonnes gross weight the 685 horsepower MP10 should handle this quite easily. Coupled to pair of Sloanebuilt tipper trailers in 19-metre B-Train configuration carting various quarry products, crushed sandstone and aggregates and demolition materials, this should prove a high-productivity vehicle for the GLS operation without the hindrance of a full B-double length combination.

Adding to the impressive list of standard features, the Purple Phantom was treated to lots of fancy trimmings to make a statement and get noticed. SLS of Newcastle did an extensive amount of stainless steel work on this truck with a dollar value somewhere around $80,000, and it shows. A polished aluminium King FUPS bullbar sits out front providing Skippy protection and a place to mount the LED driving lights and custom GLS number plate.

This list of other custom work includes: Number plate covers; number plate bullbar pipe mount; lower grille trim; grille mesh; grille surround sanded and polished; vertical grille bars; changed colour of Mack lettering on grille; bug deflector moulded to grille; bonnet vent lights and reflective lettering; stainless steel air rams; 14” drop visor; smooth stainless steel exhaust shrouds; 7” curved Air Kooled exhaust stacks; rear deck plate with Mack logo; and a whole lot more.

If Garry or his driver ever needMack_GLS-Transport_7s to check their appearance or have a shave there is a stainless steel mirror at every turn. They should have also supplied a few pairs of sunglasses in the deal as when the sun is out this truck shines like a diamond – this really is not a “Plain Jane” Super-Liner.

Chatting with Garry for a while after my photo shoot, it’s clear to me that he has a passion for what he has embarked upon with this truck. While not a young man, he has a sense of drive and enthusiasm for his venture that belies his years to a point where he said himself that he pulls into a truck stop and checks out all the lights and bling on other trucks wondering whether it would suit his vehicles. The excitement in his voice as he conveys these stories to me is truly inspiring. While many of his age are looking to slow down and maybe retire, he has found a new passion and drive in this truck that, by the sounds of things, will spur him on for years to come. He says he has more fire in his belly than he has ever had, and that is evident in his manner. He is as giddy as a schoolboy when it comes to talking about GLS Transport, and we at PowerTorque wish him all the success his determination deserves.

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