Old School Trucks: Clutha Valley Transport

By: Dean Middleton, Photography by: Dean Middleton


Clutha Valley Transport The ominous Mack UltraLiners of CVT were ‘Kings of the Road’ in the lower South Island back in the day Clutha Valley Transport
Clutha Valley Transport ‘Country Blonde’ was the name of this 400hp UltraLiner pictured on Livestock duties Clutha Valley Transport
Clutha Valley Transport Another 400hp UltraLiner on livestock was the ‘Beef Bandit’ Clutha Valley Transport
Clutha Valley Transport This UltraLiner was a dedicated bulk unit Clutha Valley Transport
Clutha Valley Transport A Xmas road trip and only ever trip to Clydevale back in the early 90s was more than worth it to check out the numerous Mack Ultraliners parked up Clutha Valley Transport
Clutha Valley Transport Fleet number 1 was cased in Clinton at the time of the photograph Clutha Valley Transport
Clutha Valley Transport A later model 454hp Mack UltraLiner on livestock duties Clutha Valley Transport
Clutha Valley Transport A Kenworth made its way into the Mack-dominated fleet back in 1997 and was aptly named ‘Cow Haulaways’ Clutha Valley Transport
Clutha Valley Transport Mack Quantums entered the fleet when the UltraLiners where no longer available Clutha Valley Transport
Clutha Valley Transport Many truck enthusiasts would agree that the Quantums did not have the road presence of the UltraLiners that preceded them Clutha Valley Transport
Clutha Valley Transport Freightliner Argosys became the brand of choice in the mid-2000s Clutha Valley Transport
Clutha Valley Transport A hard-working Freightliner Argosy, according to the signage on the aero kit ‘DB Draught—Earned’ Clutha Valley Transport
Clutha Valley Transport Sister company Otago Transport put this Mack UltraLiner in to service back in 1998 and looked every bit as good as the UltraLiners in the CVT fleet Clutha Valley Transport
Clutha Valley Transport A versatile FY Hino dropsider from the South Otago Transport fleet Clutha Valley Transport
Clutha Valley Transport This Mack Quantum found its way into the sister company also, showing brand loyalty among the group Clutha Valley Transport
Clutha Valley Transport In recent times, Isuzus have gained some prominence in both fleets Clutha Valley Transport
Clutha Valley Transport A later model ‘Cheese Grater’ Freightliner Argosy on livestock duties Clutha Valley Transport
Clutha Valley Transport This 530 Isuzu is one of the more recent additions to the Palmerston-based fleet Clutha Valley Transport
Clutha Valley Transport Rural transport remains the focus for both fleets Clutha Valley Transport

One of the more iconic fleets to run the staunch Mack UltraLiners was Clutha Valley Transport from Clydevale

Back in the late 80s, there were few more ominous sights on the roads in the deep South as Mack UltraLiners, and there were plenty of them scattered around various fleets in the lower half of the South Island.

One of the more iconic fleets to run the staunch trucks was Clutha Valley Transport (CVT) from Clydevale.

The rolling hills and nearby Clutha River makes for some idyllic viewing but with all due respect, Clydevale is definitely one of those places that if you blinked at the wrong time while driving through the tiny township, there’s a very good chance of missing it.

As it is also somewhat off the beaten track, (approx. 30km inland from Balclutha), my only ever visit to Clydevale was on an Xmas road trip back in the early 90s. And my only reason for the visit was to take some photographs of CVT’s line-up of Macks and there was no chance of me missing the sleepy wee town.

The CVT yard did not disappoint and there were plenty of the Bulldog brand on display. As with all good things that always come to an end, when the UltraLiner stopped being produced, the Mack Quantum was introduced and many examples of this model found the way into the fleet.

Many truck enthusiasts, including me, would agree that Quantums did not have the road presence of the previous model UltraLiners.

Located 185km north east of Clydevale on State Highway 1 is the town of Palmerston, which is the hometown of sister transport company Otago Transport Limited (OTL). Other than the name (signwriting) on the truck cabs, OTL runs the same livery as their CVT counterparts.

With Mack trucks long featuring in OTL fleet, brand loyalty has historically been apparent within both companies and remains so with Freightliner and Isuzu forming the mainstay of both fleets in recent years.

Rural transport continues to make up the bulk of the work within both CVT and OTC, as it does with another sister company, Balclutha-based South Otago Transport, who will feature in next months’ edition of Old School Trucks.

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