Dave's versatile '05 Freightliner Argosy

By: Steve Skinner, Photography by: Steve Skinner


JIT’s 2005 Freightliner Argosy carts diverse loads between the big cities and the outback

Dave's versatile '05 Freightliner Argosy
Dave is happy with his nine-year-old Freightliner Argosy

Give most outback hauliers to mine sites a long wheel base bonneted prime mover any day.

On the other hand, a 908 Kenworth or a Mack Titan aren’t going to be real easy to manoeuvre into tight situations at showbiz entertainment centres in the big cities.

It’s hard to have it all.

So how does this 2005 Argosy handle travelling all over Australia, carting an interesting mixture of over-sized loads for mines and music show equipment for concert gigs?

"She does well," says driver Dave, who pilots the old girl for Sydney-based JIT (Just in Time) Transport.

"Engine-wise and drive-line, you can’t fault it," says Dave.

The engine is the tried and true Caterpillar C15, pushing out 550 horsepower (440kW).

Meanwhile the transmission is the equally tried and true 18-speed Eaton Roadranger, although in this one Dave says the linkages are just about had it.

Not surprising, considering the old-timer has done more than 1.3 million kilometres.

Dave is not so positive about his steed when it comes to the really rough stuff such as the Tanami Track in desert country.

Freightliners have never been renowned for the quality of their cosmetic fittings in the cab, and Dave says stuff regularly falls off on rutted roads.

For example he’s had to replace the original plastic backing on the dash with Masonite.

As for cab comfort while on the way to mine sites: "They call these things Agonies," he quips.

"Look, it’s alright … she’s bouncy but manageable. Lucky you’ve got some air under the seat. But she’s rough compared to that," says Dave, pointing to a Scania parked beside his rig.

Having said all that, Dave says the Argosy is a good truck to be living away from home in.

It has a nice big sleeper with a full size single mattress and an almost flat floor, as well as some other creature comforts Dave has added such as a TV.

SPECIFICATIONS:

TRUCK: 2005 Freightliner Argosy

OWNER: JIT Transport

KILOMETRES: 1.3 million

ENGINE: Caterpillar 15-litre C15

POWER: 550hp (440kW)

TRANSMISSION: 18-speed Eaton Roadranger

 For more on JIT’s Argosy check out the Trade Trucks section in the February 2014 issue of Owner//Driver.

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