Used Truck of the Month: Mack Valueliner

By: Peter Schlenk, Photography by: Peter Schlenk

Kadel Mack Valueliner Zeke, left, and Neil Kadel. Kadel Mack Valueliner
Kadel Mack Valueliner2 The evergreen Valueliner and Kadel’s new MAN. Kadel Mack Valueliner2
Kadel Mack Valueliner3 Kadel’s mighty Mack Valueliner. Kadel Mack Valueliner3

Neil Kadel prefers driving his rebuilt Mack Valueliner over the rest.


Neil Kadel has been driving trucks "ever since his feet could touch the pedals".

Trucking is in the family; his late father Ally Kadel and brothers Colin and Ronald were all involved in the industry.

Today, Neil and wife Raelene own and operate Kadel Contractors out of their depot in Injune, central Queensland, employing nine staff.

The Kadel line-up contains three Western Star prime movers with two drilling rigs, an Acco drilling rig and a new MAN TGS with a SM20 drill on its back.

But the pride of the fleet is a 1988 Mack Valueliner. It has a 350hp (261kW) Econodyne engine, 12-speed box and rides on Mack’s Camelback suspension.

The Mack began life with GTS Transport, moved on to Moomba Transport in 2004 and then went to Harry Becker from Ballera in western Queensland before ending up in the hands of Neil.

"Harry was carting water for Santos with it," Neil says.

"He retired and sold it to me."

The Valueliner was barely in Neil’s yard for two weeks before he sent it away to truck mechanical repair shop PJ’s.

"I didn’t want to go as far as I did in rebuilding it but that’s the way it happened," Neil says.

"One thing led to another and we just kept on going and kept throwing the dollars at it, so PJ’s actually rebuilt the whole truck."

The results are impressive, and Neil and Raelene are very proud of their little Mack, which has been given the title of ‘Our Little Lady’.

While it will do some work, Neil is choosey about where the Mack runs.

"It won’t be going to Moomba or the desert, and only my son Zeke or I will be driving it," Neil says.

Mick could have opted to restore an old Superliner, but went with the smaller Mack instead.

"I do like Superliners, but I like my baby Mack the most out of all the Macks. The Valueliners are a beautiful truck and they don’t let you down," he says.

You can read the full story on the Mack Valueliner and Neil Kadel’s transport operation in the May issue of Owner//Driver magazine.


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