Race Horse Trainer Declares Correct Weight For New UD MK6 Auto
Tuesday, 14 April 2009 | Print
A NSW North Coast race horse trainer has claimed first past the post, securing the first ever UD MK6 automatic to be sold in Australia and reckons he has backed a real winner.
Ian Savins of New Star Farm at Casino in Northern NSW purchased Australia's first MK6 Automatic in September 2008 after spending years transporting his horses to provincial tracks using a smaller horse trailer.
Savins realised he need a truck equipped to carry six horses at a time for better safety and efficiency after a long day shuttling horse to the local Casino race track.
He and his wife Debbie operate New Star Farm managing a full stable of race horses which they both breed and train, campaigning them at tracks across Northern NSW and in South East Queensland.
"When we used to use the horse trailer we were shuttling to and from the tracks and it was consuming enormous amounts of time so we realised it was time to get a truck," said Ian Savins.
"After looking at used trucks I soon realised that we could be buying some major headaches so we decided to get a new truck and as a non truck driver felt that it had to be an automatic," he said.
"I put together a list of things needed in the new trucks and then compiled a short list of potential trucks. The first thing was it had to be automatic, it had to have air bag rear suspension and it had to have around 240hp," he added.
"After looking at several brands it was apparent that UD was the perfect fit and with the new MK6 Automatic, I spoke to a number of mechanics and they all reckoned they had a great reputation for reliability and dependability," he said.
"We visited the local UD dealer, Southside Agencies in Lismore and they answered all of my questions and made sure we got exactly what we were after.
"We looked at the other brands but UD was the only one available with full automatic, the right horsepower and dimensions as well as the right price," he said.
"I am not a truckie and had to get my truck licence to drive the MK6 so I didn't want to have to change gears, I just wanted to get in and steer it to the race track," says Ian.
Since taking delivery of the UD Ian has piloted it as far south as Kempsey and as far north as Brisbane transporting his horses to various race meetings.
"It is really nice to drive particularly with the air bags and the automatic, the ride is smooth, the automatic works beautifully and even shifts down for you going down big hills, it really is like driving a big car," he adds.
The New Star Farm UD MK6 Auto was fitted with a horse float body by Armidale specialist bodybuilder Rivenlea. The unit can accommodate six horses in comfort while it also features a separate tack room at the front of the body to carry bridles, saddles and reins as well as other important horse equipment.
A spectacular photo mural has been applied to both sides of the horse float body featuring New Star Farm horses winning major local races completing an impressive overall look to the truck.
"It has certainly aroused plenty of interest at the track and really looks the part, and the horses certainly haven't complained," says Ian.
"Most importantly the truck is comfortable, reliable and economical, the fuel consumption is very low and it is a very impressive package overall."
UD addressed the growing demand for automatic transmissions by offering the Allison LCT 2500 five speed automatic as an option on the MK6 models when they were introduced to the Australian market mid way through 2008.
Standard features on the MK's Allison 2500 automatic includes the availability of close and wide ratio gearing and a turbine-driven PTO provision with optional neutral lock-up.
Improved productivity through full power shifts increasing numbers of pick-ups a driver can make per day. The torque converter improves performance on off-road gradients by multiplying engine torque and transferring it to the drive wheels.