The Great New Zealand Road Trip. 1978 Mack CF685RFC Thibault 30 metre Aerial Ladder

In late August 2010 our company purchased an ex-NZ Fire Service aerial access ladder truck from Steve Knowles of Tapanui, South Otago.

  • Invercargill Fire Museum

    Invercargill Fire Museum

  • 1978 Mack CF685RFC

    1978 Mack CF685RFC

  • 1978 Mack CF685RFC Below

    1978 Mack CF685RFC Below

  • Re-fuelling the Mack

    Re-fuelling the Mack

  • Heading North

    Heading North

  • Exit Dunedin

    Exit Dunedin

  • Waitaki River

    Waitaki River

  • Christchurch


  • Christchurch


  • Ferrymead, Christchurch

    Ferrymead, Christchurch

  • Ferrymead


  • Ferrymead


  • Te Horo, Kapiti Coast

    Te Horo, Kapiti Coast

  • Wanganui


  • New Plymouth

    New Plymouth

  • Oakura, Taranaki

    Oakura, Taranaki

  • Taranaki


  • Uriti


  • Mokau, King Country

    Mokau, King Country

  • Mokau, King Country

    Mokau, King Country

  • Awakino, King Country

    Awakino, King Country

  • Otorohanga, King Country

    Otorohanga, King Country

  • Kihikihi, Waikato

    Kihikihi, Waikato

  • Waikato


On Day 1 we flew to Invercargill with Steve meeting us off the plane and taking us to the Invercargill Fire Museum to view our sister truck.

Appliance History.
As far as we can ascertain, the Mack and her 2 sister trucks were imported from the U.S.A. in about 1978. Separately, the Thibault ladders were imported from Canada and all was sent to Mills Tui in Rotorua for assembly and fabrication.

Upon finishing and testing our particular Mack was sent to Hamilton, but lo and behold it was a foot too high to fit in their fire station. Hamilton’s loss was Palmerston North’s gain where it was in service most of its operational life before latterly being stationed at Parnell.

We would like to thank the Invercargill Fire Museum, the Ferrymead Museum, the NZ Fire Service staff and former staff, the late Graeme Venmore & Fulton Hogan Timaru, and especially retired chief fireman Mr Maurice Robertson (Scott’s dad), who was instrumental in acquiring historical data about the apparatus enabling us to complete annual operational surveys.

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