This Week’s Express Wheels

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Vehicle: 2012 Isuzu N Series

Engine: 5.1 litre turbo diesel four cylinder

Transmission: Six speed with overdrive

Colour: White and red

Comments: Graeme Brown, disaster management officer, Logistics

From: Wellington

When and why did you acquire it? We purchased five of them in 2012 as part of our disaster management capacity improvement throughout New Zealand

What is the vehicle’s history? This particular vehicle is normally based in Dunedin and is used to support our disaster welfare and support teams predominantly around the lower South Island, but could be deployed anywhere we are responding to

Has it been altered in any way? We purchased the trucks as a cab/chassis only and had a purpose-built body added to carry the equipment we need, other goods we may need to move or act as an incident control point. They are very versatile

What is it equipped with? They usually carry up to 140 camp stretchers, blankets, foam mattresses and travel pillows and other associated equipment, including baby cots, some food and drink, lighting, generator, VHF radios, casualty stretchers, etc, so we can set up a Civil Defence welfare centre to care for displaced people

What’s it like to drive? They are good to drive, but like any vehicle take a little getting used to at the start, especially given the rear body is quite wide

How often has it been used? All the trucks are used regularly for training, exercises, disaster response and public displays, although they haven’t actually done many kilometres over the years

What’s it worth? The total value of the truck and all its contents was about $225,000 when they were new

Top speed? 90kmh (of course)

Best driving experience? Driving over Arthurs Pass

Worst driving experience? Driving over Arthurs Pass before they widened the road – not really worst, just a challenge given the width of the vehicle

What other vehicles of note have you owned? We have a fleet of 21 Ford Rangers used by our disaster response teams and disaster management officers throughout New Zealand

Best music to drive to? Classic rock

Describe your driving style: Focused and courteous to other drivers, given the trucks are a bit slower than most other vehicles

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