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It’s the ultimate Arocs – an unstoppable eight-wheel drive that’s been merged with a JCB excavator!
By Dougie Rankine
PHOTOGRAPHY STEVE McCANN

Well here’s something you don’t see every day. In fact, this is a truck that’s never been seen before – it’s a first. When we got a call to go and check out a Mercedes-Benz Arocs forestry truck, we were already interested – the new built-tough range from the German manufacturer has been making inroads into many construction and timber fleets. But it was soon clear this was something totally different. This is no ordinary Arocs; if there is such a thing. This is an eight-wheel drive go-anywhere monster fitted with a full-on JCB 360 excavator, adapted for lifting logs. It’s a serious bit of kit.

Proud owner is haulier P McKerral and Co of Campbeltown. It specialises in timber haulage, although it also caters for livestock and general haulage operations. The firm, established by Donny McKerral and his wife Kate, began back in the 1970s, borne out of farming heritage and starting off by selling and transporting sand and gravel. Over time, their four sons Peter, Barry, Colin and Donny (junior) all came into the business, and it’s Donny who has the job of both driving the Arocs and operating the JCB.

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“A large percentage of what we do today is timber, although we do a bit of everything,” says Donny. “Over time we progressed through doing a lot of agricultural work, such as hay and animal feeds.”

The firm’s first timber artic – a Volvo FL10 – hit the road in 1991. Its home of Campbeltown is located in Argyl and Bute, which is big forest country and the ideal location for a timber haulier to be.

The business grew over time as other timber operators retired. McKerral’s was able to take the companies over; and in doing so, take on their work. There are few jobs tougher on trucks than hauling timber out of forests. Today the fleet is mostly made up of MAN trucks, followed by Scania and then Volvo, along with a small number of
Renault Premiums.


april coverAs featured in the April 2015 issue of Trucking. Buy the magazine here