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AUSTRALIA’S LEADING TRUCK & TRAILER MAGAZINE

ISSUE 56 DECEMBER/JANUARY 2014 RRP: $7.95 (NZ $8.95)

www.powertorque.com.au

ISSUE 56 DECEMBER / JANUARY 2014

S CANIA CAN IA ON_FULL_POWER_FOR_B-TRIPLES


PROFILE

HABITS Wauchope’s Neville Hollis still loves his trucks but accepts the need for change. Words by Chris Mullett

many involved over a long period in the trucking business, Neville Hollis comes from a time when family life revolved around getting home after a week away on the road, only to spend the weekend cleaning and greasing the truck. A meal with the family, a sleep and a shower, then he would be off again.

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PowerTorque caught up with Neville for a conversation on his back verandah in Wauchope, as the sun started to set over his house and garden, which also happens to be the home of his four Western Stars and matching trailers. “I’ve had to change my way of thinking when it comes to always working on the trucks or cleaning the trucks. Family life is important, and now we clean when we have the time and don’t worry too much if they are not always gleaming. Our drivers have every right to a home life as well,” said Neville.


FAMILY HABITS

Neville started in the trucking business nearly half a century ago, buying an International 148 single drive. “The first semitrailer I bought was a 684 Fiat prime mover with a 38 ft McGrath 9-1 spread trailer from Max Thompson at Wauchope for $11,000,” said Neville. Subsequent moves saw him buying a Louisville and an Inter’ 160 bogie-drive, gradually moving up to his first Western Star, which was purchased in 1989.

“My truck going for part exchange still has the original brake linings, but in its time has had two turbos, one oil seal on the back axle, a water pump and a clutch,” said Neville. “I have had an impressive run out of the Western Stars in our type of work, which is to provide a service from Wauchope to Sydney and return. My nephew, Greg Hollis, works in the business and we also have two long serving drivers, Paul Hutley and Paul Jobson. They have now been joined by Warren Hughes, a new recruit to the company. “My place these days is to run the business and make sure that everything is ready for the drivers when they return.

Having owned Western Stars powered by Cat 550 hp diesels as well as the Detroit Series 60, Neville’s latest fleet upgrade sees four new Stars joining the company, replacing his previous prime movers and bringing with them a change of engine to the Detroit Diesel 15-litre DD15. Our conversation took place on the eve of the departure of one of Neville’s remaining Cat-engined Western Stars, which was parked up by the back shed. While Neville might suggest that he has eased up on presentation, any onlooker would think that this ten-year-old model with 1.2 million kilometres on the odometer was actually one of the new replacements. “I have decided to go for two new Western Star 4900 FX models, each with the new DD15 running at 560 hp. The first is a 4864 FXC with a 54-inch sleeper for our 32-pallet B-double operation, and the second is a 4964 FXT that will be coupled to our 45 ft Tautliner.

“We specialise more in providing excellent service on local trips. Interstate work will pay the wages and the bills, but it has never seemed to be a major revenue earner,” added Neville. With a strong foothold in the district, Hollis Transport carries wine, timber, Gyproc and cartons, in what remains essentially a business focused on general freight. With its base in Wauchope, the company also has a Sydney depot at Mount Druitt. With four trucks in the fleet, there seems to be little need to move into the world of satellite tracking and closer cost analysis. Neville has been focused on running his company for long enough now that he can almost sense when something changes out of the ordinary. “The fuel economy of the Western Stars with Series 60 Detroits when compared to Cat engines has always been pretty much equal, with the Cat motors returning 2.3 km/ litre versus the Series 60-engined alternatives at 2.2 km/litre for single trailer operation. Our B-double fuel returns are pretty consistent at the 1.5 km/litre mark.

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FEATURE

FOR

most operators in the road transport industry, a truck is an asset that is put to work to make money. The truck needs to be working almost constantly, and working efficiently, to provide a sustainable income. Fuel prices, tyre wear and repayments are constant concerns, and maintaining legal trip times often leads to lonely nights at the side of the road or in a parking bay in the middle of nowhere for the driver. There are some operators, though, who don’t rely on trucks to make money, but who use trucks to transport the very assets that bring in the financial return. As a driver, any job where your boss is not looking to make money from their truck would seem too easy. But as I found out recently, it usually comes with some extra responsibility. This is definitely true for Warick and Gary, the drivers of the 888 Race Engineering V8 Supercar transporters. I have been a follower of the V8 Supercar series for many years. Days spent in front of the telly and at the track, more recently with my young boys, have left me with a great respect for those who build these machines, and those who are brave enough to strap themselves in and push the limits of engineering and physics. It’s easy to get lost in the glitz and glamour of race drivers and their cars, but the success of these people relies entirely on the driver of their transporter. If the car doesn’t get to the track, it can’t compete – it’s that simple.

When I was offered the chance to ride in the Red Bull Racing V8 Supercar transporter from Brisbane to the V8 Mecca of Bathurst, I thought long and hard (for about three seconds) before jumping at the chance to see a different side of road transport. On arrival at 888 Engineering headquarters in Brisbane I met Warick, my guide for the next few days. Given that the trucks had been loaded the day before, it was a simple case of stowing our bags while the truck warmed up, before heading out the gate and onto the freeway for the trip south. It was an easy trip out of Brisbane in the early morning, with very little traffic. With both of the Red Bull Racing transporters travelling together, it made quite a sight, and the attention from

RED BUL

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RIDING THE RED BULL passing drivers was immediately obvious. It didn’t take long for me to realise that this was definitely high profile transport, with no chance of flying under the radar. These trucks provide a huge mobile billboard for both the team and their sponsors, and so the responsibility is on the driver to put forward a good image to the public. Led by a pair of MAN TGX 26 540 prime movers, painted to match the trailers, these units really do look the part. The MAN cab also provides a very comfortable and, according to Warick, “cruisy” workplace for the drivers. While you might think that these outfits would run fairly light, they actually gross around 58 t, so the MANs are actually working for a living. On Bathurst weekend, in particular, there is a huge amount of equipment to be taken to the track, including workshop tools, spare wheels and enough spare parts to rebuild an entire car from the frame up. And then there are the cars themselves, two in each transporter. The transporters themselves are a work of art. Not only are they a car carrier, they are a mobile workshop, office and lounge room. With on board generators and air compressors, they are virtually self-sufficient. This versatility doesn’t come cheap, however. The trailers on the blue truck are relatively new, and cost around $700,000 to build. When they’re loaded, these units are worth millions of dollars each, and they carry the hard work and livelihood of a huge team of people. This responsibility doesn’t faze the drivers, though; it’s all part of the job. But, as I was to find out at first hand, it’s only one part of the job. As well as being responsible for the safe transit between the workshop and the track, and the presentation of their truck and trailers, these guys play an important part during race meets. Almost all of the transporter drivers in the V8 paddock are responsible for the tyres on their team’s car, and the 888 boys are no exception. This includes taking the wheels to have tyres fitted, and keeping track of tyre pressures and

ULL

temperatures throughout race meetings, testing and practice. They also look after the logistical needs related to the “show cars” – the cars built for promotional duties. This involves various outings, including sponsor and press obligations. Even when they’re not at the track, there is plenty to keep them busy.

DAVE WHYTE JOINED THE GLAMOUR SIDE OF TRUCKING WITH THE RACE TRANSPORTERS HEADING FOR BATHURST PowerTorque ISSUE 56

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FEATURE

A

series of government reports generated after a review of natural disasters, including fire and floods, has highlighted the requirement for significant change and improvement in emergency services’ communications during life-threatening situations and the importance of interagency communication and cooperation.

services in time of need by using the Wi-Fi services using terrestrial communications or the on-board satellite link. The infrastructure available can also provide more simple tasks, such as enabling a recharge point for mobile phone use.

The National Safety Agency, an Australian not-for-profit research and development organisation and a leader in development of solutions for emergency management, designed a prototype vehicle known as TRACU.

Additional computing power is available using mainframe and distributed server technology providing redundant computer operations, all supported by UPS systems. A 12-volt system is also built into the vehicle. The trailer is heated/cooled by three reverse-cycle inverter air conditioners, and six sets of floodlights are externally mounted on the trailer providing full lighting for large areas at nightfall.

Over a two-year period, NSA will demonstrate TRACU to local and international agencies and departments leveraging high-capacity broadband data for use on a smart phone for emergency services front line and command personnel. This provides them with access to the right information at the right time. TRACU’s primary role is to provide a mobile command and control vehicle to address all hazards and link all agencies. When strategically activated, TRACU is deployed within the close proximity of the incident to enable trained operators to manage and monitor the event. The events could be fire, flood, tsunami, cyclone, marine pollution, large crowd monitoring, and terrorist action.

The vehicle is self sufficient in operational situations where power and telecommunications infrastructure is either non-existent or heavily overloaded. Diesel power, Wi-Fi connectivity, radio telecommunications and satellite connectivity are integrated within the vehicle.

The computer room is separate and adjoined by a fullyfitted command room with touch screens, CCTV to central agency operations teams, and also projected through additional large screens showing a range of services in real time.

In addition, the vehicle provides a facility for communities impacted by emergencies to be able to use their mobile phones to connect to families and

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COMMAND CENTRE The next room contains five operator-based modules, each with five screens providing CAD, real-time public sector streams, TV footage, remote sensor camera feeds, and business intelligence analysis, plus access to specialised incident management solutions to manage incidents.

data, real-time images from emergency services operators’ helmet-mounted cameras, dashboards with different knowledge sources, multimedia, and videoconferencing capabilities between the vehicle and the State Control Centre (SCC).

A large rear door on the trailer opens to provide an overhead protection for operators and four large screens for use by the emergency services personnel for briefings and telepresence meetings. These systems can also be used for public announcements.

In the Australian marketplace, real-time information is provided by state government agencies, CSIRO, Telstra and partners, and public data feeds including Twitter. Importantly, the vehicle telecommunications provides capability to connect large groups of hand-held radio users to a single consistent messaging system for highly efficient command and control activities.

Major global technology providers such as IBM, HewlettPackard, Cisco, Hino, Cobham, Intergraph, Tait Radio and national companies including Telstra, MaxiTRANS, NewSat and RF Industries have integrated their technology to provide this new state-of-the-art solution. The vehicle incorporates over 30 screens providing comprehensive intelligence and emergency management capability. Operators will be able to view multiple perspectives including weather location information via cameras, hydrology

As a technology platform, the vehicle offers the ideal infrastructure to develop additional systems for both emergency services operators and the public. The two-year period of field trials and deployment will see the addition of: a. Body-held cameras for real-time transmission of incident images with integrated sensors for blood pressure and breathing monitoring; b. Google Glass technology for realtime voice-activated instructions and image transfer to the vehicle whilst enabling the operator two-hand freedom to conduct duties;

Hino’s 700 Series was chosen as the ideal prime mover to haul the National Safety Agency’s mobile command centre trailer

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PROFILE

THE

PRESID

Kempsey,

on the New South Wales Mid-North Coast, is very much a centre for the transport industry. With more trucking companies located in the area than either Tamworth or Port Macquarie, much of the reasoning behind using the Kempsey area as a base of operations stems from its geographical benefit.

The area originally flourished as a centre for logging and sawmilling, and for 40 years from the 1920s it proved an excellent source of red cedar. Dairying was also significant, but that and the beef industry also went into a decline around the late 1960s. Industry for the area can today boast a growing dependence on tourism, farming and the service industries. These factors provide a clue as to why many trucking businesses have chosen Kempsey as an ideal staging point for goods transport between Sydney (420 km south) and Brisbane (503 km north). Traffic heading through town used to be subject to the usual bottlenecks, but earlier this year the opening of the 14.5 km Kempsey Bypass removed through traffic from the town centre, improving the quality of life for those in town and, as a by product, creating Australia’s longest road bridge of 3.2 km. Anyone living around Kempsey in NSW would be familiar with the bright yellow trucks of Justin Booth Transport. The immaculately presented fleet represents strong support for the Kenworth brand and the local dealership representation of the Brown and Hurley Group and their local sales representative Phil Atkin.

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THE PRESIDENT II

DENT II Husband and wife team, Justin and Fiona Booth, work together in the business, and, with four children, Adele, Darcy, Bridie and Tilly, there’s an obvious hope that in the future there will be more Booth’s in the company to learn the basics of trucking. In addition to its Kempsey depot, the company also maintains a depot at Rocklea in Brisbane. Justin Booth started his own business back in 1999, at that time with one Western Star that he worked as an owner/driver on regular runs from Kempsey to Brisbane and Sydney. To say that Kenworth is the predominant brand is something of an understatement, as, of the 12 prime movers in the fleet, eight wear the red and white badge, three are from Western Star and the final vehicle is a Freightliner Argosy. The variation in make originated largely when Justin and Fiona purchased two local companies, together with existing vehicles, and merged their work into that of their own company. There are also two rigids in the fleet for local distribution – a DAF CF75 and a Hino 12-pallet tray. Today the fleet comprises a mixture of cabovers and conventionals and includes a T409 SAR with the DPF EGR Cummins ISX 550 configured as a rigid truck and dog trailer, plus a T404 SAR from 2007 with a Cummins ISX at 500 hp. The same engine rating features in three K200 cabovers, and there are a further two T403s powered by Cummins ISX engines rated at 450 hp. Add to those a further three Western Star 4864 FX conventionals powered by 600 hp Cummins ISX engines, plus a Freightliner Argosy powered by a Series 60 Detroit EGR engine with variable geometry turbocharger. There is of course one further Kenworth in the fleet, Justin’s own T909.

For Justin Booth Transport, it takes a full family commitment to run a successful business PowerTorque ISSUE 56

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DRIVEN

SWEDI

BRISBANE

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SWEDISH SIMPLICITY

DISH

STANTHORPE

S I M P L I C I T Y

CUNNINGHAM’S GAP

Dave Whyte checks out the latest Streamline Scania and comes away mightily impressed

WHEN

a manufacturer releases a new or updated model, it’s not always easy to appreciate the difference. Sure, there are plenty of glossy brochures and pictures to illustrate the changes from previous models, but without getting behind the wheel for an extended drive it is impossible to know whether the latest is actually the greatest, or simply a marketing exercise to boost sales. Following the recent release of the updated Streamline models, Scania was keen to demonstrate that these new trucks are not a marketing gimmick, offering an extended drive so I could judge the performance and efficiency improvements for myself. The trip, from Brisbane to Melbourne, was also a good chance to compare the performance of Scania’s three different engines. It’s always the best option to do comparisons in the same place at the same time and in the same conditions, ensuring the results are fair and accurate. This is how Scania plays its hand, and for this evaluation the three trucks doing the trip were an R480, an R620 and an R730, all Streamline models, and all towing B-doubles loaded to around 59 t gross. With representatives from Scania Driver Training on hand to help me get the most out of each truck, we headed off towards Gunnedah, our stopover point for night one. Although for most interstate operations the lengths of the individual legs might seem on the short side, there always seems to be justification for spending almost as much time discussing the technical properties of the trucks as it does for spending time behind the wheel.

For the first leg to Stanthorpe, I took charge of the R480. Being the least powerful of the three, I was interested to see how it would manage the long steep climb up Cunningham’s Gap at full weight. Also on my mind was the fact that this truck was literally brand new, with only 135 km on the clock when I left Brisbane. Straight out of the box, its first trip, and I’ve got this R480 dragging 59 t up the Gap. It was no surprise to see the R730 disappear into the distance, with the R620 not too far behind it, but the R480 proved very capable of the task. From the

bottom of the range to the top, the R480 took twenty-five minutes, four minutes longer than the R620 (21 min) and six and a half minutes longer than the R730 (18 min 30 sec). Taking into account the fact that this truck was new, the long pull up Cunningham’s Gap, and the weight it was pulling, the R480’s fuel figure of 1.35 km/l over the 207 km trip to Stanthorpe seemed very respectable. Day two saw us mix and match trailers, and set up the R730 in B-triple configuration for the run between Gilgandra and Hillston. With the R620 still towing a B-double set, and the R480 towing a single trailer, this leg had each of the trucks performing what I believe to be their ideal tasks. Over fairly flat country, there was no noticeable difference in the performance of the big R730 with the extra trailer behind. The R620 maintained good speed, and the R480 took the single trailer job in its stride, as you would expect. Throughout the day, I did a stint in each of the trucks, with interesting results. My hour and fifteen minutes aboard the R480 returned 2.0 km/l in windy conditions, at an average speed of 80 km/h (I had backed off to 90 km/h given the strong winds). The R620 returned 1.62 km/l over two hours and five minutes between Nevertire and Cobar, but the big surprise came from the R730. Over a period of almost three hours, the big banger recorded an average of 1.67 km/l with three trailers behind, grossing almost 80 t. This was slightly better than the R620 with only two trailers. A major factor contributing to this result would likely be the B-triple’s reduced speed limit of 90 km/h, which not only results in lower engine rpm, but also reduces drag, and so the effort required to maintain momentum, thus improving economy. Interestingly, the handling characteristics of the R730 in B-triple configuration were very similar to the B-double setup I had towed earlier. The power and torque delivered by Scania’s biggest V8 made it easy to forget the weight that was travelling behind. The time when it was most notable was when it came time to stop. In fact, it was when leaving the parking area opposite the Mount Hope Hotel that I first felt the full push of 80 odd tonnes. Making a left turn with the trailers still heading in straight line down the hill behind me gave me a slightly uneasy feeling, but, to its credit, the Scania handled the situation perfectly. A little pressure on the brakes to slow momentum until the last trailer was back on level ground kept the combination stable and safe throughout the manoeuvre.

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FEATURE

The

opportunity for Western automakers to establish joint ventures with Chinese vehicle manufacturers, and often inadvertently with the Chinese Government itself, has tempted the big names of General Motors, Ford and Volkswagen. But China isn’t necessarily the only solution for purchasers looking for a lower cost option. As Australian buyers will soon find, there’s a total shift in vehicle purchase attitudes on the horizon, and that’s not just because of the burgeoning Chinese motor industry. There will always be a section of the community that buys on price alone. After all, there is an immediate attraction to owning a new vehicle that can be purchased for the same cost as a five-year old model representing an established high-end brand. It’s one thing to buy a product such as the JAC or Foton that looks to all intents and purposes like a replica of an established Japanese brand. But when you actually look more closely, you might find that looking similar does not mean the product is identical, either technically, in build quality, or in customer service and support. India has been watching developments in Asia closely and is now starting to make its run for an increasing share of the global vehicle market. The Indian auto giant TATA Motors is now entering the Australian market and this move signals the likelihood that the light and medium-duty truck business is about to undergo a major reshuffle in both pricing and specification.

The reasoning behind this prophesy is one of ability. The Indian automotive industry has to ultimately satisfy a population of 1.27 billion, with 50 percent of that figure aged under 25 years. If you increase the age limit to 35 years, you’ll find that covers a segment of 65 percent of the population. Every year, India adds more people than any other nation in the world, and that means there’s an increasing market ahead for local vehicle manufacturing. The TATA group comprises over 100 operating companies in seven business sectors: communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals. The group has operations in more than 80 countries across 6 continents, and its companies export products and services to 85 countries. The total revenue of TATA companies, taken together, was $100.09 billion in 2011-12, with 58 percent of this coming from business outside India. TATA companies employ over 450,000 people worldwide within an organisation that has been respected in India for more than 140 years for its adherence to strong values and business ethics. The major TATA companies are Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Teleservices, Titan, Tata Communications and Indian Hotels. TATA Motors Limited is India’s largest automobile company, with consolidated revenues of USD 34.7 billion in 2012-13. Employing over 60,000 workers, it is the leader in commercial vehicles in each segment, and among the top in passenger vehicles with winning products in the compact, mid-size car and utility vehicle

TALKING

TATA THE INDIAN MOTOR INDUSTRY SHOWS ITS INTEREST FOR THE AUSTRALIAN MARKET WITH THE LAUNCH OF THE FIRST OF TATA MOTORS’ PRODUCTS

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TALKING TATA segments. It is also the world’s fourth largest automaker and the world’s fifth largest truck and bus manufacturer. Established in 1945, TATA Motors has placed over 7.5 million TATA vehicles onto Indian roads, since the first rolled out in 1954. TATA Motors has operations in the UK, South Korea, Thailand, Spain, South Africa and Indonesia. Among them is Jaguar Land Rover, acquired in 2008 for $2.3 billion. In 2004, it acquired the Daewoo Commercial Vehicles Company, South Korea’s second largest truck maker. The rechristened Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicles Company has launched several new products in the Korean market, while also exporting these products to several international markets. In 2006, TATA Motors entered into joint venture with Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Company of Thailand to manufacture and market the company’s pickup vehicles in Thailand, and entered the market in 2008. Releasing the TATA Xenon ute and chassis/cab versions into Australia is the first move by India into our market and is underway thanks to a joint venture with Fusion Automotive, a Melbourne-based company that is a division of the Walkinshaw Automotive Group that includes Walkinshaw Racing, Holden Special Vehicles and Walkinshaw Sports. There’s no shortage of automotive passion running through the executive team at Fusion, with Darren Bowler as MD possessing a past life that includes being the general manager

of sales and marketing for Holden Special Vehicles before becoming a director of the Walkinshaw Automotive Group. Chief operating officer, Oliver Lukeis, is another ex-HSV executive, also having spent time with Honda. The initial distribution will take place through 15 dealerships, with more to be appointed as the brand gathers momentum. From start-up, the Xenon range spreads across 4x2 and 4x4 single-cab utes and 4x2 and 4x4 dual-cab utes, each featuring the same driveline of 2.2 diesel and five-speed manual transmission, identical suspension settings and ride height, plus a fixed level of interior trim and inclusions. In our discussions with Ravi Pisharody, executive director of Commercial Motors for TATA Motors, PowerTorque learned that the introduction of the Xenon is only the tip of the iceberg for this giant automaker as it looks at the Australian market. Expect to see a people mover join the range in the first quarter of 2014, plus a gradual introduction of a light to medium truck range, followed by heavy trucks and buses and coaches. The timing for heavy truck introduction will follow the implementation of Euro V emissions technology for TATA Motors on a global scale. There has been conjecture recently that TATA Motors could be interested in purchasing the International Trucks/Navistar operation in the US, as that company struggles to climb back into profitability. In conversation with PowerTorque, Mr. Pisharody confirmed that it was a topic that was discussed within TATA

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FUTU

FEATURE

Industry insiders suggest that Volvo’s new FH might be more of a heavyweight than expected

IF

you believe in smoke and mirrors marketing you’d be convinced by now that there is only one choice for anyone buying a new truck on the Australian market, the new Volvo FH-Series.

However, when you examine the facts, rather than the PR rhetoric, the position changes quite substantially for the Australian truck buyer from that experienced by their counterparts in Europe. We talk repeatedly of Australian conditions and this is where Volvo Trucks Australia hits a series of snags with its latest FH incarnation. For starters, the extra-length cab that was designed in Australia for the previous model is no longer available, Sweden having determined that low volume did not substantiate it as an ongoing option. The XXL cab was originally a major benefit for a potential buyer of a European cabover, but its withdrawal now means that all European cabovers are more or less equal. The original concept of the XXL cab was that it could compete with the K104 and the Freightliner Argosy, and it proved popular in the comparison. The deletion of the XXL cab from the options list means that long haul operators are going to have to come to terms with moving cab seats forwards to position extra cushions on the edge of the bunk in order to get a broader mattress than the bare minimum. The new FH cab benefits from the A-pillars being more upright, which tends to improve vision when turning into major road junctions, and it’s altogether larger than the original standard cab by offering an increase of 300 litres in storage area. That said, the smoke and mirrors influence applies here too, as the new cab is still smaller dimensionally than the previous XXL cab.

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Undoubtedly, the new cab interior is an improvement on an already excellent workplace, and, as Ulf Andreasson, product manager for cab developments says, “It has to be a welcoming place for relaxation and leisure time for any driver, irrespective of build – short or tall, slim or broad.” Ergonomics have always been a strong point of Volvo design, and, with steering-wheel button controls for many of the major functions, it’s an ideal upgrade in safety that many other manufacturers have yet to follow. Window glass area has been increased, which is fine for cold Northern weather, but may of course contribute to higher cabin interior temperatures during our summer months. Safety has always been a core value of Volvo, both in its car and truck divisions. Back in the early days of my career, the F89 was on the wish list of every truck driver heading from England to the Middle East. When one compares the British alternative of Atkinsons and Scammels it’s not hard to see why, especially for those living in the truck for weeks at a time. Cab construction now includes high-strength steels used in the collision-absorbing beams, and in the doors as well as the cab sheeting. Laser welding makes it possible to join two flat panels, prior to moulding. This enabled the designers to optimise the structure and integrate Volvo’s safety solutions into the cab design. This focus also extends to the windscreen, which is now bonded into place, improving cab strength and structural integrity.


TURE PROMISE FUTURE PROMISE

From an active perspective, Volvo offers adaptive cruise control and driver alert support (ACC and DAS), with passive systems such as the energy absorbing front under-run protection system (FUPS) as standard. Being designed into the new cab from day one, it has been possible to create the FUPS without adding extra weight, as with the previous version. All these improvements, barring the overall reduction in cab size when compared to the previous XXL cab, are to be applauded. But it’s from this point onwards that what becomes the norm in European expectations, certainly doesn’t make it onto the boat heading towards Australia. Euro VI exhaust emissions have not yet been mandated for Australia, and Volvo Truck Australia engineers have made it quite clear that the ability to reduce emissions will add to pricing and will be consequently resisted for implementation for the foreseeable future. This is in contrast to rival Swedish manufacturer Scania, which offers Euro VI engines for the Australian market today, immediately available for those that want to extend and demonstrate their green credentials. Volvo’s I-Torque driveline meets Euro VI requirements and is claimed by the manufacturer to cut fuel costs by up to ten percent. The I-Torque development results from the high torque output combined with a new automated manual Powershift transmission. “I-Torque delivers no less than 2800 Nm of torque and works at low engine revs. Lower revs mean fewer fuel injection pulses and combustions – and less friction. I-Torque operates in the rev range where the D13 is at its most efficient, between 900 and 1200 rpm,” said Mats Franzen, head of engine strategy at Volvo Trucks.

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PROFILE

ANDREWS AUTO FREIGHTERS

CAR

carrying is a major part of Australian trucking, as automakers import vehicles into different cargo terminals by sea, before sending the latest models on their way to dealerships. Once delivered, there’s a subsequent requirement for further movement around the country, redistributing vehicles of a specific colour scheme or specification to match them to a prospective customer.

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Andrews Auto Freighters of Kempsey is ideally located, in the mid-point between Sydney and Brisbane on the Pacific Highway, to benefit from this continuing trafficking in vehicles to suit the customer quest for the right car, in the right place, at the right time. Although originally established to service Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, the company’s fleet of 32 prime


ANDREWS AUTO FREIGHTERS

Regular vehicle upgrades keeps down maintenance costs for Max Andrews movers can be found running nationally, including across the Nullarbor to Perth. Max Andrews, the founder of the company, still heads up the day-to-day operations of the business. It’s a mixed fleet, comprising Freightliner Columbia models powered by Detroit Diesel Series 60 engines at 445 hp, and DAF CF 85s powered by the PACCAR MX six-cylinder diesel of 460 hp. The business works through a great family involvement that sees Max’s wife Millie and his daughter-in-law working in the business, along with his son Eric in the workshop and his brother Colin, plus his nephews, out on the road. The DAF CF85s are proving popular due to the reduction in service downtime the company has experienced since the Dutch-made vehicles joined the fleet. There’s also a fuel economy benefit of using the European truck specification against that of a North American for specific routes, with the DAF’s returning a fuel saving of 50-60 litres for each run to Brisbane from home base at Kempsey. Colin Andrews has been driving trucks for over 20 years, and is a firm advocate for the DAF products used in the fleet. “I’ve driven a lot of trucks in my time, and started off with one of the first DAF 3600 units back in 1993. The latest DAF is the fourth I’ve had, and I would not change it for anything else. We replace them every five years after 1.1 million kilometres, and in their service life we have never had an engine out. “I run four trips per week between Kempsey and Brisbane, and it is regularly returning around 38-40 l/100 km (2.5-2.6 km/litre). That’s a minimum of 60 litres per trip better than the other trucks in the fleet. I believe the DAF with the ZF auto is one of the best trucks I have ever driven, and find the retarder is well worth having for the added safety it provides and the reduction in service brake wear. “There’s a lot less driver fatigue when you drive a DAF. I get out of the truck just as fresh as when I get in it. It’s also simple to operate,” added Colin. As Phil Atkin, sales representative of the supplying dealership Brown and Hurley, told PowerTorque, the DAFs provide the benefit of having a sealed driveline, hence no need for regular greasing.

“Some of the earlier DAF CF85s bought by Max have now completed over one million kilometres and are being replaced through the company programme that sees approximately five new vehicles join the fleet each year,” said Phil. As familiarity with the brand and the product has increased, the order specification has changed from ordering the 12-speed ZF-AS Tronic automated manual transmission (AMT) to the optional fitment of an 18-speed, Eaton Roadranger 20-Series manual gearbox. “I have been happy with the 900,000-1,000,000 km life of the AS Tronic but believe I can see a longer life from the Eaton Roadranger in the future. I have had Mitsubishis and Hinos in the past, but the DAFs are superior,” said Max. “We keep a balance between the DAFs and the Freightliners. We find the DAFs run better up north in the very hot climate, whereas the Detroit’s seem to run better down south where it is a bit colder. The DAFs run at 460 hp, while the Detroits are set at 445 hp,” he added. “I am very pleased with the back-up we receive from Brown and Hurley for the supply of our DAFs. Brown and Hurley are excellent on back-up, and their workshops are good. We would never go to the Mack product because of a lack of support throughout the Mid North Coast area. I find a lot of good products out there that I like on pricing, but I wouldn’t buy a Mack,” said Max. “This is a busy time for the year for us, and a regular week will see us shifting 600 cars as we operate up to 15 trucks per week on the Melbourne to Sydney sector. “Mostly, we replace vehicles at five years or one million kilometres, and it depends on the strength of the warranty as to whom we deal with. “If the truck is not backed up by reasonable people you don’t deal with them,” added Max. The configuration of the DAF CF85s differs substantially from the conventional fifth-wheel coupling equipped prime mover. Each CF85 is actually registered as a rigid truck and fitted with a coupling similar to that of a Ringfeder, by which it couples to the trailer. PowerTorque ISSUE 56

63


TRUCK SHOW

AS the transport industry embraces new technology, a casual observer could be forgiven for thinking that today’s focus is on stainless steel and high performance. But history has a habit of generating passionate involvement in the trucks that battled the old highways, and events such as the Clarendon Classic Rally go a long way towards keeping up that interest level.

Held at the Hawkesbury Showground, opposite Richmond RAAF base, this is an annual event that pays tribute to enthusiasts that keep the flame burning when it comes to older vehicles. But it’s not just trucks that feature in the showground. Visitors can expect to find a fascinating array of all things mechanical, from tractors and farm machinery to steam engines and stationary engines. The earthmoving fraternity also has its place in the event and, despite some early dozers looking as though they were well into retirement, in the hands of their enthusiastic owners they came to life for a rare exhibition of how they can still run a blade over the ground. Farm tractors lined up in unison to display the various nameplates, such as David Brown, Case, Ferguson, McCormick Farmall, Champion 306, International Harvester, John Deere, Ford and Fordson. From Germany the names included Hanomag and a very smart 1937 Model 20-38 that had been built in Hannover, Germany. Now owned by James Bew of the Sydney Antique Machinery Club, it had been found in a farm sale in Forbes, NSW. Even Porsche lovers were not left out, although this particular Porsche was no sleek roadster – it was a bright red Porsche Standard Star tractor.

The

CLARE Two days of historic attraction rekindle past memories 86 PowerTorque ISSUE 56


THE CLARENDON CLASSIC A Ford 9N from 1943 and owned by Gerry Phillips turned heads as it was as immaculate as the day it left the showroom. This was a Lend Lease import and its history showed that it had been worked in the Mildura Machinery Pool by the Australian Land Army Women until it had been purchased at auction in 1947 by a local farmer. Other names that are increasingly rare included a Lanz Bulldog from 1949. With 25 hp, this single cylinder two-stroke semi-diesel had a maximum engine speed of just 750 rpm. Nestling next to the Lanz was a Hart Parr tractor equipped with steel wheels for operating on the rail network. There’s always a huge amount of interest in the single cylinder, steam-powered stationary engines. Manufacturers such as Alfa Laval and Sundex were matched up to the usual proliferation of long flappy rubber belts linking the drive wheels to water pumps, rotary drill benches and other equipment. Moving up in size to an immaculate 1913 Marshall portable steam engine brought with it a history of use in its earlier days as the 12 horsepower supply to shearing sheds before subsequently finding its next job powering a saw bench at Cowra. During the display at Richmond it powered a Southern Cross centrifugal water pump that had been made in Toowoomba.

Classic

ENDON PowerTorque ISSUE 56

87


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PowerTorque Issue 56  

This issue is the largest issue ever and includes our new TrailerTorque section. Our readers wanted more details on trailers and this is whe...