www.truckandbus.net.au Issue 121 2018
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DAF’S FIRST AUSSIE BUILT CF85 VOLVO’S ULTRA LOW CRAWLER GEAR TRAVELLING NORTH IN A HINO – ELITE HAULAGE’S MACKS – JAGUAR F-PACE COMPANY CAR
WITH MOST OT YOU’RE STUCK
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You can drive the 4500kg GVM Tri-Tipper on your car licence and it’s filled with features to make your work day a lot more The NLR Tri-Tipper is Isuzu’s only Ready-to-Work Tipper with 3-way tipping capability. FSA/ISZ12074
To explore your options, visit isuzu.com.au or your nearest Isuzu Truck Dealer now.
HER TIPPERS, IN THE MIDDLE.
CONTENTS CONTACT DETAILS
PO Box 7046 Warringah Mall NSW 2100
14 ELECTRIC SHOCK
www.truckandbus.net.au email@example.com Enquiries 02 9938 6408 Follow us on Twitter #truckandbusnews Follow us on Facebook at Truck and Bus Australia
Publisher Jon Thomson firstname.lastname@example.org Editor in Chief Allan Whiting email@example.com Art Director Fiona Meadows firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Sales Zara Kilfeather Mob: 0404 883 249 email@example.com Editorial Contributors Barry Flanagan, Mark Bean, Glenn Torrens, Peter Barnwell
Isuzu has taken the industry by surprise announcing that its local Australian subsidiary is developing its own electric truck concept and could possibly build the truck here to answer what it says is strong demand from Australian fleet customers.
22 INTER STAR FLIGHT
TTA was the first magazine to test the reintroduced international ProStar in late 2017 as a tipper dog. Six months on we had the chance to test the upgraded 600 hp Cummins in a ProStar set up for line haul on the well-trodden run from Sydney to Brisbane loaded to the hilt on the Pacific Hwy.
30 THE WRIGHT STUFF
Star presenter at the recent COMVEC conference in Melbourne was Ian Wright, who introduced his Wrightspeed powertrain down under. The editor was all ears and got the chance to sit down with the visionary engineer to talk about the future of how we power trucks.
36 SHIFTING PRIORITIES
A lack of truck drivers and in particular those capable of driving manuals is just one of the factors causing the shift to automatic trucks in Australia. The others are comfort safety and the ability to deliver a stress and fatigue free drive in city traffic. TTA visited an owner operator in Sydney’s west to see why he switched to an automatic for his business.
40 CARGO CULT
When it comes to medium duty trucks the Japanese makers have an iron grip on the market, but like the car market there are a few people that want something different and in Sydney operator George Stamatakis’ case Iveco’s Eurocargo provided and irresistible attraction after a series of Japanese trucks. we dropped in to see why he went Euro.
44 TESTING TIMES
Following on from the arduous, but highly successful testing regime for its Benz Actros range, Daimler trucks has unveiled a similar campaign for its Freightliner brand and the Cascadia model it plans to launch in Australia in the first quarter of 2020. TTA went to Melbourne to get the low down on how Daimler trucks plans and strategies to transition to the new Cascadia as its line haul flagship.
48 ALL IN
The last piece in the Mercedes Benz ‘Actros’ jigsaw has fallen into place with Daimler Trucks launching its third wave of new generation product with its latest All Wheel Drive truck range. TTA went along to sample the new All Wheel Drive trucks from a big 8x8 heavy hitter to the entry-level 4x4 model in some tough and testing conditions
54 PIK-UP GETS A MUCH NEEDED PERFORMANCE PICK UP
The Mahindra Pik-Up might look a little strange to some people, but it works well and is very economical. now it has more grunt and it impressed the editor.
Transport & Trucking Australia is published under licence by Transport Publishing Australia. and is distributed to road transport professionals, fleets, business professionals and the industry throughout Australia. All material contained herein including text, photography, design elements and format are copyright and cannot be reproduced by any means without the written permission of the publisher. Grayhaze Pty.Ltd. is a member of the Copyright Agency Limited (1800 066 844). Editorial contributions are welcome for consideration. Contact the Editor or Publisher for guidelines, fees and level of interest. All unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by a stamp, addressed envelope for their return. We will not be held responsible for material supplied electronically. Proudly printed in Australia
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58 COMPANY CAR: X MARKS THE SPOT
One of the most anticipated utes in recent time, the Mercedes Benz X Class has arrived and we slipped behind the wheel for a test of the first dual cab pick up from the German giant.
DEPARTMENTS 04 BACK TRACKS
Musings from the Editor
06 HIGHWAY 1
News and info from all over
Paul’s latest advice on finances
HINO 500 SERIES WIDE CAB. WITH A GAME CHANGING ACTIVE SAFETY PACKAGE. THAT’S ANOTHER HINO
VEHICLE STABILITY CONTROL - STANDARD
The Hino 500 Series Wide Cab redefines what to expect from comprehensive vehicle safety in the medium duty truck category. In an Australian-first for this class, Vehicle Stability Control is now fitted as standard across the range. Another class-leading active feature is the standard inclusion of a reverse camera. The Hino safety package also includes ABS, traction control, driver SRS airbag, ADR84/00 Front Underrun Protection System (FUPS), Easy Start, Cruise Control and Fog Lamps. All that’s on top of the 500 Series’ unrivalled build quality, safety features, driver comfort, and innovative range of Hino Advantage business support solutions. The Hino 500 Series Wide Cab. It’s a game changer! Visit hino.com.au
ALLAN WHITING ON OUR BEST BEHAVIOUR?
t’s normal for truck magazines and websites to support the road transport industry. Editors of these publications have heavy vehicle licences, regularly drive test vehicles on highways and some of them have worked as drivers in past lives, so there’s an empathy with truck drivers who are doing it for a crust. However, there are limits to this support, just as there are limits to supporting our sporting greats who behave badly: tennis, football and cricket players haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory recently. My experience on town and country roads all over Australia is telling me that heavy vehicle driving behaviour is generally getting much more aggressive and self-righteous. The current culture seems to be: “I’m driving this truck for a living; my rego is paying for the roads and all you motorists are in the bloody way, so get off my turf ”. In the misguided belief that sitting right on a car’s rear bumper will somehow make the terrified driver speed up, our pushy truckie risks making the headlines for becoming yet another heavy vehicle driver to kill an innocent family in a massive rear ender. For amusement and to ward off the inevitable boredom of driving the same vehicle over the same roads, day after day, week after week, month after month, ‘rounding up’ another truck is the principal diversion. Heavy vehicles two and three abreast for kilometres, holding up car traffic, is now the normal way for many drivers to behave. Adding further spice is a CB stream of profane, insulting invective about almost everyone outside that cosy cabin. No wonder car drivers with families on board don’t monitor Channel 40. My better half and I have been looking at where we might retire and she put the absolute kybosh on the coastal region north of Sydney. “If we lived there,” she explained, “I’d never see my friends and family
unless they drove to us: no way I’d ever drive on that hellish M1 so-called motorway. “The trucks have made it a frightening place to be.” Even out of their mobile offices some of today’s drivers are the very opposite of the legendary ‘truckie’. I pulled up at a diesel pump to fill my ute tank and a B-Double pulled in behind me. As I began walking to the pay station the driver yelled at me: “Get off the f…in’ pump ya prick, so I can move up.” I directed his gaze to the sign that explicitly forbade my doing so before paying, but he continued to berate me as I walked away. On my return I told him that I thought he was a fine ambassador for the road transport industry and he roared his quick-witted reply so that all could hear: “Get f…ed ya c..nt!” Where am I writing this? I’m at the roadside watching the aftermath of yet another truck-into-two-cars prang: four off to hospital and the shamefaced driver explaining his behaviour to two unimpressed officers. Yep, tailgating sure saved him some time today. After four years at the helm here at Transport & Trucking I am bowing out as editor. I am scaling back my activities and while I have loved my time driving this beast it is time for a quieter life and while I will still be playing with 4WDs and off road machines, I am handing over to the Publisher who will take the reins, I am sure he will do a great job. It has been
a lot of fun and I will miss it. On a more positive note in this issue we have a fascinating encounter with Volvo’s much vaunted Crawler gear equipped iShift and while we are on the subject of Volvo we also take the Volvo Super Fuel Truck for a spin down the Hume to see what sort of fuel efficiency we could extract. I drove the Scania NGT up from Melbourne back in March but we decided to take up the offer of another drive to see how it worked on a normal two lane highway piloting two of the new Swedes from Brisbane to Bundaberg. The publisher also slipped behind the wheel of Hino’s flagship 700 series with four times Australian rally champ Neal Bates for an epic drive from Canberra to Townsville with the Toyota 86 Race Series cars on board, have a read I’m sure you will enjoy it. With infrastructure booming we take a look at a bog tipper dog operation in Sydney’s West running mostly Macks while also having a steer of Freightliner’s latest spec Coronado with a tipper dog configuration. If that is not enough we also drop into Paccar’s Bayswater facility to see the first locally built DAF come off the line, we might not build cars in Australia any more but the truck building business is in pretty good shape. All that and a whole lot more so read and enjoy. For now that is all for me, enjoy the read, drive safely, don’t tailgate and we might see you down the road sometime.
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fuso.com.au *Warranty terms and conditions apply, 5 year cab chassis or 200,000km for Canter and 300,000km for Fighter models. See an authorised Fuso dealer or our warranty policy at www.fuso.com.au/service for full details. Fuso is distributed by Daimler Truck and Bus Australia Paciﬁc Pty Ltd ABN 86 618 413 282.
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TRUCK ASSIST JUMPS INTO SUPERCAR RACING TRUCK ASSIST, the truck roadside assistance provider run by national truck insurance specialist, NTI, is keen to make a splash amongst the truck operators of Australia and has signed on as the major sponsor of the Tekno Autosports team and its high flying rookie Supercar driver Jack Le Brocq for the headline endurance rounds and the series grand final in Newcastle in November. Truck Assist has backed Le Brocq’s Tekno Commodore for the endurance rounds at Sandown, Bathurst and the Gold Coast, as well as the final round on the streets of Newcastle.
Le Brocq is the standout rookie driver of this year’s Supercar season scoring with five top 10 finishes including a season-high fifth outright in Tasmania earlier in the season. Truck Assist debuted its orange and black colours naming rights sponsor on the Tekno Holden at the Sandown 500 in September and the support marks the first time its livery has been seen in motor sport. General manager, Truck Assist, Alan Halsted, said the organisation is excited to partner with Le Brocq and Tekno for the premier Supercar events.
“Jack’s a major talent with a big future in the sport. He’s someone we’re proud to throw our support behind and to have as an ambassador for our business. There’s a genuine synergy there,” said Halsted “Tekno has long punched above its weight in Supercar racing. They’re a small tight-knit team – perfect for us to partner and grow with. Together we’ve got some exciting things planned along the way.” To that end, Truck Assist will promote its heavy vehicle roadside assistance and online truck insurance capabilities around the Supercar
program, including trackside activations with customers and other key company stakeholders. Tekno team owner Jonathon Webb will share the driving duties with Le Brocq in the three endurance races. “It’s awesome to be partnering Truck Assist for these important events and to be able to bring a new sponsor to the sport,” Jack Le Brocq said. “Our Truck Assist Commodore looks fantastic in orange-and-black, and Jonathon and I are looking forward to continuing our progress toward the front of the field.”
BENZ LOOKS FORWARD WITH A NEW WAY TO LOOK BACK MERCEDES BENZ trucks has unveiled what it claims is the safest, most efficient and best connected truck ever with one particular innovation sure to get the discussion started on future truck design. The advanced Actros has done away with conventional mirrors in a bid to reduce drag and fuel consumption, swapping the traditional mirrors for MirrorCam, which the company claims, gives a perfect all round view. The truck also boasts enhanced comfort and greater safety according to Benz and takes the maker closer to having a fully automated truck as it claims ‘automated driving starts here with new Active Drive Assist, MirrorCam for the perfect all-round view, Active Brake Assist 5 with further improved pedestrian detection, Traffic Sign Assist, electronic parking brake, Stability Control Assist for trailers, a new headlamp system with characteristic light signature, Highbeam Assist’. It seems like only as few months since the new Actros was launched in Australia, (in fact its actually almost two years since it was launched here) so any hope that we might see this new technology smorgasbord any time soon would be overly optimistic. Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus Australia Pacific Director, Michael May says the local operation is excited to see this technology on display in Europe, but says it is too early to discuss details of when it might be available in Australia. “As demonstrated with the current Mercedes-Benz model range, we will only introduce technology into Australia when we are absolutely positive that it is right for our local
customers and able to withstand our tough conditions,” he says. Given the current Actros took about five years to reach our shores it could be a while before the new one gets here but is likely to have a shorter gestation period than its forerunner. Our best guess is that the new Actros won’t arrive down under for at least three years. Benz says the truck boasts reduced costs with up to five per cent less fuel consumption on rural routes and up to three per cent less for longdistance haulage thanks to improved aerodynamics, advanced Predictive Powertrain Control and a new rear axle ratio, while also featuring a more efficient working space for the driver with a new Multimedia Cockpit The revolutionary Benz boasts even greater efficiency thanks to connectivity, real-time monitoring of the vehicle’s technical status and of transport tasks for the business owner based on full integration of Fleetboard into the vehicle. Benz says these innovative new features on the advanced Actros will also available for its related Arocs, heavy-duty construction vehicle line up. Benz started taking orders for the new Actros from European customers new Actros from the start of the IAA show in September saying that the first vehicles will be delivered to customers in the European spring of 2019. The innovation that is sure to attract the most attention will be the revolutionary MirrorCam, it will be the first time camera technology has been used to replace mirrors in a series production truck, although it has been used in concept and prototype trucks. Digital cameras and displays replace
the conventional main mirrors and wide-angle mirrors which Benz says it provides a considerably improved all-round view with performance which it says significantly exceeds legal requirements while reducing fuel consumption thanks to the aerodynamic advantages of the compact digital cameras. The cameras are attached to the right and left of the roof frame and the images captured are displayed on two 15-inch displays with a resolution of 720 x 1920 pixels. These are attached to the A-pillars inside the cab while also giving the driver a good, diagonal view past the A-pillars with an enlarged the field of view. Benz also says the coated lens provides optimal protection against dirt in the field of vision. The MirrorCam has multiple functions helping the driver: When driving forward, the classic and familiar division of the field of view is shown on the displays, just like with conventional mirrors. When taking corners in a prime mover unit, the image on the display on the inside of the bend is pivoted and thus provides an optimal view of the entire trailer – a considerable improvement compared to a conventional system of mirrors. Being particular useful when driving, the MirrorCam is also beneficial when the driver is resting or sleeping: A switch on the door and one by the bed activates the system for two minutes at a time. This allows the driver to check the area around the vehicle at any time via the displays. Benz says its Active Drive Assist is where automated driving starts giving drivers access to semi-automated
driving at all speeds for the first time in a series production truck. New features include active lateral control and the combination of longitudinal and lateral control at all speed ranges by combining radar and camera information. The company claims Active Drive Assist builds on its previous Proximity Control Assist system with stop-andgo function as well as on the Lane Keeping Assist. Active Drive Assist brakes the truck if it gets too close to a vehicle driving in front and accelerates again until a set speed is reached. It is claimed that the new Actros consumes up to three per cent less fuel on motorways and expressways and up to five per cent on rural roads thanks to its improved aero design, the use of MirrorCam and other features including the improved Predictive Powertrain Control system. It also features new concave-shaped cab side deflectors and an optimised design for the roof spoiler. Predictive Powertrain Control uses a satellite-based location system along with accurate digital maps and data about topography, bends, the geometric properties of junctions and roundabouts, as well as traffic signs. Active Brake Assist 5 is fitted to the new Actros, which Benz says has enhanced functionality based on a radar and camera system and can now respond to people at speeds of up to 50 km/h. The new Actros is clearly chock full of the latest technology but as we say with the current Actros only just starting to establish itself in the Australian market it may be some time before we see this new machinery down under.
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FORD F-MAX SPRINGS A SURPRISE BY WINNING INTERNATIONAL TRUCK OF THE YEAR IN A DECISION that has shocked observers and rocked the European truck makers the International Truck of the Year has been awarded to a vehicle manufactured outside Europe. The Ford F-Max built in Turkey was named as the International Truck of the Year for 2019 at the IAA Show in Hannover overnight. The Ford F-Max scored 104 points to take the crown ahead of the second placed Scania L and P series urban distribution trucks, which garnered 74 points with Volvo’s gas-powered FH scoring 56 points to take third. The reward is judged by a jury consisting of 23 commercial vehicle journalists from across Europe. The jury said it was impressed with
the Ford, which features a flat floor, 500hp Ford Ecotorq engine and a ZF TraXon gearbox. The jury praised the F-Max for its efficiency and advanced driveline characteristics including eco-roll, adaptive cruise control and GPSbased predictive cruise control. the new Ford F-Max will go on sale in Europe from early 2019. Chairman of the International Truck of the Year (IToY) jury, Gianenrico Griffini said that with the introduction of F-Max, Ford Trucks has delivered a finely engineered tractor that will be a meaningful new player in the highly competitive segment of long-haul transport. Griffini’s sentiments were echoed by
UK jury member Will Shiers, who said that while Ford’s previous Turkish-built trucks have been competent products suited to the domestic and nearby markets, the F-MAX is entirely different. “It is capable of competing with the established players on the global stage with no allowances asked for or needed,” said Shiers. MAN Truck & Bus won the first IToY Truck Innovation Award in recognition for its eFAS level 4 automated driverless safety truck. The eFAS, which tows a safety sign and follows road crews on motorways, scored 93 points, and fought off competition from the Mercedes-Benz eActros with 56 points, Renault Trucks’ second-
generation Range D ZE Electric on 45 points, ZF’s Innovation Truck on 36 points, Volvo Trucks’ eFL and eFE with 28 points and DAF’s Ecochamps on 25 points. “This MAN truck has the ability to save lives, and is the first platoon I’ve seen that actually makes sense,” Shiers said: International Van of the Year, went to Peugeot, Citroën and Vauxhall who were named joint winners for their new small van. The PartnerBerlingo-Combo convincingly claimed the award with127 points, ahead of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter in secondplaced with 92 points and Ford’s Transit Connect, which received 33 votes to take. third place.
THE STORY BEHIND THE FORD F-MAX FORD’S NEW 4X2 heavy-duty prime mover took many by surprise when it was launched at the Hannover IAA Truck Show. Ford has kept many of the details of the truck secret and few were aware of its arrival until it was announced as the winner of the IToY. F-Max has apparently been under development since being given the greenlight by management in 2013 and appears to signal Ford’s move back into heavy commercial vehicles, at least outside North America. Ford in the USA sold off its heavy truck division to Daimler Trucks in 1997 with its well-loved L Series or Louisville range becoming Sterlings, before Daimler killed the brand off entirely in 2008. In Europe the Ford Cargo has grown out of its medium duty origins offering a 4x2 prime mover with up to a 480 hp power plant as well as a heavy medium rigid line up. The F Max is a huge step up from the Cargo it will replace offering a full flat floor with a 2.16metre floor to ceiling height, 260mm seat adjustment range, double bunks and a cab that matches anything from its contemporary rivals such as Scania and Volvo. At least in the short term the F-Max will be offered only in 4x2 format however the company clearly has designs on getting back into heavy transport. Ford’s stated corporate strategy into the future is to concentrate on SUVs,
performance cars, pick ups and commercial vehicles and you can’t get any more commercial than a 500hp 13 litre prime mover. The F-Max was designed entirely by Ford internally in Europe and is made at its plant in Turkey and uses a ZF 12 –speed Traxon automated manual, however Ford says it will have its own two-pedal transmission by 2020. In 2017, Ford’s European heavy trucks were available in 29 countries. However by the end of this year, the company says it plans to expand its network to 41 – mostly Eastern European countries. In two years time by 2020 Ford says it wants to be present in 50 countries and forecasts that up to 50 per cent of sales will come from the European market. Winning the International Truck of the Year will help establish the new Blue Oval offering on European truck shopping lists. With such overt and clear signals that Ford wants to market the F-Max on a world stage, the question is could the new big Ford find its way onto Australian roads? The F-Max is built in Ford’s Turkish plant, which is where Ford Australia sources its Ford Transit van range. Ford Australia’s Product Communication Manager Damien Smy told Truck and Bus News that at this point in time there is no official guidance and that there are no plans at the moment. “If a decision was made I can’t imagine the timing would see it
coming here for at least two years,” Damien Smy added. The IToY award is made at Hannover every two years and is often awarded to trucks, which are revealed and launched at the massive German based truck expo. The jury apparently tested all the trucks in the running for the award in the days prior to the show opening, allowing the F-Max to be in the running. The truck does not go on sale until early 2019. Ford says the F-MAX has a full 2.5-metre wide cab and features Ford’s own 500 hp/2500Nm Ecotorq 12.7 litre turbo diesel and believes it will become a major player in the international transport industry. The F-Max uses a modern cab over design that holds its own with any modern European truck designs and is a big step up from the current Ford Cargo medium duty truck that has continued to be marketed in Europe over recent years. “Our modern design language based on prestige and power combines professionalism and innovation, while superior aerodynamics, optimum calibration and technical specifications of powertrain and transmission, reduce fuel consumption by 6 per cent compared to the current Cargo model,” said Haydar Yenigün, general manager of Ford’s Turkish subsidiary, Ford Otosan. Ford claims the new prime mover also decreases maintenance costs by up to 7 per cent and offers longer maintenance intervals, delivering
lower total cost of ownership. The F-MAX also comes with Ford’s ConnecTruck telematics technology. Ford claims it has invested five years of research and development into F-Max and completed 5 million kilometres of testing in 11 countries on four continents using 233 prototype units and 15,500 hours of lab testing As a further teaser Ford also showed its first ever concept prototype truck electric truck at the Hannover !AA. The F-Vision from Ford Trucks is a level 4 autonomous truck and reveals Ford Trucks’ future vision on electrification, autonomous and connected drive, lightweight and zero carbon emission products. Ford says it cares about humans’ priorities both inside the cab and on the road, as well as the load being carried, and aims constantly to connect with the environment and users and communicates. It also shows Ford is serious about a true re entry to the heavy truck market on a global scale.
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IT LOOKS A LITTLE LIKE a cross between a giant automated vacuum cleaner and an aircraft tug and it is called Vera. Why it is called Vera? Well Volvo tells us there name Vera means ‘Faith’ or possibly because it is a nice gentle old school name that will put people at ease when it comes to the often controversial subject of autonomous trucks. Volvo unveiled its revolutionary truck concept in Gothenburg recently, perhaps signalling a new transport solution with autonomous electric commercial vehicles that it says could contribute to more efficient, safer and cleaner transportation. Volvo says the long-term goal is to offer companies that need continuous transport services between fixed hubs a complement to today’s offerings. The company says that growing world population and increasing urbanisation are leading to significant challenges to solve environmental issues such as congestion, pollution and noise. It goes on to say that rising consumption, the fast growth of e-commerce and the wide-spread shortage of drivers has put higher demands on efficient transport solutions. Claes Nilsson, the global president of Volvo Trucks says that the full potential of the transport industry is yet to be seen.
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“Everything suggests that the global need for transportation will continue to significantly increase in the coming decade,” said Nilsson. “If we are to meet this demand in a sustainable and efficient way, we must find new solutions. In order to secure a smoothly functioning goods flow system we also need to exploit existing infrastructure better than currently,” he said. “The transport system we are developing can be an important compliment to today’s solutions and can help meet many of the challenges faced by society, transport companies and transport buyers,” he added. Volvo says its future transport solution is intended to be used for regular and repetitive tasks characterised by relatively short distances, large volumes of goods and high delivery precision. The company says that transports between logistic hubs are typical examples, but additional use cases can also be applicable. Volvo Group Australia’s newly appointed president and CEO Martin Merrick commented on the announcement by saying that the future innovation is part of the DNA of Volvo Trucks, as demonstrated by the launch of this new transport solution. “This is a new type of transport solution not seen before, which
offers future promise in particular applications such as repetitive transports or for operations between fixed hubs,” said Merrick. “It is designed to complement existing solutions in transport, and as such its future implementation in Australia could potentially occur in certain applications such as private roads found in ports or in some mines,” the new CEO added. “This is just one more example of how Volvo Trucks is exploring future transport solutions that promote connectivity and innovation. At present it is too soon to discuss when this type of technology could be seen in Australian applications, however we continue to watch with interest new developments from our global colleagues working in this space,” he said Mikael Karlsson, vice president for Volvo’s Autonomous Solutions said the new system can be seen as an extension of the advanced logistics solutions that many industries already apply today. “Since we use autonomous vehicles with no exhaust emissions and low noise, their operation can take place at any time of day or night,” said Karlsson. “The solution utilises existing road infrastructure and load carriers,
making it easier to recoup costs and allowing for integration with existing operations,” he explained. Volvo says the operation is handled by autonomous electric vehicles linked to a cloud service and a transport control centre. The vehicles are equipped with sophisticated systems for autonomous driving. They are designed to locate their current position to within centimetres, monitor in detail and analyse what is happening with other road users, and then respond with high accuracy. The transport control centre continuously monitors the progress of the transport and keeps an accurate watch of each vehicle’s position, the batteries’ charge, load content, service requirements and a number of other parameters. As with an industrial production process, speed and progress are tailored to avoid unnecessary waiting and to increase delivery precision. In this way it will be possible to minimise waste in the form of buffer stocks, and increase availability. Vehicles that operate on the same route cooperate to create optimal flow. Volvo wraps up the statement by saying that in the near future, its transport solution will be further developed together with selected customers in prioritised applications.
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HINO GOES FOR STABILITY ACROSS THE BOARD HINO HAS ANNOUNCED and confirmed that ahead of the November launch of its new 500 Series Standard Cab, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) will be fitted as standard equipment to support what the company claims will be the most comprehensive active safety package ever offered by a Japanese manufacturer in the medium duty market. Hino claims to have led the Japanese truck manufacturers by fitting VSC as standard to its entire 300 Series range in 2011 and this was extended to the 500 Series Wide Cab in 2017 as well as the 300 Series 4x4 in 2018. With the confirmation of VSC’s fitment
to the in-coming 500 Series Standard Cab, Hino says it will now be offering it as standard safety equipment on every model from its car licence eligible 300 Series through to the 500 Series 6x4 350 horsepower FM models.
with the ABS and ASR systems, the VSC helps prevent the truck potentially skidding out of control by monitoring wheel rotation speed, steering angle, yaw rate, lateral G forces and braking. this allows the VSC to enhance
“Very different trucks and very different applications, but the effectiveness and safety benefits of Vehicle Stability Control made the decision to fit VSC to the new 500 Series Standard Cab a very simple decision,” said Daniel Petrovski, Hino Australia’s Manager of Product Strategy. Hino says that working in conjunction
vehicle stability on slippery surfaces or in emergency situations by autonomously reducing engine power and applying the brakes to individual wheels, helping to prevent the truck from sliding in a direction contrary to where the driver is steering. Along with VSC, the all-new Hino 500 Series Standard Cab active safety package will also include other
features seen on the 500 Series Wide Cab, such as UN ECE R29-rated cab strength, a driver SRS airbag, ADR84/00 Front Underrun Protection (FUP) and Easy Start. “And that’s just the start – these street smart new standard cab models will offer safety features never before seen in Australia from a Japanese manufacturer,” said Mr Petrovski. Full Australian specifications and pricing of the all-new 500 Series Standard Cabs FC, FD and FE models will be available in late November 2018 at dealerships nationwide and online at hino.com.au
NTI CALLS FOR NATIONAL APPROACH TO TACKLING DRIVER SHORTAGE AUSTRALIA’S LEADING truck insurer, National Transport Insurance (NTI) has entered the national discussion about the dire shortage of truck drivers by calling for a national approach to address the challenge. NTI has congratulated NatRoad on its recent announcement of a program to address the heavy vehicle transport and logistics skills shortage and has called on all industry bodies to work together in developing a national solution. NTI’s general manager commercial, Mike Edmonds says increasing diversity and reducing barriers to entry has long been a focus for NTI. “With annual contributions of $750,000 to industry associations, alongside the investment into safety statistics, NTI is pleased to be part of the solution in making a real difference,” said Mike Edmonds.
“The industry continues to call for national solutions to challenges and currently there are a number of bodies working on this particular challenge and NTI is calling on all parties to work together to achieve a national solution,” he said. “NTI made a change around four years ago in consultation with industry representatives, to overhaul our driver acceptance criteria and change the snapshot of what the work force looks like. The agreed approach reflects the need for appropriate experience and training to ensure the safety of all road users Industry driven, industry approved.” “Our goal since then has been to reflect Australia’s licencing system which supports graduated pathways for drivers, and to align driver experience with vehicle combinations.” Geoff Crouch, Chair of Australian
Trucking Association (ATA) says governments needed to match the industry’s commitment by upgrading truck driver licensing. “Are centre view of the National Heavy Vehicle Driver Competency Framework found that the standard of training and assessment was inadequate. It pointed out, for example, that the existing Heavy Rigid licensing unit did not cover key safety skills such as driving down steep descents and avoiding skids,” said Mr Crouch. “Governments need to act rapidly to improve truck driver licensing. This would improve safety and make truck driving more attractive as a skilled, safe occupation,” he said. One of the ways NTI works with business owners and operators to encourage the next generation of operators to come onboard, is to work case-by-case and agree
on pathways to competency. “The challenges that young drivers f ace generally apply to inexperienced drivers of all ages. Our work in this space has seen NTI over haul our driver acceptance criteria to attract not only young talent, but more talent,” said NTI’s Mr. Edmonds. “Freight movement is becoming more and more complex, so it’s also important to support continual driver education and skills development. That’s what keeps operators progressing through vehicle configurations and specialised freight movement,” he added. “Our priority is first and foremost based on safety outcomes for all road users. Our data tells us that inappropriate speed, driver error and fatigue remain the largest contributing factors in incidents involving heavy vehicles for all drivers – irrespective of age.”
TRATON AND HINO ADVANCE COOPERATIVE JOINT VENTURE TRATON AG, the new name for Volkswagen Commercial vehicle, and Hino Motors Ltd has today announced new details on their strategic partnership. Both companies have agreed on two strategic initiatives: to join forces in e-mobility and the plan to establish a procurement joint venture. Traton and Hino agreed to enter a strategic partnership on 12 April this year saying the tie up was‘to benefit customers, society, and both partners’. The statement from the companies said that since this agreement, both companies have established working level committees and explored cooperation opportunities in existing and new technologies as well as in procurement and goes onto say that the strategic initiatives announced are a result of these evaluations. Yoshio Shimo, president and CEO
of Hino said that the last couple of months have confirmed what they sensed when they announced the partnership earlier. “Hino and Traton share the same motivation of providing highest value for our customers,”said Yoshio san. “I am delighted that we made good progress in the field of e-mobility and procurement, with every new meeting, I gain confidence that we are moving in the right direction to strengthen our relationship of trust and to pursue further possibilities,“ he added. The CEO of Traton AG and member of the management board of Volkswagen AG, Andreas Renschler, said that the partnership between Traton and Hino will be a source of strength for both of companies. “Our sector is changing, together, we will be able to shape the ongoing
transformation of transportation, our partnership is taking concrete shape, and we are continuously identifying new opportunities,”said Renschler. “The cooperation in e-mobility and the establishment of a procurement joint venture is just the beginning.” he added In e-mobility, Traton and Hino plan to share their development efforts and market products in a shorter time. Hino claims to have a history of more than 25 years in electrified vehicles and the largest running fleet of hybrid commercial vehicles in the world. Hino will also start selling the world’s first heavy-duty hybrid truck, the PROFIA Hybrid in Japan next year. The partners say they have complementary approaches, with Traton focused on heavy-duty applications and Hino focusing on
light- and medium-duty trucks. The companies claim that joining forces will strengthen the innovation power of both partners. The future procurement joint venture with balanced rights they claim is planned as a small but powerful entity between both companies, leveraging synergies in purchasing. The statement said the planned joint venture aims to realise synergies in global procurement for existing parts as well as parts for new technologies. The companies say that more details of the planned joint venture will be outlined in coming months. A corresponding framework agreement has already been signed, while filing for antitrust clearance is the next step in the process aiming to establish the joint venture company in the latter half of 2019.
ITS TAKEN A WHILE BUT VOLVO’S IMPRESSIVE I-SHIFT WITH ULTRA LOW CRAWLER GEAR AUTOMATED TRANSMISSION IS NOW BEING ACTIVELY MARKETED BY THE COMPANY IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND WITH THE TRUCK MEDIA GETTING ITS FIRST CRACK AT THE MUCH VAUNTED ADDITION TO VOLVO’S DRIVELINE OPTIONS AT AN EVENT IN BRISBANE RECENTLY. T&TA WENT ALONG TO SEE JUST HOW LOW WE COULD GO. www.truckandbus.net.au 015
Volvo’s Mr I Shift, Ove Wikstrom
olvo’s unique gearbox for heavy vehicles has been much anticipated and was launched at Brisbane’s Mt Cotton facility along with the company’s I-Shift Dual Clutch, which Volvo claims is the first transmission on the market with a dual clutch system for heavy vehicles. Volvo lined up an array of hardware to show off its Crawler gear and Dual Clutch options on the various Mt Cotton tracks and the capabilities proved truly inspiring. Two Volvo FH16 700 hp prime movers both fitted with the Crawler gear options were tasked with hauling low loader trailers, one with 136 tonnes aboard and the other with 203 tonnes demonstrating just how practical the unit is. The greatest feature is the flexibility the Crawler gear delivers, enabling a prime mover to haul a massive load from start up with a single prime mover and then to seamlessly transition to a fuel efficient highway cruiser with a low engine speed thanks to the normal part of the I-Shift and its highway spec diff ratios. No longer do operators have to choose between a low diff ratio and the high engine revs and fuel consumption that comes from
that and a high diff ratio with good fuel consumption and less tractability with a high GVM. The Ultra Low Crawler gear option enables operators to have the best of both worlds. While Volvo only demonstrated a load up to 203 tonnes, the company did show the truck hauling 700 tonnes in Sweden when it launched the concept in 2016 and sources from Volvo unofficially say that the option could handle 1000 tonnes if called upon. Officially the company claims 325 tonnes as its maximum hauling weight. In a gearbox with one crawler gear the lowest ratio is 19:1 in a direct-drive gearbox, or 17:1 in an overdrive gearbox. By comparison, the ratio of the lowest gear in a regular I-Shift direct-drive gearbox is 15:1. In a gearbox with two crawler gears, the lowest ratio is 32:1 and 37:1 in reverse. The other benefit the ULC gears deliver is the ability to manoeuvre at very low speeds from around 0.5km/h, which quite literally is crawling speed. The option is available with Volvo’s 13- and 16-litre engines on the FM, Volvo FMX, FH and FH16 models. The option
adds 46 kg to the weight of a normal I-Shift, not a lot when you are talking about the higher hauling weights it can handle, while the box is only 120mm longer than a normal I-Shift Volvo introduced the Ultra Low Crawler gear globally in 2016 and has produced more than 10000 trucks with the option since then and already it is accounting for around seven per cent of Volvo’s Australian heavy FH market and the company predicts it will be up around eight per cent in the next 12 months. From a dead stop on the Mt Cotton demonstration area both the 136 tonne and 203 tonne low loaders easily hauled away from stand still up a decent grade and then handled the descent back to the flat without drama. It was an impressive demo of the capabilities the Ultra Low Crawler opens up. The Australian media had the privilege of having the man they call Mr I Shift, Ove Wikstrom on hand to give a presentation on the Crawler and also the dual clutch option the company announced, although there were no dual clutch equipped trucks at the launch to drive.
Wikstrom has worked on every generation of the I Shift including the previous incarnations including the early Geartronic, which had few friends, through the various improvements to now, where it is thought of as the best automated box in the heavy market. Back in 2002 the Volvo Geartronic was fitted to less than three per cent of Volvo’s trucks. I Shift by 2005 had around 17 per cent of the production. Today I-Shift accounts for 100 per cent of Volvo trucks in Australia and 97 per cent globally. The new I Shift dual clutch option’s main benefit Volvo claims, is that it delivers constant torque without interruption thanks to its power-shift gear changes so the truck doesn’t lose any speed during gear changes, the result being more comfortable and efficient progress on the road for the driver. “The introduction of I-Shift Dual Clutch to the Australian and New Zealand markets is a result of strong customer interest in Volvo Trucks technology, said Mitch Peden, vice president, of sales for Volvo Trucks Australia. “We are immensely proud to now offer this innovation to our customers in Australia and New Zealand. Volvo Trucks invests heavily in talking to customers and getting to know exactly what they need. I-Shift Dual Clutch is a product that our customers asked for – we listened and we are delighted to give them exactly what they want,” Mitch Peden said.
“In situations that require a lot of gear changes, I-Shift Dual Clutch brings an entirely new dimension to truck driving,” he added. The I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission consists of two input shafts and a dual clutch, which means that two gears can be selected at the same time. It is the clutch that determines which of the gears is currently active. I-Shift Dual Clutch is based on I-Shift, but the front half of the gearbox has been redesigned with entirely new components. I-Shift Dual Clutch makes a big difference when transporting moving or liquid cargoes, such as animal transports and tanker operations, since the seamless gear changes prompt less movement in the cargo itself. Thanks to I-Shift Dual Clutch power-shifting, there is less risk of getting stuck on slippery or uneven roads, for instance when hauling timber in the forest. “I-Shift Dual Clutch allows seamless gear changes without any interruption to power or loss of speed, and delivers smooth acceleration when driving uphill, even on a slippery road,” Mitch Peden explained. “Ultimately it cuts wear on powertrain, tyres and the rest of the truck, while also saving on fuel as the engine disengages when going downhill. “I-Shift Dual Clutch has already proven very popular with truck drivers in Europe as it gives a more comfortable ride with
“ WE ARE IMMENSELY PROUD TO NOW OFFER THIS INNOVATION TO OUR CUSTOMERS IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND”
“ I-SHIFT DUAL CLUTCH ALLOWS SEAMLESS GEAR CHANGES WITHOUT ANY INTERRUPTION TO POWER OR LOSS OF SPEED”
smooth gear changes, and without dips in torque the noise level in the cab is reduced. “For trucks, this gearbox will truly make a major difference to driveability. The heavier the transport and the tougher the operating conditions, the more you will gain with I-Shift Dual Clutch. Powershift gear changes, where there is no interruption in power delivery, means it is easier to keep up with traffic, especially on tricky stretches of roads. The result is more relaxed and safe driving.” I-Shift Dual Clutch is now available to order on the Volvo FH with Euro 5 D13 engines and with 500 and 540 horsepower. Transmissions with dual clutches are already used in cars, but Volvo Trucks is the first manufacturer in the world to offer a similar solution for seriesproduced heavy vehicles. Volvo says I-Shift Dual Clutch can be described as two gearboxes linked together. When one gearbox is active, the next gear is preselected in the other gearbox. During gear changing, the first gearbox is disconnected at the same instant as the second gearbox is connected, so gear changes take place without any interruption in power delivery. Dual Clutch is based on the normal I-Shift transmission and despite its many new components the new gearbox is just 12 cm longer than a regular I-Shift unit. Meanwhile Volvo also demo’d two FH540s, one equipped with I Shift Crawler Gears and hooked up to a mere B Doubles at 62 tonnes, to demo the other qualities and benefits of the Crawler gears and the other without. The Crawler gear version showed the slow speed manoeuvring and take off advantages it can deliver and underlined the point that you can order one truck that can do really heavy work, but also cart normal freight while remaining economical to run and tractable with a massive load. It performed exceedingly well, pulling away smoothly and quickly changing to more economic gears. They also showed their fuel efficiency features with I-Roll (Volvo’s automatic coasting function) and the efficiency of their retarder on the undulating Mt Cotton circuits. The Volvo Crawler gear concept is a great idea and is all part of the Swedish company’s ongoing mission to deliver better fuel efficiency while also ensuring flexibility and practicality. We are sure it will be a hit with Australian operators.
“ FOR TRUCKS, THIS GEARBOX WILL TRULY MAKE A MAJOR DIFFERENCE TO DRIVEABILITY”
SYDNEY BASED ELITE HAULAGE HAS HAD A METEORIC RISE OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS WHICH CAN BE SHEETED HOME TO A STRONG SAFETY AND COMPLIANCE CULTURE AND ITS DEVOTION TO THE MACK BRAND, WHICH HAS ENSURED IT HAS BECOME TOP DOG IN THE SAND, SOIL AND BUILDING MATERIAL SUPPLY BUSINESS. WE VISITED ELITE RECENTLY TO SEE EXACTLY WHY IT HAS BEEN A SUCCESS AND HOW IT HAS EXPANDED SO RAPIDLY. 022 www.truckandbus.net.au
week may be a long time in politics but four years is not a long time in business and if you look at the Penrithbased Elite Group the achievements it has notched up in the past four years is testament to the way the company is run and the quality of the equipment it employs. In that four years Elite has grown from a one truck operation to a fleet of more
than 35 trucks and more than 50 staff thanks to its focus on safety excellence and superior customer service and of course choosing the correct trucks for the job to ensure they delivered. Jason Roberts had been working in the sand and soil haulage industry for another operator and decided it was time to start his own operation with his good friend Brett Hewerdine. With Jason’s knowledge of the industry and the hard work of
Elite’s dedicated staff and competent drivers, Elite and Brett’s backing and business acumen the company hit the ground running and rapidly expanded its truck fleet to meet demand. There is always a risk when a start up company expands quickly but Jason Roberts put systems in place and pursued a philosophy of great service, safety and compliance. From the start Elite has been closely
aligned with Mack initially because the Bulldogs offered the best price and specs but over the journey so far the company has found them to be more reliable as well. At the same time Elite has forged a strong relationship with the Mack sales team and in particular, Dan Langford at the Mack dealership in Western Sydney. Langford has ensured that the trucks for the Elite fleet have been properly specced for the job and
are kept reliable and on the road. Roberts also praised the after sales mechanical support offered by Daniel Johns and his team at Mack Western Sydney and said that this is a major factor why Elite continues to support Mack. “Daniel Johns is a very hardworking person who works very well with Elite staff to ensure are trucks are roadworthy with very minimal down time,” Roberts said.
When T&TA dropped into Elite Haulage recently at its new facility in the Penrith suburb of Jamisontown, the company’s general manager Warren Marshall explained that the business has been built around some very strong structures and principals, which have enabled the company win over major clients and to expand and thrive over the past five years. Marshall, who came to Elite from the giant Boral Group, says that one of the
keys to the company’s ability to grow quickly has been using Allotrac, which is a full paperless compliance system. “It really is a very useful system because it can manage just about every aspect of our operations from compliance to allocation, invoicing, fatigue management and maintenance as well as pre start checks and incident reports,” Warren explains. “It is very adaptable and we have quite quickly tailored it to our needs,” he added. Allotrac enables Elite to immediately show maintenance and compliance records for road authorities as well as pinpointing tipping locations through its GPS tracking also allowing the driver to photograph the tip off area and record all dockets in the system. “It really is a comprehensive solution for us and is incredibly flexible and can be used on a phone or a tablet through an App,” Warren said. He goes onto explain that the system delivers immediate alerts if drivers have exceeded fatigue limits or if the truck exceeds speed limits and can even give drivers a site induction which they can sign off on before visiting a new site. “We couldn’t run the business without it,” says Warren. “Most importantly the system also holds all information about our driver’s licences, vehicle regos and any permits so we know exactly when any of them might be about to expire etc., it really is fantastic,” he added. While the Mack product in the heavy end of the fleet was purchased initially because of better pricing Elite have stuck with them because as Warren Marshall observed, “ They just do it better”.
“We have tried a Kenworth but sold it because the Macks proved to be a better package and a better fit for us,” he added. The Mack fleet at Elite includes two Granites, four Tridents and two Metroliners and seven new Superliners. At the smaller end of the fleet it is exclusively Fuso with a fleet of eight Fighters all equipped with Allison automatics and one with a Hiabb crane fitted. “We are exclusively an auto fleet, with the Macks all equipped with M Drive and the Fusos with the Allison autos, they are more reliable, safer and simpler for the drivers to use,” said Warren. All of the trucks are on contract maintenance and no truck on the fleet is more than five years old with every older truck being replaced and updated between now and February. “Contract maintenance means we know our maintenance costs and Mack does a particularly good job at keeping our trucks o the road and working consistently,” Warren said. Safety is a by word for Elite and the company has embraced compliance and systems to ensure all its drivers meet the strict safety rules that Elite runs to. “Each year we run a full day safety day which we call Elites Stop for Safety Day, with our drivers, permanent subcontractors and staff where we spend six hours interacting to various safety presentations and information sharing from major industry leaders including Boral, Holcim,RMS and other special guests, so that every one is singing from the same song sheet,” said Warren. This approach along with the company’s strong pursuit of BFM and NHVR compliance and its adherence to chain
of responsibility has seen Elite win supply contracts from all of the major concrete and building material companies including Boral, Hanson, Holcim, Hy-tech and a range of other major names. Along with that impressive list Elite also has supply contracts with the Australian Turf Club, the SCG, Rio Tinto, Endeavour Energy, many local councils, landscape contractors and golf courses amongst its key customers. “We are able to show compliance and prove our credentials as well as proving our ability with all of the major companies and that has won us a lot of work and been a key part of the company’s success, while the fact that we have built the operation around customer service and our commitment to” Warren explained. As well as its new operation and yard in Penrith, where the trucks are garaged each day and loaded during the working day, Elite also has a base in Newcastle which allows flexibility to service the entire state. The range of materials Elite supplies is extensive and includes sand, soil in various blends and types, drainage aggregates, top dressing, pebbles, mulches, garden mixes, turf underlays and a range of cement, blocks, and hardware. Elite has particularly won favour in the golf and greenkeeping industries and the addition of a notable sales account manager to the operation in recent times has certainly not been an impediment for the company. “When Tom Parker stepped down as curator at the famed SCG Jason pretty quickly snapped him up as sales manager for our products and has been a wealth of knowledge and huge success for us.
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THE CHANCE TO DRIVE AN UP SPECCED FREIGHTLINER CORONADO WITH A PACKAGE OF FEATURES AIMED AT DELIVERING MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY FOR TIPPER DOG OPERATIONS REVEALED MORE ABOUT DAIMLERâ€™S US BRAND AND ITS GROWING MARKET AMBITIONS DOWN UNDER.
ts fair to say that Freightliner is one of the sleepers of the Australian truck industry, we don’t mean that the brand is a dark horse, more a hibernating bear ready to wake up and maul a few of its opponents. That was the thought that struck us after being briefed on the upcoming Cascadia model and the resources Daimler is putting into what will be its US sourced flagship line haul truck ahead of its arrival here in 2020 and also after driving its latest tipper dog spec Coronado. Things are definitely stirring at Freightliner after months of speculation about the future of Argosy and following a raft of new models at its sibling brand Mercedes Benz. Daimler’s US brand is on the move and if the improvements in sales results its mates at Benz have registered are an indication the opposition may need to watch out. It’s clear that Freightliner wants a bigger share of the pie down under and to take the fight up to the other US brands like Kenworth and Mack and even its stable mate ‘once removed’ Western Star in the conventional realm. It all adds up to feeding the belief that Freightliner is readying for a big attack on the Australian market. It seemed an almost frivolous decision to fly to Melbourne to drive what appeared to be just another Coronado, but Daimler’s media guy intimated that the drive would be well worthwhile and would deliver a strong yarn. He was right of course and although the drive through Melbourne’s South East and down into the near reaches of Gippsland was relatively short it gave us a good feel for what the Freightliner engineers have done to ‘Superspec’ the Coronado for tipper dog operations. Ask any of the truck manufacturers or cast your eye at the TIC sales figures and you will see that the heavy-duty sector has been performing way above average lately. Part of the reason behind that is the enormous infrastructure and construction boom happening all up and down the East Coast. Obviously tippers and tipper dog rigs are fulfilling a massive demand to satisfy all that demolition and construction work. What Freightliner has done with this particular Coronado is create a spec that is capable and legally able to gross 50.5 tonnes for general access on all roads and with all its technology and safety elements is able to run up to 57.5 tonnes with Level 2 HML/PBS routes. It does all this while also delivering an improved turning circle.
“ ONE QUALITY HIGHLIGHTED DURING OUR DRIVE WAS THE GOOD ALL ROUND VISION FROM THE CORONADO’S CONVENTIONAL CAB WHICH ALLOWS THE DRIVER TO SEE OTHER VEHICLES EASILY WITH NO REAL BLIND SPOTS THAT WE COULD IDENTIFY”
So what Freightliner has done to achieve this is take the set forward axle Coronado 114 tipper and by selecting a shortened 4800mm wheelbase option Coronado from the US factory, which is a 500mm reduction in length. To achieve the required spec and to save space and move more weight forward onto the steer, Freightliner moved the batteries into the cab, fitted a more space efficient 420 litre fuel tank on the right hand side and a 210/210 split fuel tank on the left, as well as installing a horizontal exhaust. All of this was to save space and make the truck capable of achieving its payload goals. Freightliner also fitted non-slip steps and yellow grab handles to the package. There is limited competition in the set forward tipper dog market so what this package does is put the Coronado on equal footing with its opponents from
Mack and Kenworth, the only other set forward conventionals available in a similar spec in Australia. Overall the Coronado Tipper Dog is a 19-metre package with a four-axle dog and the 6x4 truck on a 4800mm wheelbase. With its 14.3 cubic metre tipper body on the truck it measures up at 7201mm in overall length. That is coupled to a 25.5 cubic metre capacity four-axle dog trailer, which measures up at 8200 mm in length with a draw bar of around 3595mm giving an overall length of just under 19metres. Slipping behind the wheel of the Coronado at Daimler’s corporate HQ at Mulgrave in Melbourne’s east, with the rig loaded to around 45 tonnes GVM, we headed southwest down the crowded and challenging Monash Freeway as the early afternoon traffic competed for space and all frantically trying to get where they were going.
The Detroit Diesel DD15 engine responded easily and smoothly quickly getting the Coronado up to freeway cruising speed thanks to its 500 horsepower and 2500 Nm of torque feeding back through an Eaton UltraShift AMT. The package worked perfectly in the traffic giving the Coronado good acceleration away from the lights and enabling it to easily run at ambient traffic speed, whether on the open road in 100km/h zones or ambling along at 40km/h in school zones. The Coronado just felt good to drive with sharp steering, an excellent dash and cockpit layout and a quiet, comfortable cab with excellent ride quality. Braking was very good as well and coupled with a strong retarder the truck could be slowed with ease and safety, with never a moment of drama. The truck was fitted with Freightliner’s AirLiner 46K air bag suspension at the rear rated to 106 tonnes and working with the Meritor axles while at the front it had taper leaf steel springs using Daimler’s own front axles. The maneuverability of the rig was underlined down in Gippsland where we had to do numerous laps of a short section of road between two roundabouts for photos. A sequence of braking, turning and acceleration ran for about 15 minutes as the photographer kept waving us on for more shots while he literally dodged snakes in the grass. We were glad we were ensconced in the Coronado cab and not negotiating a path between the reptiles! The other quality highlighted during our drive was the good all round vision from the Coronado’s conventional cab which allows the driver to see other vehicles easily with no real blind spots that we could identify. By the time we were heading back to Daimler HQ the traffic was thicker and the freeway chockers with even more frantic car drivers racing to get somewhere. The Coronado glided on easily coping with the traffic and when we landed the rig back in the Daimler yard, we were able to alight feeling fresh and relaxed. The tipper dog business has its stresses, ask anyone operating one in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane and they will tell you. The fact is you would go a long way to do better than Freightliner’s Coronado 114 SF set up in the configuration we tested. It’s easy to drive, comfortable, safe and offers a bunch of efficiencies that are hard to ignore.
GIVEN THE CHANCE TO SAMPLE SCANIA’S NEW GENERATION TRUCK ON A RUN UP THE QUEENSLAND COAST T&TA JUMPED AT THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE HOW THE NEW SWEDES COPED WITH MORE COMPLEX HIGHWAY RUNNING. WE TAKE YOU ALONG FOR THE RIDE.
ditor Whiting had already had the chance to drive the Scania NGT up the Hume Highway back in March and came away impressed so when Scania asked us if we would like to have another steer of its sparkling new machines we didn’t hesitate to say ‘yes please’. A national Scania road show for the NGT meant that at least two of its models including the flagship V8 R620 and its close sibling the six cylinder G500 would be hauling a pair of B Double sets up the east coast and then across to Perth and back over several weeks. We had the option of a couple of different sectors and in selecting the route we wanted to do something a bit different to the drive up the Hume Motorway which we had already written about. In the end we chose Brisbane to Bundaberg. While it still had a bit of motorway running a lot of it was on the sort of give and take sections of Queensland highway that are often bumpy, at times narrow, undulating and regularly thick with traffic, a good test for any truck. Departing Brisbane behind the wheel of the R620 we were in convoy with the G500 battling the road works and suicidal car drivers darting in and out of the medium density traffic. We were high above the dramas down at tarmac level and while requiring vigilance and care; the Scania instilled a degree of confidence with its excellent dynamics, brakes and steering.
PART OF THE KEY TO THE EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE OF THE BIG SWEDISH TURBO DIESEL IS THE GREAT MATCHING OF THE ENGINE WITH SCANIA’S OWN AUTOMATED GEARBOX
The other abiding quality that shone through from the start was the low noise levels and quiet inside the new Scania cab. The big 16.4 litre V8 worked away down below and at cruising speed hummed along nicely. The first 150 or so kilometres are a doddle, loping along at cruising speed on the dual carriageway of the Bruce Highway, occasionally baulked by slow moving Grey Nomads hauling their palaces on wheels to warmer climes but generally making short work of the task. The R620 was loaded to just under 62
tonnes and even the climb up the range north of Nambour was an easy task for the big V8. The 620 does perform well and is very smooth and strong, pulling hard when called upon, which it was as we hit Gympie in the late afternoon, with lots of stop start at traffic lights and resulting hill starts and dead pulls. The V8 marches away from a dead stop, even on a hill and gets rolling faster than you would imagine while still recording excellent fuel economy as the on board system was reporting to us. Alongside me
in the cab was long time Scania driver trainer Alan McDonald and a couple of times he just looked across and said with a degree of understatement ‘its good isn’t it?’ Part of the key to the excellent performance of the big Swedish turbo diesel is the great matching of the engine with Scania’s own automated gearbox the 12 speed Opticruise, which just seems to always grab the correct gear and allow the engine to work in its optimal range. It is a smooth, intuitive and very impressive gearbox and it really shone in the busy
traffic clogged Gympie precinct. Key to the 16.4 litre V8 is its great torque with maximum Newton metres listed at 3000 but the important fact is it is available from 950 rpm to 1400 rpm, a real sweet spot that means it can just keep pulling way on hills. As we said before, it just seems to lope along on the highway thanks to the under stressed engine. It has to be noted that the 620 is still Euro 5 rated and while the G500 behind us was Euro 6 rated, Scania, which pushes the Euro 6 barrow strongly, explained that the big bangerâ€™s slightly lesser Euro
5 emission credentials is providing the market with a choice. Of course the fact is our legislators still have not announced an absolute date for the introduction of Euro 6 so the big banger 620 is still meeting and exceeding our current standards. Once clear of the Gympie imbroglio, the 620 was back to humming along the now single carriageway Bruce Highway handling the undulations and slow traffic with ease. Comfort levels in the big new Scania cab were exceptional and with the suspension seat encompassing my frame the dayâ€™s
toil at the wheel was pretty easy to take and with air conditioning dialled into a comfortable temperature, the cab interior was a refuge of quiet, calm and relaxed comfort. While the Scania New Generation is an all-new truck it bears a striking family resemblance to its predecessor. It is clearly a case of evolution not revolution but on closer inspection it is a very different truck. It is a lot slipperier for a start, with lots of subtle aero work to make it slip through the air more easily and with less fuel usage.
As evening was drawing in we approached our overnight stop at Maryborough, we were part of Scania’s national roadshow and the driver trainers and some Scania sales people would be demo-ing the trucks to prospective customers the next morning before we hauled them further north to Bundaberg. That evening over the course of dinner we were able to reflect on the R620 and how easily it handled the demanding Bruce Highway, it really was a very easy task and I looked forward to climbing into the G500 which had until now been piloted by a journalistic counterpart from another publishing group, who would take the R620 into Bundaberg the next day The G500 is very similar in feeling to the R620, sure it has a six cylinder not the big banger V8 and it is lacking about 120 horses but with a gross of 55.5 tonnes in its B Double configuration it had very similar performance feel to its larger sibling. Scania has made much of its modular engine design, which allows it to continue with a V8 engine when every other manufacturer has moved to six cylinder donks. Scania says its engines have commonality with blocks, pistons and conrods and even cranks allowing it to minimise cost and easily create a five, six or eight cylinder. It is typical of the clever Swedish design and clearly the modularity concept is carried across just about every
aspect of the new truck range, hence the G500 has such a similar feel to the R620. Certainly a fleet operator would have no trouble with drivers seamlessly moving from one truck to another. Again the G500 made easy work of the run north from Maryborough to Bundaberg, climbing the few hills with ease and again boasting strong torque and an easy loping gait on the highway. With a gross of 55.5 tonnes the G500 showed that if you are running more volume and less weight and not maxing out to 62.5 tonnes all the time then the smaller 500 hp six cylinder would be a more economical and practical option for operators. While we were returning around 1.85 km /litre in the R620, we were getting better than 2.1 km/litre in the GF500 with seven tonnes less on board. The Scania adaptive cruise control worked particularly well and made life for this driver easy, even though some of the caravanners on the highway did their best to make things difficult. The controls and the cockpit in general features a lot of switches and levers and while the layout is very good there is a complexity that comes with an advance truck like this that means a short stay in the cab doesn’t really give you the time to become totally familiar with everything. We are sure that living with the Scania on a permanent basis would breed this
familiarity and instinctiveness. However apart from that unfamiliarity and degree of complexity, the fact remains that with the adaptive cruise control on, the Scania is eminently easy to drive. Engage D, lock in the speed and the driver can sit back and just concentrate on steering the truck and braking with safety and a whole lot less fatigue. Speaking of fatigue, when it comes to the bunks some have complained about the size and comfort of European trucks and their sleepers, but this writer reckons the Scania sleeper looks more than adequate for the task. Some would have you believe you just about need a separate bed-sit behind the cockpit but for a few hours sleep and rest we believe the NGT Scania measures up well. As we loom into the growing sprawl of Bundaberg the need to negotiate more traffic lights, intersections and a few tight turns came back into play, but like our transit through Gympie the previous day, the NGT Scania’s made easy work of it. The trip wasn’t a long one but the pair of NGT Scania’s acquitted themselves with great aplomb and demonstrated that the latest technology and a lot of engineering has made these new Swedes very easy to live with and will, we are sure be a hit with operators looking for economical to operate, easy to drive and reliable workhorses, and the Scania appears to tick all of those boxes.
One truck, two personalities â€“ and many more assignments. I-Shift with crawler gears adds HEAVY HAULAGE capability to our standard truck range letting you use the same truck for a host of different driving conditions and assignments. It allows you to haul loads up to 325 tonnes from standstill on an uphill gradient of 3% with extreme control and precision. And at speeds as low as 0.5â€“2 km/h with full power. With two extra gears at your fingertips, you can take on the most challenging tasks, safely and efficiently. Helping to make your operation more flexible, productive and profitable. Read more at volvotrucks.com.au
WHEN VOLVO UNVEILED ITS LOCALLY DEVELOPED FUEL SAVING PROTOTYPE TRUCK, KNOWN AS THE VOLVO FUEL SUPER TRUCK, WE WERE PRETTY KEEN TO SLIDE BEHIND THE WHEEL AND SEE JUST HOW EFFICIENT THIS SPECIAL PROJECT COULD BE. VOLVO IS CLAIMING ITS WORTH UP TO 20 PER CENT IN TERMS OF FUEL EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS AND WE JUMPED AT THE CHANCE TO TRY IT FIRST HAND AND CLIMBED ABOARD WITH VOLVOâ€™S NEW FUEL EFFICIENCY MANAGER, MATT WOOD ON A DRIVE FROM SYDNEY TO MELBOURNE TO SEE JUST HOW GOOD THIS SLIPPERY SUCKER IS.
espite the big dry and an achingly long and difficult drought it was inevitable that when we climbed aboard Volvo ‘s FH16 Fuel Super Truck to set off down the Hume on a cold Mid August morning that it would be raining and blowing hard from the south, which was where we were headed. The goal was to make Melbourne by evening and to see just how economical the Volvo Fuel Super Truck could be, but the headwind rain and peak hour departure were going to prove extra tests of its fuel efficiency. Loaded to its maximum allowable 62.5
tonnes, the FH16 Volvo Fuel Super Truck, rated at 540 hp was resplendent in its white blue and aqua colour scheme and stood out as we made our way to the M7 to track to the Hume Motorway and our ultimate goal that lay about 880 km down the track. Volvo Trucks recently appointed fuel efficiency manager, Matt Wood, accompanied us on the trip and provided useful tips on how to get the best out of the vehicle. Matt Wood who helped develop the truck and calls it his ‘baby’ has set it up as a full B-double, utilising aerodynamic and other efficiency technology with the aim of
giving truck operators a ‘grab bag’ of ideas from which to draw greater fuel efficiency. Bedecked in aerodynamic aids including side skirts and drag resistance optimisation on the B and A trailers, minimised air resistance at the front of the prime mover around the wheel housings and entry steps, the Fuel Super Truck has been Matt Wood’s first major project in his new role at Volvo. Wood worked closely with the Volvo Group Trucks Technology team (GTT) based at the Volvo factory at Wacol along with support from the Volvo GTT network in Sweden, as well as with trailer company Maxitrans and tyre maker Michelin.
Because of our unique conditions and specs in Australia Volvo claims this is the first B-double fuel saving concept truck in the world, although Volvo has produced single trailer fuel super trucks in Europe and North America in the past. Volvo claims that more than two years of development time has gone into creating the Fuel Super Truck and recently appointed Volvo Trucks Australia vice president of sales, Clive Jones says it is a testament to Australian ingenuity and engineering skill, along with the great benefits gained from the partnership of Swedish and local engineering teams “The Volvo Fuel Super Truck is more
than just a concept. It is areal-world truck specially engineered for Australian conditions with a fuel efficiencyoptimised driveline and streamlined aerodynamics,” Jones said. “The truck is designed to run on the least amount of diesel possible, without compromising productivity or performance. “With fuel accounting for one-third of operator costs, the industry is looking for answers to the problem of how to maximise fuel efficiency while still getting the job done. Volvo says that for owners and operators looking to reduce fuel consumption, the
majority of features in the Volvo Fuel Super Truck are available for order now. Volvo added that it is committed to working with every customer in order to find the best specification for their unique operational conditions. Prior to the truck being publicly announced Volvo says it was tested under rigorous real world conditions in Australian trials which showed a gain in fuel efficiency of 20 per cent over the baseline FH16, which itself is known for its fuel efficiency. From our perspective the drive to Melbourne showed just what some of the innovations and fuel efficiency
modifications can achieve in a real world situation. The greatest tangible benefit is the increased rolling ability off hills and the momentum that can be carried into climbs. Using the Volvo cruise control with its iRoll function, which automatically kicks the iShift into neutral on down hill runs, the engine revs drop to virtually nothing thanks to the momentum delivered by gravity. With the Fuel Super truckâ€™s low rolling resistance Michelins, extensive aero work and optimised driveline the truck quickly gathers pace off the top of hills and it requires focus and concentration to ensure you donâ€™t exceed the speed limit. Using the cruise control the driver can toggle back the cruise speed on the steering wheel control to limit pace on the down hill runs. Engine braking and the transmission help with the task. The optimum is to toggle back to 100km/h and release the engine brake stalk as you hit the flat allowing momentum to keep the truck rolling along at legal speeds with minimum revs and fuel usage. The real benefit of the low rolling resistance and aero is realized here with the truck often
rolling for amazing distances before the I Shift kicks back in and the engine revs rise to maintain the cruise speed. Of course when the truck is rolling and the revs and turbo boost are low you are getting distance virtually for free. There are, however, some impracticalities with the full suite of mods and additions to the Fuel Super Truck. The skirts for instance are low to the ground and there is not a lot of clearance between them and the road, which on some Australian highways might not be ideal, particularly those littered with road kill. However on a highway such as the Hume or the soon to be completed Pacific motorway, it is eminently usable, as we proved on our run to Melbourne. Similarly the skirts shielding the trailer wheels drew comment from other drivers about the extra work required if a tyre change is needed. But with the best rubber fitted along with remote tyre pressure monitoring it would be easier to stay ahead of any tyre failure and again the likelihood of this in a motorway environment is minimal anyway. However, as we mentioned, some
operators could potentially adopt the entire suite of fuel efficiency ideas and others might just use parts of it to suit their own area of operation and road conditions and to reduce fuel usage. By the time we reached the Volvo dealership just off the Western Ring Road we were able to record 2.1km to the litre or around 46.4 litres per 100km, while averaging 87.1km in the ten hours of actual driving south on the Hume. This was despite that strong headwind, rain and the 7am peak hour departure from Sydney, which put us directly into the peak hour rush for our 6.30pm arrival in the Southern City. The Volvo Fuel Super Truck is a well thought out and very intelligent truck. Hats off to Volvo for putting the budget and effort into building it for Australian conditions. If it does nothing more than start a dialogue about maximising fuel efficiency in trucks then it will be a success. If it awakens fleets to the enormous gains that can be made, and we think it will, then it will be a huge benefit to Australian road transport.
ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, EVERY WEEK THERE ARE FLEETS OF TRUCKS WENDING THEIR WAY TO AND FROM MOTOR SPORT EVENTS, CARTING VALUABLE CARGOS OF RACE CARS, PIT GEAR, WHEELS, TYRES AND SUPPORT EQUIPMENT. THE GVMS MIGHT NOT BE VERY HIGH BUT THE DEADLINES ARE REAL AND THE HAZARDS JUST AS DANGEROUS. WE JUMPED IN WITH FOUR TIMES AUSTRALIAN RALLY CHAMP, NEAL BATES AS HE TRANSPORTED FIVE RACE CARS FOR THE TOYOTA 86 RACE SERIES FROM HIS BASE IN CANBERRA TO TOWNSVILLE.
Your author front and centre with Neal bates and Coral Taylor
n a clear, crisp freezing morning in the Nation’s Capital the Hino 700 series and the Toyota 86 Race Series transporter hooked up behind, sat glistening in the sunshine in the yard of Neal Bates Motorsport, deep in the heart of Canberra’s Hume Industrial area. The task ahead was to drive the Hino and its precious cargo of racecars, north to Townsville, just under 2200 kilometres away via the shorter inland route, in time for all the pre event activities surrounding the Townsville 400 Supercar meeting. Inside the transporter were five Toyota 86 racecars along with a whole lot of the essentials needed to run and organise the
one make race category. My partner in the cab of the Hino would be four times Australian Rally Champion Neal Bates who is an accomplished truck driver in his own right and has been around trucks all his life. Bates’ father, Dick is an inductee to the Transport Hall of Fame in Alice Springs and just two days before we set off north, had retired from driving at the age of 78, after 61 years behind the wheel of trucks. Neal started driving trucks at night as a young apprentice mechanic, mainly to earn enough to go rallying. So the Bates pedigree behind the wheel of big rigs is impeccable. Along as well would be a second Neal Bates Motorsport Hino 700 rigid with his
long time co-driver and team manager Coral Taylor at the wheel. Coral has been driving trucks since she was a kid as well. When her dad worked as a builder on the Sunshine Coast. Coral would drive the work trucks to help out. Years later teamed with Neal in his rally team, Taylor attained her HC licence in the early 1990s and has driven a variety of big rigs over the past 25 years, cris-crossing the country to rounds of the Australian Rally championship and race meetings. Interestingly Coral, who is also a board member of the NRMA, was drafted into the then newly formed National Heavy Vehicle Regulator a few years back, nominated by the then NSW Roads
Minister, Duncan Gay, as that state’s representative on the newly formed board. Coral is the only member of the NHVR who actually has a truck licence and drives big rigs regularly. For this writer the trip ahead would be a bit of an adventure and a chance to see how the Hino 700 with its 480 hp 13-litre six cylinder would perform on the open road pulling a full single semi trailer. Although B Double rated the 700 is a bit light on in the horsepower stakes but in this instance the rig would only be grossing around 32 tonnes and the power never seemed wanting. The 13-litre is available with an 18-speed Eaton Road Ranger manual; in this instance it is teamed with a ZF AS Tronic 16-speed A/ MT, which Hino packages as a Proshift. The 13-litre boasts maximum torque of 2157 Nm at 1100rpm while max power is delivered at 1800 rpm. As mentioned the load on board included five Toyota 86 racecars along with a lot of the tools, parts and race series gear needed to run the one make racing series at the Townsville meeting. Leaving Canberra on the sunny winter afternoon we struck northwest to Yass and then to Boorowa, Cowra and Canowindra before hitting the Mitchell Highway to Dubbo for our first overnight halt.
Slow road works zones and the steep rolling hills of the western slopes tested the 480 horses of the Hino and at times we were manually shifting the A/MT to maximise the hill climbing effort. The outstanding quality of the 700 series was its ride, handling the bumps and lumps of the NSW country byways and highways nicely, while the ISRI drivers seat road the undulations with great comfort and control. The Hino’s retarder works superbly and is one of the best we have encountered as the system slowed the rig very efficiently and safely from the instant you throttle off. Without using the Jake we were able to bring the 32 tonnes to a near halt for intersections and obstacles, without touching the brakes until virtually the very last moment. Equally downhill retardation was also impressive and would contribute to low brake wear if drivers used the system to its full potential. The multi-level retarder is controlled on the left hand stalk along with controls for lights and the Jake Brake. The right hand stalk has indicators and cruise controls. The gearshift sits close handy to the driver, on the left just ahead of the welldesigned parking brake release. Save for its lack of a full flat floor to move around the Hino has a reasonable cab which is
easy and comfortable to spend a day in. The interior of the 700 is comfortable with lots of storage areas but there is not a surplus of usable space. The dash is well laid out and an easy scan of the instruments gives the driver all the info they might need including an easy to see gear indicator revealing which cog the truck is in either in auto or manual mode. With plenty of time to make Townsville and the desire to avoid the night time road kill in a truck with out a bull bar, meant we would make two overnight stops, pulling into Dubbo for our first night at around six o’clock. While the Hinos had sleeper bunks the decision was to stay in a motel each night for added comfort. The sleeper may have been comfortable for a single driver, although the bunks are a bit narrow, the preferred option for the three of us was to pay the extra for some rooms. The reality with the Hino was that it would be ideally suited for intrastate and short haul work but it has limitations for line haul and long distance work despite its ride comfort. Striking out as the dawn was starting to break the next morning we realised the decision to observe the overnight driving curfew was a wise one with the wildlife casualty list lining the
Newell as we struck north to Gilgandra. The PH Trailers built race transporter behind the Hino was tracking nicely on the flat and dry plains into the morning sunshine. The Hino easily rounded up the many ‘Grey Nomads’ in their slow moving caravans ambling along the highway at 80km/h. Like any thing there are good and bad amongst the caravaners, some very aware of the traffic around them and calling you through on the CB, others oblivious to the trucks and other vehicles coming from behind, one caravan towing driver wobbled dangerously to the right as the Hino was overtaking. The experience only strengthened our view that perhaps a graded licence for trailer towing should be formulated for cars towing vans and big boats, lets face it the task is not as easy as many believe. The dryness of northern NSW gave away to a relatively damp southern Queensland as we struck north from the border through Hebel to St George and on to Roma with drizzly rain coating the transporter in a dirty brown film of road grime as we pulled into the Roma roadhouse to refill late in the afternoon. It was too early to stop for the day but the sparseness and lack of towns and accommodation options ahead on the Carnarvon Highway had us scrambling
to figure out our rest stop that evening. Finally we figured out we could make Springsure by round 9pm after a stop at Rolleston for a feed. Fortunately plenty of trucks and traffic in the early evening resulted in no animal strikes and we made the motel in Springsure unscathed. One of the standout visions of a trip through central Queensland in winter is just the sheer numbers of caravaners and their desire to camp overnight in roadside rest areas. Their ability to sleep through the noise of trucks passing all night and the delightful audio delivered by Jake brakes is clearly better than mine. The other abiding memory of the drive through the bush was the stunning sunrises as we set off just before dawn each day. The rich blue of the sky in the pre dawn light and the orange beams feeding out from the east as the sun crept above the horizon to warm the cold overnight veil of a winter’s night and the vision of the moon setting in the west was truly inspirational. A solid morning of driving after breakfast in Emerald saw us pull into Charters Towers by two o’clock for a quick lunch. From here it was an easy amble ‘downhill’ to Sun City where we
pulled up a bit after 4.30 with the warmth of the tropical north proving great therapy for our weary southern bones. While the Hino drive was an easy one in terms of having an overnight halt each day and relatively modest daily mileage it gave us an insight into another aspect of road transport. Not everything is express freight, sometimes as in this instance the precious nature of the cargo and the need to get it there in one piece and in good condition is far more important than the haste that many operators have to employ to meet deadlines. After 2200 km the Hino 700 and the race transporter it was hauling proved its credentials as a capable, comfortable and reasonably economical single trailer prime mover. The many support categories and their transporters that tag along with the Supercar circus along with the more than 20 B Double rigs for the top level Supercar teams mean there is now a fleet of trucks constantly hauling race cars around the country from the start of the season in February until the final round in late November each year. Apart from anything else its a fascinating exercise in logistics and material movement achieved in array of truck brands and models and for this task the Hino certainly measured up.
ACT OF DAF-IANCE
IT WAS A BIG DAY AT BAYSWATER IN MID AUGUST AS PACCAR ROLLED OUT THE FIRST AUSTRALIAN ASSEMBLED DAF CF 85 AND ANNOUNCED A $AUD30 MILLION INVESTMENT IN DOUBLING THE SIZE AND CAPACITY OF THE AUSTRALIAN PRODUCTION FACILITY. T&TA WAS THERE TO CAPTURE THE EXCITING DAY FOR PACCAR AUSTRALIA. 050 www.truckandbus.net.au
L-R: Jan van Keulen, Managing Director of DAF Sales Operations, Dan Cahill, Director, Cahill Transport, Michael Cahill, Director, Cahill Transport, and Michael de Boer, Area Manager, DAF Sales Operations.
ne by one all the car manufacturing operations in Australia, have fallen by the wayside, but when it comes to building trucks Australia has a lot to beat its chest about. In fact far from closing plants down Australian truck making is expanding and enjoying some fairly largescale investment as a consequence. No government subsidies or tariff protection here, the three truck makers in Australia are doing it because it makes a good business case and they are selling trucks and making money. It is, if you like, defying the trend of
diminishing manufacturing activity, or in the case of PACCARâ€™s new commitment to building its Euro brand here, perhaps its an act of DAF-iance. So it was at the purposeful and extremely impressive PACCAR plant nestled in the shadow of the Dandenongs at Bayswater, where far from resting on its laurels, after decades of heavy duty market dominance and a 46 year history of building trucks here, it has expanding its locally built offering by building DAF trucks alongside its much loved and market leading Kenworths. The Bayswater facility is as we said
impressive but the most important aspect of the PACCAR operation is its people. There is an enthusiasm in the plant that comes all the way from the top and is apparent on the faces of everyone that works there. The enthusiasm is quite contagious and when you gather all the plant workers together, mix in many loyal and successful fleet operators and owners along with some committed suppliers and you have a quite electric atmosphere. As Australians, its fair to say that we probably havenâ€™t had a lot to cheer about in recent times. The aforementioned car manufacturing shutdowns, the absolute
meltdown of our cricket team, not to mention the political farce playing out in Canberra. However here is a good news story, something unsung and under reported, a total manufacturing success story that we should be beating our chests about. The fact that DAF has been added to the manufacturing menu at Bayswater may not excite a lot of people but it underlines the flexibility and expertise PACCAR’s local subsidiary possesses and can only strengthen its foothold here. The local PACCAR operation has the confidence of its headquarters in Seattle, which continues to deliver votes of confidence in the Bayswater operation by way of ongoing investment and commitment to local engineering resources. The wily and canny management team at PACCAR’s global HQ know their business as they zero in on an astonishing 80th consecutive year of profit later this year. Its an achievement that can’t be undersold in the volatile automotive industry, which has a history littered with failed companies and corporate losses. The first locally built DAF rolled off the line a few days before the actual ceremony in mid August, allowing it to be prepared for handover to a major fleet that has long and loyal connections to PACCAR products PACCAR Australia managing director Andrew Hadjikakou presided over the line-off/handover ceremony, which saw the first Australian built DAF, delivered to Cahill Transport’s Mick and Don Cahill in front of the industry representatives, PACCAR’s Australian staff and the trade press. While the celebration was about the first local DAF the real story was in the background and involved the investment in the facility by the remarkable PACCAR group. The investment, which a local PACCAR executive in passing confirmed totals $30 million, is already underway and will involve a large scale building program that will see the existing factory expanded into an L-shaped building doubling the factory capacity as well. The investment comes directly from PACCAR HQ in Seattle, and as mentioned earlier comes without any Australian federal or state government subsidies and will be completed by 2021, allowing the company which already
dominates the heavy duty sales charts with Kenworth to lift its production volumes to match rising demand in the Australian market which should see around 14000 heavy duty trucks sold here this year. It wasn’t that long ago when a 10000 unit HD market in Australia was seen as a healthy and buoyant number but industry experts are now saying that 15000 will be the new normal as population continues to rise and the deficit in infrastructure is tackled around the country. Andrew Hadjikakou, said the investment was a vote of confidence in the long-term future of the Australian operation as well as the ability and talents of the company’s1200 Australian employees and the many suppliers and contractors that enable the company to manufacture trucks here. “We will be able to build more trucks with higher levels of quality and even better safety,” said Hadjikakou. “Congratulations to all our employees, this is thoroughly deserved and I look forward to sharing more details of our planned expansion over the coming days,” he added. “One thing is certain, investment in the plant, equipment and training to make this day possible will impact our future in many ways we cannot yet imagine,” he said. PACCAR currently produces 15 Kenworths a day at Bayswater and at least initially it will also be producing two DAFs every day, although PACCAR will be working hard to increase demand for its Euro designed cab over brand in the face of rising sales for its rivals from Volvo, Mercedes Benz, Scania and even MAN. Which ever way you cut it, the PACCAR announcement and the production of the first locally produced DAF is great news for complex manufacturing in Australia in the face of the closure of all car production in this country. On the other hand truck manufacturing is in rude health, particularly with PACCAR and Volvo both committing large-scale investment locally without government subsidies and with teams of engineers working on local development programs. In time hopefully the general media and population will come to understand the importance of these operations and the investments behind them.
The first customer for the locally built DAF Mick Cahill addresses the audienc e at the line off ceremony. PACCAR Australia engineer Meredith Young who worked on bringing DAF production to Bayswater
PACCAR Australia boss Andrew Hadjikakou
THE HISTORY OF
2018 marks the 90th anniversary of the start of the brand that today is known as DAF. Dutch engineer Hub van Doorne started a small construction workshop in the city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands on 1 April 1928 and from these humble beginnings, DAF has evolved into a leading global truck manufacturer and the European arm of PACCAR. The talented van Doorne initially worked providing welding and forging services for the city and local companies such as lamp and radio manufacturer Philips. During the Depression van Doorne was inspired to expand services and in 1932 evolved the workshop into a trailer manufacturing business. They renamed the operation to van Doorne’s Aanhangwagen Fabriek that translates to van Doorne’s semi-trailer factory and this was abbreviated to DAF. The trailers that left the small factory stood out from the competition because of their welded chassis, which delivered higher payloads, and this was a unique innovation at the time significantly saving weight. Another unique invention was the DAF container trailer, which debuted in 1936 and was designed to quickly load and unload containers from a railway carriage. This was a very early example of intermodal transportation and made DAF one of the world’s first suppliers of container trailers.
Following World War II in 1949, DAF built its first truck and the company was renamed again becoming van Doorne’s Automobiel Fabriek. Initially DAF used Hercules and Perkins petrol and diesel engines, but in 1957 the Eindhoven company designed and began manufacturing the first DAFbranded engines. Two years later, DAF improved the DD575 diesel engine by adding a turbo charger, which was another ground breaking achievement. DAF introduced turbo intercooling as an industry-first in 1973. The technology was initially developed to meet the demand for higher engine outputs and lower fuel consumption, but also proved to be indispensable in realizing cleaner exhaust emissions. In 1996, DAF was purchased by PACCAR and since then it has had the capital and backing to continued as a global technology leader with major developments in trucks, engines, and stateof-the-art facilities, and was PACCAR’s entre to the European market, making it a truly global truck company In 2005 DAF unveiled the PACCAR MX engine that is now installed in all DAF heavy-duty trucks and more than 40 per cent of Kenworth and Peterbilt built trucks. DAF launched the new LF, CF and XF series in 2001 and 2002, the awardwinning XF105 model in 2005, and the Euro 4 and 5 program in 2006. A full
range of new, ultra-clean Euro 6 models entered production in 2013. In 2017 DAF launched the new CF and XF which were named ‘International Truck of the Year’ for their transport efficiency and impressive fuel efficiency gain of 7 per cent. With the start of DAF manufacturing at PACCAR’s Bayswater facility it becomes the sixth DAF manufacturing facility in the company’s global network joining Eindhoven in The Netherlands, Westerlo in Belgium, the Leyland plant in the UK and Ponta Grossa in Brasil. DAF’s engine factory, component plant, press shop and final assembly line for CF and XF models is located in Eindhoven. Axles and cabins are produced in Westerlo. Leyland Trucks in the UK produces the company’s LF series of light duty trucks, as well as CF and XF vehicles. DAF products are sold and serviced by a network of more than 1000 independent dealer locations throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. DAF produced and sold more than 60,000 trucks globally in 2017 of which around 49000 were heavy-duty models and 11000 were from its LF light duty series. In its European EU heartland DAF held a 15.3 per cent market share in heavy duty and 10.3 per cent in light duty in 2017 and employs more than 11000 people worldwide.
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THERE’S INCREASING DEMAND FROM FIRE AUTHORITIES, MINERS, GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS AND MOTORHOME BUYERS FOR AUTOMATIC-TRANSMISSIONS IN 4X4 LIGHT TRUCKS. AT THE START OF 2018 THERE WERE NONE, BUT NOW THERE ARE TWO CONTENDERS AS ALLAN WHITING REPORTS.
ino’s new entry into the 4x4 light truck market is doing particularly well, but will face two-pedal competition from Isuzu’s new fwctory fitted AMTequipped NPS 300. Although we know of no plans at Hino to release a factory fitted automatic 817, there is now an aftermarket self-shifter available. Penske Power Systems and Hino recently let us preview an automatic transmission retro-fitment to the Hino 817 4x4 truck. The retro-fit gearbox project was the brainchild of Penske’s Allison Transmission sales specialist, John Rapinette. John is no ordinary sales person, having grown
up in the school of hard knocks at Bob Whitehead’s RFW truck factory, when that brand offered by far the best off-road truck range in Australia. RFWs came standard with Allison transmissions, when nearly all other European, Japanese and North American 4x4, 6x6 and 8x8 machines had manual boxes. When John Rapinette saw the Hino 817 4x4 he just knew it needed an automatic transmission option, so he worked with Penske’s engineering team on the project. Hino was more than happy to make available a demo crew-cab 817 for the exercise. What makes the Hino most suitable
for an Allison transplant is the fact that it uses the heavy duty transfer case from the 13-tonnes-GVM Hino GT. Torque capacity is much higher than competitivetruck two-speeds, so the Allison 1000’s torque converter 2:1 stall ratio – doubling converter engagement torque – poses no problems for the transfer case. Designed for light commercial vehicles in both on-highway and public transport applications, Allison Transmission’s 1000 and 2000 Series are rated up to a maximum of 224kW (300hp) and have up to six speeds available, including two overdrives. Both close and wide ratio gearing are offered.
The addition of fifth-generation electronic controls enhances operation and diagnostics capability. Additionally, provisions such as turbine-driven Power Take-Off (PTO) with optional neutral lock-up and a parking pawl are available. Fitting the auto in place of the standard manual box required some adaptation, including reworking the shift quadrant and making up a custom rear mount and a jackshaft to the centrally-mounted transfer case. The box in the evaluation truck was set up as a single-overdrive five-speed, with the parking pawl option and with ‘power’ and ‘economy’ shift programming. It had a car-like ratio selector module, with ‘P’, ’N’ and ‘D, 3, 2, 1’ positions. Anyone with a car automatic transmission driving background would feel at home in the Hino 817 4x4 auto. The test truck was loaded to seven tonnes GVM and we drove it on freeways, secondary bitumen, gravel and on bush trails. Allison’s electronically controlled units shift smoothly and the 1000 is no exception. Shift quality was car-like, up and down the box. Additionally, when the exhaust brake lever is activated
the transmission goes into a downshift program that keeps engine revs high, to improve retardation. We found retardation on and off road almost the equal of the manual-box truck. It was only on very steep downhill descents, with the transmission locked in ‘1’ that we noticed less engine braking than the manual box provides. It’s possible to drive the 1000 as a torque-converter manual box, but we tested it mainly in the ‘D’ position and discovered that the auto box is probably smarter than most drivers - us included. Only when tightly manoeuvring and in steep off-road situations did we feel the need to lock the box in first gear. We reckon there’s no need for the ‘power’ and ‘economy’ switch, because the loaded truck performed very well in ‘economy’. Also, it can be re-programmed as a six-speed, but we felt that a single overdrive, with legal cruising speed revs just over 2000rpm was fine for this weight. Retail price for the conversion hasn’t yet been firmed up, but our guess is around the 25 grand mark - but you have a brandnew Hino manual box you can sell to
recoup some of the cost. After this taste of the prototype auto 817 we’ve planned a head-to-head comparison with the manual model. Adding interest to this tussle will be the fitment of 19.5-inch single tyres front and rear to the auto truck, while the manual will wear stock duals and skinny fronts. This test is planned for later in 2018, by which time we’ll have also tested the new Isuzu NPS 300 4x4 two-pedal model, with its automated manual transmission. We will keep you posted.
AN ALL NEW MAGAZINE AIMED SQUARELY AT BUILDING AND MAINTAINING GRAVEL ROADS IN THIS COUNTRY
WELCOME TO GRAVEL ROADS AUSTRALIA AN ALL-NEW niche publication will be hitting your desk in mid 2019 when Gravel Roads Australia arrives on the scene. Gravel roads make up almost 66 per cent of the nation’s road network with close to 600,000 kms of unsealed thoroughfares across this wide brown land. Many have low traffic volumes while others are vital arteries providing access to some of our most valuable resource assets. Building and maintaining our unsealed road network is a major industry in itself with Local Govt, Civil Contractors, Mining Companies, Forestry, Farmers and a
myriad of others all involved in ensuring these vital routes are available to industry and travellers alike. Now, for the first time, this sector will have its own journal featuring interesting stories about road construction practices, new equipment, case studies, planned projects and new techniques – in fact anything that involves the building and maintaining of gravel roads. Gravel Roads Australia will be a high quality 64 page publication, produced four times a year by Grayhaze Publishing, publisher of Transport & Trucking Australia and Coach and Bus magazine
as well as the highly successful transport website, www.truckandbus.net.au Gravel Roads Australia will feature great writers with features and news produced by some of the best journalists in Australia with high quality photography and design. The first edition will be published in March 2019 and then in June, September and December each year. The magazine will be direct mailed to more than 3000 Local Govt Works Officers, Civil Contractors, Transport Operators, Machinery Dealers and Manufacturers as well as Mining Companies.
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T JAGUAR HAS HAD A RENAISSANCE THANKS TO THE INVESTMENT AND RECAPITALISATION THAT HAS COME FROM ITS CURRENT OWNERS, THE TATA GROUP FROM INDIA AND LIKE EVERY LUXURY MAKER ON THE PLANET THE FAMED BRITISH MARQUE NOW BUILDS SUVS ALONGSIDE ITS ELEGANT SPORTS CARS AND SEDANS. SOME MAY NOT LIKE THE THOUGHT BUT AFTER A WEEK WITH THE JAGUAR F PACE WE CAME AWAY IMPRESSED WITH THIS ENDEARING AND REWARDING MACHINE.
here was a time when Jaguar was a maker of beautifully designed sedans and sports cars, automotive sculpture with elegant lines and flowing forms that made them look fast even when standing still. You can count the likes of the Mk2, the XJ sedans, the XK sports coupes and of course the E-Type, the car Enzo Ferrari once described as the most beautiful car ever designed. Jag still makes nice cars like the beautiful F-Type fastback and convertible and the elegant XE. XF and XJ saloons but like every brand in the world SUVs are the must have and Jaguar is no exception. For heavens sake even Rolls Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini and Maserati have SUVs, is nothing sacred. Well I suppose it all very well to rue such a change in the automotive landscape but if that is what people want then that is what you have to deliver. We had not had the chance to drive any type of Jag for some years so stepping into the Narvik black Jaguar F-Pace R Sport 25d, was a welcome revelation. The 25d is the latest engine option for the F-Pace with a 2.0 litre four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel in the Jag SUV, is what the company describes as an ‘Ingenium’ diesel engine and it does a very good job of moving the Jag’s svelte but fairly hefty mass which tips the scales at a shade under 1800kg. The Jag’s two litre turbo diesel pumps out 177kW of power and a whopping 500Nm of torque. The torque is what really hits you with a flow coming on from as low as 1500 rpm helping the F-Pace to lift her skirts and really get moving in a way that meets the old company motto, ‘grace, space and pace. The eight-speed auto is superbly matched to the diesel and can be sifted manually if required producing crisp changes that are almost imperceptible. It is a great gearbox indeed. However it is quite an economical engine and very responsive making city traffic easy as well as making country driving a relaxing cruise with torque on tap to make overtaking an hill climbing a doddle. Our fuel figures after about 350 km behind the wheel of the F Pace saw us record an average of 7.4 L/100km across a mix of city and country driving, a very reasonable figure for a heavy luxury SUV. While it is as heavy SUV the Jag doesn’t feel heavy and in fact is quite nimble and responsive more so than just about any SUV we have driven in years.
The Jagâ€™s big 19 inch alloy wheels shod with 255/55 R 19 tyres pin it to the road with huge amounts of grip and the flat and balanced handling of the Jag makes it a pleasure to punt through a twisty section or just cruise up the freeway, although with those big low profile tyres the ride quality can be a bit on the harsh side but nothing that will send you to the chiropractor. The F Pace is an all wheel drive meaning power is generally fed to the rear wheels but is apportioned to the front when grip is lacking. It works well and seamlessly adding to the sure-footed feeling the Jag has whether the road is slippery or dry. Outside the R-Sport version has an attractive body kit adding to what we believe is one of the prettier and more eye catching SUV designs going around. It may not appeal to Jag purists but when it comes to the new paradigm that is the dominant SUV breed it is near the top of the class. Inside the Jag the leather seats and trim especially the soft feel leather trimmed steering wheel adds to the luxurious and welcoming feel that is every bit as exclusive and special as any Jaguar sedan or sports car that has ever seen the road. The dash is well laid out and delivers lots of useful and customisable screens and info and the car we drove also featured a very good head-up display, which is the first we have ever used that works with our polarized Ray Bans as a result of using a laser system apparently. However while it does give the driver
some great road and navigation info it does come at a hefty $2650 premium. The jury is out on the rotary gear selector, which is a little slow for our liking but in fairness is a point of difference with other luxury marques, although its Range and Land Rover siblings and Jag sedans also feature it. The Jag boasts a very impressive large 10 inch centre touchscreen which has a range of information and features although sometimes we think that vehicle designers sometimes forget that the driver piloting this car is often travelling down a motor way at over 100 km/h and a large screen with some many options is not all that easy to operate while piloting the car. That said we generally did not have too much trouble with it and it does look. The audio system is spectacular and fills the cabin with pure and full sound through its 11 speakers and makes a fast drive in the country that much more of a pleasure. When it comes to the Grace and Space part of that old Jag motto the F Pace interior has both of them in spades. The leather seats are encompassing and supportive and a few hours at the wheel in those seats is a pure pleasure. The overall feel is spacious and gracious with enough of a hint of jag sportiness to market it the perfect mix for an upmarket SUV. The versatility of the F Pace design is underlined with the enormous lad area behind the lift up powered tailgate boasting 650 litres of space or a whopping 1740 litres when the rear seats are folded
down however despite that size the spare is only a restricted size space saver spare which in our opinion is major handicap in a country like Australia in an SUV, no matter how sophisticated and well mannered they are, sorry we need full size spares in this country. In terms of value the F Pace could have a few more standard features and a few less high priced options in what is a vehicle that will set you back around $90,000 but you can forgive some of it with the superb dynamics and performance the Jag delivers. We just feel that things like the heads up display and adaptive cruise probably should be standard but that is our opinion. The Jaguar F-PACE 25d R-Sport is a very impressive SUV in very way and although it is closely related to its Land Rover and Range Rover counterparts it is individual and youâ€™d never know it had so much DNA from its blood relatives. It is nimble fun and rewarding to drive if you want to push it and is sophisticated and luxurious when pottering through traffic and around town. We are fans and if you want a really great performing luxury SUV that has a sporty edge the F pace R Sport should be on your shopping list. Price: $87,925 (plus on-road costs) Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel Output: 177kW/500Nm Transmission: Eight-speed automatic Fuel: 5.8L/100km (ADR Combined); 7.4L/100km (as tested) Safety Rating: Five-star ANCAP (2017).
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MONEY MATTERS PAUL CLITHROE THINKING ABOUT RISING RATES AND KEEPING INVESTMENT SIMPLE
t’s been a long time since I’ve looked at the issue of rising home loan interest rates. The last time the Reserve Bank hiked rates was back in 2010. What many home owners are facing today is higher home loan repayments resulting from lender-led rate rises. Westpac and a number of smaller lenders recently announced ‘out of cycle’ rate rises. Predictably, other big banks followed. It means they have jacked up their rates even though the Reserve Bank’s cash rate has remained on hold at 1.5%. There are ways to navigate rising interest rates. What’s different this time around is that many banks have tightened their lending criteria. So while it’s always worth checking to see that your home loan rate is competitive, the solution may not be as simple as refinancing to a mortgage with a cheaper rate. On the plus side, vast numbers of Australian home owners are ahead with their home loan repayments. This can provide a buffer against higher rates. However, the old saying ‘watch your pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves’ rings true in a climate of interest rate hikes. Some Australians may struggle to meet their debt commitments – be it a home loan, personal loan or credit card. Coming up with higher repayments is never easy but one of the best ways to find the extra cash is to revisit your household budget. A budget has a way of confronting us
with how much we have earned, often with very little to show for it. Yet this is exactly what makes budgets so worthwhile – they jolt us into taking better control of our money. Putting together a sensible, real-life family budget is not hard and you certainly don’t need to account for every last cent. It does mean committing a few hours to work through an initial budget, but after this all that should be required is a bit of fine-tuning throughout the year. You may be amazed by what your budget reveals, like how much you are spending on small items that have a way of adding up – such as takeaways or Uber rides. This is all money that you are putting into someone else’s pocket rather than your own, and if you can cut back on these purchases you could probably save yourself hundreds of dollars each year. That could be enough to manage the increase in your home loan repayments without too much impact on your hip pocket or lifestyle. On another subject, that of investing it is my philosophy to Invest the way that suits you because if there’s one thing experience has taught me, when something becomes too hard or too time consuming, we’re more likely to give it away. Your attitude to money can shape the way you choose to invest. Some people have a keen interest in building a vast pot of money for its own sake. For others, money is all about what it provides – the
ability to make choices about how you live your life. We all need to eat and pay bills, but money lets us enjoy the fun stuff like family holidays and personal hobbies be they golf, surfing, or, in my case, sailing. Another place we are all different is whether money is a passion or just a vague interest. You may for instance, be fascinated by the process of selecting shares. But that is too time consuming for others, myself included. If you love to spend a heap of time researching the sharemarket, good on you. I am quite happy to hold shares like BHP individually, but to be frank I have neither the time nor interest in keeping an eye on the shares of the future – small companies, which may become big companies in time. Nor would I pretend I can select and manage international shares without a lot of time and effort. This is what I love about managed funds. Of course, I want exposure to all these shares. And a professionally managed share portfolio lets me get the benefit of these investments while I am out sailing. How good is that? Fees are a drag on investment performance, so this is something to watch for with managed funds. But it’s the same if you go for DIY. The cost shouldn’t just be measured in terms of direct expenses like brokerage. You also need to work out the time you spend managing your investments (tax time can be especially challenging when either you or your accountant sort out your tax position). The bottom line is, if, like me, you want to do some direct investing yourself and still use professional fund managers, no problem. If you want professional managers to do it all for you, again, no problem. It’s all about investing in the way that suits you best. And it doesn’t have to be hard. Paul Clitheroe is a founding director of financial planning firm ipac, chairman of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board and chief commentator for Money magazine. Visit: paulsmoney.com.au for more information.
ALL IT TAKES At Kumho, we deliver a smoother, safer ride for you and your cargo – on tyres designed to perform in all Australian conditions. Whether it’s a light load or heavy highway haulage, our commitment to quality will deliver you great value and a safer tomorrow. And like a circle, it never ends. We’ll continue to look for new ways to make your experience better. It’s just what we do. KUMHO TYRE. BETTER, ALL-WAYS.
THE TRANSMISSION TO DEFY CONVENTION. THE UNCONVENTIONAL CONVENTIONAL. The Mack mDrive is an advanced 12-speed automated manual transmission that takes all the effort and guesswork out of gear changes by selecting the right gear, at the right time, every time. Gear up to a more comfortable drive and outstanding fuel efficiency with the mDrive. Defy Convention at macktrucks.com.au
In this issue we have a fascinating encounter with Volvo’s much vaunted Crawler gear equipped iShift and also take the Volvo Super Fuel Tru...
Published on Oct 11, 2018
In this issue we have a fascinating encounter with Volvo’s much vaunted Crawler gear equipped iShift and also take the Volvo Super Fuel Tru...