Toll Group expands CNG fleet

Leading Australian transport and logistics provider, Toll Group, has heightened its credentials as an industry leader in environmental sustainability, placing another bulk order for Isuzu CNG (compressed natural gas) medium-duty trucks.

Added to the company’s earlier acquisitions, Toll IPEC’s recent order of 42 FSR 700 CNG units brings the total number of Isuzu CNG trucks in Toll’s fleet to more than 70. This represents the largest single CNG fleet purchase since the launch of Isuzu’s second generation CNG models in 2009.

CNG powered vehicles are claimed to deliver reductions in oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the order of 50 and 98 percent respectively, while emitting virtually zero particulate matter (PM) when compared to similarly sized conventional diesel trucks.

According to Rodney Johnston, Toll IPEC general manager, the CNG additions will help the company reach environmental goals while at the same time providing operational efficiencies.

“One of Toll Group’s key objectives is to look at ways to manage the environmental impacts within our facilities and operations, and act to reduce our rates of emissions, energy consumption and waste,” Johnston said.

Toll has been conducting extensive CNG trials since 2009, which have led to the most recent purchases.

The price of CNG is normally between 30 and 50 percent less than that of diesel and has the benefit of not being tied to international parity pricing. Additional benefits can be obtained by securing a fixed long term CNG price contract with the supplier which provides better balance sheet control and potentially lower running costs.

While public CNG refuelling infrastructure is still in its infancy in Australia, more sites are steadily opening, the most recent being a facility in the outer Melbourne suburb of Laverton which is capable of refuelling large CNG fleets.

Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) national fleet sales manager, Dean Stuhldreier, said IAL had worked closely with Toll Group in recent years and was pleased to be assisting the company in efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

“Toll Group is a company that recognised the potential of CNG as a transport fuel earlier than most,” Stuhldreier remarked. “It’s always a challenge bringing new technology to market, and to have interest from a well-regarded and high profile organisation such as Toll Group is very pleasing.”

The Isuzu CNG range comprises four models: NLR 200, NPR 300, FSR 700 and FSR 850 CNG – all factory-backed.

MaxiTRANS acquires Queensland Diesel Spares

QDS branch at Rocklea, Queensland.

Leading transport equipment supplier, MaxiTRANS, has announced the acquisition of Queensland Diesel Spares Pty Ltd (QDS). The partnership of its existing parts business, Colrain, with QDS establishes MaxiTRANS as one of the largest truck and trailer parts distribution and retail operations in Australia. Both Colrain and QDS will be managed under the umbrella of MaxiTRANS Parts.

MaxiTRANS managing director, Michael Brockhoff, was buoyant about the acquisition. “This strategic acquisition is complementary to the existing Colrain wholesale and retail network,” he said. “Both Colrain and QDS will continue trading under their existing names, so as far as the customer is concerned, everything will continue as normal. Although, with the additional retail networks and expanded product ranges, we predict that customers will see benefits in the form of easier access to high quality parts backed by excellent service and support.”

Peter Loimaranta, MaxiTRANS Parts general manager, added that very little will change behind the scenes of the QDS stores as a result of the acquisition. “Staff will be retained from the existing stores, so in that sense it will certainly be business as usual,” he said. “These guys are experts in their field – I am sure they will be a great addition to our existing retail network.”

QDS is a leading retailer of truck parts, accessories and consumables to the Queensland road transport industry. With 9 retail stores across Greater Brisbane, Gold Coast and Gladstone, it is a key supplier to the Queensland market and employs approximately 75 people. In combination with Colrain, which boasts a further 7 retail stores and 4 wholesale stores across the country, MaxiTRANS will lay claim to local outlets in the vast majority of the Australian market.

For further information, visit


Fourth Mack boots winner announced

Damien Crossling from Naracoorte in South Australia is this weeks winner of a pair of seriously stylish Mack boots.

Damien’s reason for wanting a new pair of Bulldog boots is entirely practical: “My trusty old RMs have finally got a hole in them, and I need a tough pair of boots to survive working in fertiliser.”

Good on you Damien,  we hope you enjoy wearing the boots which match the truck you drive. 

With four pairs now given away and  four pairs remaining, there’s still time to be in with a chance to secure your own pair of Mack boots by subscribing to the e-newsletter at and answering a few simple questions.

A-trailer rego charge set to fall

The Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI) recently voted to approve short-term implementable measures to significantly reduce the registration charge for lead or A-trailers used in B-double and B-triple combinations.

SCOTI requested that the National Transport Commission (NTC) urgently review A-trailer registration charges in November 2011 following calls from industry that the charges were adversely impacting some operators.

According to NTC chief executive Nick Dimopoulos, the updated charges were developed following extensive consultation with governments and industry, with the proposal based on sound research and Council of Australian Governments’ policy directions.

“After listening carefully to industry and government views we’ve developed a short-term solution that will significantly relieve the financial pressure on operators who use A-trailers,” Dimopoulos said. “The updated charges are based on the best available data and will ensure that operators who don’t do a lot of mileage, such as livestock transporters, and operators using safer more productive vehicle types aren’t unfairly disadvantaged.”

The updated charges, which will provide significant reductions in B-double and B-triple registration costs, are expected to be implemented by July 1 this year. Reconstruction activity costs associated with natural disasters, such as floods, have been excluded from the charges.

The heavy vehicle industry will continue to pay its way for use of the road network under the updated charges, allowing governments to invest in building better and safer roads for safer, more productive vehicles.

SCOTI has also requested the NTC look at a more holistic reform of charges over the longer term.

“We understand that the transport industry needs a longer-term solution with charges that more fairly reflect individual operators’ use of the road network,” Nick added. “We are looking forward to working with industry and governments on developing a
new, fairer system that aligns with reforms already underway in this area.”

The NTC’s report to the transport ministers, which includes the updated charges, is available on the website:


CVIAQ to host inaugural ComVec conference

Brett Wright, chief executive of the Commercial Vehicle Industry Association of Queensland.

The Commercial Vehicle Industry Association of Queensland (CVIAQ) will host Australia’s first dedicated Commercial Vehicle Engineering Conference – ComVec – to be held at the new Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) on Grey Street precinct on June 5 and 6 this year.

“ComVec builds on the successful CVIAQ Future Directions seminars held in 2010 and 2011 and will provide the future direction of commercial vehicle innovation, technology, policy and standards for our industry,” said Brett Wright, chief executive of CVIAQ. “ComVec is also uniquely dedicated to the professional development of the industry, in particular those professionals engaged in the engineering and product development and planning of commercial vehicles and their components.”

The two day ComVec program has been given full endorsement by Engineers Australia Queensland Division, the Institute of Automotive Mechanical Engineers and the Society of Automotive Engineers Australasia. ComVec features specialist industry and government speakers selected on their ability to provide information on technology at the cutting edge as well as insights and direction on future developments of vehicle policy and standards.

Topics to be featured include:
. Australian Vehicle Standards;
. Heavy Vehicle Safety Systems;
. UNECE Vehicle Standards;
. Advanced Combination Vehicles;
. Vehicle Certification;
. Heavy Vehicle Telematics and Electronics;
. Emission requirements and their effects;
. Energy use in Future Transport.

A special ‘early bird’ rate is available to delegates who register on or before April 13. For further information or bookings, visit or contact CVIAQ on 07 3376 6266.

Ssangyong launches revamped Actyon ute

The Ssangyong Actyon Sports ute has undergone a major makeover with the vehicle now sporting dramatically refined front end styling and a new, more powerful and fuel efficient engine.

The all-new 2.0 litre diesel engine, first released in the Ssangyong Korando last year, delivers 114 kW and a substantial 360 Nm of peak torque between 1500 and 2800 rpm. It features an electronically operated variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) which is said to contribute to a significant reduction in turbo lag and ensure optimum efficiency across the broad rev range. In line with the enhanced performance, the new Actyon ute boasts an up-rated towing capacity of 2300 kg.

It’s available in three derivatives – the entry-level Tradie, mid-range SX and top of the range SPR. The Tradie and SX models are available with 2WD or 4WD and either a new six-speed manual transmission or a redesigned six-speed automatic. The SPR is available as a 4WD automatic only.

Fuel consumption and emissions have been reduced across the range. According to Ssangyong, the 2WD Tradie and SX manual models consume 7.3 litres/100 km in combined city/highway driving while emitting 192 g/km of CO2, while the same variants in 4WD manual guise return 7.4 l/100 km with 195 g/km of CO2. The automatic 2WD units use 7.6 l/100 km while the SPR returns 7.9 l/100 km. Having a 75 litre fuel tank, the new Actyon Sports 2WD manual is capable of travelling over 1000 km on a single tank of fuel.

Inside the cab, a redesigned dash features a new instrument cluster with LED lighting and multi-function trip computer. Noise and vibration suppression measures include an engine cover, double skin dash panel and additional soundproofing material. Slanted engine mounts are said to optimise powertrain movement while minimising vibrations.

The SPR model comes with a host of equipment including leather seating throughout, Bluetooth functionality, climate control, rear park assist sensors, cruise control, 18 inch alloy wheels, electronic stability control (ESC), electrically adjustable front seats, folding side mirrors, auto dimming rear-view mirror, auto headlights, auto wipers and headlamp levelling device. A new addition to the SPR is the option of a factory fitted electric sunroof.

The Actyon Sports SX and SPR are available in two new colours – Indian Red and Fijian Blue – in addition to the existing Space Black, Fine Silver and Grand White. The Tradie model is available in Fine Silver and Grand White.

All versions come with a three year/100,000km warranty, whichever comes first, along with 24/7 roadside assistance for the first three years of ownership.

For more information visit


Trans-Help Foundation’s new Daily driver

Iveco Australia's director of sales and marketing, John Koot, and Trans-Help Foundation chief executive, Dianne Carroll OAM.

Coinciding with the launch of its new Daily truck and van range, Iveco presented Trans-Help Foundation, a leading Australian truck driver support organisation, with a new Daily van to help further its coverage with this potentially life-saving service.

“Trans-Help has been supporting Australian truck drivers and their families for the past six years,” said Dianne Carroll, chief executive of Trans-Help Foundation at the hand-over. “On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to thank Iveco for believing in the concept, and supplying us with now three vehicles so that we can expand our Health and Support unit. This generous donation will help make Australian roads a safer place for truck drivers.”

According to Marco Quaranta, senior product planning manager of Iveco Trucks Australia, the new Daily is the ideal companion for any transport professional.

“The new Daily offers full coverage from 3.8 to 7.0 tonnes gross vehicle mass, allowing a payload of up to 4.7 tonnes and, for van models, a loading volume of up to 17.2 cubic metres,” Quaranta said.

The range features new Euro 5 and Enhanced Environmentally-Friendly Vehicle (EEV) compliant engines which incorporate the very latest technology to deliver power ratings ranging from 127 to 153 kW while minimising emissions and fuel consumption.

The stylish new front features headlight clusters that can be optioned with safety features including daytime running lights and cornering fog lights that illuminate the road in the direction the vehicle is steered.

To cater for the cooling requirements of the new, more powerful engines, a redesigned grille is said to increase airflow through the radiator by 18 percent.

Interior improvements include an adjustable steering column and increased adjustment range for driver and passenger seating.

Third Mack boots winner announced

Tony Michel from Brisbane is this week’s winner of a pair of Mack boots following his subscription to the newsletter.

Tony’s answer as to why he wanted to win the stylish footwear pretty much sums it up: ‘I need a new pair of boots that will survive in Queensland’s harsh environment and nothing is tougher than Mack.’

Congratulations Tony, they’re all yours!


Hino launches 500 Series AMT variants

Hino Australia has introduced an all-new automated manual transmission (AMT) as an option on a selection of its 500 Series medium-duty truck models. Dubbed ProShift 6, the new AMT will be initially available as an option on FC 1022 and FD 1124 variants of the 500 Series.

The Hino-designed and manufactured ProShift AMT is one of a number of key improvements Hino is making across its expanding model range this year.

Hino Australia’s divisional manager product strategy, marketing and dealer development, Alex Stewart, said the introduction of an AMT further strengthened Hino’s diverse range of transmissions across the 500 Series range.

“An increasing number of operators are choosing AMTs over conventional transmissions thanks to their all-round versatility and driveability,” he said. “Hino believes in offering true choice to customers, which is why we’ve decided to introduce ProShift transmissions in two of our most popular 500 Series models, alongside the existing 500 Series range of manual and fully automatic models.

“In this case, the 500 Series ProShift 6 is a six-speed version of Hino’s own AMT and is perfectly suited to the needs of truck owners in the medium-duty class. The introduction of the ProShift 6 in the 500 Series means Hino now offers AMT options in all three truck categories: The ProShift 5 is fitted to the Hino 300 Hybrid, while ProShift 16 AMTs feature on 700 Series models.”

In addition to the mechanical upgrade, all Hino FD 1124 models now feature an 11 tonne gross vehicle mass (GVM) rating, up from the previous 10.4 tonne rating.

According to Alex Stewart, the new Hino AMT models have the potential to deliver significant fuel savings for operators under certain circumstances.

“Hino engineers have tailored the shift points of the ProShift 6 transmission to maximise the use of effective engine torque at all times, increasing fuel efficiency and driveability,” he remarked. “This transmission has been optimised for use in Australian conditions following an extensive development program that relied on the input of local testing.

“Shift points, final drive ratios and up-rated oil capacities to provide ample cooling in high-temperature climates are just a few of the modifications made on Australian models,” Alex added. “Having been proven in the Japanese domestic market for more than 10 years, we feel Australian operators will be pleasantly surprised by the benefits ProShift models can provide.”

ProShift AMTs will become progressively available across the Hino model range over the next few years.

Macfield imports Wabash light-tare reefers

US trailer giant Wabash National Corporation has partnered with Australian trailer distributor Macfield to bring ArcticLite refrigerated vans to the Australian market. The product made its Aussie debut at the Melbourne truck show last week.

“Weighing up to two tons less than conventional refrigerated trailers currently available in Australia, our independently commissioned research suggests ArcticLite vans will drastically reduce comparative annual operating costs,” said Ben McDonald, director of The Macfield Group. “We believe the proven performance and lower total cost of ownership of Wabash National trailers versus competitive offerings will prove to be extremely attractive to our customer base. Now we can offer a more durable trailer that costs less over the long haul backed by America’s best trailer builder and a five-year structural warranty.”

“This relationship represents the latest step in executing Wabash National’s strategic plan as we expand into new markets,” explained Dick Giromini, president and chief executive of Wabash National Corporation. “Developing innovative solutions that enhance transportation and logistics allows trucking companies to preserve the integrity, quality and safety of the products they deliver – to better serve distributors of goods around the world.”

Headquartered in Adelaide, Macfield has more than 20 years experience supplying equipment for the road and rail transportation sectors in Australia. The company’s primary clients include major freight logistics operators with equipment supplied under wholesale rental agreements.

The ArcticLite refrigerated vans are built in Wabash National’s Lafayette, Indiana, plant then transported to California for shipment to Australia. Upon arrival in Adelaide the final assembly is completed by Macfield engineers and technical experts.

“While engineering and manufacturing a product for export is a challenging combination of processes, it showcases how Wabash National’s flexible manufacturing system is capable of meeting a diverse set of customer needs,” stated Brent Yeagy, vice president and general manager for Wabash National’s Commercial Trailer Group. “We are very excited to work with an innovative group like Macfield to offer the Australian market more options for transportation equipment.”

Macfield plans to test the market with ArcticLite and other Wabash National products with a view to expanding its distribution to other geographic areas in need of lighter weight trailer options – such as Asia– where the company already has a presence.