The boom continues with record April truck sales reported by the Truck Industry Council. Strong demand, especially in the heavy duty sector of the Australian truck market. The strong demand has seen the the result for April 2018 was an all-time sales record for the month, eclipsing the previous best April mark set back in 2008, just before Australia was hit by the effects of the Global Financial Crisis. Read more
This week Diesel News decided to take a tour of the trucking Twitterverse and finding more electric trucks, autonomous driving and the MEGATRANS2018 event. Read more
It’s all over the Twitterverse today, VW to buy Navistar, car headlights warning and a trailblazing female road train truckie.
A takeover of the International brand by Volkswagen is looking likely, and VW are also in talks with Hino over a technology and marketing sharing deal:
VW Truck Signals Interest in Acquiring All of Navistar https://t.co/QIQ2SI2qUr
— David Lee Cullen (@David_L_Cullen) April 16, 2018
Pay attention car drivers! We can’t see you in the rain when you don’t have your lights on:
Safety message boys and girls. If its raining turn your lights on. Big trucks like mine have enough blind spots. This is how you look to us when it’s raining. Give yourself a better chance to be seen. pic.twitter.com/kQW3MTIkWN
— Oz (Mike) (@theoztrucker) April 13, 2018
Looking back on her trailblazing road train life:
Violet Langley went behind the wheels of a road train and made a career out of it https://t.co/355rH87cbI
— NatRoad (@NatRoad_AUS) April 17, 2018
What’s going on in the Twitterverse? Well, there’s government funding for those helping out with drought affected farmers, an industry panel will discuss the obstacles to reform and Ben Maguire gets assessed.
Government money available to help trucks hauling hay:
Do you transport stock, fodder, or water to and/or from drought-affected properties in New South Wales? You may be eligible to apply for a low-interest govt loan to cover costs to transport stock, fodder or water to/from drought-affected properties. https://t.co/jQqH7aylfn pic.twitter.com/t1ry9xOpq7
— NatRoad (@NatRoad_AUS) April 10, 2018
Paul Retter is on the panel in Melbourne this week:
NTC Chief Executive, Paul Retter is part of a panel of regulatory leaders exploring the obstacles and the opportunities ahead for the heavy vehicle industry this Friday @_HVIA #ComVec2018 in Melbourne https://t.co/VdTJSmPiWZ pic.twitter.com/L4oqsWeqbe
— NTC (@NTC_AUS) April 10, 2018
Is it pass or fail for Ben Maguire?:
As a #TruckSafe accredited operator, the ATA has to meet the scheme’s requirement for driver competency checks. We’re in the scheme because we operate the Volvo ATA Safety Truck.
— Australian Trucking (@TruckAustralia) April 10, 2018
The latest announcement from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has seen simpler PBS expanded. The NHVR has added additional PBS Truck and Dog combinations to heavy vehicles classes for Performance Based Standards (PBS) pre-advised approval.
NHVR Chief Engineer Les Bruzsa said from today three or four axle truck and five or six axle dog combinations up to 26 m long and 73 tonnes GCM will now qualify for the PBS pre-advised approval.
“This means additional PBS combination types can be assessed and receive a Design Approval by the NHVR without submitting the application to the PBS Review Panel,” said Les. “Since we conducted a trial of pre-advised design approvals last year, we have been steadily adding combinations to now cover 85 per cent of all design approvals. This has reduced application processing times for applicable vehicle types from an average of four weeks to just three business days.”
Other eligible combinations include:
- Level 1, 3- or 4-axle truck and 3- or 4-axle dog combinations up to 20m long and 50.5t GCM
- Level 2, 3- or 4-axle truck and 3- or 4-axle dog combinations up to 20m long and 62t GCM
- Level 1, prime mover and tri- or quad-axle semitrailer combinations up to 20m long and 50.5t GCM
- Level 1, B-doubles fitted with tandem or tri-axle groups up to 20m long and 50.5t GCM
- Level 2, B-doubles fitted with tandem or tri-axle groups up to 26m long and 68.5t GCM
- Level 2, A-doubles with single, tandem or tri-axle semitrailers and tandem or tri-axle dollies up to 30m long and 85t GCM
- Level 3, A-doubles up to 36.5m long and 95.5t GCM.
During 2016-17 the scheme continued to grow with 1416 PBS combinations approved by the NHVR, which was a 23 per cent increase on the previous year. Since being introduced in 2007 the scheme has seen over 6400 innovative combinations enter the heavy vehicle fleet.
A second parts distribution centre sees Paccar increase capacity in its Parts Division. The new PDC in the Brisbane logistics hub of Berrinba, south-west of Brisbane, is a move to reduce delivery times to dealers and boost parts availability to customers in its retail network.
The purpose-built facility features just over 6,000 m2 of warehouse space, and shipped its first orders in December, servicing locations throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales. By year’s end it will supply locations in the Northern Territory and regional NSW.
The Brisbane PDC will enable PACCAR Parts to offer next day delivery to 74 per cent of its dealers, which represents an increase of next day deliveries by 68 per cent.
“Paccar Parts’ mission is uptime – moving customers and businesses forward. Ensuring the availability of parts and service to customers is the number one thing we need to do in the parts business,” said Chris Scheel , Paccar Parts General Manager. “For primary dealers we’re now delivering next day versus 3-4 days previously. For VOR’s (vehicle off road) the dealer drops in an order, we pick the part, and it’s received within hours.”
The Berrinba warehouse is the first Paccar PDC to use 100 per cent voice pick technology. Staff are fitted with headsets that tell them where to go and what to pick – and also in what order to determine the most efficient pick pattern.
“Voice-pick technology allows our distribution associates to have two hands free and keep their eyes where they are picking. This enhances quality, efficiency and safety,” said Scheel.
Berrinba is also the first Paccar PDC globally to feature ‘wire guidance’, an electro-mechanical system that controls vehicle steering by tracking an energised guide wire secured in the floor. This system frees operators from steering responsibilities in very narrow aisles, such as those that stock Paccar’s smaller stock items.
“Fast-moving parts are stored at the front of the building to really speed up velocity,” said Scheel.
Paccar Parts has also been working closely with dealers to improve retail availability. This has resulted in a 45 per cent reduction in emergency orders over the past five years; and 97 per cent retail availability He notes this has been achieved in a period when stock-keeping units have grown by 35 per cent.
This growth will be sustained, in part, by big investments both in product as well as the dealer/retail network.
Speaking at the PDC opening, Paccar Australia Managing Director Andrew Hadjikakou said the company would invest heavily in new product over the next two years, including two new Kenworth models under development (T410 and T360); and the move to locally manufacturing of DAF, starting with the best-selling CF mid-year.
A new portal that streamlines finding, inspecting and leasing warehouse space for tenants may be the Uber of warehousing. At the same time the system amplifies property visibility for landlords, helping them to source tenants and lease space cheaper and faster.
The disruption that brought lower costs, better competition and more choice to traditional industry sectors like taxis and transport, power and gas, and holiday rentals may have an effect on Australia’s freight, logistics and warehousing industry with the recent launch of uTenant.
The brainchild of entrepreneur and former commercial leasing agent Matt Sampson, uTenant puts tenants and landlords in direct contact and provides a confidential, transparent, cost- and time-effective alternative to the old way of leasing space.
“With uTenant, we have reimagined how industrial warehouse space is leased, providing significant advantages and savings for the two most important parties to the transaction – the tenant and the landlord,” said Sampson. “uTenant is intended to disrupt the commercial leasing industry like Uber has for taxis and Airbnb has for holiday accommodation.
“For tenants, the web-based portal will curate a list of available properties based on their specific size, location and preferred term of lease amongst other things, and connect them with landlords to arrange inspections, negotiate terms and sign a lease.”
uTenant is free for tenants, and because it is confidential there is no risk of their names and warehousing requirements being disclosed to the market and competing agents, which could reveal sensitive information to their competitors.
How the service works:
- Tenants enter their specific requirements into the uTenant portal
- uTenant curates a tailored list of suitable properties, which have already been validated as legitimate
- Tenants shortlist preferred properties and arranges inspections directly with the landlord or through uTenant
- Inspections take place and direct tenant-landlord negotiations commence
- On conclusion of a lease, standard fee payable to uTenant by landlord, with uTenant sharing a percentage of this with the tenant
As well as being able to deal directly with tenants and potential tenants, landlords using uTenant save time and money on their marketing costs through the streamlined listing process.
“Paying to mass market and advertise property is just promoting and giving exposure to the real estate agencies and driving revenue for the advertising platforms,” said Sampson. “These costs are a thing of the past for uTenant landlords because their properties will be directly targeted and visible to an engaged audience of tenants that are actively looking for space.”
Welcome back to the trucking twitterverse, in the lead up the Easter Holiday. Flooded roads in Queensland, increased restrictions on some loads are in force this weekend, workplace culture, recruiting and retaining staff under discussion and a potential female record for the Guinness Book of Records.
The cyclone activity in Northern Australia is making a lot of roads impassable for trucks:
— Transport Main Roads (@TMRQld) March 27, 2018
Easter long weekend sees limits on some large and specialist loads:
Moving freight or produce this Easter? Be aware that NSW, Qld, Vic & WA have travel restrictions in place for agricultural, oversize/over mass and special purpose heavy vehicles. More info here https://t.co/MNfBw1Uh3K pic.twitter.com/TayhEn8NiP
— NHVR (@NHVR) March 26, 2018
Future leaders meet in Canberra and the future of trucking is on the agenda:
Stacey is working on a leadership project discussing workplace culture, recruiting and retaining staff, and improving the industry image, to be presented at #TruckingAustralia2018 pic.twitter.com/mvXtwF73Mx
— Australian Trucking (@TruckAustralia) March 27, 2018
This event features the heaviest truck pulled by a woman over 30 metres:
Have to share this! https://t.co/wKVYSRHBjA
— Chris Smith (@lipside) March 25, 2018
When it comes to the question of getting tippers right, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator wants the trailer manufacturers to make the regulations work both for them and their customers. The Heavy Vehicle Industry Association has been asked by the NHVR to lead the development of a new VSB6 modification code that covers the design of tipper bodies.
Following the release of Vehicle Standards Bulletin 6 (VSB6) Version 3 in July 2017, both HVIA and the NHVR received feedback from tipper body manufacturers revealing confusion over the best way to achieve compliance.
“Some manufacturers raised concerns that some tippers would require re-design of tipper body systems in order to meet Australian Standards, required under VSB6,” said Peter Austin, NHVR Vehicle Safety and Performance Manager. “The NHVR recently reviewed the requirements of the relevant parts of the Australian Standard and agreed that the design of tipping systems involves a reasonable amount of engineer level work.
“Rather than requiring an engineer to assess every tipper body installation, the NHVR is proposing that a two stage design-modification approach be adopted. We’ve asked Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) to provide a draft of the code in consultation with industry.”
Australian Standard AS1418.8 section 4 sets the requirements for tip truck hoisting systems (tipper body systems). These standards have been adopted as part of VSB6 Version 3.
To be compliant with the standards, re-design of tipper body system components may be necessary in some cases.
“The NHVR recognised the amount of engineer-level work that designing tipping systems requires, and that clearer design guidance is required than outlined in the current VSB6 Section J ” said Paul Caus, HVIA Chief Technical Officer. “Rather than requiring an engineer to assess every tipper body installation, the NHVR is proposing a two stage design-modification approach be adopted. Over the next few weeks HVIA will confer with members who design, manufacture and certify tippers towards creating a working group for the project.”
Todd Hacking, HVIA CEO, welcomed the opportunity to draft the modification code.
“This has been an issue raised with us by our members and we look forward to working with them to find a solution,” said Hacking. ”HVIA has a proud history of working with Government to find technical solutions, including drafting numerous sections of VSB6 30 years ago.”
It is now a reality for the trucking industry, driver drug testing by fingerprint. Systems have become available both in the US and in Europe, which enable trucking operators to test each driver for drugs at the start of each shift.
“Intelligent Fingerprinting is bringing new levels of convenience, hygiene and speed to workplace drug testing for the transport and logistics industry with the availability of a simple, end-to-end drug testing solution based on fingerprint sweat analysis,” says the company’s website.
“Unlike traditional urine or saliva-based drug tests that can be invasive, time-consuming and undignified for testers and employees, the portable Intelligent Fingerprinting drug testing solution is quick and easy to deploy wherever it is needed across today’s transport and logistics operations.”
Should an employee or contractor’s drug screen test positive – in contravention of a transport or logistics firm’s existing Health and Safety or drug misuse policy, the tester would then use Intelligent Fingerprinting’s Fingerprint Collection Kit for Laboratory Analysis to collect samples for a confirmation test.
The kit for the laboratory confirmation service also includes everything required to securely send the collected samples to the testing laboratory, including a tamper-evident security bag, barcodes to maintain anonymous sample identity and a postage-paid returns envelope.
Intelligent Fingerprinting’s end-to-end drug testing solution for transport and logistics firms features a single-use, tamper-evident drug screening cartridge that takes just five seconds to collect a sweat sample. The Intelligent Fingerprinting portable analysis unit then reads the cartridge and provides a positive or negative result on-screen for cocaine, opiates, cannabis and amphetamines in under ten minutes.
Should an employee’s initial screen prove positive for any of the four drugs tested, in contravention of a firm’s drug policy, two further samples for confirmation are gathered using the Intelligent Fingerprinting Fingerprint Collection Kit for Laboratory Analysis. Informed written consent is obtained from the donor prior to sample collection, along with a statement of the donor’s prescription medication, if applicable.
Once the confirmatory samples have been collected, the Fingerprint Collection Cartridges are sent in a tamper-evident security bag to Intelligent Fingerprinting’s partner laboratory for analysis. The laboratory then provides the transport or logistics firm with a Certificate of Analysis that reports the amount of drug detected in the sample provided.