At the Brisbane Truck Show earlier this year many people got their first chance to get a close up view of the new Mack Anthem. However, the display was just the truck’s cabin and it was split open in order for show goers to walk through between the driver’s seat and the sleeper cab. Read more
The pace of new truck concepts being announced is increasing at a high rate, with trucks going electric, hybrid, hydrogen trucks and trucks going cabless. Here is the latest entrant in the innovation race, the AXL concept from Scania. Read more
We all know truck drivers in India are crazy, but if you weren’t sure just watch these drivers taking way overloaded twin steer rigid trucks around a hairpin bend halfway up a mountain, this really is pushing trucks to their absolute limit. The trucks involved here are a Tata, an Ashok Leyland and an Eicher Pro, all 10×4 trucks with a lifting pusher axle, which is lifted even though the trucks are fully loaded.
The axles could well be lifted because the truck drivers need as much turning ability as possible, but this is throwing even more weight onto the remaining axles. It is a wonder any of these trucks will survive a week of this treatment, but they do it week in week out on the subcontinent.
Treating trucks like this and pushing them to their absolute limit probably brings back memories for many of our retired truckies who would have learnt their trade working the gear as hard as these drivers are doing today in India.
In these cases it’s all about the driver’s skill in protecting the truck’s driveline, chassis and suspension, even though every difficult road or climb has the capacity to destroy a major component.
For those drivers growing up in the sixties, driving trucks designed to handle much lower weights and speeds, their skills in protecting the truck and its driveline was down to their ability to minimise the pressure on inadequate components. These days we are not relying on driver skills to protect the driveline, that job is being done by much improved specifications in our trucks and computers controlling and protecting the driveline from drivers without the skills to protect them.
Those skills are still there today, in drivers in rural areas handling the worst the environment can throw at them and their road trains. All drivers in India are also doing it themselves. there is little sophistication in this truck market, but for how long?
This isn’t an isolated incident, this video shows us just how crazy it can get, and not just for those climbing the mountain, it’s also pretty hairy for those coming down the mountain.
There is a lot of talk in the media about the future of trucking and the concept of trucks with no drivers. The fact of the matter is no-one knows how this is going to play out. Even when the autonomous technology is available to take a truck from A to B safely, will the infrastructure be there to make it possible. Read more
Monash University is conducting a nationwide survey looking to learn more about the physical and mental health of Australia’s truck drivers, reckoned to be the number one employer of men in Australia. Read more
It has been going on for sometime, but the war between caravans and trucks seems to be continuing, as it always has. However there is some light at the end of the tunnel, there is an initiative being organised by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and the Caravanning Industry Association of Australia to try and improve relations between the two competing groups. Read more
It’s amazing how experiencing an older truck will take you back into trucking history and this Bedford TK truly is a trucking time machine. Recalling the seventies and eighties, the discomfort, the poor design, non-existent ergonomics and low power engines reminds us just how far we have come in the intervening years. Read more
Here is a great video commissioned by the Atlantic Monthly magazine where truckies talk about trucking life, its up and downs and ongoing issues. Admittedly, this is in the US, but if you asked the same questions in lonely truck stops across Australia you would get a similar set of answers. Read more
There’s a new heavy duty brand in town and from a new source country, South Korea. On first impressions, people might be surprised by the sophistication of the new Hyundai Xcient prime mover which has recently arrived from South Korea. Read more