It is a particular truck driver who can show these skills in reverse, getting this B-double into an extremely tight spot with trucks parked in the most awkward places and the yard jam-packed with vehicles and freight. Read more
Today is the day, with the International Truck ready to go, the lucky future owner has paid their money and is waiting with bated breath. Yes, the National Transport Insurance (NTI) restoration saga is almost over. This is part four of the restoration story, a restoration of an International K5 from 1948, to be won in a draw in aid of Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Read more
The question the trucking industry needs to answer is, what’s wrong with caravans? Why are they regarded with so much negativity by truckies?
This video is an example of the attitude of some truckies towards caravans. It is regarded as entertaining for those attending the Convoy in the Park truck show, in the UK, to watch two caravans being towed by prime movers and being smashed to pieces in a kind of caravan jousting competition. Read more
In terms of local delivery, the times they are a chanjing. One of those elements of change is a company called Chanje, which has just launched an all-new electric delivery van in the US. Read more
The Green Diamond is getting broken down so the structure can go through a rejig and rebuild process. Each part is being lovingly dismantled and then restored to its former glory. This episode shows the breaking down of the entire truck so individual components can be restored, before the reconstruction can begin. Read more
There is a Mystery Mack Truck on its way, to be unveiled in the US by the company on 13 September. Of course, these models will be for the US market only, but you can be sure the Mack organisation here in Australia will be there to see the unveiling and examining of the new trucks to see which items in the catalogue of innovations they will be able to introduce into the product built here in Australia. Read more
Here’s episode two of the story of the renovation of an International K5 from 1946 by the team from NTI, to raise funds in aid of Motor Neurone Disease (MND). The process of renovating this truck is more than just a simple fundraising exercise, it’s a way of combining the sheer pleasure many of us in the trucking industry get from seeing some the old reliable trucks from before our time brought back to life. Read more
Greetings from the Twitterverse! First up, we’ve just-released vision of the new autonomous truck from Uber.
— Eyes On Freight (@EyesOnFreight) July 23, 2017
More routes for high productivity trucks in Victoria.
— Neil Chambers (@NeilChambers196) July 19, 2017
Finally, money being spent to improve the Newell Highway.
— NatRoad (@NatRoad_AUS) July 24, 2017
No more rear view mirrors just aerodynamic camera mounts!
— Bendix (@Bendix_CVS) July 18, 2017
In the area at the western end of Victoria and into South Australia, the forests are alive with the trucking industry involved in chipping and tipping. Here’s a video of the wood chip unloading facility at Portland in Victoria. Three lifting platforms keep the wood chip flowing out of the trucks, into the processing facility and onto the waiting ships bound for various Asian ports.
The trucks pull onto the platform and then a steel bar behind them holds the rear of the trailer in place for the lift. The B-doubles have sliding bodies allowing the front of the semi trailer to be pushed up close to the rear door of the lead trailer. Then the whole load can be tipped in one movement. The free-swinging door on the rear of the lead trailer and front of the semi trailer can be seen moving out of the way as the load empties, early on in the video.
The different lengths of truck can be explained by the use of performance-based standards (PBS) approved combinations in some areas allowing quad-axle lead trailers. The wood chip supply chain is all about getting the wood chip out of the forest areas and down to the processing facilities and ports as productively as possible.
Unfortunately, a number of local government areas in the south-east corner of South Australia, where many of these plantations feeding the wood chip industry are based, have been resistant to allowing the more-productive PBS B-doubles on their roads. As a direct result, the number of wood-chip trucks on the roads in these areas has increased and, of course, the condition of the roads has worsened.
Here we have yet another example of the type of negative outcomes for the trucking industry, which can be directly attributed to the lack of communication between different levels of government across Australia.
There is no doubt about it, the future is coming and there is very little we can do about it. The one certainty in life is change, nothing ever remains the same, everything moves on, whether we like it or not.
Now some of the most powerful high-tech companies in the world are turning their greedy gaze on our industry, road freight. Uber has launched its Uber freight service with this YouTube video and we can be sure they have the money and the sheer economic and technical power to pull it off.
Another global tech giant, Amazon, is also looking into this space, seeking to ‘disrupt’ retail and particularly distribution. The company has been distributing – first books, and now a myriad of consumer goods – all over the world, so if it wants to get into retail distribution, it knows what it’s doing.
On the one hand, here in Australia, we know the winds of change will blow through the US and Europe first, so we will get some warning about what is about to hit us, but we may not be able to judge the scale of any possible changes. We need to keep an eye on what is happening in this space, this is our space and we need to be prepared for what the tsunami of automation and cloud-based transactions are going to do to our industry.
We can look at changes and think it will not happen in our particular little segment of the market, but the beauty, and the strength, of these new ways of doing business is the inbuilt flexibility they have, to be able to adapt to different situations and niche operations.
Things do move fast, faster than we expect. Just look at the car market – Tesla is taking off, Volvo is dropping new combustion engines after 2019 and France is going all-electric by 2040. The future is coming and it’s all just around the corner.