The Mack Anthem came out in the USA last year. The question is as to whether this new styling from the US truck maker may be introduced as part of a future model range here in Australia? Watch this space!
Here we have another truckie/photographer getting the lighting just right. The natural light from the roof lights and doors mixes with the artificial light from the big sodium lamps to achieve just the right effect:
In Australia, the truckie and instagram have a close relationship. Proud of their trucks, our truckies like to post photos of them on Instagram, to be admired by others in the industry. Today we are looking a selection of shots of favourite trucks by their proud owners or drivers, trying to get the trucks in their best light.
There’s something about the Mack Superliner, which gets the blood pumping just a little. Maybe it’s just that distinctive V8 roar!
We are constantly being told manufacturing in Australia is dead! In fact, we in the trucking industry know manufacturing in Australia is far from dead, as far as trucks, trailers and trucking is concerned.
Yes, Holden, Ford, Toyota and Mitsubishi have bitten the dust – and the kind of large scale mass manufacturing needed to make cars has probably gone, never to return. There are, however, some big companies in Australia making big bucks from vehicle manufacture, they just aren’t high-profile businesses constantly in the public eye.
Last week, Diesel News made its way to the Volvo Group’s Wacol truck assembly plant to see trucks number 60,000 and 60,001 roll off the end of the production line, one Volvo FH and a Mack Superliner.
They were wrapped in green and gold artwork displaying the Australia Made logo – they are able to show this label as the manufacturing process is deemed by the Australia Made organisation to meet its criteria.
‘What criteria?’ I hear you ask. Well, the criteria for manufactured products were changed in February this year from a narrow definition of a 50-per-cent-of-the-cost-of-production test to a new definition which talks about a ‘substantial transformation’.
The definition now goes like this:
“A fundamental change – in form, appearance or nature, such that the goods existing after the change are new and different goods from those existing before the change.
What does that mean?
It means that simple treatments or processing – such as repackaging or mere assembly – are not likely to qualify an otherwise imported good for the ‘Made in Australia’ claim.
An item must be ‘substantially transformed’ in Australia.”
The Volvo and Mack product fit the new description, as do the other two truck manufacturers putting together trucks in Australia, Kenworth and Iveco. All three take a slightly different approach to the way a truck is made, but all fit into the made in Australia ideal.
Of course, the engines are not made here in Australia. Nobody makes engines here anymore. The capital cost is too high. Volvo, Mack and, in some cases, Kenworth do not construct the cabins in Australia either, but just about everything else is sourced here. Iveco actually presses the raw steel to make the cabins for the Acco trucks that collect our garbage and deliver our concrete.
When we look at the trailers being hauled by these trucks, they are all, with a few exceptions, made here in Australia from scratch. The trailer manufacturing industry is a true Aussie one. It goes all the way from high-volume assembly-line trailer making, to one man and his dog, with a welder, putting together custom-built specialised trailing equipment for the trucking industry.
The trailer industry makes gear to suit Australian conditions, to cope with our terrible roads and our – higher-than-anywhere-else – masses. The stresses and strains we put our trailing gear through are unimaginable for many of the trailer designers plying their trade in Europe and the US.
This is just the headline equipment that is manufactured here. There are all those component manufacturers also doing their bit to keep Australian manufacturing alive. I recently had the opportunity to tour the new Dana plant in Keysborough in Victoria. The company took a hit when Ford closed its plant, but the new facility is now buzzing with activity, building axles and driveshafts for all three truck makers who build here in Australia
Manufacturing in Australia is dead? Long live manufacturing in Australia!
SRH Milk Haulage commenced operations in October 1996 with one truck and tanker, keeping tankers on the road for bulk milk cartage to dairy farmers production plant at Hexham, New South Wales.
As SRH operate such a large fleet of milk haulage trucks, its prime movers and tankers accumulate hours and kilometres at a rapid rate. Maintenance and servicing of the fleet is a critical part of the operation. To ensure the fleet delivers their customers the best possible service and reliability, SRH insists upon and maintains a very high standard of equipment and experienced staff.
The week in trucking has seen truck sales up, natural gas and a courier acquisition all in Diesel News.
In October the Truck Industry Council figures show the heavy duty truck segment continue to forge ahead, leading the continued recovery of the heavy vehicle market in Australia. The total market, truck and van, was up 13.8 per cent for the month of October, while year-to-date heavy vehicle sales are tracking 10.2 percent higher than this time in 2016. All market segments, except light duty, posted gains over the corresponding month last year. Overall the month was the second best on strength.
Kenworth continue to dominate at number one in heavy duty with the current production of 15 trucks a day netting 266 sales in October. Volvo, Isuzu and Mack also sold well over 100 vehicles for the month.
Here’s an introduction to the latest new model from Mack, the Anthem. This new truck was unveiled in the US last month with plenty of fanfare and dry ice. It represents the Mack brand in the US coming up with a more modern look while still retaining the ‘traditional’ Mack look and feel. This, in itself, is a difficult feat to achieve, as Mack had always lacked a genuinely contemporary image.Read more
This video from the US shows us Eaton and Cummins getting closer as they offer a more integrated driveline to US truck buyers. This particular AMT has just gone on sale in the US and is not destined to appear here for some time.
The gearbox is part of a comprehensive program where Eaton and Cummins are working very closely together to come up with a fully integrated package. The engine and transmission communicate seamlessly with each other and with whichever truck they are fitted into.Read more
The publication of the September/October 2017 issue means there have now been 100 issues of Diesel Magazine. Let’s have a look back at our first edition to get a picture of how far we have come since March 2001.
In the busy rush of our day-to-day lives, we get little chance to actually take the time to look at things from a different perspective. Sometimes we can gain new insights into our current woes by looking at the world through the prism of another time and another place.
When the first issue of Diesel hit the streets, the trucking was definitely in another time and another place. What do the things which concerned Diesel’s founding editor, Steve Brooks, at the time show us about the trucking industry today?
In his introduction to the magazine, Steve talked about the lucky country and how lucky the trucking industry is to have a backbone formed by the drivers and owner-drivers who actually get the trucks from A to B, ensure the loads are secure, compensate for the low-quality vehicle drivers around them and provide the public face of our industry.
The sentiment wouldn’t go far astray in this issue of the magazine. The driver population is one of the mainstays of the industry and a resource that needs to be well maintained and renewed. Back in 2001, the industry may have talked about a shortage of good drivers, but now we are looking at a shortage of drivers, full stop.
On the facing page, to this editorial is a reminder of how things have changed, a full-page advert for Sterling Trucks. At the time the brand was new, created by Daimler from the Ford Truck organisation it had just purchased. Unfortunately, the company’s stewardship of the brand did not work out and now the long history and tradition of Ford as a truck maker is just that, history.
Daimler also appeared in the first news story in the magazine, with the launch by Mercedes Benz of the Atego medium-duty range. Needless to say, these models have not made any major impact on the trucking market, yet.
Another news piece tells us about Volvo’s acquisition of the Mack and Renault truck brands. This was the first move in a long integration period with many ups and downs, but one that Volvo Group Australia, as it is now called, has now emerged from, as a viable and growing part of the truck market.
In the wake of Volvo’s takeover of Mack, Steve Brooks had interviewed Mack boss, Gordon Helliwell, about the changes. At this point, the picture was far from clear and Steve speculated about the possibility of the move ending the way Volvo’s takeover of White Trucks had played out, with the brand disappearing. His fears were unfounded and the Mack brand remains as strong as ever.
A familiar face also appears in the news. One Phil Taylor is announced as the new National Truck Sales Manager at Isuzu Trucks. All these years, later Phil’s titles may have changed, now a Director and COO, but he is heading towards steering the Isuzu brand to 30 years as number one in the Australian truck market.
One of the first feature stories was about the new Scania 16-litre V8 engine, rated at 580hp, powering a road train in Western Australia. One of the talking points is the use of an innovation, the Opticruise Automatic Manual Transmission (AMT) fitted to the truck. This year, most new trucks introduced to the market will have an AMT option and, for many, this will be standard.
This drive is followed by the other story highlighted on the front cover, an interview with industry icon, Lindsay Fox. One of the main topics of the conversation? The recent takeover, by Toll, of Finemore’s Transport, a game-changing event at the time.
Eurobureau was then, as it is now, sent from the UK by Brian Weatherley. A new DAF LF had been launched, as had the Cursor 13 engine from Iveco. UK truck maker, ERF, was planning to break into the Australian truck market, apparently one of those ideas floated, and then promptly sunk, never to appear.
Meanwhile, Steve Sturgess, on the other side of the Atlantic, was keeping us up with the State of the Union. He was talking about the launch of the Freightliner Coronado in the US market. This was not the Coronado we know today in the Australian market, but its precursor, a new design built on the basics of the Century Class, but aimed at the owner-driver market with plenty of bling and living space.
Another article was on the Kenworth ‘Truck of the Future’, a T604 tricked up as a concept vehicle with an array of innovative gadgetry. The truck included multiplexed wiring, a feature that arrived with the new T610. Instruments were all virtual, displayed on a series of screens, the T610 has one such virtual display.
In-cab tyre pressure monitors, GPS tracking, fingerprint recognition, lane-keeping alarm and forward-looking radar were all cutting edge at the time and all have made their way onto the options lists for most heavy trucks. The truck also used a night vision system, an innovation whose time is still to come.