Mack boots winner announced

Bob Hutton from Queensland is the winner of the first of eight pairs of Mack boots to be given away over the next two months. Subscribers to Dieselnews.com.au will be automatically entered into the draw with the weekly winner announced in this newsletter each Thursday.

IAP boosts productivity for Fletcher

Improved road access under the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) has helped Fletcher International Exports operate more efficiently, while also reducing community exposure to truck noise.

Based at Dubbo in central western NSW, Fletcher International Exports is a leading processor and supplier of sheep meat, skins, wool products and associated by-products to the global market.

“We used to transport 40 foot containers of export meat or sheep by-products on a tri-axle semi to the rail terminal located near the centre of Dubbo for transfer to Port Botany,” said the company’s managing director Roger Fletcher. “However, due to the 42.5 tonne gross mass limit we could not fill those containers.

“Dubbo City Council gave us approval to operate to 55 tonnes gross using a quad-axle semi-trailer – meaning we could fill the containers to capacity – however this still involved transport over local roads which, based on Council’s advice, were not built for such loads,” he added.

The council advised Fletcher that Yarrandale Road (on which the abattoir is situated) was constructed to a higher standard so the company decided to build its own inter-modal rail terminal within Dubbo’s industrial precinct just 750 metres from the abattoir. This suited the council because it no longer had the tri-axle semi-trailers operating on the back roads of Dubbo to the old rail terminal.

The contractor engaged to move the containers was required to install satellite telematics linked to an approved IAP service provider before operating the quad-axle unit.

“This solution means we can operate more efficiently while at the same time no longer exposing the local community to the noise of trucks taking our products to port,” Roger Fletcher concluded.

Transport ministers agree to PBS upgrade

Australia’s transport ministers have voted unanimously in favour of changes to Performance Based Standards (PBS) designed to boost the scheme’s ability to deliver a safer, more productive and sustainable trucking industry.

PBS was introduced in 2007 as a regulatory framework to enable the use of higher productivity vehicles on pre-approved routes. However, industry participation in the scheme has been limited by problems in gaining certainty of road network access and a lack of operational flexibility.

According to National Transport Commission (NTC) chief executive Nick Dimopoulos, changes to PBS will give truck operators greater certainty of access and operational flexibility and result in a range of benefits to the community.

“The changes will encourage industry to use safer and more efficient vehicles on our roads,” Dimopoulos stated. “With Australia’s freight task forecast to treble by 2050, the PBS scheme will position us well for the future as it will help keep costs to consumers down and reduce road congestion.

“As well as an overall $5.6 billion in savings to our economy, encouraging the use of more innovative and productive heavy vehicles is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 3.75 million tonnes and save over 85 lives by 2030.”

Changes to the scheme approved by ministers include:

  • Moving to a national system for vehicle assessment and access decisions for PBS vehicles under the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR). Currently operators need to negotiate access with individual road managers;
  • Developing a system of modular assessment for PBS combination vehicles to allow a range of prime movers to be used providing they have been PBS approved to match the trailer specifications;
  • Offering the option for manufacturer self-certification to remove the requirement for manufacturers to employ a third party to certify each vehicle.

The changes are detailed in a Regulatory Impact Statement available on the NTC website and will be incorporated in an amendment bill to the Heavy Vehicle National Law which is expected to go to transport ministers in March 2012.

Changes to the scheme, once approved by the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI), will then come into effect when the NHVR becomes operational in 2013.

STL moves to lower CO2 emissions

The Södertälje (Sweden) based Scania Transport Laboratory (STL) has commissioned eight new prime movers that run on renewable bioethanol rather than diesel, a move the company claims will reduce the fleet’s CO2 emissions by around 70 percent.

STL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scania, tests and evaluates vehicle characteristics and performance in commercial haulage. It does this under ‘real world’ conditions while transporting truck components and packaging material between the Södertälje headquarters and various production and assembly facilities throughout northern Europe.

“As a supplier of transport solutions, it is important for us to take the lead in developing sustainable alternative solutions and demonstrate how sustainability and efficiency are linked in practice,” said Anders Nielsen, Scania’s head of production and logistics. “By switching to ethanol, Scania is demonstrating that sustainable solutions can be achieved – here and now – with technology that is already available today.”

Scania currently offers a range of products and services – known as Ecolution by Scania – designed to assist truck and bus operators in reducing their fleets’ CO2 emissions.

To help increase the availability of renewable fuels for commercial vehicles, Scania will open a public filling station in Södertälje later this year with fuel dispensers for RME (rapeseed methyl ester), ED95 (ethanol) and biogas.

 

 

G & R Newcastle – Kenworth Dealer of 2011

Paccar Australia managing director Joe Rizzo (left) with Craig Sutton, director of the Suttons Group

The Newcastle (NSW) dealership of one of Australia’s oldest truck dealer groups –Gilbert & Roach – has taken out what’s widely considered the trucking industry’s most coveted dealer award, the 2011 Kenworth Dealer of the Year.

The announcement was made at Paccar Australia’s annual dealer awards event. The awards are open to Kenworth dealers from various parts of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Dealers are judged on a points system across five main areas, including general dealership performance, truck sales, customer service, finance and parts support.

The G & R dealer group was established in 1946 and joined the Suttons Group in 1971. The Newcastle dealership was appointed a Kenworth dealer in 1981 and a DAF dealer in 2002. It services the greater Newcastle and HunterValley region, extending from The Entrance in the south to Taree in the north and Merriwa in the west.

At the awards ceremony, Paccar Australia managing director, Joe Rizzo, congratulated the dealership on its outstanding performance in all areas as well as its unwavering commitment to customers.

“Gilbert & Roach Newcastle is a fine Paccar dealer which sets an excellent example for the entire industry,” Joe said. “It has worked tirelessly and been a high achiever over many years. In fact, the dealership has won several Kenworth prizes for both truck and parts sales. It has also finished a number of times in the top three dealers for the Kenworth Service Award.”

On accepting the award, director of the Suttons Group, Craig Sutton, said it was a great honour to be recognised as the best dealer in the best dealer network in the region.

“We are delighted to have won this award. The Kenworth Dealer of the Year is an accolade all of our dealerships have been striving toward for years,” Craig said. “This award is for all of our staff in Newcastle, led by Tony Cox. Staff members in every department work together as a team, delivering a consistent service to all customers before, during and after the sale.”

Isuzu to display F-series agitator at ITTES

Isuzu will have one of the largest exhibits at the 2012 International Truck Trailer and Equipment Show (ITTES) due to be held from March 15 to 17 at the Melbourne showgrounds. Among the 17 vehicle array and making its public debut will be the much anticipated F-series agitator.

Isuzu claims the new FVY 1400 6×4 agitator features a cab/chassis specification – including power take-off – that lends itself to concrete mixer applications. It is said to also offer a highly competitive tare weight which allows for maximum payload.

The Australian overall truck market leader’s ITTES display is designed to showcase its enormous range, and will accordingly feature a selection of light, medium and heavy-duty models from the N, F, FX and Giga ranges.

In addition to cab/chassis vehicles, Isuzu will show a selection of its ready-to-work models including the latest edition of its popular car licence driven NPR 200 Tradepack.

The Tradepack is ideal for busy tradespeople who want to make a purchase and have the vehicle on the job site shortly afterwards with no waiting for fitment of a tray by a body builder. The model is available in both Standard and Premium guises.

A leading manufacturer of alternatively fuelled trucks, Isuzu will exhibit two of its Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered trucks – an NLR 200 CNG and FSR 700/850 CNG. Also on display will be one of Toll Group’s FSR 700 CNG units in full corporate livery.

According to Isuzu, these vehicles offer lower running costs and notable environmental benefits – including zero particulate matter emissions – compared to traditional diesel-powered trucks.

The extensive truck range will be complemented with a selection of parts and accessories displays covering Isuzu Genuine Parts and Best Value Parts (BVP) as well as an Isuzu industrial engine.

Those visiting the show can find the Isuzu stand at BH91 in the Boulevard Hoecker.

 

Old timers roll into Melbourne

An eclectic collection of antique vehicles, including a number of Internationals, will be on display at the Melbourne showgrounds as part of the forthcoming International Truck, Trailer & Equipment Show (ITTES).

Whilst show goers will be able to view every new age piece of trucking technology imaginable at the event, they may be forgiven for thinking they’ve taken a step back in time when they witness a special collection of trucks that put in the hard yards during the industry’s formative era.

Among these trucks will be a 1966 International R190 that once played an active role in the Linfox fleet and still proudly wears its yellow and red livery. This model rose to prominence during the 1950s and for the next decade or so was one of the most popular trucks on Australian highways.

Also fronting up will be a very rare red 1952 International L205 which is likely to generate much interest among visitors. Although this model played an important part in America’s trucking history, it was never actually released onto the Australian market.

One of the oldest vehicles to be shown is a 1940 International KS 5. ‘Ol Sweetheart’ was used by A. Jack Turner inVictoria’s Notting Hill district.

The commercial road transport industry has continued to keep Australia moving for decades upon decades. And, while the trucks used to transport goods across the country have continued to evolve as a result of technological developments, safety advancements and upgrades in design and capabilities, the show’s organising body believes it’s important to reflect on the machinery that played a significant role in shaping the industry we know today.

The ITTES is a free event for both trade and the general public, with visitors encouraged to register for entry via www.trucktrailershow.com.au.

Defect speeding trucks, ATA says

The police should issue a defect notice to the driver of any truck found travelling on the flat at more than 100 km/h, Australian Trucking Association (ATA) chief executive Stuart St Clair said recently in response to media allegations about truck speed limiter tampering.

“Speeding is a major cause of truck accidents, and every trucking business needs to have a strong speed management policy. It’s a legal requirement, and also good business,” Stuart said.

“The police need to back up the operators that do the right thing with better on-road speed enforcement. The driver of any truck found travelling on the flat at more than 100 km/h should be issued with a defect notice because the vehicle must, by definition, have a faulty or inoperative speed limiter.

“Trucks found travelling at more than 115 km/h should be grounded until the defect is cleared.

“There also needs to be stronger chain of responsibility enforcement against customers that demand unrealistic and unsafe schedules. It’s already against the law for customers to make demands that would require drivers to speed, but the investigations are expensive and time-consuming.

“The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator will start at the end of the year. It will need to have the resources and authority to carry out these investigations and bring customers to account.

“Finally, enforcement authorities need to notify trucking businesses when one of their employees commits a traffic offence in a company vehicle. We have been arguing that this requirement needs to be included in the planned national truck laws,” St Clair concluded.

Securing top talent with jobla

jobla is The Intermedia Group’s (TIG) newly launched niche employment site that showcases targeted employment opportunities to some of Australia’s most experienced, talented and hard to reach job seekers. It is accessed via TIG’s extensive selection of B2B websites incorporating eNewsletters and social media profiles.

According to the company, since its formation late last year jobla has hosted more than 28,000 visitors and received 110,000 page views. The site now boasts an average of 13,000 employment opportunity advertisements and has registered more than 38,000 visits, indicating 26 percent of jobla’s traffic comprises return users.

“A return user rate of 26 percent means there are around 9500 professionals who regularly visit jobla to view employment opportunities within their industry,” says Paul Humberstone, TIG’s general manager, recruitment services. “This is an impressive statistic, considering many individuals who make up our target audience are passive, mid to senior level job seekers.”

“One of the crucial success factors when launching any commercial website, particularly one within the highly competitive job board market, is rapid and significant traffic growth,” Paul added. “With an online audience reach of over one million across TIG’s various vertical markets and more than 95 access points throughout the network, jobla’s success can be attributed to its reach.”

jobla currently lists over 500 transport, logistic and supply chain jobs showcased directly to a monthly audience of over 11,000 industry professionals via www.dieselnews.com.au and www.tandlnews.com.au.

Truck renter shifts to automatics

After seven years operating an Allison automatic equipped UD, Australian Trucks and 4WD Rentals has decided to gradually replace all of its manual trucks with fully automatic versions.

The company, which is the Hertz Truck Rentals franchisee for South Australia, NSW andVictoria, has more than 1200 commercial vehicles in its rental fleet including eight UD MK6 Automatics.

According to Peter Gould, Australian Truck and 4WD Rentals’ chief executive, successful trials of a number of UD Automatics over the past seven years have shown that fully automatic trucks are the preferred option for the company’s future truck purchases.

“We bought our first UD PK Automatic in 2004, and it performed well in our fleet for almost seven years with lower maintenance and repair costs. Furthermore, we recently sold this truck and its resale value was brilliant,” Gould said.

“That truck covered almost a quarter of a million kilometres and provided us with a strong income stream including four years on permanent lease with FreightVictoria,” he added. “Its retained value when sold was 38 percent of the original purchase price, such is the demand for automatic medium duty trucks.”

Since buying the original PK automatic, the Hertz franchise has added a further eight MK6 Auto models which have also proven to be more cost effective to maintain – as well as having strong appeal with rental customers – than manual counterparts.

“The automatic UDs have saved us money when it comes to operating costs, particularly related to brakes and clutches,” Peter Gould confirmed. “On average we keep our medium-duty trucks for five years, and with a manual truck we would budget on changing at least two clutches in that time at an average of $2000 each in replacement costs.

“The automatics are also typically easier on the brakes,” he added. “This means we save money on the number of brake relines we have to do across the life of the vehicle, not to mention the reduced down time.

“The fact that the Allison transmission is available with a full five-year extended warranty in the UDs is another factor that added to the automatic’s appeal, because we know that for all or most of the time the truck is on our rental fleet, we are covered against any failure.”

Gould says that while the company cannot charge more for the automatic trucks, this offering assists Hertz in maintaining market leadership, and helps position the company as the first place to call when hiring a truck.

“When renters try the Allison automatics and realise how easy they are to drive and operate, they often keep the rental truck longer because they can be more productive. 

“The performance of the Allison equipped UDs has meant that we are now looking to eventually make our entire truck fleet automatic.”