A Thirst For Power

The trucking industry has a thirst for power in our trucks. DAF has heard our pleas and upped the power available in its CF85 prime mover.

Quite often the art of designing a new truck is not designing and building something from the ground up, but instead mixing and matching the components available in a different way to solve a particular application issue. There are plenty of other examples of these evolutionary developed models running on our roads, now there’s another, the DAF CF85 with a 510hp Paccar MX engine. Read more

The Streets of London

On the streets of London, the CLOCS (Construction Logistics and Community Safety) ticking for truck owners in the UK capital. There’s been a growing debate in the UK on how to avoid collisions between commercial vehicles and cyclists. Truck makers are showcasing the designs they have come up with to avoid cyclist fatalities.

In 2011, an analysis of nine cycling fatalities involving trucks in London discovered that seven of them involved construction vehicles, triggering concerns that while the construction industry accounted for only a small-proportion of freight traffic running in and out of the nation’s capital, their trucks were ‘over represented’ in cyclist fatalities. Read more

DAF Trucks Going Very Quiet

New regulations in Europe may see DAF trucks going very quiet, according to Diesel’s correspondent there, Brian Weatherley. A silent truck recently unveiled by DAF was part of a number of product improvements, for the European market right across its truck range. The DAF 7.5 tonne LF ‘Silent’ chassis joins equivalent low-noise MX 11 powered CF and XF models. Read more

Collusion Fines for Truck Makers

Massive collusion fines for truck makers have been handed down by the European Union. According to the EU the group of manufacturers were found to be acting as a cartel to fix prices of trucks and time the introduction of technologies to comply with emissions rules.

The fines amount to 3 billion euros ($4.4 billion) and are said to be the highest ever levied by the European authorities. All of the major suppliers to the European market were included in the decision. Those fined in the case so far include MAN, Mercedes Benz, DAF, Iveco and Volvo/Renault and it was asserted they had been colluding for 14 years, from 1997 to 2011. Scania is still under investigation. Read more

Building for the Future

This is how you build a truck dealership. The video shows the construction of a new facility on a green field site in Queensland by Kenworth and DAF dealers, Brown and Hurley.

Often in business, there are two possible ways of looking at the future. You can either take a short term gain approach, or take a long term view on where you are going, and build for the future. Unsurprisingly, those enterprises which take on the more considered long term philosophy also tend to hang around for a long time.

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Save fuel and increase safety

New technology to get even more out of the current truck designs is being experimented with around the world, by simply enabling trucks to run closer to the truck in front, without compromising safety. Here is a simple-to-understand video giving us the basics of just how platooning works in trucks. This shows us the EcoTwin project from DAF with two trucks, wirelessly linked via WiFi, driving at a close distance with the driver in the second truck not needing to accelerate, brake or steer. Read more

New kids on the block

At the upcoming Brisbane Truck Show, this is the kind of image the reintroduction of the International brand will be trying to create, plenty of bling and loud rock music, with a Lonestar. However, this is not the image or the truck which will make or break the brand in Australia. That job will fall to another truck, the ProStar, to do the heavy lifting and get truck sales on the board. Read more

Doing it in the Dakar

The Dakar rally provides us with some spectacular footage as trucks rampage through the deserts and mountains of South America. This year’s event was no exception, with the Russians dominating the race, coming in first, second and third in their Kamaz trucks. MAN managed fourth place with another Kamaz coming in fifth. Strong contenders Iveco started badly, losing a lot of time, but finished well, winning the final stage to finish sixth overall. The Hino team came in 16th overall, but first in the under 10 litre class, completing the course powered by a nine litre engine. Read more

Reduced Insurance Premiums

Here are a couple of demonstrations of how well the automatic emergency braking systems work on modern trucks. They use radar to identify a potential dangerous object in front of the truck and, after warning the driver, take action to ensure the truck doesn’t hit said object. Diesel has tested these systems and found them to be surprisingly effective, once you get over the feel of the truck as a computer takes over the braking system you normally control. Read more

Dutch Platooning planned

 

The prospect of seeing tightly packed truck convoys on the highway, controlled by the lead truck, running nose to tail to conserve fuel, has become a little closer this week with the announcement by the Netherlands’ Minister for Environment and Infrastructure, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, of a plan to use self driving autonomous trucks on Dutch highways.

 

The minister is seeking to amend Holland’s road rules to enable a large scale test program of autonomous trucks to take place. After a program of computer simulation and closed track testing, the intention is to trial the technology on specific highways to assess its viability and safety outcomes.

 

The trial is being organised by Transport and Logistics Netherlands, along with DAF Trucks and port authorities. Initially two trucks will take part during testing, leading to working in and around Rotterdam Port, and later on nearby motorways. Eventually the plan is to run the second truck driverless, simply following the exact route of the lead truck.

 

Several groups have been working on platooning, with Volvo, both truck and car, involved with technology company Ricardo, who lead the SARTRE project with trucks and cars involved. Vehicles enter a semi-autonomous control mode allowing the drivers of the following vehicles to operate a phone, read a book or watch a movie.

 

 

In the US, the Peloton system is aimed at saving fuel, it keeps trucks ten metres apart and the driver of the second vehicle still steers the truck. The linking system controls acceleration and braking of it’s followers to ensure a safe gap. The drivers of the following vehicle gets a video feed from the front truck so they can see the road ahead. To break the link the following driver simply touches the brakes.

 

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