Over three decades of market leadership in any industry affords you a prized vantage point to truly understand the needs and wants of your customer base, a fact demonstrated by Isuzu’s Ready-To-Work range – more than just a truck. Read more
As part of the ongoing drip, drip, drip campaign being put out by Hino Trucks, we now get a glance inside the next generation heavy duty Hino prime mover. The new Hino 700 Series trucks are due to finally see the light of day in early June, or so PowerTorque has heard. Read more
With the introduction of the UD Trucks 8×4 Quon, it was possible for the first opportunity to see UD offer a viable agitator to the market, which has now arrived. PowerTorque took the opportunity to take on out for a spin around Brisbane.
As a dominant player in the trailer manufacturing sector in Australia, MaxiTRANS continues to grow and develop its offering to the Australian trucking industry. PowerTorque sat down with MaxiTrans CEO and Managing Director Dean Jenkins to talk about how the trailer business is travelling. Read more
This year has seen the introduction of the new Euro 6 range from Volvo and the release of the Mack Anthem for the first time, both of which are major steps forwards for Volvo Group Australia.
The first appearance of the Mack Anthem model in Australia has been some time coming, but it is here now and on the road. The Anthem model itself will be replacing the Granite model, but also represents an upgrade for the larger Trident and Superliner models, integrating the Anthem systems and design into a much-upgraded pair of models.
“We will continue to invest in the Mack offering to ensure we remain competitive with our product, safety technology and emission standards,” says Martin Merrick, VGA President and CEO. “To make this happen, I presented a compelling business case to our colleagues in North America, and Mack Trucks International has committed to invest $100 million in the Mack range over the next three years, and that’s on top of what we have today.
“In addition to developing our hard product offering we will continue to develop our Mack Total Solutions offering, such as Mack Financial Services, service agreements and connected services to improve total cost of ownership for our customers. Our goal is to improve maximum uptime for our customers through advanced solutions.
“Volvo Group has over one million connected assets globally. Mack’s uptime and productivity solutions combine intelligent software, driver assisted truck technologies and more to help our customers keep their trucks and businesses moving forward. In Australia, this technology is backed up by a network second to none with over 130 service points and over 1,000 highly trained technicians.”
Mack has partnered with the Bendix in its latest offering of the Mack Anthem and the Anthem-based evolutionary update of the other Mack models fitting the Bendix Wingman safety system as standard. The safety suite includes the ECE R29 certified cabin and integrated FUPS, Road Stability Advantage, Blindspotter, as well as the aforementioned and fully integrated Wingman Fusion system.
All of the cabin interiors have been fully updated in the Anthem style including the flat-bottomed steering wheel, which does not have a driver’s airbag as an add-on to the other state-of-the-art safety systems. Predictive cruise control is also included in the new offering.
“Safety is our number one priority,” says Martin, when asked about not fitting airbags. “We are on a journey to ensure we have zero accidents. We are focusing now on preventing collisions. Of course, I would say that airbag will come, but we are on that journey. We have the $100 million development funds, all I can say is, watch this space.”
Euro 6 Volvo Introduced
This year has seen the introduction of the new Euro 6 range from Volvo. The biggest change has been the introduction of a new cabin for the FM truck range, updating the design to match the FH cabin, introduced some years ago. This means the windows are larger and the A pillars are thinner, aiding visibility.
The FH range has been upgraded using the current cab design, including the XXL sleeper, as well. There is a new digital dashboard and upgraded electronics all round. The new models have enhanced safety features and adaptive cruise control, developing beyond the systems on the previous models.
“Volvo Group globally will continue to invest in more climate friendly solutions,” says Gary Bone, Vice President Volvo Truck Sales. “We will, of course, benefit from that investment here in Australia. In Europe this year, Volvo Trucks will open the order books to a complete heavy range with electric drivelines and volume production will start in 2022. While diesel will continue to play a continuing role in the Australian truck market and we will be turning every stone to improve fuel efficiency, we are also exploring and investing in alternative fuels and electro-mobility.
“Our primary task is to ease the transition to electrified vehicle by offering holistic solutions that include route planning, correctly specified vehicles, making sure we have an effective charging infrastructure, plus financing and services to go along with this amazing new product.”
A senior executive is moving across from diesel power to electric power in a move which may be an indicator of things to come. SEA Electric has announced the appointment of Bill Gillespie to the position of President Asia Pacific. He recently parted ways with Hino Trucks after seven years as part of the executive team, and more recently as Vice President of Brand and Franchise Development. Read more
As he becomes the UK’s first journalist behind the wheel of the Scania 770S, PowerTorque’s European Correspondent, Will Shiers, drives the world’s most powerful production truck, but can’t help feeling that it’s missing something. Read more
There is some good news from the latest truck sales figures for April 2021 as an upward trend continues, giving us a picture of an economy moving forward. Truck sales figures are often an indicator of overall confidence among businesses, and, so far, there seems to be secure growth in prospect. Read more
After driving a Kenworth T610 prime mover, pulling a B-double curtainsider, PowerTorque found the T610 has improved in almost every respect, over its predecessors. Negotiating Brisbane traffic and then heading north and up to highway speed, the overall performance and dynamics of the T610 proved to be exemplary. Read more
An announcement from Isuzu sees a new initiative as the Isuzu Essentials Plan lands with a refresh of the stress-free service agreement suite. This is the start of the rollout of its latest after-sales product, Isuzu Essentials, which complements a refresh of their comprehensive suite of service agreement products.
In addition to the launch of Isuzu Essentials, the remaining service agreement structure has been reimagined, with new naming conventions replacing the former Isuzu Priority framework.
Isuzu service agreements are now available in four plans: three levels of monthly payment plans and the new upfront payment option, Isuzu Essentials:
- Isuzu Essentials (new product)
- Isuzu Essentials Plus (formerly Isuzu Priority One)
- Isuzu Total (formerly Isuzu Priority Total)
- Isuzu Heritage (name unchanged)
The new Isuzu Essentials service agreement product is available throughout the Isuzu dealer network and is aimed at first time or returning Isuzu truck customers purchasing new models.
Isuzu Essentials is available by way of an affordable and predictable upfront payment and covers the first three regular services up to 36 months or 60,000 km (whichever comes first).
Isuzu Essentials is an additional service agreement plan and comes with the guarantee of all work completed by Isuzu-trained technicians.
IAL’s National Service Manager, Brett Stewart, said the new product strengthens Isuzu’s existing suite, offering customers more options for a stress-free ownership experience.
“We recently completed a review of our service agreement offering and made some changes based on customer and dealer network feedback,” he said. “We’ve seized the opportunity to introduce Isuzu Essentials as a no fuss, stress-free option for customers buying new Isuzu trucks. It represents excellent value for new owners keen to reduce their downtime, bolster productivity and retain resale value.
“Our new Isuzu Essentials package can take the stress out of scheduling and budgeting for those first three critical years of truck service.”
Isuzu service agreements give truck owners full transparency when it comes to ongoing maintenance costs, eliminating surprises at service time and assisting with business cash flow.
They can also ensure trucks are maintained according to OEM requirements, providing peace of mind that crucial business assets are being looked after correctly, whilst also assisting operators with Chain of Responsibility compliance:
- Isuzu Essentials – caters to customers with new trucks with an upfront payment that covers the truck’s first three regular services up to 36 months, or 60,000 km service (whichever comes first). Customers with Isuzu Essentials can upgrade to Isuzu Essentials Plus, Isuzu Total or Isuzu Heritage monthly plans, with the continued confidence their trucks will be serviced by Isuzu-trained service professionals.
- Isuzu Essentials Plus – offers truck owners a range of additional inclusions such as filter replacement, lubricants, wiper blades, light globes, fuses and fan belts, on a monthly payment plan.
- Isuzu Total – available for newly purchased trucks only and is Isuzu’s most comprehensive monthly payment service agreement. In addition to Essentials Plus staples, Isuzu Total offers truck owners ultimate coverage with engine, transmission, driveline, brakes, suspension and electrical componentry replacement. Isuzu Total also offers customers extended add-on options Extended Care, Extended Assist and after-hours servicing, amongst a suite of other useful options like car hire and glass coverage.
- Isuzu Heritage – caters to customers with Isuzu trucks that are over three years old or that have clocked over 100,000 km, offered on a monthly payment plan. Providing customers peace of mind with quality servicing by trained professionals, Isuzu Heritage covers service basics such as lubricants, valve adjustments, wheel bearing repack and fault code checks, also giving access to Isuzu’s unbeatable Best Value Parts range.
Brett Stewart acknowledged that the right service agreement plan could assist truck owners to reduce costs over the long-term, especially if a truck performs a prominent role in day-to-day business operations.
“Service agreements can help businesses avoid lengthy downtime, unnecessary repairs and general wear and tear on critical parts and componentry, while also providing a clearer picture of whole-of-life costs.
“Having an OEM-backed service history can also assist with retaining a healthy resale value when you’re ready to update. Isuzu’s service agreements are designed to be straightforward and easy, making maintenance a seamless process for owners and fleet managers,” said Brett. “Depending on the plan, our agreements can feature benefits such as after-hours servicing, loan vehicles and coverage of high-stress items like glass and tyres—further reducing any unexpected operating costs.”
“Our customers also see the benefit of servicing with Australia’s largest dealer network, which means services can be booked at any one of our 70-plus locations across the country, with each dealership having instant access to a truck’s service history.”