Keeping Track of Tippers

In a busy operations office, it’s difficult keeping track of tippers. Tippers run grain from the farmer’s paddock into grain storage at harvest time, and haul grain out of storage facilities to the ports, or wherever it is bound, for the rest of the year.

“We started in trucks back in 1998,” says Peter Parslow, Castlemac Traders (CMT) Operations Manager and Freight Coordinator. “CMT was formed as the transport division of Agrigrain. They are a seed business and grain trader, so we needed trucks to cart our own seed. We had had some people cart some seed for us and it had got contaminated. Read more

The Trucks of Instagram

More pictures of the trucks of Instagram, as all around Australia truckies are taking photos of the things they love, their trucks.

Here we have the Nice night scene of the 200th truck Read more

Top Female Driver, Australian Truck Manufacturing, Penske Dealership Change and Autonomous Trucks

In the news this week have been a Top Female Driver, Australian Truck Manufacturing, Penske Dealership Change and Autonomous Trucks and the need for supporting infrastructure.

Tasmanian Kerri Connors, of Caltas, was named winner of the 2017 Volvo Drivers’ Fuel Challenge on-road category in a competition which put Australia’s most fuel-efficient drivers head to head. The off-road title was claimed by Cameron Simpson of Simpson’s Fuel in Victoria. Over a two-day event at Mt Cotton in Queensland, the competition was whittled down from 17 drivers in the semi-final, to nine in the final. Read more

New Mack Launch, New Benz Unveiled, Diesel from the US and Show and Shine

This week on Diesel News we have a New Mack Launch, a New Benz Unveiled, Diesel from the US and Show and Shine on the agenda.

This video is one of a series of teasers being released by Mack in the US in the lead up to the revealing of the new range on 13 September. Of course, Australian Mack trucks are a different range. However, new features added into the US range will likely start appearing in the Macks here in Australia in time. Read more

Luxury Truck Checked Out

On a recent test drive of the Western Star Roadstar, Diesel News got its luxury truck checked out. Those truckies parked up for the night around me at the truck stop, just east of Ararat in Victoria, were soon inside the cabin and pressing buttons trying to see what each would do. Just poking a head in through the driver’s door makes it clear this is not an ordinary sleeper cab.

It is unlike anything you will have seen in an Australian truck interior. It’s much more like the interior of one of the many Winnebagos plying our highways full of grey nomads. This is not a surprise as one of the campervan designers had a hand in the design and build of this interior. Read more

Truck Cabin as Media Lounge

Sitting in the Western Star Roadstar, we can get an idea of the truck cabin as a media lounge, in the custom-built show truck from the US truck maker. Sit down on the lounge and pull out the desktop to play with your laptop, or flick the switch to activate the entertainment system. This system includes a few different elements to give the driver that extra feeling of luxury.

The array of speakers fitted around the cabin evidence the 5.1 Surround Sound system, which is part of the whole entertainment set-up. Above the driver’s head, in the driver’s seat, is a control system to adjust volume and the source for the audio coming out of the speakers. Read more

Comfort for the Truckie

Since when has comfort for the truckie become a priority? One of the changes which still rankles for me is the way the fixtures and fittings in trucks became so much better just after I had ended my full-time truck driving career, nearly twenty years ago. After a long career dealing with cramped cabins, unsuspended seats and under-powered engines, it seems that the contemporary driver gets all of the latest creature comforts.

Of course, this is not necessarily the case and many drivers are driving something twenty years old, or older. However, a lot of the latest line-haul trucks are well appointed and comfortable places to live. They have to be if the drivers are expected to live in them week in, week out. Read more

Aerodynamic Western Star 5700

Driving the new aerodynamic Western Star 5700 on a test was enjoyed by Diesel’s US correspondent, Steve Sturgess. Launched at the 2014 Mid America Trucking Show, the truck was also a transformer, Optimus Prime, for the movie Transformers: Age of Extinction, it is unlikely to make it to Australian shores any time soon.

Since launch it has reached full production for the US market as Western Star’s aero model with aero performance second only to the Freightliner Cascadia Evolution. The 5700 is very much a Western Star with all the ruggedness, which has made it a favourite in the world’s wilder places. Read more

Vale Bob Shand 

The co-founder of the company which introduced the Western Star brand of trucks to Australia has sadly died this week. Bob Shand, along with his partner, Kit Bleakly, played an instrumental role in establishing Canadian truck brand, here in Australia in 1983.

Together they introduced the North American brand to Australia from their facility in Wacol, Queensland, where the brand still operates some 30 years later

The features of the trucks built at the company’s base in Kelowna, British Columbia, were of rugged heavy vehicles designed to handle the tough conditions working in the forests of Canada. These attributes made them good candidates to handle our equally tough trucking conditions. Read more