Trailer Maker Boss, Linfox Caravan, Long Combinations and Electric Trucks

Trailer Maker Boss, Linfox Caravan, Long Combinations and Electric Trucks

This week in Diesel News we are talking about Trailer Maker Boss, Linfox Caravan, Long Combinations and Electric Trucks, including a number of new developments in Germany.

MaxiTrans has announced the appointment of Dean Jenkins as the company’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

“Dean has over 20 years’ executive experience in managing transport and manufacturing businesses,” said Robert Wylie, MaxiTrans Chairman. “He has a strong track record of successfully leading large, complex and truly global companies, driving change and improvement throughout his career.”

Jenkins was previously CEO and Executive Director of Engineering Business the Weir Group, CEO of rolling stock supplier and maintainer UGL Rail, and he spent 11 years in senior leadership roles with Qantas.

Trailer Maker Boss, Linfox Caravan, Long Combinations and Electric Trucks
Dean Jenkins, MaxiTrans’ Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

A caravan that has been professionally refurbished by Envision Employment Work for the Dole participants will be transported in-kind by Linfox to the remote Wugularr Aboriginal School in the Northern Territory this week.

The ‘Caravan of Goodwill’ will provide much needed accommodation for Allied Health professionals, teachers and other professionals visiting the remote school. The Work for the Dole participants were sponsored by Job Prospects and funded by the Australian Government Department of Employment.

Trailer Maker Boss, Linfox Caravan, Long Combinations and Electric Trucks
Bernhard in happier times, at the launch of the Freightliner Inspiration autonomous truck

Daimler have announced the surprise and immediate resignation of the global truck maker’s commercial vehicle’s chief, Wolfgang Bernhard. He is rumoured to have upset union interests in Germany, which hampered an expected promotion within Daimler. In an official statement Bernhard is said to be leaving for personal reasons, but he was relieved of all duties immediately.

Elsewhere in Germany, the government decided to allow extra-long vehicle combinations (known as Lang-Lkw) on a restricted road network. These trucks are 25.25m long with a GCM of 40 tonnes or 44 tonnes if used in intermodal transport.

Combinations at this length are already running in The Netherlands and Scandinavia, but at a 60 tonnes GCM. If these trucks need to travel through Germany, they will be limited to the 40 tonnes GCM.

The government in Germany is also extended a trial with the Big-Maxx trailers. These are allowed to run at a vehicle combination length of 17.80m instead of the 16.50m normally mandated in Europe.

Trailer Maker Boss, Linfox Caravan, Long Combinations and Electric Trucks

In even more news from Germany, Mercedes Benz have reported a positive reaction to the electric trucks from customers in different sectors in Germany and throughout Europe. The Urban eTruck runs at 25 tonnes GVM with a range of up to 200 km.


“Following the world premiere in September 2016 at the International Commercial Vehicle Show the customer reaction was outstanding,” said Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks. “We are currently talking to around 20 potential customers from the disposal, foodstuffs and logistics sector. With the small series we are now rapidly taking the next step towards a series product.”


Pricing, Volume Loading, COR and RSRT Clone

Three of the Best from Instagram

In three of the best from Instagram, Diesel news highlights the work of our truck photography enthusiasts.

A Sterling emerges from the gloom.

A photo posted by lloyd (@mrtruckingcrazy) on

A couple of Collins’ Kenworths

A heavy truck from Hyundai, on its way to Australia?

Hyundai XCient #hyundaixcient #xcient #hyundaitrucks #hyundai

A photo posted by Transpo Online (@transpoonline) on

Resisting the Determination

Trucking industry associations are resisting the Determination handed down by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission. Called the General Carriers Interim Contract Carriers Determination, the ruling has been extended, recently, to include small operators and owner drivers within and passing through NSW and echoes many of the issues raised in the RSRT debate earlier this year.


“NatRoad will always stand up for members, particularly on matters that impact the viability of their businesses and their livelihoods,”said Warren Clark NatRoad CEO. “NatRoad has made an application to the NSW Industrial Relation Commission seeking a general exemption for all NatRoad members from the NSW General Carriers Interim Contract Carriers Determination.


Resisting the Determination


“The majority of our members are small trucking businesses which operate in, or merely transit through NSW. They are not all NSW-based and we believe they should be exempt from this determination. Already we are seeing negative flow-on effects to our members in other States because of this latest industrial change by NSW.


“An exemption for NatRoad members is also a move to protect principal contractors who hire owner drivers, many of whom are also everyday business people and family businesses from those who move freight interstate, to farmers moving livestock, grain or produce, millers moving timber, or deep sea fishers getting refrigerated seafood to major markets.”


The changes to the General Carriers Contract Determination took effect earlier this month and seem to be part of a Transport Workers Union push to expand the mandatory rate obligations. Under the proposal, hirers of owner drivers covered by the Determination will be required to pay new mandatory minimum hourly and per kilometre rates for work performed throughout NSW and beyond. This is intended to include interstate work connected to NSW.


According to Road Freight NSW, the TWU claim would represent a significant change from the current obligations which generally only apply to metropolitan Sydney and to work within a 50 kilometre radius of a hirer’s depot. It says the ruling risks giving rise to many of the same potentially devastating consequences that resulted from the recently abolished Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal’s controversial decisions.


“We already know from recent experience how impractical applying ‘rates’ to businesses can be for owner drivers operating in regional and rural Australia,” said Clark. “These drivers often carry several loads in one trip and rely on return loads to make a trip viable. Externally imposed rates make their businesses untenable and send them to the wall.


“Despite being in place since 1984, this latest move to ramp up and broaden the scope of the determination in the wake of RSRT is potentially devastating to our members, the road transport industry, and its associated industries. In the more than 30 years this little used determination has been in place, the NSW Industrial Relations Commission has only granted a single exemption in relation to rates.


“There will be a significant state-wide impact to small trucking businesses if the changes to the determination and the proposed broadened application and increased rates issue isn’t properly considered and clearly understood.”


The full determination can be read here 
An analysis of the determination by NatRoad is available here 

Getting Closer to a National Standard

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is continuing to roll out the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual across new states and territories. So far, the manual has been adopted by three jurisdictions, with its inspection standards now applying in the ACT, Tasmania and South Australia.


Screenshot 2016-03-17 07.36.35


“The manual provides authorised officers, vehicle examiners and operators a consistent set of criteria when conducting heavy vehicle inspections, ensuring a national approach to the management of vehicle safety,” said Sal Petroccitto, NHVR CEO.


The plan is for all states and territories participating in the NHVR process will be using the NHVIM as a template for all inspections carried out by July 1 this year.


The NHVR has released fact sheets to assist operators and explain the ramification of the manual’s introduction in South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT to help truck workshops adaptpractices to align with the new manual.


Further information on the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual can be found at the NHVR website. 

International Hype

Stolen trucks on the streets of Las Vegas, followed by TV News helicopters. Of course, it has to be a truck launch. This one is for the new International HX range for the US market which Diesel News reported a couple of weeks ago. This is part of the new trend to the spectacular which is happening within the truck manufacturing industry, it’s not just a launch event, it has to look good on YouTube. Read more

Free Trip to the Gold Coast

Three people will have the opportunity to attend Trucking Australia 2016 on the Gold Coast to share their suggestions on how to improve safety or business viability in the trucking industry. Cummins South Pacific are sponsoring three tickets to go to the ATA’s national event where operators are invited to help develop the trucking industry’s plans and priorities at the Sea World Resort on June 23-25.


The competition is open to all Australian trucking operators and their employees. To enter, tell the ATA, in 100 words or fewer, what you think could be done to improve safety or business viability in the trucking industry, and what you would bring to the table at Trucking Australia 2016.


The three best entries will receive a trip to Trucking Australia 2016 to share their ideas, including one full delegate registration, three nights’ standard accommodation at the Sea World Resort and one return economy air fare to the Gold Coast from any Australian capital city.


“Trucking Australia 2016 is all about industry coming together, sharing their ideas and experiences, and developing plans for the future,” said Scott Alexander, Cummins South Pacific Manager Automotive Sales and Customer Support. “Through this program, we aim to make sure that great ideas don’t go unheard. If you have a plan for improving safety or business viability in the trucking industry, I encourage you to put it forward.


“We are proud to continue this partnership with Trucking Australia for our fifth year, and I look forward to meeting this year’s winners during the event.”


Entries must be submitted through the ATA’s online entry portal by Friday March 18, and will be judged by the experts at Cummins. The winners will be announced in the ATA’s Friday Facts newsletter on April 1.


The full terms and conditions are available at the Trucking Australia 2016 website.


Patchy results in truck sales

2015 has been a year of mixed results for the truck manufacturers in Australia, according to the latest truck sales figures published by the Truck Industry Council. The overall results see the truck market recovering from a very slow start to reach the halfway mark of 2015 with 781 more sales than at the same point in 2014.




The variability of the situation is illustrated by changes in market share for a number of brands. Hino has gained ground on its Japanese rivals at the same time as Kenworth, Iveco and Freightliner have seen market share slip.     In the heavy duty market, Kenworth remains unshakeable in its number one position at the same time as coming out with fewer sales in the first six months of 2015, compared to 2014. The overall sales in this segment are still down at 4,642, compared to 5,147 last year.


Volvo’s year to date figures are up by 32 trucks sold so far this year, but this translates to a jump in market share from 12.7 to 14.7 per cent. Isuzu also continue to grow, as a force, up to a 12.1 per cent market share, largely due to continuing strong twin steer sales.


It’s steady as she goes in the medium duty segment. The overall results for most truck brands are on a similar scale to those achieved last year, by June. Small losses in market share by both Isuzu and Fuso are reflected in a concomitant gain for Hino’s.


The action all seems to be taking place in the light duty truck market this year with total sales of 4,574, so far this year, up 577 on 2014. This is close to a 13 per cent increase, year on year. Isuzu’s sales are up but the main beneficiaries of the increased demand have seen Hino, Fuso and Mercedes Benz pick up numbers, substantially.


The positive results at the lighter end of the market are also evident in the market for vans over 3.5 tonnes GVM. 2015 has seen, close to, a 30 per cent increase on sales so far this year, compared to last. All six players in this segment of the market are showing increased sales in 2015, with Renault and Ford getting the most traction.


These results from the TIC probably confirm what many other sectors of the economy are finding, business is hard to predict with many variation and fluctuations. A patchy transport market with clear regional and industry sector variations is leading to a truck market with a a similar profile.

Ravaglioli Commercial Vehicle Wireless Mobile Column Lifts

Tyre dump clean up

Tyre recycler, Tyrecycle, has been called upon to clean up 3,000 tonnes of end-of-life tyres abandoned by an unscrupulous operator at Pinkenba in Brisbane. Paying customers had trusted these tyres would be recycled by the company, which instead abandoned the site, leaving several years of stockpiled rubber waste behind.


IMG_5285 copy


“At Tyrecycle, we abhor this kind of practice, it costs business, it harms the environment and it creates a significant safety risk,” said Jim Fairweather, Tyrecyle CEO.



The sheer volume of the stockpiled waste set off numerous safety and environmental alarms for Tyrecycle, which took three weeks to clear the site of thousands of end-of-life passenger, all-wheel-drive, truck and earthmoving vehicle tyres.



“Rubber waste quickly becomes a fire hazard and the site’s proximity to Brisbane’s domestic and international airports made this particular occurrence all the more fraught with danger,” said Fairweather. “A fire on the site would have caused significant disruption to air traffic.”



The practice of stockpiling end-of-life tyres also creates a breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes and has a devastating impact on vegetation and wildlife, reckons Fairweather.



Tyrecycle annually collects and recycles more than 120,000 tonnes of tyre and conveyor belt waste otherwise destined for landfill in Australia.



“We have a national collection and processing footprint, so no job is too big, too small or even too remote for Tyrecycle,” said Fairweather. “Once the waste arrives at any of our five specialised facilities, we use an EPA-approved processing method to transform it into rubber crumb, granule or tyre-derived fuel.”



The crumb and granule is supplied to domestic markets for reuse in road and sporting surfaces, playgrounds, adhesive manufacturing and brake-pads; the fuel is used for energy recovery.



For every waste tyre recycled, Tyrecycle says independent assessment shows it recovers 85 per cent of the rubber needed to make a new tyre, 95 per cent of the steel needed to make a new tyre and offsets almost 60 per cent of the greenhouse gases emitted to make new tyres.



Tyrecycle says it is continually evolving and discovering new applications for waste material, and promises a full chain of custody for all materials received, processed and supplied, which guarantees its products are used in an environmentally sound way.



“The 3,000 plus tonnes of tyres at the Pinkenba site were once an unsightly and major fire risk,” said Fairweather. “They have since been transformed into fuel that is now powering high-energy industrial kilns.”

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

Toll opens another freight facility

In recent months, it would seem every week has seen a new freight facility opened or announced, often by Toll. This week is no exception with the commencement of operations from the new $24 million freight terminal Toll Group has built in Hobart’s north. Toll’s announcement reckons the 17,000 square metre facility on 6.8 hectares in the Brighton Transport Hub is the most modern and efficient transport terminal in the state. The site was officially opened by the Premier of Tasmania, Will Hodgman, alongside Toll Group Managing Director Brian Kruger.


Brian Kruger and Tasmanian Premier, Will Hodgman



“Toll Group’s investment in the Brighton Transport Hub is a significant and welcomed investment in Tasmanian infrastructure,” said Hodgman.


Kruger said the facility demonstrated how Toll has been a supporter of the development of the Brighton precinct for many years. Toll see the project as a long-term investment in Tasmania’s freight future, with flow-on economic benefits for Hobart and beyond through improved domestic and international freight services.


“This $24 million investment underpins other key investments we’re making in the state, that includes the purchase of next-generation replacement vessels for our Bass Strait shipping service earmarked for 2018, as well as the redevelopment of the wharf and rail terminals in Burnie and Launceston,” said Kruger. “Relocating to the new hub in Brighton will result in 42 fewer B-Doubles and 100 fewer semi-trailer movements from the city of Hobart each day. It also allows us to increase the amount of freight we can carry via rail. More freight on trains will mean fewer trucks on Tasmanian roads.”


Toll said the new facility handles general and refrigerated freight, offers warehousing and distribution services, and provides container storage for both domestic and international shipping requirements.