The KISS principle

Here’s a video showing just how the cross loading system for livestock, developed by Frasers Livestock Transport from Warwick in Queensland, works in practice. The system won Best Solution to an Identified Workplace Health and Safety Issue from 11 finalists at the ninth annual National Safe Work Australia Awards, announced earlier this year.

 

Keep it simple and take as many good ideas you have seen elsewhere to create a smart result, has got results for the transport operator, the drivers, the animals and been acknowledged for its ingenuity.

Onwards and upwards for HHA

Here’s a reminder of where the fast growing Heavy Haulage Australia came from originally with footage of the original HHA truck, as shown on the ‘Megatruckers’ TV series which features Jon Kelly, his antics and his fleet.

 

HHA has recently announced four new contracts for their services with Easternwell (HHA Oil and Gas), MacMahon (Heavy Haul), Panalpina Projects (HHA Project Services) and GE Australia (HHA Oil and Gas & Heavy Haul).

 

“The diversity in these awards is quite unique and is reflective of our superior service offering, market leading safety standards and desirable geographical footprint,” said Jon Kelly, HHA’s Managing Director. “We elected to take our business nationally two years ago with facilities now established in Darwin and Perth.

 

“We will soon to be unveiling facilities in Port Hedland, Adelaide and Roma all of which look to compliment pre-existing infrastructure we have in Brisbane and Toowoomba. It is pleasing to see this investment is being rewarded and the inherent value that these blue chip customers have in our deliverables on a national scale”

 

The Easternwell contract is to move a NOV triple drill rig from the Port of Brisbane to a site in the Surat Basin. Once commissioned and operational the drill rig will be the biggest in the southern hemisphere with a combined mass of over 6,500 tonnes carried on 180 trailer loads. Equipment needed to handle the task includes bed/winch trucks, cranes up to 200 tonnes capacity and 10 axle platforms, as well as over 20 road train loads.

 

Heavy Haulage Australia Rig Truck, Oil & Gas move.

 

The Panalpina Projects task is based at HHA’s Darwin division, involving project management, vessel discharges, transfer to interim storage and co-ordination, allocation and execution of oversize deliveries to the INPEX Gas site being built at Darwin.

 

“The unprecedented contract awards HHA has and continues to receive of late in a very competitive and tough market is a credit to the dedication and professionalism of my team in all areas of my business,” said Kelly. “It has been far from an easy year in transport however the group can boast revenue growth of over 30 per cent which shows the true grit of my team to time and time again, close and deliver to our great client base”

Toll driver saves the day

The amount of footage becoming available form dash cams in trucks will hopefully increase awareness of some pretty ordinary driving practises. In this case, the awareness of the driver in the Toll triple road train ensures a three road train smash is avoided after a double road train driver pulls out onto the highway without a single glance to the rear at the approaching road train. Everyone got home safe, but there would have been a few sphincter tightening moments for two of the drivers in this incident. The other didn’t even know it happened!

Back o’Bourke

How the world has changed in the last few years? Just a short time ago a truckie proud of their truck would carry, at most, a grubby print of their pride and joy taken with an Instamatic film camera. Now, we expect nothing less than a fly past! This is some great footage with our truckie, Mat Dockerty, parking the B-double up on a red dirt road out the back of Bourke and sending up the drone fitted with a camera (probably a GoPro) to buzz around in the sky above the truck capturing spectacular images of both the wild country and his livestock combination.

A day in the life of a lady truckie

Here’s a great video produced by Australian Geographic about the life of one truckie in Australia. Claire Strasburg is a young livestock carter, committed to keeping Australia’s beef industry moving. The video shows her at work, carting cattle from sale yards and station ­paddocks to the abattoir.

It’s refreshing to see the media treating this subject so fairly without any clichés about women in the industry. It also paints trucking and rural carriers in a good light, another rarity!

Having said that here’s another example of positive media spin about women from, of all paces, Today Tonight. The story reckons 15 per cent of truck drivers in the Pilbara are women but does come up with the line, “Heavy Haulage Heroines”.

Benz robot truck

 

“The truck of the future is a Mercedes-Benz that drives itself,” reckons Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, the member of Daimler’s Board of Management responsible for Daimler Trucks.

 

He was speaking at the launch of the Mercedes Benz Future Truck 2025, which is fitted with Highway Pilot. This system enables the truck to drive completely autonomously at speeds of up to 85 km/h. The new truck was on show along a section of the A14 autobahn near the city of Magdeburg, in Germany.

 

Few details on how the truck actually works were available, but this demonstrates the way the automotive industry is thinking. We already have the Google car, there is the Volvo SARTRE project running truck and car platooning and DAF are part of a trial of driverless trucks on public roads in the Netherlands.

 

All of this speculation talks about autonomous trucks as an answer to the driver shortage. However, the exponential increase in the freight task is likely to mean, even if we have a lot of robot trucks on the highway we will still need more truck drivers.

 

 

Bad day for Linfox

Here is the kind of footage on YouTube which could give a company a bad name. On the clip it is impossible to read the name on the door of the lunatic Linfox subbie who drives like this, but it’s very easy to read who owns the trailers. A major international transport operation is getting negative public relations, via YouTube.

When this video was originally published some months ago, Linfox were quick to react and posted a response on the website:

“Thank you for bringing this important safety issue to our attention. Linfox welcomes ongoing feedback from the public about its drivers via online forums such as YouTube or for a more immediate response from our team, contact our dedicated hotline on 1300 880 535, complete our online feedback form or email public_feedback@linfox.com.”

Unfortunately, the driver in the first clip didn’t take any notice of, or never saw, this Vision Zero clip, also on YouTube.

http://youtu.be/Ai0DwaB1FRs

McAleese heavyweights

Great vid giving us an insight into life on the road for some of the heavy haulage operators moving the big stuff for McAleese. Some well shot footage demonstrates just how effective the self steering trailers are in getting massive trailers moved.

This follows an earlier video from last year where some big gear hits the road to a thumping soundtrack.

Screenshot 2014-07-02 12.15.53

 

Cleaning up Linfox

 

A new truck cleaning system, based in the Port Hedland Linfox operation, is claimed to be an Australian first. Replacing a traditional truck washing set up, which required five hours work for three people to handle a B-double tanker, the new system designed and built by Karcher, specifically for this job, cleans the truck down in 15 minutes.

 

The new system uses two cooling arches, delivering 350 litres/minute, as well as 350 litres/minute underbody washer and wheel spinners. The truck wash recycles over 85 per cent of the water used in the process, improving efficiency in an area where water supply is at a premium, and waste water disposal an issue.

 

Not only does this new system speed up the cleaning process, it also gets the trucks cleaner, according to Linfox. It replaces a tough hand cleaning job in the process. Cleaning trucks is a hard job at any time, but trying to clean off trucks caked in mud and red dust from working in the iron ore fields is tougher still.

 

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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