Gearing Up For The Show

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Many people from the truck, trailer and other equipment makers are gearing up for the show, before the opening of the Brisbane Truck Show at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in a week’s time from May 13 to 16.

There has been uncertainty for everyone in the past 14 months, we could only guess what the future would bring. Borders have closed, borders have opened, cities have locked down and opened up again, planning any event was a nightmare and plans could be stopped in their tracks at any point.

This is the situation the Heavy Vehicle Industry Association was faced with last year when deciding whether the Brisbane Truck Show would go on as usual in May 2021. Planning, in the times of a pandemic, has meant contingencies have had to be developed to cope with a situation where events elsewhere could overtake this particular event. However, the philosophy of those around the show has been one of working towards the best result, but planning for possible roadblocks in the lead up to the event. 

The Brisbane Show has become more than just the event in the Convention Centre and there will be truck and trailer displays set up across Brisbane, complementing those already held by Brisbane Truck Show exhibitors and show partners, all captured under the umbrella of Australian Heavy Vehicle Industry Week. According to the HVIA, there will be more trucks and trailers on display at South Bank parklands and more again in the CBD.

Also included in this year’s event is a Future Fuels & Sustainability Hub in which show-goers can start to get a handle on the kinds of low emissions solutions which will be infiltrating the trucking industry in an effort to improve emissions performance. 

The 2021 HVIA National Apprentice Challenge will be taking place as part of BTS21. It is an opportunity for heavy vehicle mechanical apprentices to challenge themselves and others in a demonstration of technical skills. The ‘hands-on’ competition will be staged live at BTS21. 

Teams of two apprentices will be selected to represent each of HVIA’s three National Regions: Eastern Region – QLD, NSW & ACT, Southern Region – VIC, TAS & SA and North/Western Region – NT & WA.

Each of the regional teams will work on one of two identical Isuzu FX-series prime movers to identify and rectify a series of programmed faults as the clock ticks down. The winning team will be the one which first successfully identifies and repairs all faults or the team that rectifies the most faults within the allotted time frame. This is a competition which is open to heavy vehicle mechanical apprentices employed in the heavy vehicle industry.

There will be a few truck models which will be making their first appearance at the BTS. One of these will be the Kenworth T401SAR, a model which combines the traditional bonneted style so strongly associated with the brand, with a new cabin design. The new cabin brings with it a much more sophisticated electronic system, one capable of powering the kinds of control and safety systems modern truck buyers are beginning to specify.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks will launch an Australian validation program for an Actros that can help steer itself at the show. The Active Drive Assist technology enables SAE Level 2 partially automated driving capability; a first for Australian heavy trucks. The validation program will consist of 20 trucks, including 15 units in Australia and five in New Zealand. The trucks will operate with a wide range of customer fleets, clocking up substantial kilometres on various roads across both countries.

For MaxiTRANS, the 75th anniversary of Freighter trailers will be celebrated. The trailer maker will also display the wide range of the company’s freight solutions across a full gambit of Australia’s transport requirements including Maxi-CUBE, Lusty EMS, Hamelex White, Trout River and AZMEB.

The other half of the Paccar offering in Australia, DAF, also have a range of Euro 6 trucks, which were launched early in 2020, just before the pandemic hit. The new Paccar MX11 engine is now included in the range, bringing a lighter and pretty torquey 11 litre engine to the DAF stable. For all of these trucks it will be their first appearance at the show and a chance for many to get up close and personal with these trucks on the DAF Trucks section of the Paccar stand.

Freightliner Australia will introduce a head-protecting side airbag on the Cascadia heavy duty truck late this year, further extending its safety leadership in the conventional truck class.

The Cascadia is still the only bonneted truck in Australia to be fitted with a steering wheel mounted airbag. It will also become the only manufacturer to offer a head-protecting side airbag in a bonneted truck in Australia.

Iveco now have the new Acco model on the roads of Australia, after its debut at the last Brisbane Show. This will be an opportunity to see how the model has developed as well as seeing variants of the other offerings from the Iveco range. There is likely to be an X-Way B-double prime mover on show with a higher horsepower rating than we normally expect from the Italian truck maker.

Western Star Trucks will showcase a 4800 and a 4900, as ahomage to the very first Western Star released to the Australian market which appeared at the Brisbane Show in the early 80s, this year’s 4800 will feature a tribute livery with a blue cabin, red chassis, and heritage pearl white highlights. Complete with a 34” Starlight lowline roof sleeper, the 4800 is powered by a Detroit DD15 500hp (at 1,850ft-lb) engine, has an Eaton Ultrashift transmission, and also features the renowned Airliner suspension.

Australian electric truck company, SEA Electric, will use the show to publicly launch the first operational-ready range of electric trucks from a manufacturer globally, with five different vehicles to be presented.

MAN Truck & Bus will showcase its product portfolio, displaying the TGX 640hp 6×4 PerformanceLine with the XXL cab, the 13 litre TGX 540hp 6×4 with an XLX cab, and the medium-duty 320hp 6×4, showing a wide-ranging set of transport solutions suited to various applications and duty cycles.

Hendrickson will be showcasing its latest truck and trailer suspensions with three new exciting

products. There’s the ZMD shockless trailer air suspension technology, a system which eliminates shock absorbers from the maintenance equation by integrating the damping function into the air spring.

gearing up for the show